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pinkrobot tries to get published


pinkrobot

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After daydreaming about publishing a children's book for years now, I've finally taken the plunge and typed up a manuscript and begun writing cover letters to publishing companies. Just to prove to myself--especially in the likely event nothing comes of this--that I worked hard and pushed myself and did the best I could, I'm keeping a journal to track my little journey in the publishing world. I'm starting today because after I leave work, I'm sending out my first two copies to two publishers. Let the fun (and frustration) begin...

 

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Okay, to date: 2 manuscripts sent off. With one I will get a response, whether positive or negative. With the other, I'll only get a response if they're intersted. If I haven't heard from them within 12 weeks, I'll know I've been rejected.

 

Fingers crossed...

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Getting frustrated with how many of these companies will only read your work if you pay a literary agent to represent you. It's the same stupid concept of needing years of experience for a specific job, but how are you supposed to get the experience if no one will hire you so you can GAIN the experience?

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I've spent a significant amount of time now browsing the children's section of link removed, trying to find books that are similar in style to the one I'm trying to publish so I can look up the submission guidelines of their publishers.

 

It's incredible how many publishing companies won't publish picture books that rhyme. Children LOVE rhyming books, why would you not want to publish them?

 

Grrr.

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Good for you! That's a great life project to tackle. I've known a few people that have gone through this process and yes, they have all said that you need an agent. You actually have to send your manuscript and treatment to solicit agents. If you find someone who's interested, that's the first hurdle. It doesn't guarantee publishing, but it's a really good sign that you have something with saleability.

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Got a burst of motivation today (yesssssss!). Printed off 3 more cover letters/manuscripts to package up after work tonight. So far now I'm trying my luck with:

 

Albert & Whitman

Houghton Mifflin (fat chance, but meh)

Action Publishing

Boyds Mill Press

Charlesbridge

 

As a side note, I spend a lot of time wondering if published authors felt the same way I do before they were ever published--if any of them thought to themselves, "The chances I'm actually getting published are probably slim to none," or if they had more confidence than I do. I'm trying to be realistic by thinking, I'll expect the worst and hope for the best...but every time I say something along those lines to friends and family, they all respond with, "No, I know it'll happen!" I don't think they really grasp how this publishing business works...

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ARRRRGHHH!

 

Of all the times to have a stupid blonde moment.

 

The manuscripts I sent to Action and Boyds Mill...I sent my stamped envelopes, but I spaced addressing them back to myself. Since I'm new to all this, I don't know how big of a mistake that was. My address is written on the packages I sent them, as well as the cover letters. But they're publishers--I wouldn't be surprised if they somehow take offense to the fact I didn't address them and just don't bother getting back to me.

 

Crap.

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Sending off another manuscript today, to Bloomsbury...another one that won't respond unless they're interested.

 

At the suggestion of one publisher's website, I may bite the bullet and spend 7 bucks to join Authorlink for a month, in an attempt to find an agent who will represent me. I didn't want to have to do it that way, but there are way too many publishers out there who won't so much as bat an eye at your work unless you have representation. Sigh...

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I admire you for doing this! I started a kids' book, but haven't worked on it since Christmas break. I feel blocked and I have a bunch of other projects (plus regular classes) going on. Are you sending mainly to publishers that accept unsolicited manuscripts? Do you have a guide to American? Canadian? publishers that shows you what house accepts what type of work?

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I admire you for doing this! I started a kids' book, but haven't worked on it since Christmas break. I feel blocked and I have a bunch of other projects (plus regular classes) going on. Are you sending mainly to publishers that accept unsolicited manuscripts? Do you have a guide to American? Canadian? publishers that shows you what house accepts what type of work?

 

Yes, I'm only sending to publishers who accept unsolicited...it's costing me enough money as it is, I don't want to send to someone who's just gonna chuck it in the trash, lol. I have a book that has detailed info on (mostly) American publishers, like how often they publish first-time authors, how long they take to get back to you, etc...but I've found it's actually more beneficial to surf Amazon and find books that are similar to mine, and then send to the publishers who published that particular book.

 

I know what you mean about trying to juggle writing with other priorities, though. I've been working on this story for about 3 years now, and I just got around to polishing it now that I've graduated from college. It's harder than it looks!

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Trying to join a writing forum specifically for children's writers so I can ask some questions that have been running through my mind. Like, if one of my manuscripts DOES, by chance, draw some interest, how am I notified? Is it a letter? Or an email, or a phone call? But apparently the children's writers forums I can find aren't of use to me for various reasons--they've been discontinued, or registration for the forum is currently disabled, blah blah blah. I knew this trying-to-get-published business would be a pain in the neck, but this...this is ridiculous.

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I don't feel so lazy now lol. I'm trying to get an internship lined up, and I'm also in the running for a job with the school paper... so the kids book project has fallen to the wayside. I guess as long as it gets done within my lifetime... lol. Good luck with everything!

 

 

At chapters yesterday I saw a book about getting picture books published, maybe check something like that out. Might help.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So I had a dream in which I received my first rejection letter. At first it was kind of realistic because I was looking at the envelope and although I knew it was a rejection letter before I opened it, I was excited I was getting a response from a publisher. In my dream I could actually feel that the letter signified how official this journey really is.

 

Then I proceeded to open and read the letter, and the publisher had enclosed a handwritten note of all the things they disliked about my story. Talk about a mood-killer, even for something that wasn't even real.

 

Makes me want to hear back from someone, though!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh man oh man oh man...

 

In the mail today: first rejection letter. Boyds Mill Press wasn't interested. Blah.

 

Not too happy about it (obviously) but it IS a reminder I'm giving it a shot and I'm proud of myself for that.

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