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How many PBs before querying?

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Hello,

I'm curious to know how many PB manuscripts you had completed before you started querying.

Also, did you know when they were complete? I'm finding it very hard to judge. There are always potential changes. I'm waiting for a critique group to start so hopefully that will help.

TIA for any replies,

Bruna x
#1 - July 18, 2015, 01:02 AM

Hi Bruna,

Having a crit group or crit partners would definitely help. I would say it's essential. Feedback at conferences can also help.

About 3-5 polished PB manuscripts is ideal. However, you might write many more before getting to those good ones! I don't even know how many I wrote before querying. Maybe about 25 before I felt I had a good one. But of course that number would be different for everyone.

I would caution against querying too early. There aren't that many agents that accept PB subs from those who aren't also illustrators or novelists. So take your time and make sure it's your best work.

As far as completion, even if you get an offer, there are sure to be revisions. But try setting the manuscripts aside for a while and then look at them with fresh eyes. That's another good way to judge if a manuscript is ready.

Good luck!
#2 - July 18, 2015, 06:10 AM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

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Diana gives great advice.
You can also submit directly to publishers that sounds like a good fit for your work.
Good luck, Vijaya
#3 - July 18, 2015, 06:36 AM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

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Thank you for your replies. I'm a bit daunted by the idea of 25 picture books at the moment!

#4 - July 18, 2015, 12:59 PM

Sorry, I didn't mean to freak you out! It doesn't necessarily have to be that many (although, split over a couple years, it isn't really that much). Everyone's experience is different. I know at least one person (a blueboarder) who got an agent for her pb's after writing for just a year. Pretty amazing. She was a teacher so perhaps that helped.

I hope you don't feel discouraged. I say, just take it one day at a time and enjoy the process. :)
#5 - July 18, 2015, 01:28 PM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

Also, I agree with Vijaya not to rule out subbing directly to publishers. GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT, CONSTRUCTION SITE was subbed without an agent and it's been on the bestseller's list for a zillion weeks! I believe SOPHIE'S SQUASH was a slush pile find, as well.

(But let me just note that if you sub to a large number of publishers and it gets rejected, it will be harder to find an agent for that particular manuscript.)
#6 - July 18, 2015, 01:37 PM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

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Tara Lazar has a wonderful PB website: http://taralazar.com/  and there's also a group blog that is a wonderful resource for writers: http://picturebookbuilders.com/

And of course, there are some wonderful books esp. for PB writers: Linda Ashman, Anastasia Suen, and others have written some wonderful guides.

I hope this helps you on your journey to getting published. Hang in there and write lots.
Vijaya
#7 - July 18, 2015, 02:16 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

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Sorry, I didn't mean to freak you out! It doesn't necessarily have to be that many (although, split over a couple years, it isn't really that much). Everyone's experience is different. I know at least one person (a blueboarder) who got an agent for her pb's after writing for just a year. Pretty amazing. She was a teacher so perhaps that helped.

I hope you don't feel discouraged. I say, just take it one day at a time and enjoy the process. :)

I am not discouraged, at least, not by your reply! These boards and SCBWI have been an eye opener but I believe that is a good thing. I'm pleased to receive honest answers to my questions x
#8 - July 18, 2015, 02:25 PM

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Tara Lazar has a wonderful PB website: http://taralazar.com/  and there's also a group blog that is a wonderful resource for writers: http://picturebookbuilders.com/

And of course, there are some wonderful books esp. for PB writers: Linda Ashman, Anastasia Suen, and others have written some wonderful guides.

I hope this helps you on your journey to getting published. Hang in there and write lots.
Vijaya

Thank you for the pointers. I was actually on the look out for writing guides. I just mistakenly bought one meant for illustrators so recommendations are appreciated!
#9 - July 18, 2015, 02:28 PM

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