People often ask if they should include their coverage in a query letter. The answer for that is always no. Coverage, whether done for a production company or an individual writer, should always be marked FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY. In production companies it’s for deciding whether or not to pursue this project. To that end they employ their own readers; people they have a long standing relationship with and trust implicitly. For the individual writer coverage should be a tool to help one become a better writer. We may think we did everything perfectly but maybe there’s something we missed. Does your really script climax with an earth shattering bang or die out with a whimper? You think it’s great but are other people going to see what you see? If people who aren’t your friends and family are giving you high marks for your writing you can be pretty confident that you’re at least doing something write.
But what do you send to a production company or agent?
The Hollywood Screenplay Contest is offering Marketing Packages. These are materials specifically designed to help a writer sell his or her screenplay. There are plenty of other marketing services for writers. They offer a range of services from query letters all the way to PR services.
Are they worth it?
Depends on your own level of experience and ability.
Remember that good writing and good marketing are two related but separate pursuits. And writers often have a huge problem when it comes to things like self promotion and PR. You’ve heard it before; writing by nature is a solitary endeavor. Some of us have trouble getting out of our shells. Even those of us who are extroverted by nature could benefit from another set of eyes on the project. Just as an outsider can see the flaws that we are by nature incapable of noticing, they can also suggest avenues we never though of.
Coverage is a good idea though not everyone needs it. Some writers can put enough distance between themselves and their material when it comes re-writing. Or they know experienced and accomplished writers and editors who will take a look at their script for no charge.
Maybe you are a very experienced marketer. Maybe you already know several people at a production company/management company/major agency. Maybe you can sell ice to Eskimos. Maybe you don’t need coverage or a marketing package.
But then again, maybe you do.