Here is query letter number six:
Dear Ice Cube Press,
Nicole Jackson spent every day during her childhood being abused by her alcoholic father. One day when she is sixteen, her father goes too far, and she suffers injuries so severe that she has to go to the hospital. There, a nurse gives her a strange corn necklace. Nicole discovers that the necklace has the power to send her back in time. There’s a catch though—the time traveler can only spend up to five days in an era. Passed that, then she’ll be stuck in that time period forever.
Is the corn necklace the only thing that is Midwest related? From this paragraph, I don’t know how well this book will fit with our company. The corn necklace alone wouldn’t qualify your novel as a Midwest book. Always read the submission page to figure out what genres the press publishes.
(BTW, Steve found the corn necklace funny)
Nicole fools around with the necklace and time travels to different eras and observes historical figures. During one adventure, she meets seventeen-year-old Maggie who also is from present day and has a time traveling necklace. Maggie was raised with an abusive alcoholic father as well.
Nicole and Maggie form a strong friendship. Together, they decide to go back in time to stop alcohol production so their fathers can never become alcoholics. When they go back in time, they learn that their operation will take more than five days. Will Nicole and Maggie make it out in time? Or will they be stuck in the past forever?
And here’s where I stop reading send you a rejection. Why? Because this plot doesn’t work at all.
Even if your book is fiction, stopping alcoholic production is impossible. This plot will be a serious turn off to readers, agents, and publishers. I’m not saying this because I went to the Number One Party School. I’m not alcoholic crazed, but I’m not anti-alcohol either.
Humans have been drinking alcohol since ancient civilization, back when it was SAFER to drink alcohol than the bacteria-filled water. Wine and other alcoholic drinks have always been part of religions and cultural rituals. If Nicole and Maggie were to destroy alcohol production, they would have to stop EVERYONE in the ancient times from drinking, and that is not realistic, even in sci-fi. Now, if they were going to stop their fathers from developing alcoholism, I would support that.
Remember, the Prohibition Era only lasted 13 years.
THE TWO TIME TRAVELERS is a 165,000 chick lit, sci-fi, and suspense novel. I think readers who enjoyed THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE will love my book.
165,000 words? One hundred and sixty-five thousand words?
That’s too many words.
Even if your plot was possible, this book is still too long for a debut. Also, we’re a small press. We can’t afford to print all those words.
From the plot you presented to me, this book should be anywhere from 70,000 to 90,000 words, half your word count. If your word count is that high, then I know for sure that you have too much useless description, too many long sentences, too many pointless scenes, and so on.
Also, pick one genre. Your book is not all three. My guess is that your book is sci-fi.
I have never read The Time Traveler’s Wife, but I know your book does not relate to it. Your book sounds like an adventure. The Time Traveler’s Wife is a romance. You would not have the same target audience as The Time Traveler’s Wife.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Very rarely do we find a book that has a bad plot. You can always fix and improve bad writing, but you cannot fix a bad plot.
Query Seal’s Verdict:
Word Count too high
Listed too many genres
The Query Seal will send a rejection