The Querying Process with my Picture Books by Blair Williamson
by Writing Workshops Staff
A year ago
Ok, so I've written and polished three picture book stories. That's a HUGE accomplishment on its own... but now I have another big goal ahead of me, to be published. So, I've started the querying process. Before I took Rosie's 8-Week Picture Book Class this is a concept I had no idea about... but have learned quickly that it will take time and a lot of thick skin!
I say thick skin because apparently, I am going to get a lot of NO's and that is something that I will have to get over. I am leaving my pride at the door (something I did a long time ago as a writer) and I am pursuing this next goal with excitement. I am also working on my 4th picture book story and will continue to write and query until someone picks me up.
Where am I now in this process? I have spent the past 3 weeks researching agents and publishing houses tirelessly to see who might be a good match for me. There are manuscript wish lists for agents and some publishing houses post what they are looking for as well. Not all publishing houses accept un-agented submissions, but some do!
Everyone has told me it won't be easy and that it takes time. That couldn't be more true! I have found matches that I personally think are perfect for my story and their publishing house, but who knows what they will think! Time will tell. Some agents and publishing houses don't reply to queries at all. Some take up to 6 months, though most ask to wait at least 8-12 weeks for a reply.
I'm already well on my way. I have received my first few "no thank you's, your story doesn't match what I'm looking for right now." The first ones were more exciting to actually hear from someone! The next few stung a little as the "No's" are flowing in.
But, all it takes is one YES, and I know I'll get there. If there is one thing I've learned in life, just because one person or a few people say no, it will not deter me from my goal. I know my stories are good and will make children and families laugh together, help spread environmental awareness about plastics in the ocean, and bring joy to homes and classrooms. Rosie J. Pova taught me to have 5-7 queries out to agents and publishers for each story at a time. This is a lot to manage, but I currently have about 40 queries out there. That is the magic number I will work with until I get that yes.
Thanks for the encouragement and following along for the ride. Send me all the positive vibes, please! Cheers, y'all!
*You can also follow along on Blair's Blog.