Saturday, February 15, 2014

Picking a Publisher: The next step in the journey

Too long since I've blogged, but I have not been idle. Nor have I been immersing myself in depression. Maybe a bit too much chocolate has passed my lips, but much good has come of the time as well. I spent a long day at the Montclair Public Library in the children's section.

This charming sculpture greets patrons just outside the Children's reading room. Like this odd couple, I spent a thoughtful day. I spent it  reading and analyzing children's picture books and counting books, and researching publishing companies. I had gotten leads through SCBWI and had checked out several companies on the net.

I now have a new target in my sights. The next company is one which prides itself on publishing "new voices." I read every picture book they published that was in our collection and sent for about ten more on inter-library loan. The books are coming in and I am making great strides in getting to know this company and it's authors and illustrators. I have linked to several on LinkedIn and have checked out many websites and FaceBook pages. What a treasure we have in the Internet, to enable us to "meet" and get know the works of other writers and artists.

I feel that I will now be able to write a well crafted, well informed letter to submit with my proposal by the end of this month. I know something of the authors and illustrators, their media, their background and experience as well as how my chosen company puts books together. I was thrilled, this morning, to find the first of their picture books with illustrated end papers. This is one thing I am hoping for, as folks have reacted very positively to the illustrated end papers in my dummy. Here is another plus: my chosen company is willing to accept a dummy, which many companies are not willing to do. I have a very nice dummy, but...

If you read my previous blog, you know that I had just received Writing With Pictures in the mail, and was expecting that it would provide some guidance. I can't recommend this book too highly to any hopeful author/illustrators. As Bonnie Ferrante wrote in the Children's Books Authors and Illustrators Group on LinkedIn, "Uri Shulevitz's book could be a text for a university class." As a result, I have redone my thumbnail sketches and am revising my dummy. So far, I like the new version a lot. It flows more smoothly, and I think the page turns will work more effectively as well.

My goal is to get the new dummy completed, and perhaps one more "finished" drawing, so I can submit the new proposal by the end of February. It's a short month, but I believe it is doable.
Of course, if Mother Nature would send less snow in the coming weeks, so I didn't have so much shoveling of snow, chopping of ice and feeding of birds and bunnies, I would have more time.

 I have used snow days, when it was too inclement to venture out, to create a new website with some of my art work. I invite you to visit it at

As always, I welcome comments, suggestions or just a simple "Hello."

Hopefully there will be more art on the website and more progress to report on the dummy in the next week.

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