A while back I was in Powell’s Books in Portland, and got to peruse their extensive children’s books section. I was astounded at the quality of some of these books, and couldn’t help but bring a few home.
No word from the agent I submit Neat Birds to, and I can only assume it was denied. It was unrealistic to expect that the first agency I queried would pick up my first manuscript. Many authors submit to dozens of agents and publishers before they get signed (IF they get signed).
So my options now are: continue pitching this script, self-publish, or move on to another project. While I think Neat Birds is fun and many kids and adults would enjoy it, I also know it doesn’t compete among the top tier of picture books, and I’m therefore hesitant to push it with all my hope-and-dream-energy. Increasingly, I’m seeing Neat Birds as an valuable learning experience — a rung to help get me to that top tier of visual storytelling. That said, more could be learned, so I may work on it occasionally and eventually self-publish.In the short term, I’d like to finish a coloring book I’ve been drawing, with the hopes of unveiling it at Oregon Country Fair in July. With the warm weather comes my Season of Action, so art may take a back seat for a while, but I hope to continue drawing and updating the ‘ol blog when I can. Happy summer!
Upon turning twenty-five, I abruptly switched life paths. Feeling unfulfilled with my corporate IT job and Los Angeles itself, I decided to follow my passion for art and expression, and made a new life in Austin, TX. Ever since (in between various jobs) I’ve been practicing drawing and visual storytelling. This nine years of practice (I can’t believe it’s been NINE YEARS already!) has cumulated with my first children’s book manuscript, Neat Birds, which I’ve recently submit to an agent. This is a big deal!
If signed by an agent, it means they believe this book will get a publishing contract. With high hopes, I decided to submit to a VERY GOOD AGENT. Their agency represents the very talented and popular children’s book author & illustrator, Mo Willems. I’ve given them exclusive rights to my manuscript for a month, after which I can submit to other agents. I must wait up to six weeks for a reply from them (they receive MANY submissions), and if I don’t hear anything, I should considered it DENIED (brutal, eh?). Publishing is a competitive industry, and aspirants must learn to flow with rejection. That said, I feel like the book proposal is strong, and those who’ve seen it have had very positive responses — so I’m optimistic!
In the submission package were two documents. 1) The picture book dummy (the book storyboard), and 2) some samples of finished artwork. The images below show the art going from rough storyboard to “finished.”
They say there are no atheists in a foxhole. Well, there are no atheist authors-desperate-for-a-book-deal either. Your thoughts, prayers, and magic workings are appreciated. :)