It’s been said time and time again that 2020 has been an awful year. Lately, I’ve noticed more of my friends and followers on social media posting memes asserting that 2020 should be seen as a year of growth, that we should acknowledge how we’ve survived and proven we can adapt to adverse situations. I like to be positive, and I love that sentiment, so rather than harp on anxieties and rehash a litany of complaints, I thought I’d share some good news.
GenZ Publishing has requested a full manuscript!
GenZ Publishing had liked one of my Instagram posts, which excited me because it meant all the posting seemed to be paying off. I decided to check out their website. I was impressed by the website; it was sleek and professional, and had all the information a reputable publisher, independent though it may be, should have. When I look for publishers, I A L W A Y S check the website for professionalism, information, and S U B M I S S I O N G U I D E L I N E S. I make sure the publisher is accepting submissions and that the publisher is interested in my genre. GenZ Publishing was a match for both of those requirements, so I decided to send a query that fit their specific guidelines and the first two chapters of Moody Blue.
I’ve had success querying in the past. Aside from the publication of my first novel eight years ago, I’ve had multiple full manuscript requests based on queries I’ve sent out for Moody Blue. And when I’ve pitched the novel in face-to-face meetings and conversations with agents, all except two have requested material. I’m telling you all this to let you know I’m very confident in my query letter, and I’m telling you this because I’m going to share it with you, via this video.
Now, GenZ Publishing was particular about that query letter. Typically, my query letters look more like this:
Ms. Caroline Eisenmann
Frances Goldin Literary Agency, Inc.
214 W. 29th Street, Suite 410
New York, NY 10001 —–> even though it’s an electronic query, I still want to be as formal as possible and write out the mailing address for the publisher and/or agent
Good morning Ms. Caroline Eisenmann: —–> I always include a formal greeting with the full name; professionalism is the name of the game!
I hope this message finds both you and yours doing well (it always helps to be polite and friendly). My 70,700-word novel, Moody Blue, is a devastating study of relationships affected by mental instability in the tradition of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins (agents and publishers are both primarily interested in books that sell, so if you can compare your story or even your writing story to an author or specific book that’s selling, do so! Just make sure it’s a timely reference). My novel will appeal to fans of psychological thrillers that withhold information to develop a surprise sociopath character. Novels that offer a refreshingly realistic glance into the turbulent human heart and study the inexplicable elements of human nature have garnered high interest among readers lately, particularly with authors such as those mentioned above and Ruth Ware. MOODY BLUE is arguably cut from the same cloth, but with more of an edge that would welcome a more inclusive readership.
The novel follows the lives of Adam Petersen, a troubled man trying to reclaim his sanity after suddenly losing his fiancée, and Claudia Taylor, a young woman who embarrassingly admits to being normal. When the two attend a writers’ workshop for survivors of traumatic events, Adam reveals that he discovered his fiancée dead in their bedroom. The police categorized the death as a suicide, but Adam is convinced it was homicide, and is desperate for empathy and support. Claudia, young and dumb and afflicted with a flair for the dramatic, readily accepts the role. She soon discovers that she is woefully unprepared as getting to know Adam becomes more and more dangerous. As their relationship evolves and more is revealed about who they truly are, one moves closer to sanity while the other spirals into an unsettling state of delusion. The aftermath is devastating and both are left broken, bruised and unsure of what comes next.
This work examines the riotous excursions of the human heart in different ways. I believe my talent (if I may be so bold) and tenacity will be a perfect fit with your agency. My first novel, Her Beautiful Monster, was published by Martin Sisters Publishing in October of 2012, and has received positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads alike. My short story, “Cover Me,” was published online via the Cynic Online Magazine. I also have attended the Algonkian Writers’ Conference, The Writer’s Hotel, and the Frank McCourt Summer School of Creative Writing.
As per the guidelines, the first ten pages are included with this query, copied and pasted below.
I’m hoping you’ll take a chance on a young writer. I want to sincerely thank you for your patience, your interest, and thank you for your valuable time, and for considering Moody Blue.
PO Box 1010
Ocean Gate, NJ 08740
And then once you’ve sent your query letter, it’s a waiting game. BUT NEVER STOP WRITING WHILE YOU WAIT! Some published and agents are fine with simultaneous submissions, so keep sending queries and material to interested parties. I also try to work on the next project when waiting for a response, as some can take up to three months. Sometimes, you’ll get an instantaneous reply back with the response time clarified. GenZ Publishing sent me the following reply:
Thank you for contacting GenZ and Zenith Publishing. If this is a query, we will evaluate the work for style, characterization, credibility, marketing, and more and respond within six weeks. At this time, we are unable to offer detailed responses to works we will not be publishing. We will only review one unsolicited work from one author at a time.
Thank you, and happy writing!
Six weeks; I imagined I’d hear from them around Thanksgiving. I’d been rejected a lot lately so if I’m being honest, I wasn’t feeling too optimistic. But then, just over two weeks later:
Thank you so much for your patience while we reviewed your query. At this time, we ask that you send us a full copy of your manuscript. Please do so by November 15th if you are still interested in potentially working with us.
And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since – working on tightening up a full copy of my manuscript. I’d like to send it in before the deadline to subtly communicate that I’m eager to work with them and grateful for the opportunity. So we’ll see what happens 🙂