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Do author/illustrators need multiple manuscripts?

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Hi! I'm new, but spent some time scrolling through the forum archives.

I have one solid manuscript and I was planning to begin looking for an agent. But, I've read in a few spots here that a person should have 3 manuscripts ready and waiting before querying. I understand that this is because PB's don't make much money. But is that the case for an author/illustrator, who won't have to split the cut three ways?

I guess I'm mostly a little bummed that I thought I was ready to get rolling, and I'm only a third of the way there 😂😭
#1 - February 10, 2021, 10:16 AM

Veni Sancte Spiritus!
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Given that response times can be long, it can't hurt to begin querying now with your finished piece as you work on new material. Good luck!
#2 - February 10, 2021, 10:59 AM
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags
https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com https://bodachbooks.blogspot.com

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Hi! I'm new, but spent some time scrolling through the forum archives.

I have one solid manuscript and I was planning to begin looking for an agent. But, I've read in a few spots here that a person should have 3 manuscripts ready and waiting before querying. I understand that this is because PB's don't make much money. But is that the case for an author/illustrator, who won't have to split the cut three ways?

I guess I'm mostly a little bummed that I thought I was ready to get rolling, and I'm only a third of the way there 😂😭

So, what you do have that is *finished* that you could show someone? Do you only have the one manuscript, and the dummy and finished samples associated with it? If that's so, then you might well want to wait.

If on the other hand you have a good set of professional-quality pieces in your portfolio, and a couple of manuscripts that are nearly ready, then go ahead.

In my experience, most people jump the gun and start querying before they are really ready. No harm done, since it just takes them longer to start getting real responses. But that also means that if you wait to start querying until you have more to show someone who is interested, you won't lose out. And you may benefit by making a better first impression...

(The above is based on my experience as a children's book editor -- I've been in the industry for over 30 years, working both in-house and independently. For what it's worth...)
#3 - February 11, 2021, 12:55 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

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Both of your responses are so helpful, thank you!

I have the dummy and the finished associated samples, yes. I also have a writing and illustration portfolio, but it's just all stuff unrelated to picture books, so I'm sure doesn't provide a clear example of what I can do or plan to do.

I'll try to be patient and flesh out some more ideas. I'll try!!
#4 - February 11, 2021, 01:41 PM

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Patience is key in this business. But that does not make it easy. Good luck.
#5 - February 11, 2021, 05:50 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
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Keep at it! Patience and persistence are essential.
#6 - February 11, 2021, 07:11 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

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Keep at it! Patience and persistence are essential.

This.

Sometimes I feel I was placed here on earth to learn patience. My strategy has always been to submit, record, forget and work on new stories.
#7 - February 12, 2021, 06:31 AM
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags
https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com https://bodachbooks.blogspot.com

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