A cover letter introduces you and your novel to potential publishers. This letter is\u00a0your first point of contact between you and a\u00a0publisher, therefore, it is crucial that aspiring authors know how to write a decent cover letter.\r\n\r\nHere are three common questions, answered for writers looking to pave a successful path\u00a0into the world of publishing with a\u00a0cover letter that leaves an impression...\r\n\r\nWe provide all the how-to knowledge for writing a killer cover letter...\r\nWhat do I need?\r\n1. An 'elevator pitch' and hook\r\nAn 'elevator pitch' is a\u00a0brief and punchy summary of your novel that could be told to someone important between floors of a short elevator ride. Condense\u00a0the core ideas of your novel in a dynamic and enthusiastic couple of sentences.\r\n\r\nRemember that your cover letter should be no longer than a page, so this section can only take a up a paragraph or two. Show them why it\u2019s worth reading and be sure to include a 'hook' \u2013 something that drags your reader into the story, and has them dying to know what happens next.\r\n2. A target audience\r\nOutline your target audience\u00a0to publishers and demonstrate an alignment to their publishing vision. A good way to start is by looking at previous novels they have published and whether these books fall in the same category as yours, and share a target audience.\r\n\r\nRemember to be specific; publishers need more information than 'Adult'. Include your audience's age group, interests etc. if applicable.\r\n3. Novel titles comparable to yours\r\nGive two titles comparable to your novel (even better if they're published by the publisher you're reaching out to). This is a great way to establish direct relevance and relation to potential publishers.\r\n\r\nMore than that, it gives them an idea of where your novel\u00a0will sit in the marketplace and how it will work with\u00a0their existing list.\r\n\r\nImage via Pixabay\r\n4. A word count\r\nThis is a simple and necessary inclusion to let publishers know how long your novel is.\r\n5. A killer author bio\r\nBe interesting, be readable and draw publishers in with\u00a0who you are and what you intend to do with your work.\r\n\r\nHere is also the place to list existing publishing credentials, and relevant education such as writing courses or degrees. You want to be able to get publishers to see that you are a capable, focused and passionate writer.\r\n6. Contact details\r\nGive yourself the opportunity to be contacted if the publishers decide to get in touch for further questions or discussions. Include your phone number, address and most importantly, your email address.\r\n\r\nImage via Pixabay\r\nHow do I put it together?\r\nPut the above elements\u00a0together in an easy-to-read, simple form. Keep sentences short, purposeful and in an active voice. The desired length of your letter should no longer than a page. Opt for 12pt standard font such as Times New Roman, and 1.5 spacing.\r\n\r\nMany new authors make the mistake of attempting to detail their background, life achievements and a lengthy breakdown of their novel. Long, unnecessary paragraphs will irritate\u00a0the editor, and an irritated submissions editor is not someone you want reading your life's work and deciding its future.\r\n\r\nIn addition to being concise, remember to keep it error-free. Creatively written content may help you stand out, but keep in mind that your letter is still a business proposal.\r\n\r\nIt also goes without saying that a successful pitch leaves no room for error, so before\u00a0you click send, proofread it again and again. Better still, have other writer friends review it and provide you with feedback.\r\n\r\nImage via Pixabay\r\nDo I include my manuscript?\u00a0\r\nAlways follow\u00a0the\u00a0publisher's submission guidelines. These guidelines are usually accessible on publisher's website. The most common request is to include the first three chapters. In addition, you might also be asked for\u00a0a synopsis (usually no longer than 300 words).\r\n\r\nWe cannot stress enough the importance of adhering to the guidelines. This shows\u00a0that you care about the publisher's\u00a0work as well as yours.\r\nSome other useful tips\r\n\r\n \tAddress your cover letter by name. Avoid clich\u00e9s such as 'Dear sir\/madam' or 'To whom it may concern'. It is more genuine and respectful.\r\n \tUse more formal language throughout the letter.\r\n \tHave a logical and readable structure.\r\n \tThank the publisher for their time.\r\n \tSign off gracefully \u2013 e.g. 'Yours sincerely' \u2013 before your name.\r\n\r\nWith these tips,\u00a0you\u2019re good to go!