Preditors and Editors
A guide to publishers and publishing services for serious writers since 1997.
Sample Cover Letter:
Your street address
Your city, state, and zip code
The editor's name and title
The publication's name
The publication's address
Dear (Mr./Ms.) (editor's last name),
Enclosed is a disposable copy of my short story, "The Short Story," for publishing consideration. This work is also available by e-mail or on a 3.5 inch diskette in either WordPerfect 6.0a or ASCII format to assist in publishing. An SASE is enclosed for your convenience.
My publishing credits include:
"A Story," A Pub, Aug. 96.
"B Story," C Pub, Aug. 87.
"D Story" to be published in E Pub, Sep. 97.
"C Pub" to be published in B Pub, Jan. 98.
"G Story" to be published by Z Pub.
I thank you in advance for the time and effort you expend considering my work.
Your name printed here
- The first thing you should do is get to the point of the letter. Tell the publisher you're submitting a copy of your manuscript. (Never send your only copy.) Don't make the publisher wade through lots of garbage just to learn the letter's intentions. If you're submitting the first three chapters of a novel, adjust the sentences appropriately. Also advise the editor that the full version is also available on hardcopy.
- Be sure you advise the publisher if you can assist in his publishing effort. As well, always include a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope. When dealing with foreign publishers, you should modify that to read as "a self-addressed envelope along with IRC's".
- In the second paragraph, let the publisher know if you're already published. Some publishers want to print work from writers who can bring along an audience to their publication. It helps circulation. If you don't have any publishing credits yet, don't make them up. Editors have access to reference resources that list what was published by writers in the press. There are other writers out there making their living by creating those resources.
- Remember to put in other information that the publisher wants. That information is generally specified in the publisher's guidelines. Typical of this information that some publishers want is a short biography of yourself. Guide yourself by looking at a copy of the publication you're submitting to. You can then see what the publisher expects and prints as a story's accompanying author biography. However, if it's not asked for then leave it out as in the above sample.
- Though it's not necessary, it never hurts to thank the people who review your submission.
- Lastly, best of luck to you!