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.


  1. I think you made the right decision, Heather. Strike will 'your' iron is hot! And I admire you! Getting the stuff out the door is so hard sometimes. Good luck with your subs! And all the best to you & yours in 2011!!

  2. Good for you! Do what you can when you can, that's what I say. Go get 'em.

    Out of curiosity, can you send out the companion book to BEDTIME MONSTER to other publishers since the current publisher isn't buying any new books for now, or is having two related books out with two different publishers a no-no?

  3. Great blog, it is so easy to think once your finally published all the hard work's over but there is very much to the whole industry and getting that second book deal can be hard work too!

  4. That's too bad about the companion book, but congrats on the release of Bedtime Monsters!

  5. Thanks Dana. I sometimes wonder whether I'm doing the right thing or not. There are so many "rules". Really, subs can take months to be read so what I sent may not even be opened until summer. Seems silly to even worry about it.

    Ishta, I wish I knew the answer to that. I'm thinking it's a no? Guess that's why that poor story is now in the drawer. It's the first one a critique partner has ever said was "perfect" too. That just doesn't happen! *sigh

    Thanks for finding me Rebecca. You're definitely right about the second book thing. I don't want to be a one book wonder. ;)

    Thanks Janelle!