For this week’s spotlight market, we look at Felony & Mayhem, a mystery publisher that's currently open to submissions from writers.
Felony & Mayhem: Spotlight Market
Founded in 2005, Felony & Mayhem started as a publisher of out-of-print mystery titles. On their website, Maggie Topkis says this idea was sparked by her experiences as the owner of a mysteries-only bookstore in Greenwich Village. A few years ago, Felony & Mayhem branched out to start publishing original mysteries, starting with Annamaria Alfieri's The Idol of Mombasa, a historical mystery set in 1910s British East Africa.
The editors say, "We are happy to receive your submissions, and guarantee to look at whatever you send, though we may not be able to do this as quickly as you might like."
What They’re Looking For: Felony & Mayhem publishes mystery fiction for adults and no other genres. All manuscripts must be a minimum of 80,000 words, though 85,000 is preferable.
Their guidelines advise, "The following are preferences, rather than hardcore requirements, but they are STRONG preferences: First, please do not set the names of your characters in capital letters. That’s for the movie people. And second, while it’s entirely acceptable for you to send out multiple submissions, make up separate cover letters for your submissions to agents and your submissions to publishers Sending a publisher a cover letter that was clearly intended for an agent just makes it look as though you don’t pay much attention to detail, and that’s not a good first impression."
How to Submit: Submit a brief synopsis (four or fewer paragraphs) and one sample chapter (or first ten pages) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Synopsis and sample pages should be sent as either Word or PDF attachments. Include your contact information, including your email address, on every page and use standard fonts, colors, and sizes.
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