SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Genres & Age Categories => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: Betsy on January 31, 2011, 04:04 PM

Title: Current market for picture books
Post by: Betsy on January 31, 2011, 04:04 PM
I'm trying to get an overview of what's going on with the picture book response rate these days (manuscripts subbed to publishers, not agents).  Lately the response time boards for books have been almost completely inactive.  I can't tell if people just aren't hearing anything or simply not posting.  For the purpose of this poll, limit yourself to the last six months or so.  Don't post for recently submitted manuscripts--unless you got a response right away.  Thanks.  Hopefully this will provide an overall picture for all of us.  
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: JennaWren on January 31, 2011, 04:13 PM
Betsy, just wanted to check, but I assume you mean subs to publishers (as opposed to agents)?
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: Betsy on January 31, 2011, 04:42 PM
Yes, thanks for clarifying that, Jenna.  I mean manuscript subbed directly to publishers.  Are people hearing back?  Or not?
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: jeanreagan on January 31, 2011, 04:52 PM
What if folks submitted to a publisher via an agent?  Or are you interested in only hearing from folks without agents? 

Thanks for the clarification!

Jean Reagan
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: Betsy on January 31, 2011, 05:06 PM
Let's just limit it to publishers subs for now.  Although if people are having success with subbing pbs through an agent, you're welcome to post it on the narrative section of the thread. 

I'm just trying to find out if pubs are responding at all to slush.
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: MegM on January 31, 2011, 06:49 PM
Betsy, I voted before reading your post, and may have skewed your data because my sub was in Australia, to a local publisher. I'm the (currently) lone 'snail mail, acquired' in case you want to exclude me... (I won't be offended!).
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: JennaWren on January 31, 2011, 06:54 PM
I just wanted to add that I wanted to vote, but last spring (until recently), I'd not only slowed down with my PB writing, but had decided to focus on agents instead.  I had a very close situtation with a super agent that didn't pan out, and only in the past month have been expanding my subs to agents and (a limited few) publishers.  I think what lead me down this particular path was not only what I wanted, but also the stagnation of the market as an unagented PB writer -- that is, the market is slow for everyone, but to the unagented it seemed at a standstill.

Not sure if that helps in any way!
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: Betsy on January 31, 2011, 10:23 PM
Thanks, Meg and Jenna. 

I'm starting to get the overall picture from the results so far.  Interesting. 

Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: KatyD on February 01, 2011, 08:08 AM
Yeeeouch! That "no response" percentage is difficult to read, isn't it?
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: AmyD on February 01, 2011, 08:36 AM
I have noticed the same thing in the response boards. But, there has been a lot of talk about not publicly posting rejections so I figured people were staying quiet. That is why recently I asked a question separate from the response boards about Sterling. They are one of the few publishers that still take unsolicited picture book manuscripts AND respond even if not interested, so I was hoping people were still hearing from them. It sounds like people are but at a very slooooow rate of response.

Anyway, I didn't vote in the poll since I only have one manuscript out to one publisher (for less than 3 months) and am still hoping to hear back. I would love to see the results though, is there a way to view the poll results without voting?
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: Stephanie Ruble on February 01, 2011, 11:51 AM
Betsy, some subs take longer to get a response, but are still getting a response (why I couldn't submit a vote in the poll). BTW, is there a way to see the results if you can't vote? There usually is, but I don't see that option on this poll.
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: Betsy on February 01, 2011, 12:09 PM
Yes, it's locked to encourage people to vote.

I'd say that if it's been more than six months and you still haven't heard, "no response" would be appropriate.  I certainly know that some editors take longer than that to respond, but there's no way I can account for all possibilities in this poll.   I'm just trying to get an overall picture.

If you have a pb that doesn't really fit in one of the categories, vote anyway--and then explain further in this section. 
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: Betsy on February 02, 2011, 02:12 PM
O.K., I've unlocked the voting.  Please, if you have info. about a picture book submission, share it with the rest of us.  There's no way to trace who voted for what.
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: CarrieF on February 02, 2011, 06:03 PM
I do not have a vote (since I haven't subbed any pbs) but can't see the poll results. And now it looks like it is not possible to vote either...not sure what is going on?

Carrie
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: Betsy on February 03, 2011, 01:14 AM
Sorry.  I accidentally locked the voting. (I thought I was unlocking it and making the results available to everyone.)  I think I fixed it.  Try it now...
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: Ree on February 03, 2011, 04:21 AM
I participated.

Susan
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: JennaWren on February 03, 2011, 05:43 AM
Ellen, I voted but want to mention again that my sub is relatively new, so I haven't expected to hear anything yet.  Well, I hoped!  But didn't expect.....
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: eecoburn on February 03, 2011, 10:49 AM
Glass Half Full Girl, here. Hey, FIVE manuscripts acquired so far! And the percentage of acquired books is way above the what they say the industry norm is.  Of course, I know that since it is a Blueboarder poll the quality of manuscripts was also much higher.  I would love to know how many of those acquired books were from debut authors.
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: Betsy on February 03, 2011, 06:27 PM
Eeco--Just curious.  Five acquired in the last six months???  That's incredible.  You go, girl!

Were they all acquired by one pub?  Big or small?  Enquiring minds want to know...
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: eecoburn on February 03, 2011, 06:35 PM
Noooo, no, no.  I was not clear.  I was trying to point out that 5 out of the 40 votes already posted were acceptances (not to mention 9 revision requests!).  That is a pretty good percentage, compared to the usual ratios.  I was just casting some optimistic light on what could be a depressing subject.  I, myself, have absolutely zero acceptances to add to the list, but it is encouraging to see that someone, somewhere is selling a manuscript. It keeps the hope alive!
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: Ruth Donnelly on February 03, 2011, 06:54 PM
Are those of us who can't vote because we haven't subbed yet eventually going to be able to see the results? Pleeeeeeeze?    :revising:

ETA: Oh! Never mind--I can see it now!
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: Betsy on February 03, 2011, 09:16 PM
LOl, oh, O.K. Eeco.  Sorry.  I was about to recruit you as a mentor.

Yes, but I'm not surprised that the BBers are beating the statistical average.  This group represents a greater percentage of those who are serious about publishing, don't you think?

And also, maybe a little respondent bias?  It's more likely that people with some success would post their results.

All in all, though, it's looking good.
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: jojocookie on June 25, 2011, 11:45 AM
For PB

Highlights for children- Nice rejection one month.

Stories for children E-mail submission-Nice rejection on week.

Blue apple books publishers- nice rejection one month.

Philome- still waiting 4 months

Peach tree publishers- still waiting 4 months.

Caracus publishing- still waiting 6 months.

jojocookie
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: Jodelle55 on June 27, 2011, 10:43 AM
I voted in the poll but wanted to add my experience.  I subbed a picture book to an editor after a local conference where I saw the editor speak.  Still no response and it's been about 9 months now.
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: JulieM on June 27, 2011, 05:26 PM
I wanted to say that I voted 'snail mail sub, no response'. To follow up, after about 10 months I did receive a response - sadly, a R. This was to an Australian publisher.

However I have also just received an acceptance to an email sub for a different PB MS, which I can't add to the poll as I have already voted. FYI, I received a response after a week, but the contractual discussions ended after about 6-8 weeks (I have no agent). This is to a small US publisher. (I'll divulge more news on this later.)
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: Betsy on June 27, 2011, 05:37 PM
Julie, that's great!  It gives all of us hope that at least SOMEONE is buying.  And Jodelle--I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: Jodelle55 on August 24, 2011, 01:17 PM
Just wanted to say that I did finally get a rejection on the PB manuscript that I had subbed to the editor from a local SCBWI conference.  It took about 11 months before I got my manuscript back.
While I got a form rejection for the manuscript, the editor did actually hand-write a note at the end of it.
Just wanted to report in on the time it took to hear back.
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: Tammi on August 24, 2011, 01:37 PM
Yikes. Sorry! I responded to the poll before I realized you didn't want agented authors to participate.

One of the acceptances by way of e-sub was mine and one of the rejections by way of e-sub was mine.
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: JulieM on August 24, 2011, 03:19 PM
I'm afraid my deal fell through too! It was an unfortunate case of another book coming out just this year that was coincidentally similar to my MS. I'll have to chalk that one down to experience.
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: Lenoreva on August 25, 2011, 07:04 AM
One of the acceptances was mine too - also before I realized you didn't want agented PBs.  Sorry!
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: 217mom on August 25, 2011, 09:40 AM
Oh, JulieM. Sorry to hear that^.
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: CarrieF on August 25, 2011, 11:59 AM
I sent a PB to an editor I met at a conference and got a very prompt (3-week) form rejection. So BOO, a rejection, but YAY, I finally get to vote in this poll. Every cloud has a silver lining, I guess.

Carrie
Title: Re: Current market for picture books
Post by: JulieM on August 25, 2011, 02:49 PM
Thanks, 217mom; and what a good attitude, ECF! : )