The press kit is of invaluable importance to any up-and-coming musician. A polished version can help you make that all important strong first impression with club owners, concert promoters, agents and record labels. A good press kit should contain three main components: a CD containing song demos, a one-sheet band bio and a cover letter. The cover letter is a key element in conveying information; do not underestimate its importance. Indeed, an eye-catching cover letter can make all the difference in the world when it comes to attracting attention in the competitive world of commercial music.
Include all of your contact information in the upper right hand corner of your cover letter. For example, you might begin with your name, followed on the second line by the name of your band, followed by your full address, followed by your phone number and concluding with your email address. Include as much contact information as you can.
Address your cover letter to the right people. Do not simply make one generic cover letter and print 50 copies, say. If you plan to send a press kit to 20 record labels, for example, you must make sure to personalize the names and addresses on each letter and send them to the appropriate people. Each cover letter should contain the contact information of the individuals that you want to reach directly beneath your own contact information. Make sure that this information is justified to the left side of the page, rather than the right.
Introduce your band or music in the body of the cover letter. In doing so, stick to the most pertinent facts. A press kit cover letter should remain short -- under one page -- so do not blather on about things like how you dreamed of making music since childhood. Include only the information that a promoter or label would find noteworthy, such as any notable venues that you have played, any impressive collaborations with other artists, albums released and awards won. Briefly describe your style of music as well.
Consider your reader. You would emphasize different aspects of your music if you were sending a cover letter to a record label rather than to a concert promoter. For instance, if you want to score a gig at your favorite local club, you would spend more of your cover letter describing previous venues that you have played and the kinds of crowds you can draw. If sending your press kit to a record label, however, you might mention your sizable online fan base or the names of respected producers who have helped you on your musical journey.
Proofread your cover letter several times before submitting your press kit. Misspellings, typos, grammatical errors and poor mechanics can really hurt that all important first impression with music industry professionals. If necessary, have someone else proofread the cover letter for you and offer feedback.