USA TODAY best seller, H.B. Moore found success in this query letter. It resulted in a contract with Jane Dystel of Dystel & Goderich and a publishing contract with Thomas & Mercer (Amazon imprint for their suspense/thriller line) for FINDING SHEBA (February 3. 2015) and the companion short story BENEATH, which was published December 17, 2014. I like this query letter because it’s a great example of how successful Indie authors can leverage their self-made platform to extend their success into traditional publishing markets where selling rights for film, language, etc. are much greater.
Heather’s story is fascinating. She had her first agent for about three years (she was a major agent who was getting seven-figure deals for top authors); unfortunately, no publishing deals were ever reached. This made Heather a bit gun-shy to try the agent route again, especially when she had become a USA Today best seller with her self-published box set of romance novels. But when Thomas & Mercer contacted her about one of her books, she felt inspired to try the agent route again. She received multiple offers for representation, but Heather knew Jane from a previous conference she had attended and loved her tenacious approach and open-mindedness with small presses & indie publishing. Congrats to Heather for showing all aspiring authors what never-gives-up really looks like.
Dear Jane,I hope you’re doing well. A couple of years ago, you looked at my queen of Sheba book and ended up passing on it. I published it last August with StoneHouse Ink. The other day, a Sr. acquisitions editor from Thomas & Mercer emailed me and said she’d read it and loved it. The book is called Finding Sheba, and it’s part of a thriller series I’m writing. I’m finishing up the next book in the series, Lost King, and working on revisions right now. Thomas & Mercer would like to re-publish it in 2014 with a new cover, etc. I told Anh Schleup (pronounced “on” “shloop”) that the rights are owned by a small press, and today, they agreed to reverse my rights.Here’s the Amazon link: [REMOVED]Several things in the past year have made me realize I need to start pursuing an agent again. I’ve had 2 film producers contact me about film rights to a couple of my books. I started indie publishing romance and women’s fiction, and became a USA Today bestseller last month with a box set I put together.So far, I have emailed a couple of agents off of Publisher’s Marketplace who are selling a lot of thrillers, but your name keeps coming to mind, especially when I think about some of our conversations we had when we were both at the Arizona conference.I know that you initially turned down Finding Sheba, but I have always respected your opinion and would love to have representation for this when contracting with Thomas & Mercer. Especially since I’ve received a lot of fabulous reviews on the novel and they keep coming in, giving me the confidence that this could be a great series. I have also pulled it from the foreign rights agent who is working on some of my indie books, so it’s completely free and clear now.This is the original email from Amazon:
Thanks for your consideration, Jane.My best,