More Query Letters and a Synopsis–Oh My

As most of you know, I have completed my memoir, Shame Ate My Soul: Rising Above the Stigma of Mental Illness, Suicide and Addiction. After I finished writing, proofreading and editing and editing my memoir some more, I began the difficult process of writing my query letter, synopsis, chapter outline and anything and everything else the agents may ask for.
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First, of course, I researched how to write a good query letter. After I finally wrote the best possible query letter I could to sell my 66,200 word memoir in three paragraphs, I had to learn how to write a synopsis. The synopsis is a concise one page summary of your entire memoir. This was a daunting task to say the least.
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I began searching for agents and began sending agents my Query letter and their specific requirements (each agent is different) at the end of January. So far, I have probably sent my information to over 30 agents and a few publishers that accept unsolicited manuscripts.
Most agencies say to give them anywhere from six to twelve weeks to three to six months to get back to you or they mention they receive too many queries letters to respond back at all.
I got my first rejection letter on January 30, 2019.

Dear Susan,

Thank you so much for querying me. SHAME ATE MY SOUL: RISING ABOVE THE STIGMA OF MENTAL ILLNESS, SUICIDE ATTEMPTS AND ADDICTION sounds like an interesting project, but I’m afraid I’m going to pass on looking at more. My client list is very full with memoir, forcing me to be extremely selective about taking on anyone new at the moment. But please do keep querying other agents, and I wish you all the best with your writing career. 


Xxxxxx Xxxxxxx

After I received my first rejection letter, reality of my dream and my self-doubt hit. My self doubt was full of words to myself such as, “It isn’t good enough. I am not a good enough writer. Maybe this is just a silly pipe dream. Maybe my story wasn’t written well enough. I am not a good enough writer. Maybe my story is too much. Maybe my story is too painful for others to read. Maybe it is not a good story.”
After I got over my first draft of self-doubt completed, I filled my mind with hopeful thoughts like, “Maybe it is good enough. Some people’s dream come true–maybe it is my turn. Even many famous writers got many rejection letters before they got published. I did the best I could and I am not going to stop now. Keep trying. Never, never give up.”
On February 4th, I got my second response…

Dear Susan,

Thanks so much for thinking of me for your submission. I’m sorry to say it doesn’t feel like the right fit for my current list, but our business is subjective by nature and another agent may well feel differently. I wish you the best of luck.
Best wishes,
After I received another rejection letter, I began to enjoy hearing from agents. At least I knew they were reading my words and I liked that. I know some agents I sent to will not even have the time to respond back when they are not interested. I am also thinking, “No news is good news.” So, I keep plugging along–keep sending more query letters out. I am not done yet.
Then on February 22, 2019 I got this letter…
Dear Ms. Walz,
Thank you so much for submitting “Shame Ate My Soul” to Xxxxx Agency. This is a promising project. Your prose is truly striking and captivating – the way you wrote your terrifying experiences made me almost feel like I was experiencing them right along with you. Your story is captivating, heartbreaking, inspiring, and above all – necessary.
What? Wow. Oh my gosh. She liked my writing. My prose is truly striking. Really? I was striving for that but didn’t know if I pulled it off. You felt what I was experiencing? Really? That was my goal. I want the reader to feel and understand to the best of my ability what it is like to live with mental illness. What? My story is captivating and inspiring. It is my passion to inspire others. And it is necessary? Yes. I think it is necessary, too. So, you will publish my book?
But, I’m so sorry to say that it’s not a match for any of the agents on our team. I truly hope you take this as a redirection, not a simple rejection. We wish you the very best of luck in your search for an agent and worthy book deal.
Xxxx Xxxxxxx
Oh, rats. So, close. I felt my joy rise after each sentence I read from that agent and then my heart sank for a minute after I read her last paragraph. I didn’t stay deflated long after reading her words. I loved reading her words. Her words made so happy (and I still am). This agent took the time to respond back with amazing feedback. I am over the moon excited about this and this inspires me and sets my fingers on fire to keep typing and sending out more query letters.
A published author, here I come (fingers, legs, toes and eyes crossed and many prayers). This is my next obstacle to conquer and my next dream to come true.
Thank you for reading. I wanted to share my excitement with you and I wanted to share what I have been up to when I am not writing on my blog and why I have not been able to read other blogs as much as I would like to. I am also working part-time as a resident care associate at an assisted care facility for elderly residents. Oh, I am also shoveling a lot and trying not to get my car stuck in the snow. I live in Wisconsin and it won’t stop snowing.
We are in the middle of another snow storm as I type. What a perfect day to stay warm and cozy inside and keep sending more queries to more agents. Busy, busy, busy…
I hope you all have a happy, healthy and fabulous day. Be well, my friends.
Much love and hugs, Sue
thank you 2
Copyright © 2019 | | All Rights Reserved


    1. I want to try the traditional publishing route because there is no cost in it and they will help you with the publicity. I wouldn’t know where to start with the publicity part. Plus, to be honest I have no money to self-publish so I must keep trying this route. To publish this route is a dream I must pursue. How many books you have sold? I was just wondering if it is hard to sell books when you self-publish. If you would rather share on an email that would be much appreciated, but if it is too personal no worries and sorry. I hope you are doing well with your book sells. I want to buy copies of your book but have not had any time to read much of anything. I have three books I am trying to finish right now that I can’t seem to find the time to read. Thanks for reading and for your encouraging words. Much love and hugs, Sue

      Liked by 1 person

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