Writing Books/Cover


How is a cover letter with sample pages different from a query letter? My cover letter says that I contacted them because they handle my type of book, it briefly tells what the book is about (while selling the book at the same time)
And says the first ten pages are below. (It's sent by email)
Is this appropriate?

A cover letter is a simple business letter, rather than a "selling" letter. All it really says is something like:

Mr. X
XXX Agency
123 Main
New York, NY


Dear Mr. X:

Pursuant to your request of XX/XX/XX, enclosed please find sample chapters of MY BESTSELLER. I've enclosed a copy of the original query letter to remind you of the overall plot.

I hope you enjoy this sample, and would like to read the entire manuscript. I'm enclosing a self-addressed stamped envelope for your convenience in responding. Thank you for your attention, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.



I tend to ALSO enclose the request from the agent, whether the email or letter, or scrawled note on your reply. Whatever proves that it's ACTUALLY a request for pages. You'd be surprised how many people claim that, when the agent has never heard of them.

Now, if you want the pages back, send a 9x12 envelope with sufficient postage. If not, just include a line of "please recycle the submission" and include a #10 business envelope.  Then, on the outside of the envelope, put "REQUESTED SUBMISSION" or "REQUESTED PAGES" out the outside of the envelope in black marker, either under the last line of the address, or on the left bottom corner. That will separate out your package to the agent's assistant, who will verify that you're one of the people who was requested to submit.

Good luck!


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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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