Author Topic: quick question  (Read 1662 times)

Offline Hollie

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quick question
« on: February 24, 2006, 01:32:01 AM »
I am ready (I hope) to send my cover letter and proposal to the agent I was referred to by my editor.
I'm happy with the overview and general info about my book, the proposal is pretty detailed and complete. In my cover letter, which is not really a query letter because I am able to go ahead and send my entire package to this agent, I used some of the same text that I liked best from the first page of my proposal.

SO --- Do you think it would be bad to have repeat phrasing?
Do you think that reading the cover page and seeing the hook, then turning to the proposal and seeing that same hook, only in it's entirety, would turn an agent off?

When I write that is seems plain to say: No. You shouldn't repeat it. But here's my logic:

A completed manuscript shortens down and leads to a synopsis or a proposal. A synopsis or proposal shortens down to a query. If they were mailed separately, I wouldn't see anything wrong with it. But together? I'm making my brain hurt!!!


Offline Symphony

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Re: quick question
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2006, 07:52:21 AM »

Can't say I have any experience in writing proposals but I know what it's like when you're trying so desperately hard to get something absolutely right and you end up tying yourself into knots over it.

You seem to be very happy with your proposal and I think, in terms of submissions, this needs to be your strength, so that's great.

In terms of your cover letter - why do you need to repeat anything? I could be wrong here, but my instinct is to say that a cover letter need say little more than the fact that you're attaching your proposal, sample chapters, etc. as per the agent's guidelines/your phone conversation/your recent e-mail exchange, etc. - and perhaps (but not necessarily) a little about yourself, if it's relevant to your writing or the subject you're writing about. Your proposal will do the 'book' work for you. Let it do its job.

Symphony   ;D

(but that's just my take on this - I'll be eager to read any other responses  ???)

Offline orchid15

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Re: quick question
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2006, 11:08:42 AM »

Ny author friend told me not to put much of a synopsis in a cover letter- maybe 3 sentences.  She said a cover letter needed 3-4 parts

This story iis XXX words and is about (Theme- love prevails or hope cures disease. etc.  one sentence)  The hero faces (here is your two or three sentences,)

Paragraph two-- This book should appeal to..(target aufience)...It takes a  a lively and suspenseful approach to a common emotion.

Paragraph 3- I have been published as/ am an expert at/have experenced  (If you have no special credits- skip this)

Paragraph fourThis is an exclusive submission.  If I don't hear from you in 12 weeks(varies-read guidelines) I will submit this to another publisher.If you are not interested, feel free to dispose of the manuscript.  If you are interested, I can send an electronic version of the story by disk or email.  Just tell me what format you prefer.   Feel free to contact me by phone at xxx, or email me at to discuss this project.

Try to fit the whole thing on one page, if possible.  I find mine tend to slop over to the next page.

Hope this helps
"The beautiful part of writing is that you don't havto get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon." Robert Cormier

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Offline Hollie

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Re: quick question
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2006, 11:14:15 AM »
Thanks, my guts tell me you're both right. I do have a new cover that is more like what you said. Because the proposal will be right with it, I think I will skip some of what you would normally put into the query. I'm going to post in under review. I just need to quit thinking and send it.