Posted by: nancyisanders | January 23, 2015

Writing Opportunity: Cover Letter

Hi writing friends!!! Let’s finish up our cover letters today!!!!

I’ve had a number of folks start following me in this new year. If that’s you, welcome on board! And to recap it for all of us, here are the posts where you can find all the info you need to start to write your cover letter:

First Post on Cover Letter

Second Post on Cover Letter

Third Post on Cover Letter

Now, here in the Fourth Post on our Cover Letter, I’m going to tell you about my extra fun, super-duper strategy that I like to include on my cover letters because it gets RESULTS! I can’t tell you the number of contracts I’ve landed because of adding this to my cover letter. (Okay, the two that come to mind include my four-book set, KINGDOM KIDZ Noah, King Solomon, Zachaeus, & Martha and Mary. My book, A Kid’s Guide to African American History also came about because of this…)

It’s an extra part that goes something like this:

If for some reason you are unable to accept My Title at this time, would you be interested in receiving a potential manuscript on any of the following topics:
* Topic 1
* Topic 2
* Topic 3

I actually added this as my third paragraph in my cover letter to my submission to Kaeden Books.

Sometimes I add this as an entirely separate page in my query or proposal or manuscript that I submit. If I do that I call it my Resume Extension. (To learn how to create a Resume Extension instead of just adding a paragraph to your cover letter AND to also learn HOW and WHY I add this to my submissions, CLICK HERE to read all about it.)

So here’s what to do:
Pull out any notes that you made when you first explored Kaeden Books’ site about what types of topics they’ve already covered in their published books.

Look over them and brainstorm ideas for potential topics that they have not yet published but might fit into their product line. You don’t need to go into great depth here. And don’t stress out about this too much. It might help to block off an hour where you can just sit down and relax while you look through their product line again and let your brain start working to generate ideas.

Just pick 3-5 topics that might interest you such as oceans, holidays, animal homes, pets, bats, or spiders.

Pick high-profile topics that you can easily order in lots of research books from your library to get the info you need to write about.

Also pick topics that children study in school at this age. (For a list of these, look at the table of contents in teacher books on Amazon such as my book, Cut and Paste Mini-Books: Science.)

Then list those topics as part of your third paragraph. I put mine in bullets to stand out better.

One final thing and we’ll be done with our cover letter. (Thanks, Claire, for asking about this!) If you have art suggestions or photograph suggestions, the cover letter is the place to include this. There are options for this:

A: Add a sentence or two to the end of your second paragraph
B: Add a separate little paragraph after the second paragraph
C: Add an entire separate page if this takes up a lot of room.
D: You can even add a sample or two if you have them as separate pages

Here’s the scoop on your cover letter. I know a lot of editors say they only want to see a one-page cover letter. But if you stop and think about it, most of these editors are in the fiction market. Here with nonfiction or in the educational market, if you have something important to say such as the resume extension or photograph ideas, don’t ever feel limited to a one page cover letter. Just be as concise as possible.

There! I’m going to give you a couple of days to finish up your cover letter.

Then I’ll put together a checklist for you to go over to make sure you have everything you need. I’ll post that next week and you’ll be ready to mail in your submission!

I hope you’re as excited as I am!


Responses

  1. Wow! You have given us great tips. Thank you so much.

    • You’re welcome, Claire!!! Hope you can get success with this strategy, too!!!!

  2. I know I keep telling you this, but you do provide such detailed and wonderful content. Thanks, Nancy! 🙂


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