As you may know by now I have written a children’s picture book, Gertie Saves the Day. Maybe some of you have written a picture book or maybe you are curious about the process of getting your book published.
If you are, you are in the right place. This blog is where I will be sharing my adventure as my book comes to life and is published. I hope you will join me.
How it all started…
I wrote a children’s story. In fact, I have written several stories over the years. I would write a story and put it away. I would take it out from time to time, read it, revise it, and put it away. It was never good enough said my “inner critic.” Was it really not good enough or was it my fear of sharing my writing that was holding me back? To be honest, it was a little of each.
In the meantime, I kept writing stories for the sheer enjoyment of writing stories. I also wanted to learn all I could about children’s writing. I attended writing workshops, conferences, took a children’s writing course, and joined a critique group; all the time applying what I was learning to my stories.
After researching publishers that were accepting manuscripts, I finally found the courage to submit my manuscript. This is an important step and you want to be sure that you meet all of their requirements or you will be wasting your time. For example, pitches or loglines are now sent to Agents.
If the Agent likes your pitch they will bring it to industry editors and represent you as an author. I decided that one manuscript could be sent to 5 different agents.
Each time I sent an email I was optimistic that this would be the manuscript that they wanted to publish. I was hoping for an email of interest or some advice on improving my story, but agents receive thousands of manuscripts and cannot reply to each one. They tell you if you have not heard in 6-8 weeks they are not interested in your manuscript. This is not an indication that you are not a good writer or your story does not have merit, but the fact is your submission does not meet their current needs.
Frustrated, but determined, I continued to send my manuscripts out to agents.
The silence was deafening.
Do you have any children’s stories that you have put to the side? I encourage you to take another look at your stories because I believe that your story should be shared. If you haven’t written a story yet, maybe sit down for 20 minutes and write an outline, some bullet points or a draft of your story. You’ve got nothing to lose- just start writing.
Advice: I would like to share some advice about submitting your children’s story to an agent. When you are sending a query letter you should indicate the category for your story, the genre, and the word count. You will need to do some homework to find 2-3 recent comparable books (last 3 years) with strong sales. You will need to state the title and author of each book and explain how your book will have reader appeal and how it will fit into the current market.