Writing a Cover Letter
By ‘cover letter’, we mean a friendly but formal letter that introduces you, your book and why you think we’re the right agency to represent it.
The cover letter is where you make your first impression, the aim being to sell the premise of your book to our team so we want to read more. It usually includes:
An address: use the first name of the agent you are writing to (please only address your email to one). Most authors start the letter with ‘Dear…’ but ‘Hello’, ‘Hi’, or any other pleasant greeting is fine with us!
A pitch: usually one or two sentences that capture the main concept of the book. It needs to be as concise as possible, the aim is to gain the interest of the reader. It can also be useful to say what genre it is here, for example, literary fiction
A blurb: generally a short paragraph or two summarising the book (like the one you find on the back of a book)
Comparative titles: it is helpful for agents to have an idea which other books yours is similar to in premise, style or tone. As well as giving an agent the overall sense of the book, it also indicates to them if it is a project they are likely to represent and know how best to sell to publishers
Knowledge of the agent and agency: While it is not a necessary part of the cover letter, if there is something about the agent or their authors that has led you to submit to them, this can help the agent to build a picture of you as an author and how you might work together
A biography: A short paragraph on who you are and your writing experience (this could be the only thing you’ve written - that’s okay!)
Keep it short! We receive lots of submissions everyday, as well as being easier for us to read, concise emails are a good test of writing skills and demonstrate a clear vision. The letter should be around half an A4 page
If you have already had interest in your manuscript, please include information about this before the pitch to make sure we prioritise your submission
You can include the length of the book but you don’t have to be specific i.e 80,000 words instead of 81,237 words