Hello everyone, & welcome to my book blog! This has been a long time coming, so I'm glad the project has finally come to fruition.
Here I will be sharing how to publish books with or without an agent & I will also be sharing any of my work that gets published; can't wait to share all these exciting things with you!
Currently Kellie S. and I have collaborated on a project, Sophie Stands Out and have heard back from several publishing companies. We are currently working with Olympia Publishers in London to try and finish the project.
Meet Elliott! The star elephant in another children's book I am currently cranking out with my sister, Shana Nealy.
1. Allow yourself plenty of response time from publishing companies. It can vary from up to 1 month to 6 months before you hear back. Don't take things too personally, but you may not ever hear back from a publisher, & that's their version of rejection. I actually kept my first ever rejection letter from Deseret Book (as a teenager) & considered it an honor that they even read my work.
2. If you're an author looking for an illustrator, get on professional sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Outsource. Also look for people working in the same niche as you. You need to build a writing & illustrating community or join one, & this is something that takes a while, but is a worthwhile endeavor that pays off.
If you can illustrate your own story, hats off to you! I have a short list of some of my favorite illustrators & authors (one & the same) that I'll be sharing this week also.
3. Don't let your illustrator work on the whole book, if you're the author--- first send in a couple pages of examples of their work (a dummy or storyboard) accompanied by a complete storyline & text. The majority of publishing companies do want to see a completed story as far as the text goes, but the illustrations can wait, since your illustrator has to be approved if your story has already been accepted by a publishing company.
4. Write, edit & rewrite your text before submitting it for publishing. It could take up to 20-40 times, especially if you have friends and family peer review it too. Just don't stop yourself by thinking it's been changed or reread too many times; you want it in the best condition when it gets into the hands of your audience. I will discuss this more at length too, but for children's books, parents & children, teachers & educators will be your priority target audience. Envision the people you are writing it for when you write & edit.
5.Seek out books & courses for aiding you in your learning process. (Currently I am listening to podcasts & taking courses on Udemy. You should check Udemy out for things you're interested in learning or learning to do better.)
I feel like everything worthwhile takes a bit of research; I am constantly checking out books from my library, looking on Amazon or buying on Kindle or Audible to support my growth as a writer & author.
**For a list of children's book publishing companies that do not require an agent, look on my blog under this post.
Reasons I like these publishers & grouped them together:
All of these publishers do not require an agent in order to submit a manuscript for a children's book. Some of these companies (like Olympia) prefer that you contract or use one of their illustrators, but they have some excellent literary works. (Some examples of their style of work can be found on beehiveillustrations.com )
Additionally, some other publishing companies such as Free Spirit have a primary, central focus on character traits & development. Free Spirit books are pretty specific and they are selective about what books they publish. I learned a lot about the book query process from doing their application process, including an extensive market analysis of any books that resembled our work, and yet differed from it.