1. ken4907

    ken4907 New Member

    May 8, 2013
    Likes Received:
    New York City

    HELP! with my cover letter & synopsis

    Discussion in 'Marketing' started by ken4907, Apr 6, 2022.

    I've decided to try again to find an agent. Before sending out letters, I need help polishing. Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Dear Miss :

    More than thirty years ago, I discovered the satisfaction of writing novels. I also developed a passion for archaeology and managed to couple these two loves. Over the year I have visited countless sites around the world. One of these trips included Israel, Egypt, and Greece, all locations involved in THE ALKANO LETTERS, the first of an action/adventure series (currently four books), for which I am seeking an agent. The manuscript is approximately 90,000 words.

    I would greatly appreciate your review of my synopsis and the manuscript attached and hope you will be positively impressed with my work. I hope to ultimately have all the books in this series published and perhaps some of my work in science fiction, my other love.

    I must tell you that, after some failed attempts to find an agent or publisher, I self-published my work and have received many very favorable reviews. All of my work is copyrighted. If you have any interest in representing my work I will, of course, take any action you require concerning my self-published books.

    Thank you for your time and consideration of my work.


    THE ALKANO LETTERS is a story of intrigue, conspiracy, and romance. The action begins on the Greek island of Alkano, moves to Cairo's Giza Plateau, and culminates in the ancient cities of Megiddo, Qumran, and finally Jerusalem.

    Retired Major Craig Johnson, working as a mercenary, accepts a position to lead a team charged with protecting a group of archaeologists who have discovered 24 ancient letters in scattered locations across the Middle East and Greece. These letters, written during the time of Jesus, have enormous historical implications for the Christian world. A secret religious sect intercepts e-mails between the archaeologists and their sponsor. The sect initially does little more than observe the archaeologists, but their activity escalates to abductions and armed attacks.

    The team, including a group of graduate students, is led by world-renowned archaeologist Herbert Langford and his granddaughter, Erin Mathews. His untimely death, due to a fatal heart attack, forces Erin, a famous archaeologist in her own right, to take charge of the research. A journey to Egypt and Israel, where some of the letters were discovered by Langford, becomes critical to the investigation of the origin and meaning of the documents.

    Craig travels with Erin as she attempts to unravel the mystery. During the trip, the sect becomes increasingly vicious in its effort to terminate Erin’s research. The data she collects reveals the origin of the letters, leading to a lively debate between her and the students. They develop wild speculations about what the letters represent.

    During their travels, Erin and Craig become romantically involved. Both have recently gone through difficult divorces and have forsworn new relations. Despite their determination to maintain a professional relationship, they find themselves drawn together in a passionate liaison. What began for Craig as a straightforward task has become a complicated mission. He and his team must protect the group of archaeologists from escalating armed attacks while he resists the urge to simply carry Erin away to safety.

    The story concludes with the identity of the unnamed sponsor revealed and the astonishing resolution of the mystery of the letters, written between Jesus and members of his family.
    G. J. and Seven Crowns like this.
  2. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Apr 18, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Currently Reading::
    "Alas, Babylon" by Pat Frank
    Did they say how long the synopsis should be? 500 to 1000 words is pretty normal. So, 1 to 2 pages. You're at about 350. Some places ask for more. If their website doesn't say, I would actually query them and find out before you send this.

    Remember, your synopsis spoils the whole book. So when you mention the "mystery of the letters," you really need to define that. I would also define some of the details. For example, what do you mean by "increasingly vicious" or "wild speculations?" Pull out some concrete details from the book. That'll easily boost this to 500 words. You just get more specific if they want a greater word count. The publisher will feel the tension/mystery when they request your first chapters, but you actually do give the story away here.

    If you're trying mutiple publishers, it might be a good idea to have multiple synopses ready. One for each length. (Did I spell that plural synopses right? It didn't get a squiggle . . . I guess so, haha)
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2022
  3. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Contributor Contributor

    Jan 9, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Are you trying to get a previously self published work traditionally published? Is there any IP within the self published work that overlaps THE ALKANO LETTERS?
  4. ABeaujolais

    ABeaujolais Member

    Nov 6, 2021
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    I recommend rewriting the cover letter with focus on the audience. Almost all of your letter is "I" this, "I" that, "I" the other thing. Telling a target of marketing or advertising what you think or what you want is not going to elicit the reaction you're looking for, in fact it can be annoying. When you talk about yourself, it's it's likely you'll get a response of "Who cares?," rather than drawing in your reader and making them want more. Your audience isn't going to be interested until you get around to convincing them you're giving them what they want or need.

    You're making a first impression. The first sentence of your letter is likely the most important sentence in your correspondence. Think about what reaction you're trying to create. Try to put yourself into the shoes of the person reviewing your correspondence. If it were me, and I was looking for manuscripts that would be worth the financial risk, I wouldn't care much about how long ago you discovered the satisfaction of writing novels. Leave those details for your authorized biography and instead show in powerful fashion what your manuscript can do to help make them successful.
  5. G. J.

    G. J. New Member

    Jan 31, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Tennessee, US
    Currently Reading::
    The Crossing by Micheal Connelly
    You aren't introducing yourself in your letter. I have no idea who you are, what genres you like, where you hail from, etc.

    Except for not revealing the mystery, I'm impressed with your synopsis.
  6. ruskaya

    ruskaya Senior Member

    Mar 17, 2020
    Likes Received:
    not a pro, yet very curious
    I find these sentences weak--they are like how you would describe your situation to an acquaintance, but here you are trying to persuade an agent to pick up your work.

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