I left the crazy world recruiting in the financial industry and found myself (after a decade mind you) still scouring resumes, cover letters, and checking references as I was the Director of Operations at a busy call center. With my eyes closed (and probably in my sleep) I can tell you what to do and what not to do when job hunting. Here I am in the writing world (and loving it by the way) and I find it ironic how authors can make a cover letter sound so special. “I sent out 4 queries last month” someone will say during a conversation about goals and publishing – and doesn’t that sound very special indeed? Of course, it is…but because I’m new to this world, I had to find that out for myself.
What’s a girl to do when she isn’t sure what all the fuss is about? Well, she turns to her smart phone when no one is looking…
• Know something about the person you are sending the letter to (use their name instead of something generic)
• Summarize what it is you have to offer (in the case of a query, tell them about your book – in the case of a cover letter, tell them what you bring to the table for the job)
• Make a comparison (talk about similar books – or if you’re applying for a job, talk about an experience at a similar company where you excelled)
• Say something about yourself (people like real people…you are more than just a query or a cover letter, aren’t you?)
• Promise a follow up – and follow through on it! (Whether a query or a job hunt, you’re going to follow up with a phone call, another email, a letter, etc… in a certain period of time, right? Let them know what your intentions are!)
So – now we know how to write a query or get an employer’s attention with our cover letter, right? Well, Google brought up another good point that I feel only YOU (Dear WOW! Readers) can answer for me: DO LITERARY AGENTS REALLY READ THEM?
What has been your experience? When you speak to a literary agent, have they actually read your query? How do you know if they read it or not? What do you recommend to other writers as they set out on their journey with querying?
Thank you in advance for your help and comments; that's one of the things I love about authors - the community is so encouraging of one another!