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Picture Books (PB) / What to do next?
« Last post by doni-books on November 07, 2022, 12:12 AM »
Dear Everyone
I need some help to get unstuck and write this post to invite your reflection/thoughts on the matter.
What happened:
•   I have written 4 picture book manuscripts (with grateful thanks to all reviewers at the online critique board for getting the manuscripts to submission stage)
•   I submitted the manuscripts to a niche educational publisher.
•   They came back and said they loved the copy and for me to get back to them when I had illustrated the manuscripts. They said they would “licence" the books to their network of foreign publishers.

From me:
•   I 'm kinda concerned about the way they are communicating (brief emails, partly answering my questions) because I need to be sure that they know what they are doing (since I do not).
•   They are the go-to publisher for this niche area.
•   They have a publication record and have been around since 1998.
•   The manuscripts COULD be pitched to the mainstream, but they were written for a niche so may look extra risky for a mainstream publisher.
•   I feel worried about the ready cash that will be needed for an illustrator for hire as I don’t have 4-6k per book readily to hand.
•   But what I’d really like is a longer relationship with an illustrator and to work with someone who is prepared to market/publicise their work. It still looks like up front cash will be needed.
•   Should I be looking for an agent?
So….what would do you think should be my next steps? All reflections would be incredibly valuable.
Are you  looking for critique partners at this time?
Picture Books (PB) / Re: How many pages in a picture book?
« Last post by HaroldU on November 06, 2022, 01:27 PM »
Just to add to what Vijaya said, though it can be useful to make a dummy to see how your manuscript *might* flow across pages, art directors and illustrators may have their own ideas. As you have seen in published picture books, there are a lot of different ways to set up a picture book. Sometimes it has a half title page, sometimes it has printed endpapers, sometimes the copyright page is pushed to the end...

One possible rule of thumb approach is to break it up by two-page spreads. Does your story "work" nicely laid out across 13, 14, or 15 two-page spreads? Then you're good to go.

Good luck!

Picture Books (PB) / Re: Picture Book Biographies
« Last post by HaroldU on November 06, 2022, 01:22 PM »
Stephen, did you check on the Highlights Foundation website? I'm almost certain I saw them offering a workshop on PB  biographies at some point recently. Perhaps they'll offer it again.

Graphic Novels / Graphic novel pitch events and groups
« Last post by JohnellDeWitt on November 04, 2022, 01:06 PM »
Hi, for those new to GNs or who want some extra community, there are two other groups who focus on KidLit GNs. KidLit GN and Kids Comics Unite.

KidLit GN has a facebook forum:
and website:
KidLit GN hosts a website and Twitter pitch event every October. This year's is over, but next years will likely be the first Wednesday of Oct.

Kids Comics Unite is holding a pitch event that closes for subs this Sunday, so if you're interested, hurry and get registered:

These are both great places to expand your community and knowledge.
Picture Books (PB) / PB Critique Group or Manuscript Swap
« Last post by marc-kornblatt1 on November 02, 2022, 09:26 PM »
Needing to find new eyes, I am in search of a PB critique group or individuals interested in swapping manuscripts. A published author (PB and novels), I am hoping to find people with similar experience. 
Picture Books (PB) / Re: Picture Book Biographies
« Last post by stephen-aitken on October 27, 2022, 06:37 PM »
Thanks a lot for the replies. I agree, reading as many PB biographies as possible certainly helps to get up to speed with the genre and which structures are currently selling in the market. Also I did contact Donna and she hopes to offer the P Biography course once again in the new year when her website update is completed.
Picture Books (PB) / Re: Picture Book Biographies
« Last post by dkshumaker on October 27, 2022, 06:50 AM »
I took a course by Donna Janell Bowman several years ago. I don't know if she still offers the course but it was excellent. Here is her website if you want to take a look:
Picture Books (PB) / Re: matching comparable
« Last post by Debbie Vilardi on October 25, 2022, 06:44 PM »
For books that are about the same topic (very similar to mine) I give them a very short line discounting them--stating how mine is better.

This is a great strategy.
Picture Books (PB) / Re: Picture Book Biographies
« Last post by RebeccaL-G on October 25, 2022, 01:51 PM »
I write pb biographies. In my opinion, the best training is to read as many as you can that were published in the last 3 years. Note how they begin, what period of life they cover, how they handle the back matter, etc. Look up the authors and if you want to take a class, Google the author name plus class to see if any are offering classes.
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