I like it when conference’s go well. I realize that everyone prefers things to go well, but it’s very stressful to have a room full of people stare at you with bored, or even worse, blank looks. We discussed the basics of publishing kid books, and then people asked some great questions. Curious to see what we talked about? Have a look at the handout here. And although the conference attendees are allowed to submit don’t think you can sneak an unsolicited ms in to me. I know the info is at the end of the handout, but you’ll have to resist the urge. It was a small group, and I met everyone by name. If I suddenly get 50 “attendee” manuscripts I’m going to know who’s trying to beat the system. If you want to submit directly to me, you have to meet me at a conference just like all these nice people did. I don’t have anything booked yet after July, hint, hint, hint.

The main thing not on the handout that we chatted about were the wacky things folks do when submitting. I said nothing that I haven’t said on here before, but just as a reminder, always submit in the most professional way possible. Format your manuscript correctly (double spaced, 12 inch standard font, 1 in manuscript) and send it on normal paper. If the agent/editor allows e-submissions, be sure to send them the way they prefer. Some want attachments; some prefer to receive it in the bulk of the email. Like I’ve said before, always look at the submission guidelines first. Don’t send blindly to any publisher or press. Finally, be sure to only send relevant material. No stick figure illustrations or pictures of the grand kids. If you would be embarrassed randomly showing these things at an important business meeting, then they are inappropriate to send in a submission. We are nice and friendly in kid publishing, but we are professionals. We like our authors to act professional as well.

And the desire for professionalism is not limited to me. When we did the agent/editor panel last night, we all agreed that our dream client/author would be a professional with patience and the understanding that they are not the only one we work with. Agents represent lots of authors; editors work on many books. Both of us love our authors and their books, but they can’t always be our first priority. Please be understanding when they are not. Be professional when the inevitable disappointments come about. Unless you’re trying to get fired, you wouldn’t scream or blog bad things about your boss. Extend us the same courtesy.

But the conference has been a blast, and I have made some wonderful contact, and I shall even dare to call them friends. I shall relate any interesting gossip, like the newest trend in romance novels, should I hear any at dinner tonight.

Until then, I leave you with a picture of the ocean. Think peace, calm, and tranquility. I will.

© Copyright 2006-2011 Madeline Smoot. All rights reserved.
May be excerpted and duplicated for educational purposes.
%d bloggers like this: