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Storyteller5
11-09-2005, 08:08 AM
:hi: Are there any key words or phrases that really help a cover letter or query letter? I know in resumes there are power words. I'm just wondering if this applies with these letters too. (I hope this makes sense.)

maestrowork
11-09-2005, 08:15 AM
It's just like a business letter -- use strong, precise verbs and nouns and avoid vague ones such as "I believe" or "I think."

Some words I can think of:

market
demographics
genre
words
power (or powerful)
humor
twist
...
and resonate ;) LOL

Storyteller5
11-12-2005, 10:08 AM
Thank you!

Does anyone else have anything to add?

Spidercat
11-13-2005, 12:54 AM
Don't know if this counts as a key word, but I've found that starting a letter by congratulating an agent on a recent sale or complementing a publisher on their recent releases (that are similar to yours) tend to get me personalized responses instead of form letters.

Storyteller5
11-13-2005, 06:48 AM
Don't know if this counts as a key word, but I've found that starting a letter by congratulating an agent on a recent sale or complementing a publisher on their recent releases (that are similar to yours) tend to get me personalized responses instead of form letters.

Good deal! All tips are welcome.

So how would that sound? "I enjoyed reading RecentPublication by AuthorsName. My booktitle here would compliment it nicely in your booklist" ?

Fishmonkey
11-13-2005, 07:23 AM
Good deal! All tips are welcome.

So how would that sound? "I enjoyed reading RecentPublication by AuthorsName. My booktitle here would compliment it nicely in your booklist" ?

Just make sure that in the actual letter you avoid comlIment/complEment confusion. As in, "I'd like to compliment your editorial taste. My book would complement your list nicely."

Spidercat
11-13-2005, 09:26 AM
My bad -- actually that's another important tip to remember in e-mails -- always double check your spelling and word choice :)

Here's an edited version of the first paragraph of a query letter that caused the agent to request a full ms (although, unfortunately, this led to another rejection -- albeit one personally written to me :))

Dear AGENT

Congratulations on your recent success in representing AUTHOR'S NAME very funny first novel BOOK TITLE. Having also written a middle-grade novel that combines off-the-wall comedy with magical adventure, I'd like you to consider representing my WORD COUNT fantasy book MY BOOK TITLE, a story about BRIEF ONE-SENTENCE SYNOPSIS OF THE BOOK.

Spidercat
11-13-2005, 09:28 AM
Good deal! All tips are welcome.

So how would that sound? "I enjoyed reading RecentPublication by AuthorsName. My booktitle here would compliment it nicely in your booklist" ?

Looks good -- but you might want to describe your book briefly to show HOW it would complement books such as the one you mention (a similar genre, audience, and/or subject matter might be appropriate)

Storyteller5
11-13-2005, 07:45 PM
Looks good -- but you might want to describe your book briefly to show HOW it would complement books such as the one you mention (a similar genre, audience, and/or subject matter might be appropriate)

That's why I ask. I want to learn what will help me. :)

Storyteller5
11-21-2005, 10:52 PM
Dear AGENT

Congratulations on your recent success in representing AUTHOR'S NAME very funny first novel BOOK TITLE. Having also written a middle-grade novel that combines off-the-wall comedy with magical adventure, I'd like you to consider representing my WORD COUNT fantasy book MY BOOK TITLE, a story about BRIEF ONE-SENTENCE SYNOPSIS OF THE BOOK.

Would this be worded similar for an editor?

Torgo
11-22-2005, 11:41 PM
Storyteller, I wouldn't bother with the 'I loved this book you did' bit unless you really feel strongly about it. For a cover letter, the editor has all the really pertinent information in the form of your synopsis and sample chapters, so it really only needs to be a couple of sentences - 'I am enclosing a synopsis and sample chapters of my 60,000 word detective novel, THE NAKED BURGLAR, and would like you to consider them for publication. You can contact me [etc]. Yours, etc, Storyteller.'