I got this question recently:

“Do most agents and production companies expect you to provide coverage along with your submitted screenplay?”

As a writer you would never pay for “coverage” of your script. And if you did somehow get it from someone you submitted to (which does occasionally happen), you would never submit the coverage to any other producers with your script. So to answer your specific question: no, producers don’t expect a writer to provide coverage of their own script.

To be clear, “coverage” is typically what a producer or agent gets from his assistant or reader so that he doesn’t have to read the entire script. If the reader gives the script a thumbs up and the producer is intrigued by the coverage she may read it for herself. The producer needs to know that the coverage is accurate, and if it was submitted by the writer there would be no way for the producer to know if it was accurate or not.

On the other hand if you’re new to screenwriting you might want to consider hiring a professional reader / script consultant to read your script and give you notes. Most consultants have read at production companies and agencies so you should get an unbiased opinion about your script. I wrote a post called Script Consultants which can give you more information about them.

I suppose if you got some really good coverage from an industry professional you might quote it in your query letter. But I would do this only with permission from the person who did the coverage and I would use the quote without explaining where the quote was originally from. But this is a pretty rare case, in fact I’ve never done it, it just occurred to me as I was writing this post. You don’t want to explain that your script has been “covered” because it begs the question – if so-and-so read it, why didn’t they option it?