Monday, September 26, 2011
Literary agents 1 - Bermtopia 0
Facing a slew of family issues and a wild start to fall quarter at the community colleges where I work, submitting my children's book, "Go AWAY, Kingston!" has been pushed to the back of the book shelf for the time being.
But on a bright spot, I got my first first rejection! I am now officially a rejected unpublished children's book author. Huzzah!
Thank you very much for telling me about your children's book. But I don't think this sounds different or unusual enough to stand out in the very competitive picture book market right now.
I do appreciate your contacting our agency. And I send my good wishes.
So here's the funny thing about this. He didn't read the manuscript. He only wanted a query letter describing the picture book.
Now, I may be over-simplifying here just a little (and maybe it was a piss-poor query letter), but I think most children's picture books follow a couple basic plot lines:
1. Little kid / critter takes off in search of Adventure, meets interesting Characters, has A Lively Time and returns home Happier and/or Wiser.
2. Little kid / critter goes off and encounters Something / Someone Unexpected, has A Lively Time and returns home Happier and/or Wiser.
3. PRECOCIOUS little kid / critter etc. etc. etc.
An aside: Isn't it amazing the seeming lack of adult supervision in children's picture books, allowing little kids and critters to wander off all the time? Scandalous!
Anyway. I think you get the picture.
I humbly submit that it is words and images, not plot lines, that largely (operative word, largely) distinguish children's books "in the very competitive children's book market right now." And yes, I fully acknowledge and agree, complex, unique plot becomes more and more important as readers mature. I just wish my friend above had taken the time read the 350-word manuscript I have in my hot little hand.
Disappointed? Not really. I have been a pragmatist my whole life. This is not an easy process and the odds working against "Go AWAY, Kingston!" are far greater than the ones for working it. But lesson learned. In the future, I will stick with agents who want to actually read a manuscript. It just seems to make more sense.
In the meantime. . . .
I do appreciate your contacting my blog. And I send my good wishes.
Have a great week.