SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Writer's Room => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: laura-shanley on May 05, 2021, 01:21 PM

Title: Interested in hiring a consultant
Post by: laura-shanley on May 05, 2021, 01:21 PM
I just joined SCBWI. I want to publish a book of my children’s poetry but don’t know which poems to include, how to find an illustrator, or which self-publishing platform to use. Ideally, I would have liked to have the poems published by an established press but after dozens of rejection letters, I feel I might need to put that aside. I did sell one poem to The Saturday Evening Post Magazine Group and it was published in one of their children’s magazines. I also had an adult non-fiction book published by an academic press. So, this gives me hope. Are there consultants I could hire that would give me feedback on my poems and also assist me in this process? Here is my one published poem (I did retain one-time book publishing rights). Thanks!

Laura Ruth has Lost a Tooth

Laura Ruth has lost a tooth
she proudly shows her smile
"When first it's loose," says Laura Ruth
"Just wiggle it a while."

Laura Ruth has lost a tooth
she whistles when she speaks
and when she drinks her orange juice
she often finds she leaks!

Laura Ruth has lost a tooth
and finds it rather funny
that little teeth when placed beneath
a pillow turn to money!

Laura Ruth has lost a tooth
now what are we to do?
Perhaps before the summer ends
a new one will come through
Title: Re: Interested in hiring a consultant
Post by: HaroldU on May 05, 2021, 01:52 PM
Have you looked in SCBWI's "The Book"? There is a section of manuscript editors and consultants.
Title: Re: Interested in hiring a consultant
Post by: laura-shanley on May 05, 2021, 02:30 PM
I haven't but I will. Thanks, Harold!
Title: Re: Interested in hiring a consultant
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on May 05, 2021, 06:20 PM
Laura, I've never heard of the Saturday Evening Post's Children's magazines. Can you provide a title or link?

Your poem is sweet and nostalgic. It doesn't read like a work for children to me. A. A. Milne's poems have the same feel, so you're in good company. I just don't know that his work would sell for kids in today's market either.

To select poems for a book, first decide how long you want it to be. Next look for common themes in your work or something else that might tie poems together. Or pick poems that together tell something of a story. (It can be a story in the loosest sense.)

It's also a good idea to have your work critiqued if you haven't already. We have a critique area and an area for finding critique partners.

Other than that, The Book is a great resource for many things.

Title: Re: Interested in hiring a consultant
Post by: dkshumaker on May 06, 2021, 05:15 AM
Hi Laura,

Since you mentioned that you are hoping to self-publish, have you looked in our Self-Publishing boards to see if there is information there that might be helpful? Here is a link to those conversations:

https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?board=95.0
Title: Re: Interested in hiring a consultant
Post by: laura-shanley on May 06, 2021, 09:19 AM
Thank you, Debbie and Dkshumaker! Debbie - The Saturday Evening Post Magazine Group (or Company) used to publish several children's magazines, but now I believe they only have the main magazine (SEP). Jack and Jill was one of their magazines, as was Children's Playmate (which published Laura Ruth).  I'm honored by your A.A. Milne reference but of course am sorry that my poems may not appeal to today's children. I grew up on Milne, so he was a big inspiration. As far as themes, I was told this also by an editor from Penguin Putnam, who did express interest in my poems and asked me to send her more. After I did, she said that I actually did need to have a theme. The issue for me is that I wrote these years ago and just haven't been inspired to write anything new. Hopefully that will change. But right now, my poems are about many different things, none of which seem to relate to each other. Dkshumaker - I will check out those boards. Thanks!
Title: Re: Interested in hiring a consultant
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on May 07, 2021, 06:21 PM
Great that someone liked them. A theme helps because the theme may appeal to a reader who won't pick up a general book. Also, teachers use them. Remember that theme isn't topic. Can you focus on a character? Setting? Concept? If you had more, you might still find an editor to love them. Poetry is a hard sell in books. Magazines are better markets for them, bu they tend to be flooded because so few markets exist for poetry for kids. Good luck.
Title: Re: Interested in hiring a consultant
Post by: laura-shanley on May 08, 2021, 12:32 PM
Thanks, Debbie! I am giving this some thought. I do have two longer poems that could be books in and of themselves, so I am thinking about focusing on those for starters. And the same characters are in both. I looked into magazines a little, but was deterred by the $3 a line payments, as I have limited amount of poems at this point.