You're applying for a job where your words matter. Use them to craft a specific letter that speaks uniquely to the position and potential employer. Get to the Point: Some writers love to hear the sound of their own voice. Don't ramble or pontificate. Keep your letter tight, on target and to the point. Demonstrate the power of your words with brevity. Choose Your Tone Wisely: Match the voice of your letter to the tone of the job description.
A BLOG FOR EDITORS, PROOFREADERS AND WRITERS
If the description is formal, write a straightforward cover letter with a sophisticated voice. A fun, offbeat job description filled with humor gives you permission to let your guard down in your letter and spice it up. But don't go overboard on wackiness — when in doubt, reel it in. Demonstrate Your Writing Technique: Use the cover letter as an opportunity to showcase your command of your craft. Vivid description and imagery aren't just for poetry and prose.
Professional Writer Resume. Do you have any suggestions for figuring out who to contact at the publisher?
At a Glance: Cover Letter Writing
Some of the publisher websites specifically mention freelancers or provide directory information for their editorial department, human resources, or even just a general contact form, so it's easy to figure out a way to communicate with someone. Others do not seem to want anyone to contact them unless it is for orders or manuscript submissions. I am wondering is it implied they don't want freelance inquiries if they don't mention it.
I certainly don't want to irritate any potential employers. I used to work for a publisher who didn't advertise for freelancers but accepted resumes submitted to them, anyway.
Is that normal? Thanks for any guidance in this matter! As you've already discovered, Shirley, there's no 'normal'. Why not call up the company and ask who's in charge of freelance editors and proofreaders and how they prefer to be contacted? For many editorial freelancers, publisher clients provide a steady stream of repeat work. This makes them an attractive proposition for those wishing to expand their client portfolio.
Looking to hire a freelancer?
I like to include a brief CV with my cover letter. Why go direct? I could wait in the hope that publishers find my entries in a couple of core UK freelance directories. Perhaps they might land on my website. Because in-house production staff are busy — ridiculously busy. Walking into the production department of the London office of SAGE Publications for the 13 years I worked there was always an experience.
Seeing first-hand the inner workings of this particular department taught me more about this element of book publishing than any course or training manual ever will. The second thing to mention is that the furrowed-brow count was higher there than anywhere else in the building. The commissioning editors were balancing author and professional society relationships with acquisition targets. The customer service department staff were balancing sales with call-waiting times.
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The finance people were attempting to pay all the bills while keeping us in the black. But the production editors had it coming at them from all angles. Authors, commissioning editors, marketing managers, typesetters, printers, copy-editors, proofreaders, accountants — we all wanted a piece of them. This taught me two things: In-house production editors don't necessarily have time to scout around the internet to find little old me.
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Once they do know about me, they need me to hit the ground running. Something to keep on file " What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters. It sums up another benefit of sending a cold cover letter: the prospective client has something they can keep on file even if they don't have use for your services right now. Then, if those busy desk editors do embark on a recruitment drive, your details are already in their "to consider" pile. What to highlight when you first make contact In view of this, to get their attention you need to make is as easy as possible for them NOT to chuck your CV in the bin.
They get hundreds of enquiry letters every year, so focus on your strengths. If you have accountancy experience, sell that to publishers with business lists. Legal knowledge? Well, you get the picture. References from their colleagues — publishing is a small world. People move around in this business and they meet each other at conferences and on training courses.
Being able to show X that Y values your work says something about your skills. Ability to follow the brief and the house style with minimum hand-holding. And if you have in-house experience , be sure to mention it. Their publication schedules are often built around key events such as new academic semesters, conferences, key seasonal events such as Christmas or summer holidays, or book promotion tours, to give just a very few examples.
Flexibility on formats — for some publishers, being able to work on-screen is essential. Be strategic about who you contact: focus on those publishers for whom your skills match their products. My sincere thanks to the in-house editors who took time out of their busy schedules to review this article. Related articles: To read Kate Rosengarten's advice on getting noticed by business clients, click here ; for Anna Sharman's method of accessing pre-submission journal authors, click here.
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How to Edit Your Own Cover Letter Before Sending - The Muse
Louise Harnby link. Richard Sheehan link. Steve Brown link. Julia Scarlett link. Louise Harnby. Diana Combs link. Alison Oakes. Christine Wiltshire link. Louise Harnby Proofreader. Philip Kelly. Heather Rothman. I'm looking at this now. Philip, did it help? Thanks for posting. Books for learning and for leisure! Dare Rogers. Jeff Carson. J B Turner.