Wednesday, January 26, 2011

CBAY Books

Here's a quick heads-up for my picture book writing friends. CBAY Books is accepting picture book submissions through January 31st. They're looking for fantasy and science fiction. You can read their guidelines HERE. They haven't published any picture books as of yet, but in this soft picture book market it's great to see a new publisher branching out. Good luck if you submit!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Auction for Queensland

I'll admit it. I don't really pay attention to the news because it always seems to be too sad and depressing. I'm almost always surprised to hear when something terrible is happening. I can't help but wish I could do something about it. Usually I just end up worrying about the people and the animals and wishing there was something I could do to help them when there really isn't anything I can do.

When my #pblitchat and Twitter friend Katrina Germein emailed me talking about the floods that were devastating her home state of Queensland, Australia I was shocked. There was even an inland tsunami. I didn't even know there could be such a thing.

Katrina was asking for donations for a writer's auction for Queensland. It's a little thing I can actually do to help, so of course, I did. I donated a picture book manuscript and query critique that is up for bid. You can see it here to bid on it or link up and spread the word.

There are so many great items offered at the auction including mentorships and one on one workshops. Many can be done in person if you feel like taking a trip to Australia. (Wouldn't that be amazing?) Many are also offered over the phone, for those of us who can't make the trip to the cafe to meet. Check out Authors for Queensland and you'll see all the great offerings that are up for bid.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

So it's a new year, eh?

Wowie, I made it through the year of the release of my first picture book. It sure takes a lot of time and energy to release one little picture book, and I'm no marketing maniac either. But here's the thing that everyone seems to ask me, "When is your next book coming out?"

Well, it sucks because I don't have a next book coming out--yet. I thought I did for a while. There is a companion book to BEDTIME MONSTER. My publisher was holding it, then they got bought out and the new publisher decided they weren't buying anymore books for the time being. Well bummer.

I tend to blame myself, of course. I know the picture book market is soft, but I'm not much of a subber. And even though I only sent BEDTIME MONSTER to three publishers, got two requests, and of course, one sale, I would never expect it to always be that way.

So, in October I decided I'd better put in a real effort. Really start subbing things--to publishers. Yes, I'd love to have an agent someday but an agent isn't going to publish my book and I only get so much energy to dedicate to submissions so I have to choose. I've been plugging along, getting things out, little by little. Then came the holidays and the new year. The story goes that subs go way up in the new year. To me it seems silly, but I guess I'm not much of a believer in New Year's resolutions.

Here's the deal though, I don't want my manuscripts to be seen as some resolution sub that was haphazardly sent because of some date passing by. They are certainly not. I thought about stopping subbing for a while, but I'm working. Should I stop because my manuscript might be looked upon unfavorably because of the time it was sent? I've pondered this and decided it's silly. I have to get things done when I can get them done, and maybe someday if I'm lucky I'll have an agent to help me do it. But for now I have a few stories sitting in slushpiles somewhere, some with a sent date around January 1st even, waiting in line to be read. Maybe it was the wrong decision. Perhaps I'll never know, but what I do know is that I'm never going to sell another book if I don't actually send stories out to publishers.

So, my answer to, "when is your next book coming out?" I'm working on it.