Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Submission letter for ATHENA

Below is my submission letter for ATHENA, my most recent book. It will give you an idea of how I pitch a project to my publisher. This project is unique in the fact that I'm co-writing this series with other authors. (We have a blog dedicated to the series called The Newport Ladies Book Club)

Dear *Editor*,

I’m pleased to submit Athena, one of the books in The Newport Ladies Book Club series, complete at 66,000 words.

As a reminder, the first installment of this series includes four books, each written by a different author. The novels function as companion books that are interconnected, but don’t have to be read in any particular order. They can be read as stand-alone as well since each book finishes the story of the point of view character.

Subtitles will be the names of each of the characters:

Athena by Heather B. Moore

Daisy by Josi S. Kilpack

Paige by Annette Lyon

Olivia by Julie Wright

Overview of The Newport Ladies Book Club series:

The four books follow the same four or five-month timeline in which the characters go through their own character conflicts, then come together on the book group night. Over the course of each novel, each character’s conflict is resolved.

Paige (by Annette Lyon) is the only woman in the book club who is LDS. Her faith has a great impact on the other women in the book club, and each woman is touched one way or another. Women’s fiction is a major genre in the national market, but it’s very difficult to find any clean reads. We hope that this series will provide an excellent option for women and will also touch their hearts and minds with the spiritual growth and self-discovery each character goes through as she discovers the value of friendship through the book club.

The books the group reads will also carry messages and help the women through their challenges. Reading one book will not give away the ending to all of the characters’ conflicts. For example, in Olivia’s story (written by Julie) we learn how Olivia’s marriage and relationship with her children turn out. We learn bits of the other characters as Olivia interacts with them (but only from her point of view), yet we have to read the other books to find out the resolutions to the other characters’ challenges. This way, one book won’t give away the ending of any of the other books. And the books can be read in any order.

Brief Character Sketches:

Athena Di Jasper (written by Heather B. Moore): Athena is a self-proclaimed bachelorette—it’s better that way—no one gets hurt. But when tragedy strikes, Athena realizes friendship and love is the only way she can pull through, and she must, for the first time in her life, risk opening her heart.

Daisy Martin-Davis (written by Josi S. Kilpack): Since becoming a mother at the age of 17, Daisy has looked forward to the day when she could check "motherhood" off her list of things to do. At the age of 46 everything seems to be right on track, until she suddenly finds herself facing a very different future then she planned on, and an uncomfortable evaluation of the past she thought she understood.

Paige Anderson (written by Annette Lyon): Young, divorced, with two children, Paige must come to terms with her husband’s betrayal, discover who she is as a woman rather than a wife, help her boys adjust to life in a broken home, and decide if love and trust will ever be a part of her future again.

Olivia Robbins (written by Julie Wright): Olivia has it all—and does it all—from motherhood, to being the perfect wife, to volunteering at the hospital. But when her marriage is threatened, Olivia must decide if she has the strength, or desire, to save it.

Marketing Ideas:

*Release of books relatively close together

*Blog for The Newport Ladies Book Club:

*Appearances by all four authors for book signings and events

*Book Club book tour

*Conference calls to book groups across the nation

*Eventual companion cook book. The women bring homemade goodies to book group, so the cook book could compile those recipes along with highlighting recipes enjoyed by other book groups around the country.

If the four-part series is successful, we plan to write another companion four books on the minor characters in the first four books: Ruby (by Heather B. Moore), Shannon (by Josi S. Kilpack), Ilana (by Annette Lyon), and Victoria (by Julie Wright).

I look forward to hearing from you about Athena.


Heather Moore


Rebecca Irvine said...

Great letter and a wonderful concept. I love the built in marketing opportunities.

S.B.Niccum said...

Thanks for posting this! It's always good to know how to pitch and idea. The concept sound great too! Good luck, and thanks for letting me know about the review!
S.B. Niccum
Author Website

Heather B. Moore said...

It's probably a longer letter than I usually send, but I felt the series concept needed to be explained for the committee.

~T~ said...

You're writing together. Do you query separately?

Heather B. Moore said...

We met a year ago with our publishers and gave them an official proposal about this joint series (between the 4 of us, we have 2 publishers). They were both excited about it. We are submitting our manuscripts individually, but our initial proposal outlines the "joint" ramifications.

Rachelle said...

Love this and can't wait to read them!

Heather B. Moore said...

Thanks, Rachelle!

Nisa said...

It sounds fantastic!

Heather B. Moore said...

Thanks Nisa!

Renae W. Mackley said...

Wow! Great ideas and I appreciate seeing an actual pitch letter. Thanks for sharing.

Heather B. Moore said...

Thanks, Renae. When other authors have posted their queries, it's really helped me too.

Chris Eliason said...

When I go to Brazil to visit my wife's family I always take a book to read because I can't speak their language. I sure was happy to pick your book this time. I just finish Vol #3- I love the books

Heather B. Moore said...

Good to hear from you, Chris. Thanks!