How to write a cover letter for journal submission

Download our cover letter template.

When you submit your article to a journal, you often need to include a cover letter. This is a great opportunity to highlight to the journal editor what makes your research new and important. The cover letter should explain why your work is perfect for their journal and why it will be of interest to the journal’s readers.

what is an author cover letter

When writing for publication, a well-written cover letter can help your paper reach the next stage of the manuscript submission process – being sent out for  peer review . So it’s worth spending time thinking about how to write a cover letter to the journal editor, to make sure it’s going to be effective.

To help you, we’ve put together a guide to explain how to write a cover letter for journal article submission. You will receive cover letter instructions of what you should include and what you shouldn’t, and a word template cover letter.

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What should my cover letter include?

Before you start to write, please check the  instructions for authors  (IFAs) of your chosen journal, as not all journals will require one. You should also check the IFAs for any journal specific information on what to include. This may include a list of relevant articles written by you or your co-authors that have been or are currently being considered for publication in other journals.

Key points to include in your letter to the editor:

Editor’s name (you can usually find this on the journal page on  Taylor & Francis Online ).

Your manuscript’s title.

Name of the journal you are submitting to.

Statement that your paper has not been previously published and is not currently under consideration by another journal.

Brief description of the research you are reporting in your paper, why it is important, and why you think the readers of the journal would be interested in it.

Contact information for you and any  co-authors .

Confirmation that you have no  competing interests  to disclose.

what is an author cover letter

Things to avoid:

Don’t copy your abstract into your cover letter, instead explain in your own words the significance of the work, the problem that is being addressed, and why the manuscript belongs in the journal.

Don’t use too much jargon or too many acronyms, keep language straightforward and easy to read.

Avoid too much detail – keep your cover letter to a maximum of one page, as an introduction and brief overview.

Avoid any spelling and grammar errors and ensure your letter is thoroughly proofed before submitting.

Key information for cover letter

Click to enlarge your PDF on key information to include in your cover letter .

Cover letter template

If you need further help to write a cover letter for a journal, you can download and use our sample template as a guide.

what is an author cover letter

You might find that the submission system for your chosen journal requires your cover letter to be submitted into a text box rather than as a separate document, but it is still a good idea to write a draft first to make sure you have included everything.

Always make sure to check the journal’s  instructions for authors  for any specific additional information to include.

Submission ready

Use our submission checklist  to make sure you’ve included everything you need to.

If you need more guidance, take a look at our other  information and resources to help you make your submission .

what is an author cover letter

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Consider the Taylor & Francis Rapid Technical Review service to help you meet your deadline, through peer-review-like comments on your manuscript.

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what is an author cover letter

WTO / Letters and Emails / Cover Letters / Author Cover Letter Examples (How to Write & Format)

Author Cover Letter Examples (How to Write & Format)

The exact definition of a cover letter is: “a letter sent with, and explaining the contents of, another document or a parcel of goods.” They are typically created when applying for a job. An author’s cover letter is no different and must be submitted at the same time as the proposal for a manuscript.

Free Downloads

Professional Printable Author Cover Letter Sample for Word File

Important Points to Remember

If you have never written one before, don’t worry. We have written step-by-step instructions to aid you in the process:

As an author, it is common to want to be creative, but this is one area where that is greatly unnecessary. A cover letter should be professional. To make yourself seem as professional as possible, adhere to the standard format for cover letters. Whether you are printing and sending a physical cover letter or sending it via email, it does not matter. Be sure to keep it clean, precise, and to the point. Examples of the standard format can be found anywhere with ease.

Keep it short

As with application cover letters, they should not exceed one page. In the very first paragraph, clearly explain what you are sending. This can be as straightforward as: “Kindly find enclosed a short story, ‘Choose Me, please!’ which describes a game show contestant.”

Address the editor

Many cover letters begin with a vague addressing line, such as “To whom it may concern.” This should not be the case with yours. Do an extra few minutes of research to find the editor’s given name. Even if you address the incorrect person, your cover letter will stand out more than the generic one sent by another author in competition for your manuscript’s attention.

Simplicity is key

You are not required to write twenty pages for your cover letter, let alone more than just one. Keep it simple. Write as little as possible to keep the editor interested while still providing enough insightful information. The first paragraph will be skimmed, so write it well, but keep it short.

If you have submitted your manuscript to multiple publications, write that down. Do not withhold such vital information. If your submission is chosen by another publication before the editor is able to call you, they have wasted their precious time. Be sure that they know there is a risk of that when considering your work.

The “contributors’ notes” section

If you are unsure what the “Contributors’ Notes” section is, it pertains to the back, or the end, of the journal, where a summary of the writer is placed. You may include whatever information you want here, such as where you’ve studied, what you do now, and if you have ever published your original work before.

Your closing statement

Simply thank the editor for their time, type “Regards” or something similar, insert four spaces, and then type your name. Nothing else is needed.

You want a response

If you are physically sending your cover letter, remember to include a second envelope inside the letter for them to mail their reply. Be sure to include the stamp on this second envelope, so their postage will be free, as is common courtesy.

Keep track of your submissions

If you are submitting your manuscript to multiple publications, you will want to keep track of each one. That way, when your submission is accepted by one of them, you can send the other publications a polite withdrawal.

Do your research

Google is your best friend and ally. Research examples of other cover letters authors have submitted. Or cover letters businesses have praised and caused the senders to be accepted nearly immediately to the position they were applying for. Sometimes visualization is the best preparation.

Read the submission guidelines carefully. Many publications normally state in their guidelines the precise details that must be included in a cover letter. With some minor variations, a general rule of thumb is to include:

  • The Editor’s name (if you can locate it)
  • A summary of your piece
  • Genre/Category
  • State if you have published previously
  • Whether your piece is a simultaneous submission, i.e., if you will be sending the same piece to several literary journals or magazines at the same time.

Template Author Cover Letter

[Your Full Name]

[Your Address]

[City, State, Zip Code]

[Your Email Address]

[Your Phone Number]

[Recipient’s Full Name or Editor’s Name]

[Title, if known, e.g., Editor, Literary Agent]

[Publishing House or Magazine Name]

[Company Address]

Dear [Recipient’s Last Name or “Editor”],

I am writing to submit my [type of work, e.g., manuscript, article, collection of poems] titled “[Title of Your Work],” for your consideration. As an author with a deep passion for [briefly describe the genre or subject matter, e.g., contemporary fiction, historical research, environmental issues], I believe that my work aligns well with [mention the publication, agency, or publisher’s focus or previous works if applicable].

“[Title of Your Work]” is a [brief description of your work, focusing on its themes, premise, or unique aspects]. [If applicable, mention any previous publications, awards, or recognitions related to your writing]. My intention with this piece is to [briefly state your goals or what you hope to achieve with your work, e.g., shed light on a particular issue, entertain readers with a compelling narrative, contribute to the discourse on a specific topic].

I have chosen to submit to [Publishing House, Magazine, or Agent’s Name] because [mention why you think your work is a good fit for them, referencing their published works, editorial stance, or market position]. I am impressed by your commitment to [mention any relevant themes, genres, or values they uphold], and I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to contribute to your esteemed [publication, list, roster].

Enclosed, please find [mention the documents you’re including, e.g., the full manuscript, a synopsis, the first three chapters, an outline]. I am [mention if the work is complete or in progress, and any other submission details they should be aware of]. [If submitting to literary agents or publishers, you might also mention if the manuscript is simultaneously being submitted elsewhere].

Thank you for considering my submission. I am looking forward to the possibility of working with [Publishing House, Magazine, or Agent’s Name] and am eager to hear your thoughts on “[Title of Your Work].” I am available at your convenience for any follow-up discussions or to provide further information. Please do not hesitate to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or via email at [Your Email Address].

Warmest regards,

Samples of Author Cover Letters

Sample 01 cover letter for a manuscript for an academic publication.

Dear Dr. Johnson,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to submit my research article titled “Impact of Urbanization on Coastal Ecosystems: A Comparative Study” for consideration for publication in the Journal of Advanced Environmental Studies. My co-authors and I believe that our findings significantly contribute to the field of environmental science, particularly in understanding the nuanced effects of urban development on coastal biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Our study employs a novel methodology combining remote sensing, field observations, and statistical modeling to assess the impact of urban expansion on three distinct coastal regions over the past decade. The results not only highlight the vulnerability of coastal ecosystems to urban pressures but also propose actionable strategies for sustainable urban planning and conservation efforts. Given the journal’s dedication to publishing cutting-edge research on environmental challenges and solutions, we are confident that our article aligns well with the interests and goals of your readership.

The Journal of Advanced Environmental Studies is renowned for its rigorous peer review process and its commitment to advancing knowledge in environmental science. It would be an honor to have our work featured in your esteemed journal, contributing to the global dialogue on sustainable development and environmental protection.

Please find attached our manuscript, along with the names and contact information of three potential peer reviewers who have expertise in urban ecology and conservation science. We have ensured that the manuscript adheres to the journal’s submission guidelines and formatting requirements. The study has not been published elsewhere, nor is it under consideration by any other publication.

We appreciate your consideration of our work for publication in the Journal of Advanced Environmental Studies. We believe that our findings will be of interest to your readers and will spark further research and discussion in the field. I am available to provide any additional information or clarification you may require and I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to your journal.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Dr. Alex Rivera

Department of Environmental Science

University of Green Earth

[email protected]

(555) 987-6543

Sample 02 Cover Letter to Acquisitions Editor

Dear Ms. Quinn,

I hope this letter finds you well. My name is Jordan Lee, and I am thrilled to submit my manuscript, titled “Whispers of the Forgotten,” for your consideration at Dreamscape Publishing House. As an avid reader of several titles in your catalog, particularly those in the realm of speculative fiction, I am inspired by Dreamscape’s commitment to bringing imaginative and thought-provoking stories to life. I believe my novel aligns with your mission and would resonate well with your audience.

“Whispers of the Forgotten” is a 90,000-word speculative fiction novel that weaves together elements of mystery, historical intrigue, and magical realism. Set against the backdrop of a world where history’s forgotten figures are resurrected through the power of memory, the story follows Elara, a young historian, who discovers she possesses the ability to bring back these lost souls. As she delves deeper into her powers, she uncovers a centuries-old secret society determined to control history’s narrative. Elara’s journey is not just one of self-discovery but also a reflection on the importance of remembering those who have shaped our past.

This novel is the product of my passion for history and fantasy, combined with a deep-seated belief in the power of stories to challenge, entertain, and inspire. “Whispers of the Forgotten” aims to engage readers with its richly crafted world, complex characters, and themes of memory, identity, and the impact of the past on our present.

Dreamscape Publishing House’s dedication to publishing distinctive and compelling narratives is why I am excited about the prospect of working together. I am particularly drawn to your success in nurturing debut authors and your innovative approach to storytelling, which I believe would provide the perfect home for my novel.

Enclosed with this letter, you will find the first three chapters of “Whispers of the Forgotten,” along with a synopsis of the novel. The complete manuscript is available upon request. I am eager for the opportunity to discuss the potential of my novel with you further and am open to any feedback or suggestions you may have.

Thank you for considering my submission. I am looking forward to the possibility of contributing to the esteemed collection of works published by Dreamscape Publishing House. Please feel free to contact me at (555) 123-4567 or via email at [email protected].

The first sample is an exemplary cover letter for a manuscript submission to an academic journal, effectively communicating the significance and relevance of the research article. It clearly outlines the study’s contribution to the field, employing a structured approach that highlights the novel methodology and the implications of the findings for sustainable urban planning. By directly aligning the article with the journal’s focus and expressing respect for its peer-review process, the letter demonstrates an understanding of the publication’s objectives and audience. Additionally, the inclusion of potential peer reviewers adds to the professionalism of the submission, showing readiness to engage with the journal’s review process.

The second sample presents a compelling cover letter to an acquisitions editor at a publishing house, showcasing a manuscript for publication. It immediately grabs attention by expressing admiration for the publishing house and stating how the manuscript aligns with its catalog. The detailed description of the novel blends plot summary with thematic elements, aiming to intrigue the editor about its unique aspects and potential appeal to readers. The author’s personal connection to the story’s themes and their acknowledgment of the publisher’s role in supporting debut authors underscore the letter’s persuasive and personalized nature. Both letters are effective in their contexts, articulately presenting their cases to capture the recipient’s interest and consideration.

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How to Write a Cover Letter for a Literary Journal Submission

Why you don’t need to stand out in your cover letter.

Michelle Richmond

Michelle Richmond

The Caffeinated Writer

As the publisher of Fiction Attic Press , which publishes flash fiction , short stories , essays , and novellas-in-flash by new and established writers, I receive a few dozen submissions each month through our submittable portal . In the 17 years since Fiction Attic began, I’ve…

Michelle Richmond

Written by Michelle Richmond

NYT bestselling author of THE MARRIAGE PACT, THE WONDER TEST, & others. Write with me: thewritersworkshops.com . Books: https://bio.link/michellerichmond

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How To Write A Killer Cover Letter to Publishers

May 20, 2015

A cover letter introduces you and your novel to potential publishers . This letter is your first point of contact between you and a publisher, therefore, it is crucial that aspiring authors know how to write a decent cover letter.

Here are three common questions, answered for writers looking to pave a successful path into the world of publishing with a cover letter that leaves an impression…

how-to-write-a-cover-letter

What do I need?

1. an ‘elevator pitch’ and hook.

An ‘elevator pitch’ is a brief and punchy summary of your novel that could be told to someone important between floors of a short elevator ride. Condense the core ideas of your novel in a dynamic and enthusiastic couple of sentences.

Remember 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’s worth reading and be sure to include a ‘hook’ – something that drags your reader into the story, and has them dying to know what happens next.

2. A target audience

Outline your target audience  to 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.

Remember to be specific; publishers need more information than ‘Adult’. Include your audience’s age group, interests etc. if applicable.

3. Novel titles comparable to yours

Give 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.

More than that, it gives them an idea of where your novel will sit in the marketplace and how it will work with their existing list.

Cover letter-1

4. A word count

This is a simple and necessary inclusion to let publishers know how long your novel is.

5. A killer author bio

Be interesting, be readable and draw publishers in with who you are and what you intend to do with your work.

Here 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.

6. Contact details

Give 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.

Cover letter-2

How do I put it together?

Put the above elements together 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.

Many 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 the editor, and an irritated submissions editor is not someone you want reading your life’s work and deciding its future.

In 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.

It also goes without saying that a successful pitch leaves no room for error, so before you click send, proofread it again and again. Better still, have other writer friends review it and provide you with feedback.

Amazon KDP-2

Do I include my manuscript?  

Always follow the publisher’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 a synopsis (usually no longer than 300 words).

We cannot stress enough the importance of adhering to the guidelines. This shows that you care about the publisher’s work as well as yours.

Some other useful tips

  • Address your cover letter by name. Avoid clichés such as ‘Dear sir/madam’ or ‘To whom it may concern’. It is more genuine and respectful.
  • Use more formal language throughout the letter.
  • Have a logical and readable structure.
  • Thank the publisher for their time.
  • Sign off gracefully – e.g. ‘Yours sincerely’ – before your name.

With these tips, you’re good to go!

Author

This post was written by Natalie Ong Lih Tyng

what is an author cover letter

Carmel JOYCE

Hello A cover letter introduces you and your novel to potential publishers. This letter is your first point of contact between you and a publisher, therefore, it is crucial that aspiring authors know how – “to” – write a decent cover letter.

Could you please correct the first sentence on this web page? I was told once that my emails, no matter how appealing, would be rejected because of a spelling mistake or a sentence that was not constructed correctly. I can not be a member of AWG as I do not have any credits for my drama script writing. I can not gain a credit until my work is accepted. How do I attract Australian publishers with Australian/British drama scripts without credits?

what is an author cover letter

Claire Bradshaw

Thanks for pointing that out – things do slip through the cracks sometimes, but the sentence is fixed now!

As for your submissions: generally, book publishers won’t accept unsolicited submissions of play scripts or screenplays, no matter whether you’re a member of AWG or not. We’d recommend looking into more specific submission opportunities, such as Australian Plays ( https://australianplays.org/about/submissions ), and also visiting sites like Playwriting Australia ( http://www.pwa.org.au ) for more information and opportunities.

You might also like to purchase a subscription to the Australian Writer’s Marketplace ( https://www.awmonline.com.au ), which has a comprehensive directory that includes opportunities for plays/theatre and screenplays.

Best of luck with your writing.

what is an author cover letter

Is it possible to have an example of a submission letter? Even if something general. Cheers!

Here’s a site with a list of examples of successful cover/query letters from different genres: http://www.adweek.com/galleycat/successful-query-letters-for-literary-agents/63594

Hope this helps!

what is an author cover letter

Kathy Steinemann

Thanks, Claire.

Your third point highlights how important (and time-consuming) advance research is. A writer might have to read several novels to find two comparable titles.

Glad you enjoyed Natalie’s post! Definitely agree that research can take up a lot of a writer’s time – definitely worth it, though, if it improves your cover letter in the end!

Comments are closed.

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Submitting your work for publication in literary journals is not that different from applying for a job. You want to put your best, most professional foot forward. However, the important thing in literary submissions is the writing itself. While you want to strike the right tone as you introduce yourself and your work, cover letters shouldn't eat up too much time. Here's how to pull all of this off. 

Format the Letter Correctly

First, check the publisher's website to see if they provide guidelines for submissions. Many have specific requirements for cover letters for  online, email, or paper submissions. Follow these guidelines carefully.

Save your creativity for the body of the letter -- or better yet, for your writing. Stick with the standard business letter format . Unless you have letterhead, which is not necessary, type your address followed by the date. Space down a line and list the name, title, and address of the person to whom you are writing.

For paper submissions, use standard copy paper; type, don't handwrite; and absolutely no illustrations.

Address a Specific Person

For the salutation, avoid "To Whom It May Concern." These days, most editors are listed in the masthead on the journal's site: take five minutes to find a name. Even if you are not positive you have the right person, you will look more professional for having tried, and the letter will be forwarded to the correct editor.

Keep It Short

As with a job application cover, letters should not exceed one page. In your first paragraph, explain what you are sending. This can be as straightforward as: "Enclosed please find a short story, 'Choose Me, Please!' which describes a game show contestant with Jumping Frenchmen of Maine disease." If you have a genuine reason for submitting to this journal, share it, but only if you can do so while sounding sincere.

Other First-paragraph Information

If the journal prefers to be informed ahead of time about simultaneous submissions, address that issue briefly by saying, "I have submitted these to a few other publications and will let you know immediately if any are accepted elsewhere." If you have been invited to re-submit, remind the editor that he or she has seen your work before.

Second Paragraph: Short Bio

Briefly introduce yourself to the editor. If you studied writing or have published before, state it here. If you haven't, that's fine, too. You just want to provide context for what they are about to read.

Keep in mind that many editors use this paragraph for the "Contributors' Notes" at the end of the journal, so think in terms of what you'd like listed at the back. You can look at some journals to see what other writers have to say about themselves.

Close Your Letter Politely

Thank the editor for reading your work, and close with the standard "Sincerely," or "Best regards." Leave four lines for your signature and then type your full name. For mailing, use a business-sized envelope. If your printer can handle envelopes, type the address, but it is also fine to address the envelope by hand. Again, use the editor's name here, either above the journal name or below the address. If you put it below, write, "Attn: [Insert Editor's Name]."

Include a SASE

Finally, for hard copy by mail submissions, be sure to include a stamped, addressed envelope (SASE) for a response. (It is perfectly acceptable to fold the SASE in three so that it will fit easily.) To save postage, you might also request that they not return your story to you, writing in a postscript: "Please recycle this story rather than returning it to me."

File Your Letters Electronically

Keep your first letter as a template, making adjustments for each journal. If you plan to submit to a journal more than once, save that letter separately under the journal's name. This saves you time if the story or poem gets accepted somewhere else and you have to write to withdraw your submission. In the beginning, you might try a few formulas and see what yields results. But again, the writing is the important thing. You can have the best cover letter in the world, but it won't get you anywhere without a great story to go along with it.

Read Other Examples

Everyone has a slightly different take on the art of cover-letter writing. You can read a variety of them online by simply searching for author cover letters.​

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Cover letters

A good cover letter can help to “sell” your manuscript to the journal editor. As well as introducing your work to the editor you can also take this opportunity to explain why the manuscript will be of interest to a journal's readers, something which is always as the forefront editors’ mind. As such it is worth spending time writing a coherent and persuasive cover letter.

The following is an example of a poor cover letter:

Dear Editor-in-Chief, I am sending you our manuscript entitled “Large Scale Analysis of Cell Cycle Regulators in bladder cancer” by Researcher et al. We would like to have the manuscript considered for publication in Pathobiology. Please let me know of your decision at your earliest convenience. With my best regards, Sincerely yours, A Researcher, PhD

Instead, check to see whether the journal’s Instructions for Authors have any cover letter requirements (e.g. disclosures, statements, potential reviewers). Then, write a letter that explains why the editor would want to publish your manuscript. The following structure covers all the necessary points that need to be included.

  • If known, address the editor who will be assessing your manuscript by their name. Include the date of submission and the journal you are submitting to.
  • First paragraph: include the title of your manuscript and the type of manuscript it is (e.g. review, research, case study). Then briefly explain the background to your study, the question you sought out to answer and why.
  • Second paragraph: you should concisely explain what was done, the main findings and why they are significant.
  • Third paragraph: here you should indicate why the readers of the journal would be interested in the work. Take your cues from the journal’s aims and scope. For example if the journal requires that all work published has broad implications explain how your study fulfils this. It is also a good idea to include a sentence on the importance of the results to the field.
  • To conclude state the corresponding author and any journal specific requirements that need to be complied with (e.g. ethical standards).

TIP: All cover letters should contain these sentences:

  • We confirm that this manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not under consideration by another journal.
  • All authors have approved the manuscript and agree with its submission to [insert the name of the target journal].

Submission checklist

Before submitting your manuscript, thoroughly check its quality one more time. Evaluate it critically—could anything be done better?

Be sure that:

  • The manuscript follows the Instructions for Authors
  • All files are in the correct file format and of the appropriate resolution or size
  • The spelling and grammar are correct
  • You have contact information for all authors
  • You have written a persuasive cover letter

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American Psychological Association

Cover Letters

The cover letter is a formal way to communicate with journal editors and editorial staff during the manuscript submission process. Most often, a cover letter is needed when authors initially submit their manuscript to a journal and when responding to reviewers during an invitation to revise and resubmit the manuscript. For more information on the peer review process and possible manuscript decisions, see Section 12.7 of the Publication Manual .

Because cover letters are separate documents from the manuscript file, all correspondence during the publication process must include the complete manuscript title, the authors’ names, and the manuscript number (assigned by the journal when the manuscript is first received). Although any author may correspond with the journal editor or editorial staff, most correspondence is handled by the corresponding author , who serves as the main point of contact and responds to questions about the published article. All authors should decide prior to submission who will serve as the corresponding author.

Cover letters are covered in the seventh edition APA Style Publication Manual in Section 12.11

what is an author cover letter

Cover letter for manuscript submission to a journal

Authors usually must include a cover letter when they first submit their manuscript to a journal for publication . The cover letter is typically uploaded as a separate file into the online submission portal for the journal (for more information on using an online submission portal, see Section 12.10 of the Publication Manual ).

The cover letter should be addressed to the journal editor; any interim correspondence is addressed to the editor or associate editor with whom you have been in communication.

In your submission cover letter, include the following information:

  • manuscript title
  • manuscript authors
  • assurances that all authors agree with the content of the manuscript and with the order of authorship (for more information, see Sections 1.21–1.22 of the Publication Manual )
  • assurances that the corresponding author will take responsibility for informing coauthors of editorial decisions, reviews received, and any changes or revisions made
  • information about the existence of any closely related manuscripts that have been submitted for simultaneous consideration to the same or to another journal
  • notice of any conflicts of interest or activities that might be seen as influencing the research (for more information, see Section 1.20 of the Publication Manual )
  • a request for masked review, if that is an option for the journal and desired (for more information, see Section 12.7 of the Publication Manual )
  • verification that the treatment of human participants or nonhuman animal subjects was in accordance with established ethical standards (for more information, see Sections 1.18 and 12.13 of the Publication Manual )
  • a copy of any permissions to reproduce copyrighted material or a notice that permissions are pending (for more information, see Sections 12.14–12.18 of the Publication Manual )
  • the telephone number, email address, and mailing address of the corresponding author

Check the journal’s website for the current editor’s name and for any other journal-specific information to include in your cover letter.

Cover letter for a revised and resubmitted manuscript

Also include a cover letter with manuscripts being resubmitted to a journal after receiving an invitation to revise and resubmit. Ensure the cover letter contains the complete manuscript title, the authors’ names, and the manuscript number (assigned by the journal when the manuscript was first received). In the cover letter for the resubmission, thank the editors and reviewers for their feedback and outline the changes you made (or did not make) to the manuscript to address the feedback.

The cover letter for a revised and resubmitted manuscript summarizes the changes to the manuscript. Along with the cover letter and revised manuscript, authors should also provide a response to reviewers , which is a detailed document explaining how they responded to each comment.

Sample cover letters

These sample cover letters demonstrate how authors can communicate with the journal editor at the initial manuscript submission and following an invitation to revise and resubmit a manuscript for publication.

  • Sample Cover Letter for Manuscript Submission (PDF, 73KB)
  • Sample Cover Letter for a Revised and Resubmitted Manuscript (PDF, 91KB)
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How to Write a Cover Letter for Journal Submission

what is an author cover letter

If you’re looking for solid advice on how to write a strong journal submission cover letter that will convince journal editors to review your research paper, then look no further! We know that cover letters  can  impact an editor’s decision to consider your research paper further.

This guide aims to explain (1) why you should care about writing a powerful cover letter, (2) what you should include in it, and (3) how you should structure it. The last segment will include a free downloadable submission cover letter template with detailed how-to explanations and some useful phrases. Finally, be sure to get journal manuscript editing , cover letter editing , and other academic editing services by Wordvice’s professional editors to ensure that you convey an academic style and error-free text, along with including all of the most important content.

Why does a good cover letter matter?

While your research paper’s role is to prove the merits of your research, a strong introductory cover letter is your opportunity to highlight the significance of your research and “sell” its concept to journal editors.

While your research paper’s role is to prove the merits of your research, a strong introductory cover letter is your opportunity to highlight the significance of your research and “sell” its concept to journal editors.

Sadly, we must admit that part of the decision-making process of whether to accept a manuscript is based on a business model. Editors must select articles that will interest their readers. In other words, your paper, if published, must make money . When it’s not quite clear how your research paper might generate interest based on its title and content alone (for example, if your paper is too technical for most editors to appreciate), your cover letter is the one opportunity you will get to convince the editors that your work is worth further review.

In addition to economic factors, many editors use the cover letter to screen whether authors can follow basic instructions . For example, if a journal’s guide for authors states that you must include disclosures, potential reviewers, and statements regarding ethical practices, failure to include these items might lead to the automatic rejection of your article, even if your research is the most progressive project on the planet! By failing to follow directions, you raise a red flag that you may be careless, and if you’re not attentive to the details of a cover letter, editors might wonder about the quality and thoroughness of your research. This is not the impression you want to give editors!

What to Include in a Cover Letter for a Journal Submission

We can’t stress this enough: Follow your target journal’s instructions for authors ! No matter what other advice you read in the vast webosphere, make sure you prioritize the information requested by the editors of the journal you are submitting to. As we explained above, failure to include required statements will lead to an automatic “ desk rejection ”.

With that said, below is a list of the most common elements you must include in your cover letter and what information you should NOT include:

Essential information:

  • Editor’s name (when known)
  • Name of the journal to which you are submitting
  • Your manuscript’s title
  • Article type (review, research, case study, etc.)
  • Submission date
  • Brief background of your study and the research question you sought to answer
  • Brief overview of methodology used
  • Principle findings and significance to scientific community (how your research advances our understanding of a concept)
  • Corresponding author contact information
  • Statement that your paper has not been previously published and is not currently under consideration by another journal and that all authors have approved of and have agreed to submit the manuscript to this journal

Other commonly requested information:

  • Short list of similar articles previously published by the target journal
  • List of relevant works by you or your co-authors that have been previously published or are under consideration by other journals. You can include copies of those works.
  • Mention of any prior discussions with editor(s) (for example, if you discussed the topic with an editor at a conference)
  • Technical specialties required to evaluate your paper
  • Potential reviewers and their contact information
  • If needed, reviewers to exclude (this information is most likely also requested elsewhere in online submissions forms)

Other disclosures/statements required by the journal (e.g., compliance with ethical standards, conflicts of interest , agreement to terms of submission, copyright sign-over, etc.)

What you should NOT do:

  • Don’t use too much jargon or include too many acronyms.
  • Don’t over-embellish your findings or their significance. Avoid words such as “novel,” “first ever,” and “paradigm-changing.” These types of statements show bias and will make the editor question your ability to assess your work’s merits objectively.
  • Don’t name-drop. Listing people who might endorse your paper and discussing authors’ reputations do not interest editors. They want to know if your content fits their criteria, so focus solely on addressing that point.
  • Don’t write a novel. While you want to adequately explain your work and sell its concept to editors, keep your cover letter to a maximum of one page. The letter is only meant to be an introduction and brief overview.
  • Avoid humor . As much as we want to grab the editors’ attention, there are too many ways in which humor can go wrong!

How to Structure a Cover Letter

You should use formal language in your cover letter. Since most submissions are delivered electronically, the template below is in a modified e-mail format. However, if you send your cover letter on letterhead (PDF or hard copy by mail), move your contact information to the upper-left corner of the page unless you use pre-printed letterhead, in which case your contact information should be centered at the top of the letter.

ANNOTATED TEMPLATE Journal Submissions Cover Letter

[Journal Editor’s First and Last Name][, Graduate Degree (if any)] TIP: It’s customary to include any graduate degrees in the addressee’s name. e.g.,  John Smith, MD or Carolyn Daniels, MPH [Title] e.g.,  Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, Co-Editors-in-Chief [Journal Name] [Journal Address] [Submission Date: Month Day, Year]

Dear Dr./Mr./Ms. [Editor’s last name]:

TIP: Where the editor’s name is not known, use the relevant title employed by the journal, such as “Dear Managing Editor:” or “Dear Editor-in-Chief:”. Using a person’s name is best, however.

TIP: Use “Ms.” and never “Mrs.” or “Miss” in formal business letters.

TIP:  Never   use “Dear Sirs:” or any similar expression. Many editors will find this insulting, especially given that many of them are female!

[Para.1: 2–3 sentences]  I am writing to submit our manuscript entitled, [“Title”] for consideration as a [Journal Name][Article Type]. [One to two sentence “pitch” that summarizes the study design, where applicable, your research question, your major findings, and the conclusion.]

e.g.,  I am writing to submit our manuscript entitled, “X Marks the Spot” for consideration as an  Awesome Science Journal  research article. We examined the efficacy of using X factors as indicators for depression in Y subjects in Z regions through a 12-month prospective cohort study and can confirm that monitoring the levels of X is critical to identifying the onset of depression, regardless of geographical influences.

TIP: Useful phrases to discuss your findings and conclusion include:

  • Our findings confirm that…
  • We have determined that…
  • Our results suggest…
  • We found that…
  • We illustrate…
  • Our findings reveal…
  • Our study clarifies…
  • Our research corroborates…
  • Our results establish…
  • Our work substantiates…

[Para. 2: 2–5 sentences]  Given that [context that prompted your research], we believe that the findings presented in our paper will appeal to the [Reader Profile] who subscribe to [Journal Name]. Our findings will allow your readers to [identify the aspects of the journal’s  Aim and Scope  that align with your paper].

TIP: Identify the journal’s typical audience and how those people can utilize your research to expand their understanding of a topic. For example, if many of your target journal’s readers are interested in the public policy implications of various research studies, you may wish to discuss how your conclusions can help your peers to develop stronger policies that more effectively address public concerns.

TIP: Include context about why this research question had to be addressed.

e.g.,  “Given the struggle policymakers have had to define proper criteria to diagnose the onset of depression in teenagers, we felt compelled to identify a cost-effective and universal methodology that local school administrators can use to screen students.”

TIP: If your paper was prompted by prior research, state this. For example, “After initially researching X, Y approached us to conduct a follow-up study that examined Z. While pursuing this project, we discovered [some new understanding that made you decide the information needed to be shared with your peers via publication.]”

e.g.,  Given the alarming increase in depression rates among teenagers and the lack of any uniform practical tests for screening students, we believe that the findings presented in our paper will appeal to education policymakers who subscribe to  The Journal of Education . Although prior research has identified a few methods that could be used in depression screening, such as X and Y, the applications developed from those findings have been cost-prohibitive and difficult to administer on a national level. Thus, our findings will allow your readers to understand the factors involved in identifying the onset of depression in teenagers better and develop more cost-effective screening procedures that can be employed nationally. In so doing, we hope that our research advances the toolset needed to combat the concerns preoccupying the minds of many school administrators.

[Para 3: Similar works]  “This manuscript expands on the prior research conducted and published by [Authors] in [Journal Name]” or “This paper [examines a different aspect of]/ [takes a different approach to] the issues explored in the following papers also published by [Journal Name].”

TIP: You should mention similar studies recently published by your target journal, if any, but list no more than five. If you only want to mention one article, replace the preceding sentence with “This paper [examines a different aspect of]/ [takes a different approach to] the issues explored by [Authors] in [Article Title], also published by [Journal Name] on [DATE].”

[Para. 4: Additional statements often required]  Each of the authors confirms that this manuscript has not been previously published and is not currently under consideration by any other journal. Additionally, all of the authors have approved the contents of this paper and have agreed to the [Journal Name]’s submission policies.

TIP: If you have previously publicly shared some form or part of your research elsewhere, state so. For example, you can say, “We have presented a subset of our findings [at Event]/ [as a Type of Publication Medium] in [Location] in [Year].”

e.g.,  We have since expanded the scope of our research to contemplate international feasibility and acquired additional data that has helped us to develop a new understanding of geographical influences.

[Para. 5: Potential Reviewers]  Should you select our manuscript for peer review, we would like to suggest the following potential reviewers/referees because they would have the requisite background to evaluate our findings and interpretation objectively.

  • [Name, institution, email, expertise]

To the best of our knowledge, none of the above-suggested persons have any conflict of interest, financial or otherwise.

TIP: Include 3–5 reviewers since it is likely that the journal will use at least one of your suggestions.

TIP: Use whichever term (“reviewer” or “referee”) your target journal uses. Paying close attention to a journal’s terminology is a sign that you have properly researched the journal and have prepared!

[Para. 6: Frequently requested additional information]  Each named author has substantially contributed to conducting the underlying research and drafting this manuscript. Additionally, to the best of our knowledge, the named authors have no conflict of interest, financial or otherwise.

[Your Name]

Corresponding Author Institution Title Institution/Affiliation Name [Institution Address] [Your e-mail address] [Tel: (include relevant country/area code)] [Fax: (include relevant country/area code)]

Additional Contact [should the corresponding author not be available] Institution Title Institution/Affiliation Name [Institution Address] [Your e-mail address] [Tel: (include relevant country/area code)] [Fax: (include relevant country/area code)]

Quick Cover Letter Checklist Before Submission

  • Set the font to Arial or Times New Roman, size 12 point.
  • Single-space all text.
  • Use one line space between body paragraphs.
  • Do not indent paragraphs.
  • Keep all text left justified.
  • Use spelling and grammar check software. If needed, use a proofreading service or cover letter editing service  such as Wordvice to review your letter for clarity and concision.
  • Double-check the editor’s name. Call the journal to confirm if necessary.

BMJ Author Hub

Writing and formatting

In this section:

  • NEW! Featured Author Support
  • Language editing services
  • Reproducing third party illustrative materials
  • Suggesting reviewers
  • Writing a cover letter
  • Video abstracts
  • Video: How to submit your article

The cover letter gives you the opportunity to present an overview of your manuscript to the editor.

Your cover letter should include

  • The objective and approach of your research
  • Any novel contributions reported
  • Why your manuscript should be published in this journal
  • Any special considerations about your submission
  • Related papers by you and/or your fellow authors (published or under consideration)
  • Previous reviews of your submission
  • Previous submissions of your manuscript to that journal
  • Previous communication you’ve had with journal staff

You’re encouraged to submit previous communications as they can help expedite the review process. If you have any of the following, you can submit them as ‘Supplementary file for editors only’:

  • Copies of related papers
  • Previous editors’ comments and your responses
  • Previous reviewers’ comments and your responses

NIH Employees

If you or any of your co-authors are NIH employees, you will have to submit a completed and signed NIH Publishing Agreement and Manuscript Cover Sheet according to NIH’s Employee Procedures .

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Example Cover Letter For Manuscript Submission

Writing a Strong Cover letter  for Manuscript Submission

When you send your manuscript to a publisher or literary agent, you will need to include the following information;

– A letter of motivation

– A biography of the author

– A synopsis of your manuscript

– Selection of sample chapters

The first thing the editor or literary agent will see when they open the envelope for submission is your cover letter. It is so often overlooked by aspiring writers, and yet, if the letter you wrote is not up to par, then chances are the editor or literary agent will not continue to read the rest of your submission.

So what information to include in your cover letter for manuscript submission? Well, in general terms, there are three important things in your letter should focus on you, your book, and why your book is worthy of publication.

Summerdale publications Stewart Ferris reports that “when writing about himself, the goal of a paragraph that summarizes the highlights of what qualifies you to write this book. The editor has to know if you have had success before publishing, if you have the necessary preparation for writing his book, and if you write more books on the subject. ”

Then you need to think about what information to include in your cover letter that is directly related to the manuscript or book in question itself. You want to focus just maybe a paragraph of your letter on the content of the book itself, to give the reader a taste of what is to come in the synopsis, and finally in the complete manuscript. Focus briefly on the “who, where, when and what is happening” on the story line.

You must also include the reasons why his book should be published in his letter. Think about why the publisher would not be taking a big risk on the introduction of his book. Maybe you have some contacts that allow easy campaign to promote the book. Or maybe you’ve completed a large piece of market research that shows that there is real demand for your book. In addition, you may be aware of ways that could lead to a rapid and reliable market for his book – which can be a university professor with a guarantee that your book will become an essential text for your university, once published by example.

Finally, remember that your writing is on permanent display throughout the presentation of manuscripts.  So try to include a sentence or two that summarize the essence of your beautiful book.

If you send your manuscript by e-mail, your cover letter comes before your story that the main body of your e-mail, and always acts as your introduction. Your cover letter should be single-spaced, written in standard block or semi-block format, and a double space between paragraphs. If you mail your manuscript, you should consider writing your cover letter on plain white 8 ½ “by 11” paper.

As mentioned earlier, the number of parts in a letter may vary. But regardless of how many sections there are, some information that is normally specified in the cover letter includes the title of your story and your word count history. If you send your manuscript by mail, as opposed to e-mail, you can also specify that the self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) is closed and there is no need to return the manuscript .

What not to include in your cover letter for manuscript submission is a detailed description of its history. I also noticed some recent submission guidelines where publishers have emphasized the authors not to include photos of themselves with their offers. Make sure to always read the most recent guidelines published and send only what publishers require that you send. Disobeying submission guidelines can sometimes mean an automatic rejection of its short history.

Not all publishers will be required to send letters with his manuscript short story, but when a letter is necessary, try to think of your cover letter as well as a courtesy, the introduction of a tool, rather than an argument of sale. Let your cover letter to introduce, and let your story speak for itself. This is more acceptable and less rejected.

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The numbered requirements which you posted tell you exactly what the company wants you do. Generally the type preferred is Times New Roman. You should be able to format your word processor to create the book’s pages as the company is asking. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to determine how many pages you’ll have, and, if your manuscript is completed, you can just print it. The paper which you use in your printer would naturally be good quality and the proper size. The normal font size is 10 point, but you can control that, too, in your word processor.

How do i correctly send my story to these publishers? How do i make my novel in this format? For example, what does it mean by typewritten pages?

How should I write my story, the font size, are the pages supposed to be back and front written or what?

How do i write it in this structure they gave me?

This is what they said to me… FORMAT FOR SUBMISSIONS 1. Submissions should consist of a book-length manuscript with a contemporary setting that will be suitable for readers ages 12 to 18.

2. Manuscripts should be no shorter than 100 typewritten pages and no longer than 224 typewritten pages. Include a brief plot summary with your covering letter.

3. Each manuscript should have a cover page listing the title of the novel; the author’s name, address, and telephone number.

4. Manuscripts should be typed double-spaced on 8-1/2″ x 11″ good quality white paper, and pages should be numbered consecutively. The type should be at least 10 point. The author should retain a copy of any manuscript submitted.

Writer’s Market: What else do I need? I’m purchasing the 2009 version of WM, but having never submitted any of my writing as a freelancer before, what else do I need to know that’s not included in this book? For example, will it tell me how to write a query letter, the dos and don’ts of my manuscript, and so on? At this point I have no idea if I should be sticking to a certain number of pages, what the format of my manuscript should be, and so on.

Basically, I’m trying to find out if the WM only gives listings, or if it will guide me step-by-step through the submission process.I would appreciate any guidance regarding websites or other publications for the first time writer, if you feel that WM does not cover some of the things I need to know.

Thanks in advance!

It does cover the basics, including how to format a manuscript and write a querry letter. Each book has articles on the publishing industry, submission process, and some author interviews.

consider joining absolutewrite.com/forum (the watercooler) for more assistance. It’s a large and knowledgable group with a wealth of information to share.

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Literary Agent

How to Write a Submission Cover Letter That Will Wow Literary Agents

As a writer, you spend countless hours perfecting your manuscript, pouring your heart and soul into every word. But did you know that the cover letter you include with your manuscript submission is just as …

Written by: Adam

Published on: November 20, 2023

Author writing a cover letter draft on a pad

The purpose of a submission cover letter is to introduce yourself and your work to literary agents. It gives you the opportunity to make a strong first impression and convince the agent that your manuscript is worth their time and consideration. While the content of your manuscript is undoubtedly important, a well-written cover letter can help it stand out from the slush pile and increase your chances of getting noticed.

Understanding the purpose of a cover letter for manuscript submission

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of writing a cover letter for manuscript submission, it’s crucial to understand its purpose. A cover letter serves as a professional introduction to your work and provides a glimpse into your writing style and personality. It should be concise, engaging, and tailored specifically to the agent or agency you’re submitting to.

When a literary agent receives a submission, they often have limited time to review each one. A well-crafted cover letter can pique their interest and make them eager to delve into your manuscript. Think of it as a teaser, enticing them to read further. It’s your chance to showcase your writing skills and convince the agent that you’re not only a talented writer but also a professional who understands the industry.

Essential elements of a cover letter for manuscript submission

Now that you understand the purpose of a cover letter, let’s explore the essential elements that should be included. First and foremost, your cover letter should be professional in tone and format. Use a standard business letter format with your contact information at the top, followed by the agent’s details and the date. Address the agent by name if possible, as it shows you’ve done your research and personalized the letter.

Next, introduce yourself and mention the title of your manuscript. Briefly explain why you chose to submit to that particular agent or agency. This demonstrates that you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in working with them. Highlight any relevant writing credentials or experience you have that make you uniquely qualified to write the manuscript. Keep this section concise and focus on the most impressive aspects of your background.

Finally, provide a brief summary or pitch of your manuscript. This should be a compelling and concise overview that captures the essence of your story and leaves the agent wanting to know more. Avoid giving away too much detail or spoiling the plot. Instead, focus on intriguing the agent and creating a sense of curiosity. Think of this section as a movie trailer – it should leave the agent eager to dive into your manuscript and discover the full story.

Tips for writing an attention-grabbing opening paragraph

The opening paragraph of your cover letter is your chance to make a strong first impression and grab the agent’s attention. Start with a compelling hook that will immediately engage the agent and makes them curious about your manuscript. It might be an intriguing question, a shocking statistic or a captivating anecdote. The key is to make the agent want to keep reading.

After the hook, briefly introduce yourself and your manuscript. Mention any relevant writing credentials or experience that make you stand out. Highlight why you chose to submit to that particular agent or agency. Show them that you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested in working with them. This personal touch can make a significant impact and show the agent that you’ve put thought into your submission.

Remember to keep the opening paragraph concise and to the point. Agents receive numerous submissions every day, so they appreciate brevity. Avoid rambling or providing unnecessary information. Instead, focus on crafting a strong and attention-grabbing opening that leaves the agent eager to read more.

How to showcase your writing credentials and experience

When it comes to writing a cover letter for manuscript submission, showcasing your writing credentials and experience is essential. This section allows you to demonstrate your expertise and convince the agent that you’re a talented writer who is worth their consideration. Here are a few tips to help you effectively showcase your credentials:

Highlight any relevant writing achievements: Focus on the writing credentials that are most relevant to your manuscript and the genre you’re targeting. This could include published (or self-published) works, writing awards, or any other accomplishments that demonstrate your skill and experience (such as building an audience on social media).

Provide details but be concise: While it’s important to provide some context and details about your writing credentials, remember to keep it concise. Agents have limited time, so make sure to highlight the most impressive aspects without overwhelming them with unnecessary information.

Tailor your credentials to the agent or agency: Research the agent or agency you’re submitting to and tailor your writing credentials accordingly. If they have a particular interest or speciality, highlight any relevant experience you have in that area. This shows the agent that you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in working with them.

By effectively showcasing your writing credentials and experience, you can establish yourself as a credible and talented writer. This increases the agent’s confidence in your abilities and makes them more likely to consider your manuscript.

Crafting a compelling summary of your manuscript

Perhaps the most crucial part of your cover letter for manuscript submission is the summary of your manuscript itself. This section is your chance to give the agent a taste of what your story is about and entice them to read further. Here are a few tips to help you craft a compelling summary:

Keep it concise: Your summary should be brief, typically no more than a few paragraphs. Focus on the main plot points and the core themes of your story. Avoid getting bogged down in unnecessary details or subplots.

Capture the essence of your story: Your summary should give the agent a clear idea of what your story is about and what makes it unique. Highlight the main conflict, the protagonist’s journey, and any intriguing elements that set your manuscript apart.

Create a sense of curiosity: The goal of your summary is to leave the agent wanting to know more. Don’t give away all the details or spoil the ending. Instead, create a sense of curiosity that compels the agent to dive into your manuscript and discover the full story.

Crafting a compelling summary takes time and careful consideration. It’s often helpful to draft multiple versions and seek feedback from trusted peers or writing groups. Remember, your summary is your manuscript’s first impression, so make it count.

Do’s and don’ts of writing a cover letter for manuscript submission

To wrap up our guide on writing a submission cover letter, let’s go over some essential do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

  • Address the agent by name if possible.
  • Tailor your cover letter to the agent or agency you’re submitting to.
  • Highlight your most relevant writing credentials and experience.
  • Keep your cover letter concise and to the point.
  • Proofread your cover letter for any grammatical or spelling errors.

Don’t:

  • Ramble or provide unnecessary information.
  • Oversell or exaggerate your writing credentials.
  • Give away too much detail or spoil the plot in your manuscript summary.
  • Forget to personalise your cover letter for each submission.
  • Forget to follow the submission guidelines provided by the agent or agency.

By following these do’s and don’ts, you can ensure that your cover letter is professional, engaging, and tailored to the agent you’re submitting to. Remember, the goal is to get a foot in the door, make a good first impression and convince the agent that your manuscript is worth their time and consideration.

The Ultimate Guide to Novel Length: How Many Words Should Your Book Be?

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How To Write a Covering Letter

Literary agents will read the manuscript you send, and some the synopsis, but all will read the covering letter. Writing an effective one may take you a long time, but it is well worth the trouble. 

Covering Letter

The whole thing should:

  • Be well written – you are writing to people who care about words
  • Be concise (don’t waste their time; you want to direct them to the manuscript rather than tell them everything about you). One side of the page is plenty
  • Look attractive (it is the spaces on a page that draw the eye in, not the text, so paragraphs of different lengths and a ragged right-hand margin really help to attract the reader and keep them going)
  • Be knowledgeable about the agency 
  • Begin well (according to David Ogilvy, the copywriting guru, the first 11 words are crucial)
  • Describe the project briefly (in no more than two or three sentences) so that the reader is clear about what kind of book is on offer, and wants to know more
  • Never say at the end of the letter that you’ll telephone in a few days to follow up your submission – it sounds rather menacing (but do email to check on progress if you haven’t heard anything in a month or so).

Some agents and publishers acknowledge what they receive; others do not. Do bear in mind that some small agencies or publishers only deal with the unsolicited submission pile every few weeks, and so the waiting time may be slightly longer.

An agent’s advice

Here is the advice of  literary agent Simon Trewin on writing an introductory letter:

" Life is short and less is more. No letter should be more than one side of A4 and in a good-sized (12pt) clear typeface.

Sell yourself. The covering letter is one of the most important pages you will ever write. I will be honest here and say I find selling myself very difficult, so I can see how tricky this is – there is a thin line between appearing interesting/switched-on/professional and arrogant/unreasonable.

The letters that include phrases like “I am a genius and the world doesn't understand me” or “My Mum thinks this book is the best thing she has ever read” (of course she does – that is her job!) don’t exactly fill my heart with longing! In your pitch letter you are trying to achieve some simple things: you want me to feel that you take your work seriously. Wear your writing history with pride. Tell me about that short story you had published or that writing course you attended and the fact that you are writing alongside a demanding job or in the evenings and weekends when the kids are asleep. Tell me why you write – I love hearing about the different paths that have led people to the moment when they think “I want to write”.

Tell me who your influences are and tell me about the book you are sending me. A few lines will do the job here; I just want to get a sense of the territory I am going to enter. Tell me what you want to write next. Hopefully you won’t be following your commercial romantic comedy with a three-volume science fantasy epic or vice-versa!

At the end of your letter I want to feel in good company and ready to turn the page. I am not interested in seeing what you look like or how old you are – we are not running a model agency here! Publishing isn’t as obsessed with age and beauty as you might think, but it is obsessed with finding distinctive new voices. And a final point: get a friend to read the letter and give you some honest feedback. Put it to one side for a day or two and come back to it – distance is a great editor. "

Simon Trewin

Case Study. The Night Attila Died: Solving the Murder of Attila the Hun by Dr Michael Babcock  

Dear [Literary Agent]:

I am seeking representation for a non-fiction book entitled The Night Attila Died: Solving an Ancient Murder Mystery. I am a college professor with a PhD in medieval languages and literature from the University of Minnesota and a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina. [1]

Historians tell us that Attila the Hun died on his wedding night in 453 AD. Drunk and flat on his back, he died of natural causes – an internal haemorrhage. The only problem with this account (and it’s a big one) is that it’s a complete fabrication. The Night Attila Died challenges 1,500 years of history by presenting evidence that Attila was murdered and that the truth was covered up in the official imperial records. [2]

The events and characters are among the most interesting that history has ever assembled on one stage. There’s Aetius, the ruthless Roman general and boyhood friend of Attila who defeated the Hun in a decisive battle in Gaul. There’s the weak and stupid emperor, Valentinian III, who pulled a dagger from his robe and assassinated Aetius in a jealous rage. There’s the emperor’s older sister, Honoria, who secretly plotted to wrest power from her brother and managed to start a world war in the process. [3]

In the eastern Empire, the characters are just as colourful: Emperor Theodosius II, a weak ruler who bungled the first assassination plot against Attila, and Emperor Marcian, whom I accuse of masterminding the plot that finally destroyed the Empire’s greatest enemy. Throw in, for good measure, a scheming eunuch and a pathetic little dwarf named Zerko. It’s a great set of characters. [4]

But what the book is really about is philology. The textual science pioneered two centuries ago by the Brothers Grimm is the tool that lets us peel away layers of conspiracy and propaganda. Through the philological method we can reconstruct what really happened and how the conspiracy to kill Attila was covered up as official history. Chapter by chapter the reader participates in the detective work. In the end the threads of an ancient conspiracy are revealed and the verdict of history is overturned. [5]

There’s more at stake than just a good detective story. This is ultimately about what happens when two cultures with irreconcilable worldviews collide. It’s how we confront the Other with all the power of the sword and pen. What emerges from these violent confrontations is a skewed understanding of the past. We may call it history, but it’s often just propaganda. The Night Attila Died is rooted in the historical moment of the late Roman Empire, but the conclusions I draw are deeply connected to our own time. [6]

My publications to date are academic, in particular a book on the literary representations of Attila. I am uniquely qualified to write The Night Attila Died, having spent 15 years studying the historical and literary records as preserved in Latin, Greek, Old Church Slavonic, Old Icelandic, Old French, and Middle High German. (But that isn’t keeping me from writing a lively narrative!) I am recognised as an expert in this field and have consulted for a History Channel documentary on “famous deaths”. As an enthusiastic and dynamic speaker who speaks widely at conferences, I intend to promote the book aggressively. [7]

May I send you a full proposal with a sample chapter? [8]

Michael A Babcock, PhD

Commentary (keyed to the paragraph numbers)

[1] Direct introduction. No beating around the bush. No ‘clever’ attempt to hook the agent. Identify the type of book it is. Briefly identify yourself and your credentials.

[2] The hook. What’s unique about this book? Why should the agent keep reading the query letter?

[3] What you’re trying to demonstrate in the body of the letter is your style, your personality, and the ‘interest factor’ of the subject itself.

[4] With carefully selected details, you can pique the interest of the agent. Agents and editors love books – that’s why they do what they do. So show them what the pay-off will be for reading this book. You are also conveying the depth of the subject and your expert handle on the material.

[5] Establish the significance of the topic and its relevance. Establish points of contact with general knowledge (the Brothers Grimm).

[6] Again, this draws out the significance and timeliness of the subject – that is, you’re trying to answer the ‘So what?’ question.

[7] Return to your credentials and qualifications as to why you're the best person to be writing this book. 

[8] End with a direct, unambiguous appeal that requests a specific follow-up action.  

How it worked

‘This letter was sent out by e-mail to agents and out of the ten I submitted to, I heard back from nine and all nine wanted to see the full proposal. Of these nine I had three agents who were interested in representing the project and one, in particular, who pursued it aggressively. This agent called me up and expressed such enthusiasm for the concept and my writing style, that I felt he was the natural choice. Even though there were better known agents who were interested in the project, I opted for the lesser known agent on the theory that he was highly motivated to sell my book. The book sold in less than a month. There were three editors who were interested in making an offer on the book; in the end it came down to two and the higher bid won out. As a side note, the book sold on the strength of the formal proposal and a single sample chapter. The book was sold in December 2003 and submitted in final form to my editor in July 2004. It was published in July 2005 by Berkley Books.’

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How to write a cover letter for manuscript submission

Table of Contents

Dr. Arianna Ferrini , freelance scientific writer on Kolabtree, shares her top tips on writing a cover letter for manuscript submission.

When you submit a manuscript to a journal, you often must include a cover letter. The cover letter is a formal way to communicate with the editor of your chosen journal and is an excellent opportunity to highlight what makes your research new and publication-worthy. The objective of a manuscript cover letter is to compel the publication’s chief editor to accept the manuscript based on the understanding that the manuscript offers a solution to solve an unmet need in the specific field.

Why you need a cover letter for manuscript submission

  • To compel : Like writing a professional cover letter when applying for a job, a manuscript cover letter should be written persuasively to help point out all the noteworthy qualities of the manuscript. A well-written cover letter can help your paper reach the next stage following the submission, which is the peer-review stage.
  • To state importance : Specify what impact and contribution the manuscript can bring to the specific field. An effective method to do so is to emphasize the unmet need and show how the manuscript has resolved that unmet need.
  • To influence : The language of the cover letter should be written in a way that makes the publication feel special that they have been chosen to publish the manuscript.

What you should include in your cover letter

A manuscript cover letter should follow a clear structure to make sure the audience can read the content easily. Given its importance, it is worth spending some time writing a coherent and persuasive letter. It should include the following sections:

  • Opening remarks . Here you should include the date and then address the Editor-in-Chief by their title.
  • Inquiry request . Here you state the request, including the full title of the manuscript and at least the name of the first author (for example, something like “On behalf of my co-authors, I am submitting the original manuscript entitled [ title of the manuscript ] by [ first author et al. ] for consideration for publication in [ name of the Journal ]).Specify the type of paper you are submitting (e.g., review, research, case study, etc.). Remember that cover letters are separate files from your manuscript, so they should always include essential details like title and authors’ names. Here you should also add a reference to a past inquiry letter (if sent).
  • Background . This should be a high-level background of your topicto introduce why research in this area is important. For example, in the case of a biomedical research paper linked to a disease, you could state the number of people affected, the high health care cost, and the need for treatments.
  • Unmet need . Describe the unmet need (again, for biomedical research, this would be the unmet clinical need) and explain why more publications are needed.
  • Summary of the manuscript . This section should include a summary of the manuscript, clearly highlighting the key findings. Here you should also indicate why the reader of the journal would be interested in the work.
  • Author’s agreement . This section is important and should include something like“All authors have read, edited and contributed to the content of this manuscript. This work has not been previously published and is not being considered for publication elsewhere.”
  • Ending regards . Thank the Editor-in-Chief for their consideration and wrap the letter up. Although any author can correspond with the journal’s editorial staff, cover letters are usually written and signed by the corresponding author of the paper.

Mistakes to avoid

Providing a cover letter to accompany your manuscript submission can be extremely useful for you and for the journal editor. However, to ensure the editor give serious consideration to your publication, there are some mistakes to avoid.

  • Poor formatting, structure and grammar . This is the most important thing. Think about your letter as your manuscript’s (and yours) business card: you want to make a good impression. Before sending a cover letter to the journal of your choice, make sure it does not contain grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Additionally, it should be laid out in a nice and readable format and easy to follow. Avoid using too much jargon or acronyms and keep the language straightforward.
  • Overselling your work . While it is important to highlight the innovative nature of your research, it is equally important not to overvalue your work and sound arrogant.
  • Not adhering to the journal’s guidelines . Every journal has its own guidelines when it comes to manuscript preparation, and the same is true for the cover letter. Before you start to write, check your chosen journal’s guidelines carefully and make sure you adhere to what is requested. For example, some journals want the author to suggest potential reviewers or to include a shortlist of similar papers previously published by the journal. Some journals require that you include specific statements and disclosure (e.g., compliance with ethical standards, conflicts of interest, agreement to terms of submission, copyright sign-over, etc.). If you don’t follow their rule, it is not a first good impression.
  • Copying your abstract into the cover letter . They are two different things with two different objectives. The aim of the cover letter is to state the significance of the work and why it belongs to that specific journal.
  • Making it too “vague” . Remember, the editor will always have their readership in mind; therefore, you should not be vague and use a “copy-paste” cover letter. Instead, you should tailor it to the specific journal you are targeting and highlight why your work fits within the journal’s scope. You can usually find the scope of the journal on their website.
  • Claiming you are the first one showing something while in reality it has already been shown . This mistake is more common than you might think, and it will annoy the editor and make them question your entire work. Often these mistakes are made unintentionally, so make sure you have checked and double-checked the current literature before sending your manuscript. As every researcher knows, manuscript writing is a long process, and it could well be that you miss some just-off-the-press papers in the several months/years from the beginning of the project to the completion of the manuscript.
  • Providing a long biography of yourself and your career. Unless specifically requested, this should not be included in a cover letter.
  • Making the cover letter too long . As a general rule, a cover letter should not be longer than a single printed page. You must be selective to make your key points stand out and also not to waste a busy editor’s valuable time.

How to increase chances of your manuscript being accepted 

A great way to increase the chances of your manuscript being accepted is to send a manuscript inquiry letter to gauge interest and receive initial comments from the Editor-in-Chief prior to the actual submission of a manuscript. The objective of sending a manuscript inquiry letter is to influence the target journal to be interested in reviewing/accepting the manuscript. An inquiry letter should have three main sections: introduction and top-line message, a captivating synthesis of the manuscript, and the inquiry followed by a wrap-up.

A manuscript inquiry letter should catch the editor’s attention and communicate that your research is something new and innovative, which has the potential to change the field. Key words include “novel”, “state-of-the-art”, “exciting”, “first”, “first ever”, “never shown before”, “ground-breaking”, “potential paradigm shift”.

You should write the inquiry letter as soon as the target journal is identified, and the author group determines the key messages/data of the manuscript. On the other hand, you should write the cover letter when the manuscript is completed and ready for submission. It is always a good idea to ask an experienced and published colleague to read your manuscript inquiry and cover letter and give you honest feedback about them.

Bottom line

A good cover lette r can help you “sell” your manuscript to the journal editor. Submitting a cover letter to accompany your manuscript gives you the opportunity to explain why your manuscript should be considered and why it would be of interest to the readers of that specific journal. A cover letter should be of the highest quality possible. Before submitting it, perform a checklist to iron out the prose and make sure you have included all the relevant sections and information.

A great manuscript cover letter:

  • Compels the audience
  • States the manuscript’s importance to the field
  • Make the journal feel lucky you came to them

Does yours tick these boxes?

Need help to develop a cover letter for manuscript submission? Hire experienced freelance scientific writers on Kolabtree.

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About Author

Ramya Sriram manages digital content and communications at Kolabtree (kolabtree.com), the world's largest freelancing platform for scientists. She has over a decade of experience in publishing, advertising and digital content creation.

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Author Cover Letter Example (Free Guide)

Create an author cover letter that lands you the interview with our free examples and writing tips. use and customize our template and land an interview today..

Author Cover Letter Example

Are you a budding author looking for the perfect way to introduce yourself to potential publishers? A great cover letter is essential for any aspiring author. Our Author Cover Letter Guide will provide you with the tools to create an impressive and professional cover letter that will help you get noticed. From crafting a compelling story to highlighting your strengths, you will learn what it takes to make your cover letter stand out.

We will cover:

  • How to write a cover letter, no matter your industry or job title.
  • What to put on a cover letter to stand out.
  • The top skills employers from every industry want to see.
  • How to build a cover letter fast with our professional Cover Letter Builder .
  • What a cover letter template is, and why you should use it.

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Author Cover Letter Sample

Dear [Name],

I am writing to apply for the position of Author at [Company]. With a background in creative writing and various publications, I feel confident that I have the qualifications and experience to be a great addition to the team.

I have a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing and have been a professional writer for the past five years. During this time, I have worked on a variety of publications including novels, short stories, essays, and articles. I have also had the opportunity to ghostwrite for a variety of clients. My writing style is engaging and informative, and I have received a great deal of positive feedback from those who have read my work.

In addition to my writing experience, I have a strong understanding of the publishing process. I have worked closely with editors and publishers to ensure that the content I produce is of the highest quality. I am also familiar with the various platforms and technologies used to promote and distribute content, such as social media and SEO.

I am confident that I have the skills and experience to help [Company] achieve its goals. My writing is of the highest quality and I am committed to producing content that is engaging and informative. I am also eager to learn more about the publishing process and to work with the team to ensure that the content is properly distributed.

I am excited to have the opportunity to apply for the role of Author at [Company] and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

Why Do you Need a Author Cover Letter?

  • A cover letter is an essential part of the author submission process. It provides the publisher with an introduction to the author, allowing them to gain an understanding of the author’s background and experience in writing.
  • The cover letter serves as a way to communicate your writing experience, qualifications, and passion for the project you are proposing. Providing a well-crafted letter can help make a positive impression on the editor and increase your chances of getting accepted.
  • A cover letter is also a great place to make a case for yourself and explain why your project should be accepted. You can provide information about the project’s theme, its target audience, and why you feel it would be a valuable addition to the publisher’s catalog.
  • Finally, a cover letter is a great way to make a personal connection with the editor. You can use it to express your enthusiasm for the project and provide an overview of your writing style. This can help establish a connection between you and the editor, which can prove invaluable in the long run.

A Few Important Rules To Keep In Mind

  • Keep the cover letter brief and to the point – no more than one page.
  • Use a professional, but friendly tone.
  • Keep the formatting clean and easy to read, using headings, bullets and short paragraphs.
  • Start by introducing yourself and provide a brief background of your writing experience.
  • Explain why you are a good fit for this particular project.
  • Include any relevant writing samples.
  • Be sure to proofread your letter for any typos or grammatical errors.
  • Include a call to action such as “I look forward to hearing from you”.
  • Include your contact information.

What's The Best Structure For Author Cover Letters?

After creating an impressive Author resume , the next step is crafting a compelling cover letter to accompany your job applications. It's essential to remember that your cover letter should maintain a formal tone and follow a recommended structure. But what exactly does this structure entail, and what key elements should be included in a Author cover letter? Let's explore the guidelines and components that will make your cover letter stand out.

Key Components For Author Cover Letters:

  • Your contact information, including the date of writing
  • The recipient's details, such as the company's name and the name of the addressee
  • A professional greeting or salutation, like "Dear Mr. Levi,"
  • An attention-grabbing opening statement to captivate the reader's interest
  • A concise paragraph explaining why you are an excellent fit for the role
  • Another paragraph highlighting why the position aligns with your career goals and aspirations
  • A closing statement that reinforces your enthusiasm and suitability for the role
  • A complimentary closing, such as "Regards" or "Sincerely," followed by your name
  • An optional postscript (P.S.) to add a brief, impactful note or mention any additional relevant information.

Cover Letter Header

A header in a cover letter should typically include the following information:

  • Your Full Name: Begin with your first and last name, written in a clear and legible format.
  • Contact Information: Include your phone number, email address, and optionally, your mailing address. Providing multiple methods of contact ensures that the hiring manager can reach you easily.
  • Date: Add the date on which you are writing the cover letter. This helps establish the timeline of your application.

It's important to place the header at the top of the cover letter, aligning it to the left or center of the page. This ensures that the reader can quickly identify your contact details and know when the cover letter was written.

Cover Letter Greeting / Salutation

A greeting in a cover letter should contain the following elements:

  • Personalized Salutation: Address the hiring manager or the specific recipient of the cover letter by their name. If the name is not mentioned in the job posting or you are unsure about the recipient's name, it's acceptable to use a general salutation such as "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear [Company Name] Recruiting Team."
  • Professional Tone: Maintain a formal and respectful tone throughout the greeting. Avoid using overly casual language or informal expressions.
  • Correct Spelling and Title: Double-check the spelling of the recipient's name and ensure that you use the appropriate title (e.g., Mr., Ms., Dr., or Professor) if applicable. This shows attention to detail and professionalism.

For example, a suitable greeting could be "Dear Ms. Johnson," or "Dear Hiring Manager," depending on the information available. It's important to tailor the greeting to the specific recipient to create a personalized and professional tone for your cover letter.

Cover Letter Introduction

An introduction for a cover letter should capture the reader's attention and provide a brief overview of your background and interest in the position. Here's how an effective introduction should look:

  • Opening Statement: Start with a strong opening sentence that immediately grabs the reader's attention. Consider mentioning your enthusiasm for the job opportunity or any specific aspect of the company or organization that sparked your interest.
  • Brief Introduction: Provide a concise introduction of yourself and mention the specific position you are applying for. Include any relevant background information, such as your current role, educational background, or notable achievements that are directly related to the position.
  • Connection to the Company: Demonstrate your knowledge of the company or organization and establish a connection between your skills and experiences with their mission, values, or industry. Showcasing your understanding and alignment with their goals helps to emphasize your fit for the role.
  • Engaging Hook: Consider including a compelling sentence or two that highlights your unique selling points or key qualifications that make you stand out from other candidates. This can be a specific accomplishment, a relevant skill, or an experience that demonstrates your value as a potential employee.
  • Transition to the Body: Conclude the introduction by smoothly transitioning to the main body of the cover letter, where you will provide more detailed information about your qualifications, experiences, and how they align with the requirements of the position.

By following these guidelines, your cover letter introduction will make a strong first impression and set the stage for the rest of your application.

Cover Letter Body

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing to apply for the position of Author as advertised on your website. I am confident that I have the skills, experience, and knowledge necessary to be a great addition to your team.

I have a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing from the University of California, Los Angeles and have been working as a professional author for the past five years. During this time, I have written and published two novels, one of which was a bestseller, as well as several short stories, articles, and essays for various publications. I am passionate about storytelling and have a strong understanding of the craft of writing.

I am an excellent communicator and thrive in collaborative environments. I have experience working with editors and publishers, and I am able to take constructive feedback and use it to improve my writing. I am also well-versed in the use of various software and tools for writing and editing, and I am comfortable working with deadlines.

I am confident that I could be an asset to your team as an Author. I am eager to discuss my qualifications further and show you how I could contribute to your success. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would like to schedule an interview.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Complimentary Close

The conclusion and signature of a cover letter provide a final opportunity to leave a positive impression and invite further action. Here's how the conclusion and signature of a cover letter should look:

  • Summary of Interest: In the conclusion paragraph, summarize your interest in the position and reiterate your enthusiasm for the opportunity to contribute to the organization or school. Emphasize the value you can bring to the role and briefly mention your key qualifications or unique selling points.
  • Appreciation and Gratitude: Express appreciation for the reader's time and consideration in reviewing your application. Thank them for the opportunity to be considered for the position and acknowledge any additional materials or documents you have included, such as references or a portfolio.
  • Call to Action: Conclude the cover letter with a clear call to action. Indicate your availability for an interview or express your interest in discussing the opportunity further. Encourage the reader to contact you to schedule a meeting or provide any additional information they may require.
  • Complimentary Closing: Choose a professional and appropriate complimentary closing to end your cover letter, such as "Sincerely," "Best Regards," or "Thank you." Ensure the closing reflects the overall tone and formality of the letter.
  • Signature: Below the complimentary closing, leave space for your handwritten signature. Sign your name in ink using a legible and professional style. If you are submitting a digital or typed cover letter, you can simply type your full name.
  • Typed Name: Beneath your signature, type your full name in a clear and readable font. This allows for easy identification and ensures clarity in case the handwritten signature is not clear.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing an Author Cover Letter

When crafting a cover letter, it's essential to present yourself in the best possible light to potential employers. However, there are common mistakes that can hinder your chances of making a strong impression. By being aware of these pitfalls and avoiding them, you can ensure that your cover letter effectively highlights your qualifications and stands out from the competition. In this article, we will explore some of the most common mistakes to avoid when writing a cover letter, providing you with valuable insights and practical tips to help you create a compelling and impactful introduction that captures the attention of hiring managers. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting your career journey, understanding these mistakes will greatly enhance your chances of success in the job application process. So, let's dive in and discover how to steer clear of these common missteps and create a standout cover letter that gets you noticed by potential employers.

  • Not customizing the cover letter for each position or company.
  • Not addressing the cover letter to an individual.
  • Not including a professional greeting.
  • Not providing tangible examples of previous successes.
  • Giving too much or too little information.
  • Making grammar and spelling errors.
  • Not expressing enthusiasm for the position.
  • Failing to explain why you are a perfect fit for the position.
  • Including irrelevant information.
  • Not proofreading the cover letter.

Key Takeaways For an Author Cover Letter

  • Be sure to tailor your cover letter to the author position you are applying for.
  • Highlight your writing experience and any related skills you may have.
  • Include relevant examples of your writing and demonstrate your understanding of the book publishing industry.
  • Show enthusiasm and passion for the subject matter and for writing.
  • Emphasize the quality of your work and provide examples of success.
  • Be sure to proofread your cover letter and make sure it is free from errors.

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Author Cover Letter Examples

Authors create works of fictions and non-fiction, such as magazine articles, web content, novels, poetry, short stories, and scripts. Many Authors are self-employed and also handle self-promotion. Typical work activities of an Author include: securing writing jobs, choosing subject matters, discussing requirements with clients, performing research, revising work, making sure they follow deadlines, submitting materials, attending cultural events, liaising with agents and publishers, and maintaining financial records.

Employers select cover letters showcasing the following skills and qualifications:

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Use these Author samples as a guideline, or visit our extensive library of customizable cover letter templates .

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Use our extensive library of professional cover letter examples as practical starting guides. You’ll also find ready-made content with our helpful Cover Letter Builder — simply click, customize and download.

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Free Author cover letter example

Dear Ms. Lee:

Upon review of your posting for a new Author to join your writing team, I hastened to submit the enclosed resume for your consideration. As a creative and award-winning writer with more than 10 years of experience writing compelling and innovative features and articles for a wide variety of publications and media, I feel confident that I could vastly exceed your expectations for this role.

My background in developing and writing feature-length articles, novels, and blog content on a variety of subjects and areas—encompassing both fiction and non-fiction genres—prepares me to substantially impact your organization. With my history of publishing success in journals and magazines, along with my commitment to cultivating fruitful relationships to encourage future connections and stimulate story ideas, I am ready to extend my record of writing accomplishments with your company.

Highlights of my experience include the following…

Writing and publishing more than 70 articles, 125 blog entries, 27 newspaper features, and 3 self-published novels throughout the past decade, demonstrating an unwavering dedication to grammatical and editorial excellence.

Reviewing fellow authors’writing and editing and revising content as requested.

Developing trusting and lasting connections with peers, publication management teams, and community members to facilitate future partnerships and spark story and contact leads.

Earning a Bachelor of Arts in English as well as my MFA degree in Literature from the University of Tennessee.

With my expertise in authoring and publishing compelling content, combined with my exceptional interpersonal skills and commitment to exploring innovative story ideas and comprehensive topic coverage, I am positioned to significantly benefit your writing team. I look forward to discussing my qualifications in more detail.

Thank you for your consideration.

Martha C. Clark

Include These Author Skills

  • Excellent writing and literary skills
  • An entertaining style
  • Research skills
  • Time management and discipline
  • Networking and self-promotion abilities
  • Effective communication
  • Computer proficiency and knowledge of digital tools
  • Being able to accept constructive criticism
  • Enthusiasm and self-motivation

Copywriting Resume Examples

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A professional cover letter is the first step toward your new job!

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What should be included in a cover letter?

You may be required to submit a cover letter with your submission. Individual journals may have specific requirements regarding the cover letter's contents, so please consult the individual journal's Guide for Authors.

A cover letter is a simple, brief business letter, designed to introduce your manuscript to a prospective Editor.  If the Guide for Authors does not specify what to include in your cover letter, you may wish to include some of the following items:

  • Specify special considerations that should be given to the paper (if any).
  • A brief background regarding the research involved or how the data was collected.
  • Details of any previous or concurrent submissions.
  • It's also useful to provide the Editor-in-Chief with any information that will support your submission (e.g. original or confirmatory data, relevance, topicality).
  • The inclusion (or exclusion) of certain Reviewers (if  propose/oppose reviewers  isn't an available step in the submission process).
  • Bring to the Editor’s attention any  Conflict of Interest or Permissions information  which may be relevant.  Be sure to upload any accompanying forms or declarations as required to your submission.

Please note: When your manuscript is received at Elsevier, it's considered to be in its 'final form' ready to be reviewed, so please check your manuscript carefully before you submit it to the Editor. A guide to the publication process and getting your article published in an Elsevier journal is available on the Elsevier Publishing Campus .

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  • Ready To Submit: Writing a Cover Letter

Writing a Cover Letter

When submitting a manuscript, authors will need to additionally submit a cover letter. The purpose of this letter is to highlight the importance and relevance of your research. To assist with preparing your cover letter to include all points, you can download and use our sample cover letter as a guide.

What to Include

  • Address the editor by their name.
  • Include your manscript's title.
  • State that your paper has not been published/is not under consideration by another journal. Also include if an earlier version of this paper was presented at a conference, and provide a detailed list of changes since the presentation.
  • Provide nominations for two Senior Editors, two Associate Editors, and up to four reviewers. Make sure to include the rationale for your nominations. You may read more about this in the Editor Nominations section .
  • Declare any conflicts of interest, or confirm there are none.
  • Include contact information for yourself and any co-authors.

Things to Avoid

  • Do not copy your abstract into your cover letter. Instead, explain the significance of your work and why it should be published in MIS Quarterly.
  • Do not use too much jargon or acronyms. Keep your letter straightforward and easy to read.
  • Avoid too much detail. Keep your cover letter to a maximum of two pages.

Jane Friedman

The Perfect Cover Letter: Advice From a Lit Mag Editor

cover letter for magazine or journal

Today’s guest post is from Elise Holland, co-founder and editor of 2 Elizabeths , a short fiction and poetry publication.

When submitting your short-form literature to a magazine or journal, your cover letter is often the first piece of writing an editor sees. It serves as an introduction to your thoughtfully crafted art. As such, it is significant, but it shouldn’t be intimidating or even take much time to write.

As editor at 2 Elizabeths , I see a variety of cover letters every day; some are excellent, and others could stand to be improved. There are a few key pieces of information to include, while keeping them short and sweet. In fact, a cover letter should only be a couple of paragraphs long, and no more than roughly 100-150 words.

A little research goes a long way

Seek out the editor’s name, and address the letter to him/her, as opposed to using a generic greeting. Typically, you can find this information either on the magazine or journal’s website, or in the submission guidelines.

Read the submission guidelines thoroughly. Many publications will state in their guidelines the exact details that need to be included in a cover letter. With some variation, a general rule of thumb is to include the following:

  • Editor’s name (if you can locate it)
  • Genre/category
  • Brief description of your piece
  • If you have been published previously, state where
  • Whether your piece is a simultaneous submission (definition below)

Terms to Know

The term simultaneous submission means that you will be sending the same piece to several literary magazines or journals at the same time. Most publications accept simultaneous submissions, but some do not. If a publication does not accept them, this will be stated in their guidelines.

Should your work be selected for publication by one magazine, it is important to notify other publications where you have submitted that piece. This courtesy will prevent complications, and will keep you in good graces with various editors, should you wish to submit to them again in the future.

The term multiple submission means that you are submitting multiple pieces to the same literary magazine or journal.

Cover Letter That Needs Work

Dear Editor, Here is a collection of poems I wrote that I’d like you to consider. I have not yet been published elsewhere. Please let me know what you think. Bio: John Doe is an Insurance Agent by day and a writer by night, living in Ten Buck Two. He is the author of a personal blog, LivingWith20Cats.com. Best, John Doe

What Went Wrong?

John Doe didn’t research the editor’s name. A personal greeting is always better than a simple “Dear Editor.” Additionally, John failed to include the word count, title and a brief description of his work.

There is no need to state that John has not yet been published elsewhere. He should simply leave that piece of information out. (Many publications, 2 Elizabeths included, will still welcome your submissions warmly if you are unpublished.)

John included a statement asking the editor to let him know what he/she thinks about his work. Due to time constraints, it is rare that an editor sends feedback unless work is going to be accepted.

Unless otherwise specified by the magazine or journal to which you are submitting, you do not need to include biographical information in your cover letter. Typically, that information is either requested upfront but in a separate document from the cover letter, or is not requested until a piece has been selected for publishing.

Cover Letter Ready to Be Sent

Dear Elise, Please consider this 1,457-word short fiction piece, “Summer.” I recently participated in the 2 Elizabeths Open Mic Night, and am an avid reader of the fiction and poetry that you publish. “Summer” is a fictitious tale inspired by the impact of a whirlwind, yet meaningful, romance I experienced last year. In this story, I gently explore the life lessons associated with young love, with a touch of humor. This is a simultaneous submission, and I will notify you if the piece is accepted elsewhere. Thank you for your consideration. Kindest Regards, John Doe

What Went Right?

In this letter, John includes all pertinent information, while keeping his letter clear and concise. In his second sentence, John also briefly states how he is familiar with the magazine. While doing this isn’t required, if done tastefully, it can be a nice touch! Another example might be: “I read and enjoyed your spring issue, and believe that my work is a good fit for your magazine.”

I hope these sample letters help you as you send your short works to magazines and journals for consideration. While you’re at it, I hope you will check out 2 Elizabeths ! We would love to read your work.

Elise Holland

Elise Holland is co-founder and editor of 2 Elizabeths , a short fiction and poetry publication. Her work has appeared in various publications, most recently in Story a Day . Through 2 Elizabeths, Elise strives to create value and visibility for writers, through writing contests , events , and more!

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[…] view post at https://janefriedman.com/perfect-cover-letter-advice-lit-mag-editor/ […]

[…] To get into literary magazines, you need a cover letter, so Elise Holland lays out how to write the perfect cover letter for a literary magazine. […]

Diane Holcomb

Love this! The letter is short and to the point, and covers all the necessary information. Great tips! I always worry that the only publishing credit I have is the winning entry in a short story contest through the local paper. Should I mention that? And writing conferences I’ve attended?

Jane Friedman

As Elise says, it’s OK if you’re unpublished. Don’t worry about it. But feel free to mention your winning entry. If the writing conferences would likely be known to the journals’ editors, you might mention one or two.

[…] recently wrote a full article on the perfect cover letter, here. Check it out for clear, simple instructions, along with sample […]

[…] publication. Her work has appeared in various publications, most recently in Story a Day, and at JaneFriedman.com.  Through 2 Elizabeths, Elise strives to create value and visibility for writers, through writing […]

Sarah

Thanks for the concise and useful information! I’ve heard that it’s also a good idea to include a sentence or two that makes it clear that you are familiar with the kind of work the magazine has published in the past. Is this generally advised, or would you consider it nonessential unless specified in the submission guidelines?

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How To Write A Publisher Cover Letter

Your first step in getting a publisher's attention is writing a publisher cover letter. It’s a simple yet powerful letter that can influence the future of your book.

In this article, you’ll learn about what a publisher's cover letter is, why it's important, and how to put one together.

You’ll also review a sample cover letter for more guidance when you create your own!

Publisher cover letter

What is a publisher cover letter?

A publisher cover letter has the simple job of introducing you and your book to a publishing company.

In your book cover letter, you will state who you are and your experience. Not unlike a cover letter for a job. It’s essentially your elevator pitch.

But keep in mind that it’s also a letter to a publisher that can set your manuscript apart from the dozens of other submissions that publishers receive!

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When do you need a book cover letter?

If you’re thinking of submitting your manuscript to different publishers then a book cover letter is an essential part of your submission package. This is because book publishing is a business.

And ideally, you want your cover letter to explain to agents or recruiters how your experience and your book will help their business grow.

Outside of the book publishing world, cover letters are also an important aspect when submitting manuscripts to journals.

What to include in a letter to a publisher

Constructing a publisher cover letter is like baking a cake. There are instructions to follow and you can’t write too much or too little or else the letter won’t be well received. Add too much salt or too little vanilla to a cake and it throws off the taste.

To write an ideal cover letter make sure you follow these instructions and include the following elements.

Letter to a publisher

1. Start with an attention-grabbing introduction

The introduction of your book proposal cover letter is the most important part. According to Blue Pencil Agency, the first part of your letter should give details of your book such as title, genre, and word count.

After that, you want to hook them in with your second sentence . This sentence should describe the most interesting aspect of your book.

Following the hook, you’ll want to summarize the main points of your book by giving an intriguing synopsis.

You don’t want to share every aspect of your book, but instead, entice publishers to want to read more.

2. Include why you wrote your book and what makes your book interesting

Once you’ve got the publisher's attention, you can explain why you wrote your book and what makes it different. Use this section of your publisher cover letter to share your unique why.

What special experiences or knowledge do you have that motivated you to write this book? What are you hoping your audience will take away from the book?

Also, explain how your book differs from other books in its genre.

Are there more diverse characters? Does your book take a unique perspective for your niche?

Explain how your book stands out.

3. Share who your book is for

In addition to explaining your great storyline, you’ll want to mention your target audience. Who is your book for? Who is meant to read it?

This knowledge helps publishers when considering how marketable your book is.

4. Share your background as a writer

This part of your letter will focus on you as a writer. Whether you’re a new author, self-published, or have been previously published you’ll want to focus on different aspects of your career.

Here’s what to include in this section based on your experience.

New authors

If you’ve never been published, your book cover letter will focus on other written work and your fan base.

For instance, if you have a blog or group of followers on your mailing list you can mention that in your letter to a publisher.

If you don’t have a following you can share how your unique expertise makes you a credible writer.

For example, your can share how your field experience as an anthropologist helped you to build a more realistic and intriguing storyline for your historical fiction novel.

Self-published authors

If you’ve self-published before, you want to share about the success of your self-published book . Important things to share include rankings and feedback from readers.

Previously published authors

If you’ve previously published don’t be humble, share your achievements. Use this opportunity to share the success of your book.

Mention how many copies you sold, along with sharing some of the top reviews and endorsements.

Also, include how you’ve built a fan base or a following from your previous book.

5. Don't forget to add your contact details

To end your book proposal cover letter you’ll want to thank publishers for their time and include your contact details.

Make sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and email address. Without your contact information publishers can't contact you to move forward.

Key components

These key components are the most critical elements of your letter. Use these tips to increase the chances of your letter being read.

No more than one page

With the large volume of requests that publishers receive on a weekly basis, many publishers don't have the time to read lengthy requests. Keeping your book proposal cover letter to one page helps you to write concise and insightful information .

Aim to write around five paragraphs

To help keep your book cover letter to one page it’s best to write five paragraphs. By doing so you can avoid writing unnecessary information.

Don't make your book sample a part of the cover letter

When writing a cover letter for book submission, it can be tempting to want to include a sample of your book.

However, a publisher's cover letter is meant to be an introduction to your book and who you are as an author.

If you do include a book sample, it should be a separate document.

A sample proposal letter

In order to demonstrate how to put all the previous information together, below is an example publisher cover letter for a book submission.

Dear (Insert the name of publisher),

My name is Susie Que and I’m the author of the book Climbing to the Top, a 60,000-word non-fiction book. My book is an inspiring and impactful story that focuses on how rock climbing some of the most dangerous mountains taught me how to become stronger and how to excel in life.

This book will challenge you to examine your own fears and personal dreams and help you find the strength and resilience you need to achieve them. In this book, I provide the tools you need to move away from your comfort zone, face your fears and triumph over any obstacle.

What makes this book valuable is that I draw from my personal life experiences climbing over 30 summits. I did this while overcoming medical issues as well as mental health challenges. The surprising part is I'm over 40 years old, a wife, and a mother to two children.

My book is relatable to mothers, and women in their 40s and older who think that it's too late for them to have the success they desire.

I currently have a blog with over 100,000 readers and have been a guest on podcasts such as Ambitious Women, and Fearless Women.

Along with this, I currently have 300,000 followers on Instagram, and 120,000 subscribers on YouTube. I have a strong base of supporters and fans that will be eager to read Climbing to the Top.

Thank you for reading my letter. Attached are copies of the first three chapters of my book. If you’re interested in moving forward you can contact me at (insert phone number) or by email at ( insert email).

Sincerely, Susie Que

Related articles on getting writing a publisher cover letter

Enjoy this article? Check out articles related to writing a publisher cover letter!

  • How To Get A Book Published: Self-Publishing Vs Traditional Publishing
  • Writing A Book Proposal: A Great Book Proposal Template To Use
  • How To Write A Book Pitch

Write a cover letter that publishers will love!

A cover letter for book submission has one main purpose. Your purpose is to get publishers interested in your book and have them believe in your capacity as an author.

You achieve this interest by hooking them in with the intriguing introduction in the first paragraph. Keep them captivated by sharing the most interesting details of your book.

Then you share your expertise as a writer and your experience in the field. And always end the letter with gratitude and your contact information.

If you're ready to publish your book, start with a stand-out letter to a publisher. Doing this can lead to getting a book deal and getting paid for your writing !

Kiersten Brown

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What a Cover Letter for Journal Submission Should Include

What a Cover Letter for Journal Submission Should Include

When you have been editing, re-editing and proof-reading your manuscript multiple times, it’s easy to forget that there is another thing you should do before you submit it: writing a cover letter. A question that my clients often ask me is: What should cover letters for journal submissions include and what do journal editors absolutely not see in there?

To answer these common questions, I chatted about cover letters with a friend of mine, Dr. Paul Woods. He is an editor with the journal Nature Astronomy and receives cover letters every day.

Paul, why are cover letters for journals so important?

Cover letters are a place for direct communication to the editor dealing with your paper, and they are not seen by reviewers, so they’re a perfect place for frank and open communication.

That sounds like an opportunity one shouldn’t miss out on. What mistakes do authors make in their cover letters?

There are no really critical mistakes, but, for instance, I don’t need to see the abstract, I can read it in the manuscript. Same holds for an author list with their list of affiliations (unless the authors have opted for double-blind peer review). Never ever just copy-paste the entire paper in the cover letter… Yes, some people do this.

Writing a cover letter for journal submission is the last step of the Journal Publication Formula that we walk you through in this free class

How to write a cover letter for journal submission

It’s good to know what not to do. So, how can authors do it right and use the space in a cover letter in the best way?

I would like to see a concise summary of the work that has been performed. One or two paragraphs are ideal. In Nature Astronomy, the author is also required to indicate how the work or the results make an improvement over previous work, that is, other refereed papers in the literature. More specialist journals might not have this strict requirement. The authors can be explicit here – I appreciate things like “Our results are more robust than XXX et al. because they didn’t do any completeness tests, whereas we perform these in a couple of ways (see Methods section).”

Why do you recommend to point this out?

Knowing these things not only helps me to assess the impact of the work, but also to spot whether the reviewers have fully appreciated the level of advance that the current paper makes.

Is there anything else authors should write in their cover letter?

I like to see suggestions for good referees who will appreciate the topic and importance of the work. But don’t give a list of colleagues and collaborators… Editors do check! On this note, I also welcome suggestions for referees to avoid because of some professional conflict.

The cover letter is also the right place to communicate relevant information of organisational nature. For example, if there are time pressures or restrictions on the publication of the manuscript. Do mention if there is a companion manuscript with which publication has to be synchronised. Nature Astronomy doesn’t do series, but if your manuscript is part of one, it might be useful to tell the editor in the cover letter.

Thank you very much for all these insights, Paul.  

  For more tips to increase your chances to get accepted in a high-impact journal, click here .

Learn a whole system to write your research paper including a cover letter template

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Submitting a new manuscript: The process

For your convenience, we encourage you to use our LaTeX or Word templates. You can also submit papers directly using some cloud-based authoring tools: Overleaf and Curvenote , which are LaTeX-based, and Authorea . If you use any of these templates, some information, including title and abstract, from the paper will be automatically loaded into our submission system when you upload the file.

Following our checklist and guidelines properly will help ensure a timely submission and peer review process.

If you are submitting a revised or resubmitted manuscript that has already undergone peer review, please follow the  checklist for revised or resubmitted manuscript .

What you need for a new submission

You will need to provide the following items with your submission. For new submissions, please upload one complete Word or PDF manuscript file containing text, figures, and tables a part of the main text. Convert LaTeX documents to PDF for initial submissions. Any supporting information should be uploaded separately for review purposes. Revisions including resubmissions of previous rejected manuscripts need separate, production-ready files and must follow the revision submission checklist .

  • A list of authors, their emails, and affiliations. Individual author contributions can be indicated using the  CRediT taxonomy .
  • ORCID  for all authors (required for corresponding author).
  • Three or more suggested reviewers.
  • Permissions to reuse any figures that were previously published by a non-AGU journal.
  • Open Research Section: For data that support your research, a data availability statement must be present. This data must be deposited in a community-accepted, trusted repository and cited in the References section. For papers where software is central to the research, include a software availability statement and citation in the References section. Please see detailed information, templates, and examples in our  Data and Software for Authors  guidance.
  • Copies of articles cited as unpublished and an explanation of need in your cover letter. This includes companion and special collection manuscripts submitted to this or other journals.
  • Optional  cover letter identifying any conflicts of interest (please enter in submission form).

We encourage all authors to register for an ORCID . Published contributions and reviews are automatically registered to your ORCID when you enable auto-updates from Crossref and DataCite. We encourage using International Geo Sample Numbers (IGSNs) to identify all relevant samples. IGSNs should be identified in your paper by including them in the relevant dataset.

Checklist: New manuscripts

To expedite the processing of your paper, please ensure your manuscript meets the following requirements. If you are unsure about an item in the checklist, in-depth, detailed guidelines for composing your manuscript are provided on our In-depth Text and Graphics Requirements page.

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  • All funding information from each author pertaining to this work.
  • Any conflicts of interest for any author that are not apparent from their affiliations or funding.
  • Any additional information on author contributions.
  • An Inclusion in Global Research statement that addresses ethical and scientific considerations, as applicable to the study, as a standalone section in the manuscript following the Conclusions section. This can include disclosure of permits, authorizations, permissions and/or any formal agreements with local communities or other authorities, additional acknowledgements of local help received, and/or description of end-users of the research;
  • The completion of the CRediT Taxonomy, if not already completed; and
  • A more detailed explanation of the authorship in the cover letter, if needed.
  • Holt et al. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2022JG007188
  • Sánchez-Gutiérrez et al. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2023JG007554
  • Tully et al. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1029/2022JG007128
  • All references must be cited in the main text and reference list for indexing. If they appear elsewhere, your submission will be returned.
  • Every reference must be available publicly online or in print before a paper can be accepted; there should be no “submitted”, personal communication, or “in press” references (unless the “in press” reference has a DOI and is available online). Exceptions are considered by the editor.
  • We recommend that references are formatted according to AGU’s publication style .

Checklist: Supporting information

Supporting information may include other images or figures, methods text, and resources needed to explain the results presented in your paper. It should not include discussion or key analysis. Data sets, software, and sample information should be deposited in repositories practicing the FAIR principles and cited in the references . Data files that are uploaded as Supporting Information MUST ALSO be deposited in an appropriate repository.

  • Use our  supporting information template  and include text, captions, and figures as part of one supporting information file, saved in PDF format.
  • Please upload the PDF file. Production staff will not convert, edit, or modify your supporting information files. They will be published as-is.
  • Deposit data and software to repositories and cite them as part of the Availability Statement and References according to AGU’s data and software guidance.
  • Include any analysis or discussion as part of the main manuscript, not supporting information.
  • References in supporting information should be included in a separate reference list below the main text under the heading "References From the Supporting Information" so that they will be discovered, linked, and indexed.
  • Do not include appendices. Appendix text and figures should be included in the main article file.
  • Supporting Information does not contribute to the paper’s length. You may shorten your paper by moving any peripheral information to the Supporting Information.

Visit our Supporting Information requirements page for more detailed guidance.

Checklist: Submitting a revised or resubmitted manuscript

A cover letter explaining your revision to the editor is optional. The cover letter should be entered into the online submission form, not uploaded as a separate file.

If there is any change in authorship, including author order, this must be explained in the cover letter. All co-authors will receive a confirmation of the new submission.

The manuscript should be an unmarked, final file in Word or LaTeX (not a pdf), with all changes accepted. Your manuscript should contain the elements listed below and be checked for length.

  • Individual figure files, with subfigures (a, b, c, etc.) combined into one cohesive file. Appropriate figure formats are: eps, pdf, jpg, or tif. Do not add labels (e.g., Figure 1) or captions within the image. 
  • A Word or PDF file showing tracked changes from the previous version (even if it was initially submitted to a different AGU journal). Please convert Latex files with tracked changes into PDFs. Select “Article Tracked Changes” as the file type during submission. 
  • A Word or PDF file giving a point-by-point response to the reviews, including the exact text of the reviewers’ and/or editors’ comments. Select “Response to Reviewer” as the file type during submission.
  • Availability statements for data and software in the Open Research section. This section states where readers can access the data and software that supports the manuscript's analysis and conclusions. AGU requires statements for data. For research dependent on software (e.g. models, workflows), include a software availability statement. For further guidance and examples, please see  AGU’s Data and Software guidance .
  • If your manuscript is written in LaTeX, upload your bibtex BIB file as a “Latex Bib File” type or incorporate the bibliography into your document with the instructions under "Troubleshooting” in our  Latex Submission Guidelines .
  • Copies of articles cited as unpublished and an explanation in your cover letter. This includes companion and special collection manuscripts submitted to this or other journals. Note that accepted articles cannot proceed unless all references are published.
  • Supporting information files must meet our guidelines. See Checklist: Supporting Information .
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Blog Cover Letter Help How to Start a Cover Letter

How to Start a Cover Letter: Introduction Examples & Tips

Hiring managers may sift through dozens or even hundreds of applications for a single role. A strong cover letter opening is essential for grabbing their attention and inspiring them to look more closely at your application.

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Knowing how to begin a cover letter in a way that sparks interest is the first step toward writing a cover letter that will impress any hiring manager.

If the opening lines of your cover letter are too stiff or wordy, you’ll lose the hiring manager’s interest. Instead, get straight to the point and impress the reader with your qualifications in those first few lines.

Infographic demonstrating how to start a cover letter

In this article, we’ll demonstrate how to successfully start a cover letter with 12 great examples of cover letter openings and a few tips for writing your own.

what is an author cover letter

Our free-to-use cover letter builder can make you a cover letter in as little as 5 minutes. Just pick the template you want, and our software will format everything for you.

12 winning ways to start your cover letter

Our sample cover letter introductions will help you learn how to open a cover letter in a way that stands out and boosts your chances of landing an interview.

1. Mention a contact within the company

If you were referred by a former coworker, classmate, or friend who’s highly regarded in their company, mention their name in the opening sentence of your cover letter for some immediate credibility.

Well-Connected

Upon learning about the social media manager opportunity at StarWon through my former colleague, Jennifer Henderson, I was thrilled by the prospect of joining your dynamic team. Jennifer and I collaborated closely during my two years at Turbofun, where we successfully executed eight high-impact social media projects. I’ve heard great things about the work being done at StarWon, and I’m confident my skills and experience would make me an excellent asset to your team.

Hiring managers are more likely to take your application seriously if you’ve been recommended by someone they already work with and respect.

According to LinkedIn, 70% of people hired in 2016 had a connection at their new company . That’s why referencing a mutual contact is one of the most effective ways to distinguish yourself from other applicants, especially if you’re writing an entry-level cover letter .

2. Express enthusiasm for the role

Employers love candidates who care about their work. They want to see that your passions align with the responsibilities associated with the role.

My senior year of high school, I saved up for nearly a year to buy the first generation Oculus Rift headset — my parents thought I was nuts. But ever since, I’ve been obsessed with the potential of virtual reality technology and have been thrilled to see its presence grow in our changing media industry. That’s why I’m excited for the opportunity to put my passion for VR to work as an Engineer at NextGen VR Corp, and help build the future of virtual reality technology.

Employees who are passionate about their work are likely to perform better, stay longer, and make a greater long-term contribution to the company.

To demonstrate your enthusiasm, explain what drew you to the position and how it fits into your career goals.

3. Show your excitement about the company’s work

If you’re genuinely excited about a company’s brand, its mission statement, or its products, highlight this excitement in your cover letter introduction. Relate your personal mission statement to the company’s mission to show that your goals align with theirs.

As a long-term admirer of the contributions to solar panel technology being made by your team at GreenWays Engineering, I’m excited to submit my application for the open entry-level technician position posted on your site. As a recent graduate from the University of Rochester with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering, I’m confident that my knowledge of PV systems, practical experience performing energy modeling assessments, and precise attention to detail will make me an asset at GreenWays.

4. Impress employers with a relevant accomplishment

The best cover letters demonstrate a candidate’s expertise. If you already have experience in your field, start your cover letter by noting a professional achievement that showcases a meaningful contribution at a previous workplace.

Accomplished

With over six years of diverse accounting experience under my belt, I’ve cultivated a strong foundation in financial management and cost reduction strategies, enabling me to make a substantial impact on any team. For instance, during my tenure at Smith Johnson & Sons, I balanced a $400,000 budget while reducing costs by 20% for a client. I’m eager to bring my attention to detail and analytical abilities to the Senior Accountant role at Walker & Company and achieve similar results while further enhancing my expertise.

Draw a connection between your achievement and how the skills you gained will help you succeed in your next role.

By highlighting specific accomplishments, you reassure employers that you’ll be an asset to their company.

5. Acknowledge a career change

Writing a career change cover letter can be daunting when you’re up against more experienced applicants. The key to winning over hiring managers is to demonstrate how your skills and experience transfer to your target job.

One great approach is to directly address your career change in the opening paragraph of your cover letter and make a convincing case for why they should hire you. This way, they’ll be more likely to consider your application instead of making a hasty decision to reject you due to your lack of experience.

Resourceful

As a self-taught makeup artist, I’m most fulfilled when I’m practicing makeup techniques at my full time role as a certified nursing assistant — for years I’ve honed my skills and made my patients feel beautiful, whether for special occasions or as part of our daily care routine. Inspired by your brand’s commitment to centering women over 50, I’d love to bring my eye for aesthetics, empathy, and incredibly steady hand to your team as I transition to my dream career.

This candidate includes transferable skills and relevant experience working closely with the company’s customer base so the hiring manager knows they’re a great fit despite their limited experience.

6. Demonstrate what you can do for the company

Ultimately, employers want evidence that you’ll quickly be able to contribute to the company after being hired.

To catch their attention, use the opening lines of your cover letter to highlight either a problem you can help them tackle, or any specific hard or soft skills you have to offer.

I’m writing to apply for the Software Engineer role at Jasper Development. With over five years of experience as a backend engineer, I’m confident that my expertise would allow me to become an immediate contributor to the team at Jasper. Specifically, I understand that Jasper is looking to expand their services in cloud computing. At my previous job, I spearheaded a new cloud computing project that generated a 15% revenue increase. The Software Engineer role at Jasper would be an exciting opportunity for me to help your team build up the company’s cloud computing capacity while continuing to hone my skills in this area.

By including the project type, their role, and a quantifiable achievement that added value to the company, the hiring manager can easily see that this applicant would be an asset.

7. Be direct

Hiring managers are busy people, and often don’t have time to read each applicant’s cover letter thoroughly. To make sure your application isn’t overlooked, write a short cover letter that gets straight to the point in the opening lines.

I’m writing to apply for the restaurant manager position at La Fare Bistro. With more than eight years in the restaurant industry as a host, server, and manager, I’m confident that my expertise aligns closely with the responsibilities required of the restaurant manager position.

To model your cover letter’s first paragraph after this one, clearly and concisely state what job you’re applying for and why you’d be a good fit. The end result is a straightforward cover letter intro that makes you seem confident and qualified.

8. Reference industry trends or recent news

Another great way to let hiring managers know you’re a good fit is to mention recent trends in the field or give your take on relevant news that will impact the business.

As a passionate follower of the biotechnology sector, I was thrilled to read about Sinom Innovations’ recent breakthrough in risk reduction through personalized medicine. As a seasoned biomedical engineer with a 10+ year background in genetics and data analysis, I’d love to bring my experience in planning customized treatments to Sinom’s mission of revolutionizing patient care.

Be sure to explain later in your cover letter how your experience has informed your take on the news to show hiring managers that you’re well-equipped to navigate industry changes and contribute to the company’s success.

9. Lead with an impressive statistic

Hiring managers love to see concrete proof of your achievements. Win them over right away by including a statistic that shows off your abilities in the opening sentence of your cover letter.

In my previous role as a marketing manager at Oracle Solutions, I led a team that achieved a 45% increase in lead generation within the first six months, surpassing our annual target. Recognizing that Apex Digital’s commitment to driving growth through innovative marketing strategies aligns perfectly with my own professional experience and skills, I am eager to explore the possibility of joining your company. I’d love to use my experience developing and executing successful marketing campaigns to contribute to the continued success of Apex.

This candidate hooks the reader with an impressive accomplishment in the first sentence, and then shifts the focus to what they can contribute if hired.

If you choose this angle for your cover letter, make sure you follow suit and let hiring managers know you’re prepared to achieve similar results at their company.

10. Use humor (if appropriate)

Hiring managers come across dozens of generic cover letters every day. Injecting humor into your cover letter opening is an effective way to add personality to your application and catch the hiring manager’s attention.

As an online native who’s obsessed (yes, obsessed) with the GoGourmet app, I was thrilled to see your listing for the Social Media Manager position at GoGourmet Studios. Before I started watching GoGourmet’s content, I didn’t know the difference between a ham steak and a lamb shank. While I still may not be much of a chef, I would consider myself something of a social media sommelier. With over three years of professional experience as an online brand manager under my belt, I’m confident my adaptability and hands-on branding experience would make me the ideal candidate to help GoGourmet expand their online presence and user base.

Before you decide to take a humorous approach to your cover letter intro, consider whether it’s appropriate. Some companies and industries may consider a casual tone unprofessional.

Do some research into the company culture to determine whether a casual tone is acceptable.

11. Explain how you were introduced to the company

If you’re applying to a company whose work you’re already familiar with, sharing your personal experience is one way to establish an immediate connection.

When I lived on Park Street, the smell of your bagels baking made me a morning person — and a loyal customer. Before long, I was recommending Bo’s Bagels to strangers on the street. 3 years later, I’m sure you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover an open position at Bo’s as an advertising specialist. I’ve directed successful campaigns for a range of small businesses in the community — most recently increasing foot traffic at a local farmer’s market by 35% — and I’m confident my expertise will help establish Bo’s Bagels as the community staple it deserves to be.

This example uses a bit of flattery paired with an example of relevant experience to show that this applicant is the best person to lead the company’s advertising campaign.

12. Start with a unique skill

If you have an uncommon skill that sets you apart from other applicants, your cover letter introduction is a great place to mention it.

Growing up trilingual and deeply connected to both my Spanish and Arabic-speaking sides of the family, I’ve been lucky enough to participate in a truly multicultural society. When I learned about Borderless Inc.’s dedication to bridging cultural gaps through expert translation and localization services, I knew I’d found the perfect opportunity to leverage my unique language skills and multicultural experience. I am confident that my linguistic expertise and exceptional communication skills will enable me to excel as a localization specialist, fostering growth and success in the increasingly interconnected global market.

If you choose to lead with your skills, make sure to use the rest of your cover letter to emphasize how your experience has prepared you to fulfill the daily responsibilities of the role. That way, hiring managers will have a clearer picture of how you can apply this featured skill.

Need help crafting a killer cover letter introduction? Try using an AI cover letter generator that can help you come up with creative new ideas.

Cover letter introduction template

If you’re still not sure how to start your cover letter, below is a text template you can copy and paste into a document.

Once you’ve got your cover letter opening down, don’t forget to pay attention to the rest of your cover letter format .

YOUR NAME Address : Street, City, State, Zip Code | Email : [email protected] | Phone : (303) 456-7876 | LinkedIn : linkedin.com/in/your.profile

Dear [Mr./Ms./Mx.] [Hiring Manager’s Last Name],

I was excited to see the [Position Name] listing at [Company Name] on [Job Search Platform]. Given my [relevant experience] and expertise in [area of expertise], I am writing to express my interest in the position, as I have long admired [Company Name]’s efforts to [company goal]. In my previous work at [Company Name], I [professional accomplishment], demonstrating keen [relevant hard or soft skills]. I believe that these experiences have prepared me well to [professional achievement goal] at [Company Name].

Tips for beginning a cover letter

An engaging opening paragraph can go a long way toward winning over the employer from the start.

1. Include the essential elements

Your cover letter introduction should include the following information in the first couple of sentences:

  • The position you’re applying for
  • The company you’re applying to
  • How you learned about the job opening
  • A statement expressing and explaining your interest in the position
  • Any achievements that highlight your qualifications

Your goal is to hit these points in your introduction concisely . Hiring managers often have to pore over dozens of applications at a time, and one way to make a good impression is to respect their time by writing a cover letter that gets straight to the point.

Don’t neglect the fact that how you address your cover letter plays an important part in making a great first impression. “ To Whom it May Concern ” or “ Dear Sir or Madam ” are classic cover letter openers, but these days many hiring managers consider them outdated.

2. Pay special attention to your cover letter’s opening line

Knowing what to write in the opening lines of your cover letter can be difficult because you need to concisely sum up your qualifications as a candidate and make the best possible impression.

Here are 5 cover letter opening sentence examples to give you some ideas:

How to write a cover letter opening line as a recent graduate

Dear Ms. Casey,

As a recent graduate of Western Michigan University with a degree in business-oriented chemistry, I was excited to see your listing on Indeed for a Marketing Associate at AMCOL Corp.

How to write a cover letter opening line that makes a connection

Dear Ms. Nguyen,

After speaking with my former colleague Mary Waltman about the open Real Estate Agent position at Weichert Co., I decided I couldn’t miss out on such an exciting opportunity and am writing to express my interest in joining your agency.

How to write a cover letter opening line that puts relevant experience first

Dear Mr. Wilson,

As a cybersecurity expert with 3 years of experience in online banking systems, I am seeking a new opportunity and was intrigued by your job listing for a Cybersecurity Consultant.

How to write a cover letter opening line that mentions skills and training

Dear Mr. Garcia,

As a responsible and organized NNA-trained notary, I am writing to apply for the Notary Public position with PRA Group listed on Linkedin.

How to write a cover letter opening line that mentions being referred by a current employee

Dear Ms. Evans,

With 6+ years of K-12 teaching experience, I was thrilled to hear that you have an opening for a 4th grade teacher from John Marquez, whom I worked with for several years at Whitman Elementary School.

The examples above are effective because they immediately indicate the position the candidate is applying for, as well as their relevant experience, qualifications, or connections.

Including informative details like this in the first sentence quickly gives employers an idea of what makes you an ideal candidate, and encourages them to keep reading.

3. Match the tone of the company’s site or socials

The best cover letter opening lines are simple, direct, and informative.

While it can be tempting to use cover letter starters that are unique and add flair to your application, you should make sure that your opening is appropriate for the company culture. Otherwise, you risk your cover letter coming across as unprofessional or gimmicky.

Before you begin writing your cover letter, spend some time browsing the company’s social media, such as LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook.

If they have a website or blog, pay special attention to the tone of their “about us” section, where you can usually get a good idea of what the company culture is like. Then, model the tone of your cover letter after the company’s voice, while still letting your unique personality and writing style shine through.

Still have writer’s block? Our list of the best AI cover letter generators will help you get started.

How to Start a Cover Letter

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

What do I include in my introduction?

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The introduction of your cover letter should begin with a greeting to a specific person ("Dear Ms. Kincaid"), followed by a statement of who you are and why you are writing (why you are a good candidate).

How to catch the attention of the reader.

As the purpose of your introduction is to catch the reader's attention and make you stand out, you need to be as specific as possible in this section. Here are some tips on how to start your introduction:

  • State the university you attend, your major, and what position you are applying for (if you are a student).
  • Mention where you heard about the job.
  • Mention the name of a professor or other contact who has a positive connection with the company.
  • Bring up any previous conversations you have had with your reader (i.e., at a job fair).

Some examples:

How to make a strong claim for yourself.

After gaining the initial attention of the reader, you must make a strong claim about your candidacy and that you match the needs of the job and the company. Clearly state two-three qualifications you have that match the company/position. These qualifications will then be the focus of your body paragraphs and arguments. Some examples:

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How To Write A Cover Letter For A Job In 2023 (With Examples)

  • How To Write A Cover Letter
  • When Is A Cover Letter Necessary
  • Free Cover Letter Templates
  • Cover Letter Mistakes To Avoid
  • Cover Letter Tips
  • How To Sell Yourself In A Cover Letter

Find a Job You Really Want In

Cover letters aren’t required with every application, but the majority of managers pay more attention to a candidate who includes a cover letter. This is especially so if you make an effort to tailor your letter to the specific position. It’s important not to just change the names and job positions, but also to show how your professional experience fits with the job.

A good cover letter greatly increases your chance of getting an interview. If you’re looking to write a cover letter, rework a letter that you have, or just want to know what’s involved in the job application process, then keep reading.

Key Takeaways:

A cover letter should be a maximum of one page long, with three to five paragraphs.

Before writing your cover letter, it’s important to reread the job description and include keywords from it.

Do research to figure out who you are addressing, and make sure to keep your greeting gender neutral if you don’t know.

Tailoring your resume to each job can help you stand out from other candidates.

How To Write A Cover Letter For A Job in 2022 (With Examples)

What is a cover letter?

Why cover letters are important, how to write a cover letter, cover letter examples, cover letter template, do’s and don’ts in a cover letter, cover letter faq, expert opinion.

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A cover letter is a one-page document that describes your professional background, fitness for the role, and interest in the company. Cover letters are a way of introducing yourself to hiring managers in a more engaging way than resumes can.

While your resume spells out the “who, what, where, when” of your relevant experience, a cover letter fills in the “why” and “how.” A good cover letter not only expands on your resume’s accomplishments but also highlights the soft skills that make you an excellent person to work alongside.

While there are no official formatting guidelines for cover letters, hiring managers and recruiters do have certain expectations regarding structure, length, and content.

Writing a good cover letter is important because it is your chance to stand out from other potential candidates. Showing your personality while also matching the tone of the company will help recruiters to visualize how you could fit into the role.

Simply submitting a cover letter isn’t enough though. Each cover letter you write should be specifically tailored to the job you’re applying for (just like resumes). It’s essential that you show the reader that you’ve done your homework and understand exactly what function you’d be serving if hired. You do that by providing examples of past work experiences that directly relate to the responsibilities of the new job.

Cover letters are inherently unique based on who’s writing them and for what position. However, as a cover letter is a business letter, it has an expected format that it should follow. This is important because you want the hiring manager to be able to look over your cover letter quickly and understand your qualifications and interest in the position.

Here’s the standard way that a cover letter should be formatted and what to include:

The header. The header of your letter is where you should input all of the contact information for yourself and the hiring manager . Do you best to address it directly to the person who’ll be reading the letter — typically either the hiring manager or HR manager.

Traditionally, you should include both your name and address and the employer’s name and address. However, as the majority of applications are online, the employer’s address is often omitted. But a traditional cover letter’s heading would look like this:

Page Roman 444 Frog Rd. Marigold, TX, 10987 August 27th, 2021 Chris Morgan Marketing Manager New Media Company 833 Rune Rd. Marigold, TX, 10987

If you’re emailing your cover letter, you can simply include your name, telephone number, email address, and fewer address details (just your city and state will suffice). You can also include a zip code if you live in a big city with multiple zip codes.

Jessica Dancer jessica. dancer @email.email | (555)-444-3333 | Colombus, OH 43110

Be sure to use a professional-sounding email address that’s not associated with your current or past employer. It’s disrespectful to both your current employer and the company you’re applying to, and will likely hurt your chances of being invited for an interview.

The greeting or salutation. Traditionally, the best salutation would be to use Dear Mr./Ms. [Last Name]. Make sure that you know the person’s gender when doing this, however, as you don’t want to misgender the hiring manager. Using “Dear [First Name] [Last Name]” is becoming more popular for this reason, patriotically among younger workers.

Dear Mr. Morgan, Dear Mrs. Smith Dear Ms. Conner

Avoid using generic greetings such as “To whom it may concern” as it’ll look like you didn’t bother to personalize the letter (even if you did.) That particular phrase has become somewhat controversial as well, so if you need to put a generic address — if you can’t find the hiring manager’s name, for instance — use something else, such as:

Dear Hiring Manager Dear [Department] Manager Dear [Title of the Person You’d Report to if Hired] Dear [Department] Hiring Team

Opening paragraph. The opening of your professional cover letter should instantly grab the attention of your reader . Try to lead off with one of your most relevant and impressive accomplishments.

Open strong . Open with a statement other than your name or stating your interest in the position. Lead with an interesting experience or achievement that directly relates to the new position.

Convey your personal value. There are always other qualified applicants with similar skills, so it is key to express why you personally would bring value to the organization. Give specific details as to the value you brought in a previous position, and how that could transfer to the new role.

Show your enthusiasm. Recruiters want to hire candidates who are excited about the position. Express enthusiasm and convey why you are passionate about the role. This is another opportunity to share a quick personal anecdote related to the job.

Keep it short. All of these points in your opening paragraph shouldn’t be more than a sentence or two each. You don’t want your introduction to be too long, as you want the reader to be able to quickly go through your cover letter.

As a Content Writer with a passion for travel and literature, I was thrilled to see the Senior Content Writer position open up at BookFly. My past experience driving organic traffic by 23% YoY to the travel website, XTravel, would translate perfectly into the position’s stated goals from the job description.

First body paragraph. Here is where you should really sell yourself across several areas. Showcase how your personality traits, such as being honest or having the ability to work under pressure, make you a good fit.

Emphasize transferable skills. Explain how the skills you’ve cultivated make you the perfect fit for the role. This can include collaborative work you’ve done in the past, a leadership role you had that drove results, or interpersonal skills.

Revisit the job description. Make sure to pull relevant skills from the job description and put them in your cover letter. If the hiring manager spent the time to list those skills, they’re going to be looking for candidates that have them.

It also helps with applicant tracking systems that may sift through cover letters looking for keywords.

Don’t skimp on personality traits. These are especially important if you don’t have a lot of experience. Desirable skills such as ambition, dedication, and getting work done on time are good for both entry-level positions and if you’re making a career change.

I have a passion for content creation and a deep understanding of the content cycle, from ideation to promotion. My years in the digital publishing world have crafted my ability to drive killer CTR and resonate with an audience. Not only did CTR jump by 2.1% in the months after I was brought on board, but it had a knock-on effect on social media engagement, which rose by 8% in the same time frame. I believe good content has its roots in good data. This is why while at Media Company I created a content-marketing dashboard to highlight KPIs like those mentioned above. The dashboard allowed us to take advantage of wins more rapidly and avoid repeating losses.

Second body paragraph. Just as an employer wants to know why you’d want the role, they also want to know why you’d want to work at their company. Do your research and learn more about the core values of the company. Discuss how they align with your own.

Check the company’s website but also start to explore LinkedIn for greater insights. Employers want to make sure that you fit into the overall culture, and this is also something you should consider for yourself. However you feel you fit into the work culture, explain to the recruiter why. Paint a picture of how you’ll be better from the company, and how the company will also benefit.

I thrive in a fast-paced environment and excel at creating structures from scratch. I spearheaded our SEO efforts, developing workflows and systems to ramp up content production from zero. BookFly’s commitment to core values of “collaboration and imagination” aligns with my own preferred approach to tackling projects and dreaming of big ideas.

Closing. The closing of your letter is your final impression to the hiring manager, and therefore should clearly express your eagerness to take on the position. You don’t need to rehash all of the accomplishments and skills highlighted in previous sections. Consider this more of a statement of intent.

First, express gratitude that they took the time to consider you for the job by making it all the way through your letter. Then, quickly remind them of the benefits that you can bring to the role and company.

Finally, your closing should state a clear call-to-action (CTA) for the recruiter to take next, such as calling you to schedule an interview. Being confident and direct at the end of your cover letter helps to close the deal.

I look forward to learning more about how the Senior Content Writer operates within BookFly and the current content process. Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. Sincerely, Jessica Dancer

With thousands of cover letter templates on the internet, you want to make sure you choose the right one. Here’s a basic format of what a good cover letter will contain:

Jessica Dancer [email protected] | (555)-444-3333 | Colombus, OH 43110 Dear Mr. Morgan, As a Content Writer with a passion for travel and literature, I was thrilled to see the Senior Content Writer position open up at BookFly. My past experience driving organic traffic by 23% YoY to the travel website, XTravel, would translate perfectly into the position’s stated goals from the job description. I have a passion for content creation and a deep understanding of the content cycle, from ideation to promotion. My years in the digital publishing world have crafted my ability to drive killer CTR and resonate with an audience. Not only did CTR jump by 2.1% in the months after I was brought on board, but it had a knock-on effect on social media engagement, which rose by 8% in the same time frame. I believe good content has its roots in good data. This is why while at Media Company I created a content-marketing dashboard to highlight KPIs like those mentioned above. The dashboard allowed us to take advantage of wins more rapidly and avoid repeating losses. I thrive in a fast-paced environment and excel at creating structures from scratch. I spearheaded our SEO efforts, developing workflows and systems to ramp up content production from zero. BookFly’s commitment to core values of “collaboration and imagination” aligns with my own preferred approach to tackling projects and dreaming of big ideas. I look forward to learning more about how the Senior Content Writer operates within BookFly and the current content process. Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. Sincerely, Jessica Dancer

If you’re putting the cover letter in an email, you can omit putting the contact information at the top and instead include it below your signature. You want to make sure to include your name, phone number, and LinkedIn link, as well as a professional portfolio , if applicable.

Dear hiring manager: I am writing about the position of veterinary receptionist at Pet Care Clinic posted on indeed.com. I am a certified dog trainer with both Petsmart and Petco, allowing me insight into animal behavior. I’m also an aspiring novelist , making me a fast, experienced typist as well as adept with Microsoft Word and Apple Pages. Since I’ve worked at pet stores for several years, I am familiar with different kinds of animal and animal care, as well as building a rapport with pet owners. While I enjoy working with animals and my coworkers, I would like to move into a business where I can continue to learn and build on my experience. I would also like to work for a smaller business. Veterinary medicine has always interested me, and I very much enjoy learning new things. I’m eager to learn more about it in order to help customers make the best choices for their pets. I’ve always enjoyed working with animals, even before I was able to get a job that allowed me to. I grew up with dogs and cats, so I’m comfortable and familiar with their behavior. Being a pet owner myself, I’m able to understand what customers are looking for in a veterinary clinic and tailor the experience to their needs. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Michelle Bolivar Email: [email protected] Phone: (555) 545-9706
[your contact information] [date] Dear [Hiring Manager], I’m writing to apply for the open [position] at [company] that you posted [place job ad was found]. I believe that my [relevant experience] would be an excellent fit with [company name]. I have long been interested in [specific industry/department], and particularly your company because [why you’re interested in the company/awards they have won/accomplishments]. That experience and [relevant skills] that I’ve cultivated as a [current position] for [time worked in position or industry] will be an asset to the company as it’ll make me effective [at the job/particular aspect of the job]. The [responsibilities required in the job description] will be a [challenge/interesting task] and I look forward to making use of my [relevant skills]. I excel at [working with a team/working alone] and I want to use my expertise to further [company’s] success. I am excited about the possibilities this position holds, and I believe that my qualifications ensure I’d be an asset to your team. I look forward to being able to further discuss the details of the position and my qualifications with you in an interview. Please let me know if you require further information from me. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, [Your name] [Your contact information (if it’s an email)

Knowing the proper format of a cover letter is the most important factor, of course, but there are some additional dos and don’ts that if you follow can make your cover letter better. It’s during the editing process, it’s important to go over and make sure that you haven’t made any common mistakes that’ll hurt your chances.

Here are 10 dos and don’ts for writing a good cover letter:

Do’s:

Do start by scanning the original job posting for keywords you can include in your letter.

Do be proud of your accomplishments and make sure to highlight them.

Do clearly express why you would be an asset to the organization.

Do tailor your cover letter to every hiring manager and position that you apply for.

Do try to find unique experiences, but make sure to always discuss measurable and relevant results.

Don’ts:

Don’t feel the need to lie about your skills or accomplishments. One of the worst mistakes to make is being caught in a lie.

Don’t copy and paste a template and only change your name and job titles. Recruiters will not see the value in a plug-in-play cover letter that has been used by multiple applicants.

Don’t forget to be direct and include a call to action.

Don’t make your cover letter too long. Similar to your resume, you want the reader to sum up who you are and get a quick explanation of why you’re a good fit.

Don’t forget to proofread. Grammatical errors on a cover letter and resume are a quick way to get your packet in the “no pile”.

What do you write in a cover letter?

In a cover letter, you should mostly write about impressive accomplishments from past jobs or academic experiences that relate to the job you’re applying for.

What is the purpose of cover letter?

The purpose of a cover letter is to help a hiring manager see why your background makes you suitable for the role in question. While a resume lists achievements, educational background , and skills , it doesn’t give the reader an idea of your actual expertise or personality.

A cover letter allows you to share your approach to work, as well as your ability to communicate your value effectively. A good cover letter makes it easy for a reader to think “I could imagine this person working for us.”

How do you write a simple cover letter?

To write a simple cover letter, start with the header and greeting we outlined above. Next, state your interest in the position (give the exact job title as listed in the job description) and mention your years of industry/job experience.

To keep your cover letter simple, you can now briefly mention in 1-2 sentences or 3-4 bullet points what parts of your background are most important for the hiring manager.

Finally, thank the reader for considering your application, and sign off as usual (e.g., “Sincerely, [full name]”).

What is the best way to start a cover letter?

The best way to start a cover letter is with an accomplishment that speaks directly to your ability to provide value for the company. Other good strategies include describing your long-standing passion for the field, mentioning an important reference at the company, or referring specifically to challenges the company is currently facing.

Do you introduce yourself in a cover letter?

No, you do not introduce yourself in a cover letter. By that we mean you do not say “My name is so-and-so” — you simply jump into your background and why you’re interested in the position.

Your name can be found at the bottom of the cover letter, as well as the header, your email address, and your resume, so there’s no need to force it awkwardly into your cover letter’s opening.

How do you end a cover letter?

To end a cover letter, thank the reader for their time and/or consideration, express enthusiasm for further correspondence and conversation, and sign off with a standard closing like “Sincerely.”

How long should a cover letter be?

A cover letter should be a maximum of one page long, with three to five paragraphs. Half a page is the shortest that your cover letter should be.

Harvard Business Review — How to Write a Cover Letter

University of Washington — Writing the Cover Letter

What’s a quick cover letter tip?

what is an author cover letter

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Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

Matt Warzel a President of a resume writing firm (MJW Careers, LLC) with 15+ years of recruitment, outplacement, career coaching and resume writing experience. Matt is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing Focus) from John Carroll University.

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CRediT author statement

CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) was introduced with the intention of recognizing individual author contributions, reducing authorship disputes and facilitating collaboration. The idea came about following a 2012 collaborative workshop led by Harvard University and the Wellcome Trust, with input from researchers, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and publishers, including Elsevier, represented by Cell Press.

CRediT offers authors the opportunity to share an accurate and detailed description of their diverse contributions to the published work.

The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that the descriptions are accurate and agreed by all authors

The role(s) of all authors should be listed, using the relevant above categories

Authors may have contributed in multiple roles

CRediT in no way changes the journal’s criteria to qualify for authorship

CRediT statements should be provided during the submission process and will appear above the acknowledgment section of the published paper as shown further below.

Term

Definition

Conceptualization

Ideas; formulation or evolution of overarching research goals and aims

Methodology

Development or design of methodology; creation of models

Software

Programming, software development; designing computer programs; implementation of the computer code and supporting algorithms; testing of existing code components

Validation

Verification, whether as a part of the activity or separate, of the overall replication/ reproducibility of results/experiments and other research outputs

Formal analysis

Application of statistical, mathematical, computational, or other formal techniques to analyze or synthesize study data

Investigation

Conducting a research and investigation process, specifically performing the experiments, or data/evidence collection

Resources

Provision of study materials, reagents, materials, patients, laboratory samples, animals, instrumentation, computing resources, or other analysis tools

Data Curation

Management activities to annotate (produce metadata), scrub data and maintain research data (including software code, where it is necessary for interpreting the data itself) for initial use and later reuse

Writing - Original Draft

Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically writing the initial draft (including substantive translation)

Writing - Review & Editing

Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work by those from the original research group, specifically critical review, commentary or revision – including pre-or postpublication stages

Visualization

Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically visualization/ data presentation

Supervision

Oversight and leadership responsibility for the research activity planning and execution, including mentorship external to the core team

Project administration

Management and coordination responsibility for the research activity planning and execution

Funding acquisition

Acquisition of the financial support for the project leading to this publication

*Reproduced from Brand et al. (2015), Learned Publishing 28(2), with permission of the authors.

Sample CRediT author statement

Zhang San:  Conceptualization, Methodology, Software  Priya Singh. : Data curation, Writing- Original draft preparation.  Wang Wu : Visualization, Investigation.  Jan Jansen :  Supervision. : Ajay Kumar : Software, Validation.:  Sun Qi:  Writing- Reviewing and Editing,

Read more about CRediT  here opens in new tab/window  or check out this  article from  Authors' Updat e:  CRediT where credit's due .

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COMMENTS

  1. How to write a cover letter for journal submission

    The cover letter should explain why your work is perfect for their journal and why it will be of interest to the journal's readers. When writing for publication, a well-written cover letter can help your paper reach the next stage of the manuscript submission process - being sent out for peer review .

  2. Author Cover Letter Examples (How to Write & Format)

    Your name. Whether your piece is a simultaneous submission, i.e., if you will be sending the same piece to several literary journals or magazines at the same time. Template Author Cover Letter. [Your Full Name] [Your Address] [City, State, Zip Code] [Your Email Address] [Your Phone Number] [Date]

  3. How to Write a Cover Letter for a Literary Journal Submission

    A cover letter is never a place to be cute, as in, "I live with my seven gerbils and love Swedish Fish!" ... Michelle Richmond is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels and two ...

  4. How To Write A Killer Cover Letter to Publishers

    Image via Pixabay. 4. A word count. This is a simple and necessary inclusion to let publishers know how long your novel is. 5. A killer author bio. Be interesting, be readable and draw publishers in with who you are and what you intend to do with your work. Here is also the place to list existing publishing credentials, and relevant education ...

  5. How to Write an Author Cover Letter

    Stick with the standard business letter format. Unless you have letterhead, which is not necessary, type your address followed by the date. Space down a line and list the name, title, and address of the person to whom you are writing. For paper submissions, use standard copy paper; type, don't handwrite; and absolutely no illustrations.

  6. Cover letters

    Then, write a letter that explains why the editor would want to publish your manuscript. The following structure covers all the necessary points that need to be included. If known, address the editor who will be assessing your manuscript by their name. Include the date of submission and the journal you are submitting to.

  7. How to Write an Effective Cover Letter for Journal Submission

    When closing a cover letter for journal submission, it's important to maintain a professional and courteous tone. A common closing salutation is "Sincerely," followed by your name. However, some alternatives that are also appropriate include "Best regards," "Thank you for your time and consideration," or "Respectfully.".

  8. Cover letters

    Cover Letters. The cover letter is a formal way to communicate with journal editors and editorial staff during the manuscript submission process. Most often, a cover letter is needed when authors initially submit their manuscript to a journal and when responding to reviewers during an invitation to revise and resubmit the manuscript.

  9. How to Write a Cover Letter for Journal Submission

    Keep all text left justified. Use spelling and grammar check software. If needed, use a proofreading service or cover letter editing service such as Wordvice to review your letter for clarity and concision. Double-check the editor's name. Call the journal to confirm if necessary.

  10. Writing a cover letter

    Your cover letter should include. The objective and approach of your research. Any novel contributions reported. Why your manuscript should be published in this journal. Any special considerations about your submission. Related papers by you and/or your fellow authors (published or under consideration) Previous reviews of your submission.

  11. Example Cover Letter For Manuscript Submission

    Your cover letter should be single-spaced, written in standard block or semi-block format, and a double space between paragraphs. If you mail your manuscript, you should consider writing your cover letter on plain white 8 ½ "by 11" paper. As mentioned earlier, the number of parts in a letter may vary.

  12. How to Write a Submission Cover Letter That Will Wow Literary Agents

    Use a standard business letter format with your contact information at the top, followed by the agent's details and the date. Address the agent by name if possible, as it shows you've done your research and personalized the letter. Next, introduce yourself and mention the title of your manuscript.

  13. How To Write a Covering Letter

    An agent's advice. Here is the advice of literary agent Simon Trewin on writing an introductory letter: " Life is short and less is more. No letter should be more than one side of A4 and in a good-sized (12pt) clear typeface. Sell yourself. The covering letter is one of the most important pages you will ever write.

  14. How to write a cover letter for manuscript submission

    An inquiry letter should have three main sections: introduction and top-line message, a captivating synthesis of the manuscript, and the inquiry followed by a wrap-up. A manuscript inquiry letter should catch the editor's attention and communicate that your research is something new and innovative, which has the potential to change the field.

  15. Author Cover Letter Example (Free Guide)

    Author Cover Letter Sample. Dear [Name], I am writing to apply for the position of Author at [Company]. With a background in creative writing and various publications, I feel confident that I have the qualifications and experience to be a great addition to the team.

  16. Author Cover Letter Examples & Samples for 2024

    Author Cover Letter Examples. Authors create works of fictions and non-fiction, such as magazine articles, web content, novels, poetry, short stories, and scripts. Many Authors are self-employed and also handle self-promotion. Typical work activities of an Author include: securing writing jobs, choosing subject matters, discussing requirements ...

  17. What should be included in a cover letter?

    A cover letter is a simple, brief business letter, designed to introduce your manuscript to a prospective Editor. If the Guide for Authors does not specify what to include in your cover letter, you may wish to include some of the following items: Specify special considerations that should be given to the paper (if any).

  18. Ready To Submit: Writing a Cover Letter

    Writing a Cover Letter. When submitting a manuscript, authors will need to additionally submit a cover letter. The purpose of this letter is to highlight the importance and relevance of your research. To assist with preparing your cover letter to include all points, you can download and use our sample cover letter as a guide.

  19. The Perfect Cover Letter: Advice From a Lit Mag Editor

    When submitting your short-form literature to a magazine or journal, your cover letter is often the first piece of writing an editor sees. It serves as an introduction to your thoughtfully crafted art. As such, it is significant, but it shouldn't be intimidating or even take much time to write. As editor at 2 Elizabeths, I see a variety of ...

  20. How To Write A Publisher Cover Letter

    Add too much salt or too little vanilla to a cake and it throws off the taste. To write an ideal cover letter make sure you follow these instructions and include the following elements. 1. Start with an attention-grabbing introduction. The introduction of your book proposal cover letter is the most important part.

  21. What a Cover Letter for Journal Submission Should Include

    The cover letter is also the right place to communicate relevant information of organisational nature. For example, if there are time pressures or restrictions on the publication of the manuscript. Do mention if there is a companion manuscript with which publication has to be synchronised. Nature Astronomy doesn't do series, but if your ...

  22. Journals Submission Checklists

    A cover letter explaining your revision to the editor is optional. The cover letter should be entered into the online submission form, not uploaded as a separate file. If there is any change in authorship, including author order, this must be explained in the cover letter. All co-authors will receive a confirmation of the new submission.

  23. 12 Ways to Start a Cover Letter: Examples & Tips

    12 winning ways to start your cover letter. Our sample cover letter introductions will help you learn how to open a cover letter in a way that stands out and boosts your chances of landing an interview. 1. Mention a contact within the company. If you were referred by a former coworker, classmate, or friend who's highly regarded in their ...

  24. Cover Letter Introductions

    Here are some tips on how to start your introduction: State the university you attend, your major, and what position you are applying for (if you are a student). Mention where you heard about the job. Mention the name of a professor or other contact who has a positive connection with the company. Bring up any previous conversations you have had ...

  25. How To Write A Cover Letter For A Job In 2023 (With Examples)

    In a cover letter, you should mostly write about impressive accomplishments from past jobs or academic experiences that relate to the job you're applying for. ... Author. Chris Kolmar. Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five ...

  26. How to Write a Cover Letter: Guide + Examples

    Avoid addressing the recipient with "Dear Sir or Madam," which is outdated and impersonal. It's always best to address them by their title and name. For example: Good cover letter greeting examples: "Dear hiring manager,". "Dear [XYZ Company] team,". "Dear Customer Acquisition Hiring Manager,". Weak cover letter greeting examples:

  27. CRediT author statement

    CRediT author statement. CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) was introduced with the intention of recognizing individual author contributions, reducing authorship disputes and facilitating collaboration. The idea came about following a 2012 collaborative workshop led by Harvard University and the Wellcome Trust, with input from researchers, the ...

  28. Jobscan

    Cover Letter Guides Guides, tips, and advice for writing a convincing cover letter that makes you stand out from the crowd. Job Search Advice Tips and hacks for saving time and getting better results in your job search. LinkedIn Guides Learn how to craft the perfect LinkedIn profile. Guides on headlines, summaries, work experience, and more.

  29. Page thumbnails and bookmarks in PDFs, Adobe Acrobat

    Open the Page Thumbnails side panel. Select a page thumbnail, and choose Page Properties from the Options menu . In the Page Properties dialog, select Tab Order, and then select the tab order. Use Row Order. Moves through rows from left to right, or right to left for pages with a right-to-left binding. Use Column Order.