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The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Synopses and Cover Letters > How to write a preliminary letter?

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 Posted: Tue Jun 12th, 2007 12:46 pm
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Belle Infidele
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Mana: 
I want to start sending my book to publishing houses - they mostly ask for a preliminary letter, synopsis and sample chapter. Now, i've got the last two, but i've no idea how to write a "decent" letter. Is it the same as a cover letter?

- should it include some kind of short bio of the author?


If anyone could be bothered with giving a simple sample, i'd be grateful!

Thanks!

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 Posted: Tue Jun 12th, 2007 01:53 pm
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in media res
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Mana: 
Belle,

"Writing a good query/letter of introduction in your own style takes as much effort as writing a perfect one-act play. It can be agonizing and exhausting! Edit the daylights out of it. It must be lean. Every word must count. And it must mooooooove forward just like a play. If it is merely a list of information, forget it. The phrase is "Sell the sizzle, not the steak."

The above is from a post I wrote on this section under "selling oneself." There is more on my post. It is about plays, but it would pertain to novels as well.

Remember, your letter is the first time they are going to read your writing. You only exist in two dimensional world of paper and ink. The object before you is to make yourself three dimensional individual as if you are standing there right in the office with them.

If you take the time to search around the Forum, you will find other good info in the posts that will pertain.

Your letter is the smell you smell as you walk by a bakery. It makes you want to go in. No, you MUST go in.


best,

in media res

Last edited on Tue Jun 12th, 2007 01:56 pm by in media res

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