Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Do you know what you don't know?

Welcome to all of my new subscribers! I appreciate your interest in my blog. Feel free to actively participate--I love hearing your comments and will be sure to respond!

Over the past several days, I have enjoyed meeting fellow writers and illustrators through JacketFlap in various stages of publication. One thing has stood out to me--many of the aspiring authors I have met through JacketFlap do not know what they don't know. Several have asked me questions on how to begin seeking publication or where to find an agent (or if they even need an agent).

If you have stumbled across my blog and are seeking direction, take heart! All published authors began as you have, not knowing where to begin. Let this post serve as your roadmap.

Now, don't take that to mean, I think I know it all. On the contrary, I know I am not the best suited to describe all the intricate ins and outs of the publishing industry. That is precisely why I will direct you to those more established agents and editors of the field. I'm not going to bother reinventing the wheel (or in this case, the printing press). Rather, I will lead you to several great resources for your forray into children's publishing.

The information will be grouped into topical questions. Be sure to check back on this post periodically, as I will update it as I find other useful links.

What is the submission process?

What is a literary agent and do I really need one? or What should I expect from an agent?

How do I find an agent?
Other resources for finding an agent:
What is a query and how do I write one?
Other useful guides to writing a query:
How do I format my manuscript?

What word count should I have for my children's book manuscript? and How should I format it?

Do I need to find an illustrator for my children's book text? No.

What do I need to know about the audience and competition for my children's book?

What are my rights as an author?

How do I separate the good agents from the bad?
or How do I avoid a scam? or How can I tell if an agent is legit?

What is self-publishing? or Is it a good idea for my manuscript/writing career? or Is it a 'magical highway' to bypass the difficulties of the publishing industry? (For those of you who do not know, the answer to the two previous questions is 'no.' See the links for the professional opinions of Nathan Bransford--Literary Agent and Editorial Anonymous--Children's Book Editor.) Still considering it? What are the sales record of self-published/print-on-demand (POD) books?
or What does an agent/editor think my previously self-published book? or Are articles on self-publishing telling me the truth, free from bias?

Is there a publishing dictionary out there to help me understand all this industry lingo? (courtesy of Editorial Anonymous--Thank you!!)

Are there any blogs I should be aware of as an aspiring children's or YA author?
Are there any organizations I should be aware of as an aspiring children's or YA author?
Are there any websites I should be aware of as an aspiring children's or YA author?

Well, that should get you started on the right path. Please post comments or questions. If I don't know an answer, I will research it for you.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Place, Same Musings (Part I)

My blog can now be found on JacketFlap, a well-known Children's Publishing Blog Reader. As a relatively new blogger and, as yet, unpublished author, it is important to establish a presence within the online community of children's authors. Please, look me up and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Where are Picture Books now?

It should be a relief to know that Picture Books are alive and well!

I know this article is about 2 years old, but I found it while doing some research on the picture book market. Another, more recent, but still refreshing taking on the state of children's publishing can be found here. It is always encouraging to see other authors succeeding in the field. In this environment of closing imprints and freezing backlists (see the Boston Globe or Nathan Bransford's more recent update), I am bolstered to read of children's books that are being sold.

Storytime is crucial to young children's early literacy skills. I am currently reading an excellent reference book on the topic: "Much More Than the ABCs: The Early Stages of Reading and Writing" by Judith Schickedanz.

Let me know what you think.

On the hunt again...

It's been a while since I've posted on this blog. Be assured I have continued my literary efforts. After a year, I am parting ways with The View Literary Agency. JD and I have amicably split, after she recognized that she does not have enough contacts with children's book publishers to adequately represent my work. Throughout the past year, I have received some positive feedback from editors on the picture book manuscript that JD submitted. However, in the intervening time, I have composed what I feel are stronger pieces. I am currently seeking representation for these newer picture book manuscripts. I still avidly read several agent/editor blogs (see the links posted to the side), which I recommend to all those seeking a writing career. Keep checking back for more regular updates--I will try to make at least one a week. Thanks for your interest.