Sunday, December 28, 2014

Example of a Cover Letter for a Media Kit

Hooray. I am almost finished editing the second edition of The Frugal Editor to be released in January.  I ran across this sample letter in the Appendix and thought it appropriate to get some writers started out on the right foot for their 2015 marketing campaigns.  Here it is, but four other examples of query and cover letters are available right now in the e-book edition.

 
A cover letter is very similar to a query letter except that it introduces a media kit or some other marketing material or enclosure like a manuscript requested by an agent. A query asks for something specific, like representation or media coverage. (See Appendix Five for samples of queries.)

If you know or have spoken to whomever you are contacting, your cover letter may be friendly and, depending on your personal style, you may use a first name. If this is a first contact, use the person’s proper title (Mr., Mrs., Ms. Miss), but avoid stiff formality unless you perceive an overwhelming reason to maintain a strictly formal tone. A cover letter uses the Times New Roman font (12 point). It is single-spaced and one page only.

Notice the sample cover letter below includes an invitation to an event mention at the end of the letter. It is both polite and smart marketing to invite members of the media to be part of your plans. Find more information on what to include and avoid in Chapter Five “Dangerous Corners Ahead: Covers and Queries.”

These two examples of cover letters and all but one of the examples of query letters I include in Appendix Five are for fiction rather than nonfiction. Generally speaking, it is easier for authors to find the right information and tone to sell and promote nonfiction. Fiction writers often need a little extra guidance, but ideas from all the examples can be applied to both fiction and nonfiction.

SAMPLE COVER LETTER FOR A MEDIA KIT


As you can see, this cover letter serves as a query letter as well because it tells the contact exactly what the author is hoping might come from the communication.

 [A professional letterhead goes here or that information becomes part of your signature if you use e-mail.]
Date: xxx
Contact’s name, e-mail, Web site address, and street address or post office box address
Dear Marilee,
It has been a while since we spoke about your reviewing my book, This Is the Place. As you can see, it is a bit late, but July 1st is now AmErica House’s release date. Since we spoke, This Is the Place won Sime-Gen.com’s Reviewers’ Choice Award in their mainstream category. Nominations are made by reviewers nationwide. I hope you can find a spot for an interview in your busy radio schedule.
I am a journalist who got lost for about forty years. I conceived an idea for a novel when I was writing for my high school newspaper; it gestated through my years as a staff writer at the Salt Lake Tribune, Good Housekeeping, my years as a publicist, and for about four decades doing various things after that kept me from writing.
 
Many, including the editors at the Los Angeles Daily News, have found my writing a book at an age when most are considering retirement an interesting news angle. At the age of sixty-two I found a publisher, several of my short stories placed in the finals of national literary contests, I completed my first screenplay, and I started to study writing again at UCLA and several universities in Europe.
 
That This Is the Place tells the stories of four generations of Utah women, from the 1800s to the 1950s, makes it of particular interest to western history buffs and those who like women’s literature. Its premise is that intolerance can be corrosive even when it is cloaked in family, love, and community.
This Is the Place’s release date coincides with the burgeoning interest in Utah as the 2002 Winter Olympics approach.
 
I am enclosing a media kit and an unedited review copy of my novel (with a generic cover). If there is anything else I can do for you, please let me know. I have headshots, a jpeg file of my book cover and other assorted promotional materials you might need. My first official reading and signing will be at Vroman’s on Thursday, July 26, at 7 p.m. and I would love to see you there.
Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Encs: 2

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

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