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I am submitting a children's book to a potential agent whose submission process asks me to send this:

a covering letter in the body of the email, and a synopsis of the proposed book with the first two or three chapters and a CV

Now. I haven't had a writing career. I've had an IT career ... surely they don't want to hear much about that? So what should I put in the CV, that won't be in the cover letter?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

If they want the information in the synopsis, then put it there. I also see no problem mentioning it in the cover letter additionally, but you don't need it there when it is in the synopsis.

If you do not have a writing career (yet), then your age (or date of birth) and current profession should be sufficient. Tell them, why you are in expert for children's books. If you have worked with children in the past, mention that in the CV part. Mention if you have children yourself, if you are engaged with the local kindergarten, or whatever in your life has driven you to write children's books.

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Thank you - very helpful! I had not even considered mentioning my own children, because when doing a CV for a job you should not (these days). But, of course, this isn't a CV for a job!! – noelicus Aug 23 '12 at 20:27

I expect that in addition to knowing you're an expert on children, an agent would like to find out whether you can write a successful book. I'm also in a non-writing field, so I have to stretch a bit when writing a query letter. I want to convey that I already have some experience writing for my target audience, that I can easily plan and execute a writing project, that I can meet deadlines, that I've gotten good feedback from impartial readers on what I've done, maybe that I have an existing "platform" to publicize my work, and so forth. Basically, that I can do what I'm promising to do. I think all this is secondary to the book itself, but it can't hurt to build the agent's confidence in you as a writer.

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