Just think, in only 5 days (5 days!) our submission period for picture books will begin. We’ve been bracing ourselves getting very excited over the prospect of all of those submissions. We’ve also been getting some great questions that I want to share with you today.

If I’m submitting several books in a series, should they all go in one email or still be submitted in separate emails?

Actually, if you have several books in a series, you only really need to submit the first one. After all, if we don’t like the first one, we probably aren’t going to be to into the rest of the series, especially if they build on one another or are interdependent. What you should do for that first one though is make sure you include in your cover letter that it is the first in a series and then describe the series a bit.

However, if you would still like to send multiple books, be sure to send them in separate emails. With the dummies this is essential to make sure the emails don’t get to large and don’t come through, but even with the manuscripts we prefer that they be separate for internal housekeeping reasons.

Can I submit early?


Really, there would be no point. We’re not going to look at them before the 15th. In fact, this week is a busy week to ensure that we will have time to start processing through the submissions next week. Also, we’re trying to keep that email open for questions right now. If a bunch of submissions start coming in, those questions are going to get lost.

Can I submit more than five?


Seriously, if you can’t narrow it down to five, you aren’t being discriminating enough. Have a trusted, yet honest, friend help you. I really should only be asking for 1 or 2, but I’m aware that what I think is your best isn’t what you may think is your best. So, I’m giving you the benefit of a few more submissions. After all, picture books are short and can be gone through pretty fast.

I don’t have a completed dummy, but I am a professional illustrator interested in illustrating my own book. What should I do?

In that case, submit with the authors and do a regular manuscript submission (Subject line: Fantasy or Science Fiction Picture Book Submission), but attach a sample illustration from your book instead of a dummy. Illustrations should be high resolutions jpgs, gifs, or pdfs.

My dummy does not contain any color illustrations. Can I still submit it?

Obviously if you are never planning on black & white or spot color illustrations, you do not need to change your plan now. My request for a color cover and at least one full color illustration is to get an idea of your style, not because I am only considering color picture books. I’m willing to look at any illustrative style or medium or color palette. The more complete the dummy, the better sense I will get, but I can still work off rough but comprehensive sketches. However, again, please have at least the cover and one illustration complete. It’s hard to visualize your water color style if all I see are pencil sketches.

© Copyright 2006-2011 Madeline Smoot. All rights reserved.
May be excerpted and duplicated for educational purposes.
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