Hello Tadpole1 -
Thank you for sending me a review request! I was more than happy to check out your item and have enclosed the following comments for your consideration:
First, I would consider putting something personal about the editor at the beginning of your letter. I always think it's a nice touch to personalize a letter so the recipient knows that you've put time and thought into contacting them, rather than just dashing off a form letter to everyone you can think of (even if that's what you're actually doing ). If it were me, I might start a cover letter along the following lines:
Dear Mr. [Editor]:
I am writing to congratulate you on [the recent success of a client / the recent announcement of some exciting news]. I'm a big fan of [that client/your work], and I was hoping for a moment of your time to tell you about THE KILLING CURE, a 121,000-word science fiction thriller I've written. Imagine an intercontinental version of Michael Crichton's Prey filled with intrigue, betrayal, and romance.
I also feel like the synopsis/summary is a tad too long. Both paragraphs together total almost 300 words, which I think will get a little cumbersome in what should be a brief query letter. I would recommend cutting it down at least in half, and have included a version below that pares down your two paragraphs into one:
Dr. Catherine Thompson, a spunky British researcher and head of NanoCures in London, has created a cure for cancer with spectacular results but mysterious side effects that include regained youth, development of strange eye colors, and sexual activity that’s off the charts. Powerful men, including her estranged father, steal her cure and wind up creating a pandemic virus. Catherine teams up to save the day with Ryan Jons, a brilliant autodidact, mechanic, and inventor whose desire for a simple life is challenged when Catherine waltzes into town and sets her sexy eyes on him. Ryan soon finds himself torn between a promise to always take care of his ailing sister and his involvement with Catherine.
As with the synopsis I've already sent notes on, I think less is more here. The shorter the read, the less likely the editor is to get bored, and the punchier you can make it without giving away too many details, the more likely they are to want to read the manuscript.
I would also slightly tweak the "once this book is accepted for publication I'll create a website" comment. While I think it's great to mention that you're a go-getter in terms of self-promotion, I think that line comes off as a little passive aggressive, like you're not willing to do the work until someone gives you the okay. I would revise (and combine it with the other paragraphs about yourself) so that you're generally talking yourself up like the following example:
As a previously published author (two short stories in anthologies), I know the value of an author working hard to promote their own work, and I am committed to getting this book out there. My research for THE KILLING CURE included visits to the nanotechnology labs at MIT and Vanderbilt, and I am in the process of developing a website to help promote the book upon its release. I also organize a tour group in Paris that has members from all over the world, many of whom I can tap as a core audience.
Finally, I would end with a slightly more robust call to action, just so the editor knows exactly what you want from him or her. Something like:
It would be my pleasure to send you a copy of the manuscript for review at your convenience. I can be reached at [email] or [phone] and sincerely look forward to the possibility of working with you.
Thank you in advance for your time and kind consideration, and I hope to hear from you soon.
I think you've got the bones of a good query letter here. With some revisions (noted above), you have the potential for a really professional letter that could potentially appeal to a lot of editors looking for new clients and material.
I hope you've found this review helpful and encouraging. Remember that these comments are only the opinion of one person, and it's ultimately up to you - the author - to decide which feedback to incorporate into your work. Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts; best of luck with your writing!
If you're interested in checking out my work:
"The Book of Jeff"
"New & Noteworthy Portfolio Items"
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