Today I wrote the first draft of my letter to the publishing world and it reminded me so much of those dreaded personal essays that I used to sweat over when I was applying to colleges and then to law schools. I never knew what to say or how to say it. Essentially the essay is your chance to sell yourself and convince a few strangers that you deserve to be accepted. I never knew quite how to do it and when I would write those essays, I could feel myself get all twisted up inside searching for the right words, the right attitude and not quite sure of what that was.
Which is exactly what I am trying to do today, trying to find the words that will intrigue and persuade some stranger to give me and my work a chance. It is probably harder than writing the actual essays themselves.
Here is a sample:
I am submitting for your consideration a compilation of political essays covering a specific time period, between January 1st 2011 until the day after the 2012 Presidential election, The reason for which this time period was selected was to illustrate how, despite the passage of close to two years, we are still arguing the same issues and the same ideological and sociological differences still divide our congress and our news media. I as the writer do not have a professional background in politics which is why I feel that my book is unique, these are essays written by someone who is passionately interested in our political process and landscape, but is writing from home as a bystander and as someone who is impacted by decisions made from a far. My politics are those of the progressive camp, I write very critically of our news media sources and especially Fox news. My essays are all derived from comments that I have posted as a registered member of the Huffington Post community and cross-posted to my political blog A Progressive’s Thoughts found on WordPress.com.
I believe that my compilation of political essays would be a useful tool in any introductory course in journalism or political science; in this day and age of blogging, self published journals, newsletters and books, my book of essays is a natural extension of the new order in information diffusion.
I am reaching out to you at New York University Press because I am an alum and my time at New York University, particularly as a political science major, was an extraordinary time of learning and discovery. Therefore your publishing house was my first thought when I started exploring publishing options.
I have enclosed my book in hard copy form and I hope that you will take the time and read it. I sincerely hope that you enjoy these essays, each not longer than 250 words; two years is a mere blip on the radar of political life in any society, but it can give great insight as to the times and trials particularly after a catastrophic economic event as the Great Recession and the resulting policies, fight and showdowns that occurred afterwards.
This would be sent to New York University Press, but I don’t know if this is too much, not enough, how to tweak it. Of course I will tailor it to other publishing houses, this is the first draft.
If any you have any thoughts or criticisms please feel free to share.