The Novel Has Merit

The following email was received today at 12:20 pm from Deep River Books regarding my entry of ‘Searching for Sara’ in their Writers Contest. ‘Searching for Sara’ is an historical romance set in Richmond, Virginia, in 1894.

deep river books

Dear Nona,

Congratulations! Your manuscript, ‘Searching for Sara’, has received a “CERTIFICATE OF MERIT” in the Deep River Books Writers Contest. While you did not win first place, your manuscript was narrowed to a highly selected group of finalists and we congratulate you for your fine work. You are to be applauded for such a fine achievement as a new writer. We are sending, by mail, your Certificate of Merit certificate.

As you know, Deep River Books is a full-service partner publisher. Our goal is to publish the best manuscripts from new authors and we certainly feel yours fits into that category.

Because of this award, if your book was published by us, we would make it a “Feature Title” which includes mention of the award on the cover of the book, heavy media coverage including announcements to our 1200 media list when the book is published, and an invitation to be a featured author signing books at our booth at next years International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) where over 10,000 people, including many bookstore owner/buyers attend. It would also be a featured title at the Deep River Books website.

And because you are a Certificate of Merit winner, we would offer you a substantial discount off our standard partnership program as an added incentive if you do decide to take advantage of the opportunity.

I would like to set up a time to discuss this with you by phone if you feel you might be interested in more information. And, if you have not done so already, there is a detailed explanation about how the partnership works at our website that you can review that answers most questions about our publishing partnership program. If you click the box “Getting Published” it will guide you through a few pages with the details.

I look forward to your reply and an ongoing conversation with you about how we might work together to make this wonderful manuscript a reality. I do hope we can form a partnership that will allow your book to be one of Deep River Book’s featured titles in the coming year. Of course, you are under no obligation to publish your book with us and, either way, it was a joy to read your manuscript and I thank you for entering it in our writer’s contest. The contest results are posted at our website

William Carmichael, Publisher
Deep River Books

The above email came at an opportune time, as it lifted me from the doldrums of “Why do I even bother with writing? My stories aren’t ‘enough’ for mainstream publication.” But my thoughts were wrong, and this email will be framed alongside the Certificate coming in the mail. In fact, I may put this honor in the front pages of ‘Searching for Sara’ before I send it off to an agent. :)

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1 Comment

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One response to “The Novel Has Merit

  1. Pingback: When a Writing Contest Has a Hidden Agenda

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