Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for Children's Books

So I had a never-happened-before experience last night. I fell asleep quickly (also sort of a first) and woke up from a dream at just before three in the morning. All I remember from the dream is a sparsely illustrated page of a children's book, blue lines and sort of in the style of Amos: The Story of an Old Dog and His Couch. (A fabulous book). Anyway, I remember the words being read "So this could never be a story about hunger". Though I suppose that isn't much to go on, I wrote it down in the notebook by my bed and had basically filled in the rest of the story in my head before I'd fallen back asleep. As Stephanie Meyer as it sounds, a book has come to me via dream.

And now, being me, of course I have to be all gung-ho find a publisher NOW about it. I mentioned a while ago how my sister and I were working on a children's book together. That's still happening, it's just that she has school and, you know, a wedding to deal with right now. But yeah, I want to take this new idea and do something with it, i.e. send it to the people one is supposed to send picture book ideas too. I'm still not as informed with the whole children's book business as I (hopefully) am with adult and young adult publishing, and so...advice?

Anyone know anything about where to send this thing? I do know that publishers like to match writers with publishers-choice illustrators, so I'm planning on just submitting my story and letting that happen. But where? In the research I've done so far, basically going down lists of picture book publishers, most of them don't accept unsolicited submissions, though some do. So should I just submit to the ones that will let me myself? Is it best to submit to agents first? What will that do when I'm ready to submit the novel to agents? I've even heard that the "no unsolicited submissions" statement doesn't really mean anything, that they'll read it anyway. Is that true? What's the best next step for this?

Sarah Allen
(Last year: C is for Cliche)


  1. I know nothing about children's book. Sorry, my sweet. :(


  2. PBs are a hard sell in this economy. Before you approach and agent or an editor, have more than an idea. Write the book, polish the book, have capable critique partners or beta readers give it two thumbs up, and then, and only then, start the querying process after doing a lot of research as to what each editor and/or agent is looking for. Have fun with it and good luck.

  3. Sorry, can't help you on this but good luck with it!

  4. Are you a member of SCBWI? That's the perfect place to start your publishing journey. I'm A to Z-ing as well. Off to check out your A and B.

  5. I get a lot of inspiration from dreams :)
    Good luck with selling your story.

  6. I have a feeling that I read somewhere that if you're submitting a PB, you're expected to submit the whole thing (without pictures) because of how short they are. I would definitely double check that though.


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