This is the blog home of #kidlitart, a live Twitter chat Thursdays at 9:00 pm Eastern, for children's book illustrators, picture book authors, author/illustrators and friends. Check back weekly to read transcripts, comment on previous chats and suggest topics for upcoming chats.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

#Kidlitart Chat June 9 2011: What is expected in the submission packet?

We’re coming down to the bottom of the challenge! Have you been keeping up? I hope so. I think one thing we’ve all learned in the past 6 months is how labor intensive creating a picture book dummy can be.

The writing of the text and development of characters, the deciding on format and creating story flow with thumbnail sketches, the concentrated effort on tight pencils and preparing the dummy for delivery all culminating an exciting (and we hope salable) picture book dummy.

So the book dummy is done now. Are you ready to submit it to agents, art directors or editors? Not quite yet. Don’t moan at me, you knew this was coming!

While it’s true as illustrators we don’t have to include quite as many things in a submission packet as a writer, we do need to include something.

The best place to find out what the person you plan to submit to wants from you at their web site or blog. Find their submission guidelines to make sure you are sending them a complete package.

In general there are several things to include in your submission packet:

  1. The picture book dummy (well duh!)
  2. A cover letter that contains your current address, phone number, and a brief description of your project. Often cover letters become separated from manuscripts, be sure to include your name, address, and phone number on the dummy as well.
  3. A hard copy of the text of the picture book dummy. This should be typed and double-spaced. (You might want to mention in your cover letter you are open to consideration of text and art being considered separately to double your chances of acceptance.)
  4. Do not, under any circumstances, send original art.

The cover letter usually has three parts and is one page long. Besides your contact information, most publishers like to receive a synopsis or pitch (brief description of the book) and your previous publishing credits (if any).

Remember at the beginning of this challenge how we stated there were no prizes and the only reward was the completion of your book dummy?

Yeah, we do, too. But things change.

We have a secret. It has to do with your book dummy pitches.

We’ll be asking you to post your pitches on this blog between our June 23 and June 30 chats. You’ll have 48 hours to get your pitches posted. Only pitches posted on the blog between June 23 (9PM eastern) and June 25 (9PM eastern) will be considered. You’ll want to have your pitch ready.

During the June 30th wrap up chat we will announce the secret. It’s big, it’s exciting. We can’t wait to be able to tell you!

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