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Format PB Agent vs submitting on line for new writer What is best?

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 :help2 :new
 I am so grateful for this format to get help!  I have my children's early reader picture book ready  ( 6 years in the making  )to get formatted for submission to either an agent or small publishing houses that will take the submission.
I have had critique groups /revisions and line edits- I need to get the copy edit - yet I am not sure where to get help to be sure the format is correct for either a publisher or agent. Is there a standard format that can be used for all submissions?  Do I need an agent ( I am hearing I do ) vs trying to submit myself?
Thank you so much for reading this and for your advice!!!!!!
#1 - August 05, 2018, 01:24 PM

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:welcome Julie. You have lots of questions--let me see if I can answer a couple of them.

About formatting your manuscript -- 1" margins, double space, Times New Roman 12.  Make sure all your contact information is on the first page in the upper left hand corner. Title and byline halfway down the page. On subsequent pages, make sure you have your name, title, page # in the header.

You can ask for a critique in the private SCBWI area: https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?board=121.0

Many people like to have an agent but you don't have to have one (I am unagented). There are many houses that accept unsolicited manuscripts. It's a good idea to get hold of the Children's Writing and Illustrating Market Guide. Your library should have a copy. Many also post their guidelines online.

Happy reading, writing, and browsing.
Vijaya
#2 - August 05, 2018, 07:31 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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Welcome, Julie. I'm a little confused by your genre. Although there is some overlap, early readers and picture books are two different things. You wouldn't pitch a story as both.

An early reader is intended for children ages four to eight who are learning to read. They are illustrated, like picture books, but the illustrations usually show what is happening in the text to support the reader. The vocabulary and language used fit the level of the reader.

Picture book illustrations may add an element or even another whole story thread. Picture books may be for ages 2-6 or 4-8. Vocabulary can be more sophisticated because picture books are meant to be read to the child.

The manuscript is formatted the same way for both, but you'll need to know which you really have when you write your cover/query letter.

#3 - August 05, 2018, 09:22 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

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 :thankyouHI Debbie & Vijay
    Thanks so much for getting back with me.   The formatting info helps as I have seen it a bit different on different sites and I just want to get it right!
   I am still learning the language of book writing.  My book would be considered early reader fiction.
   I can see how the query letter can make or break your manuscript being seen. I have looked at many sites for that as well- any suggestions?
    Companies online like  Reedys offering copy editing -what are  your thoughts on this? As I know I need help with that!
    One more question for now- Does the SCBWI critique the mechanics, content or both?
   Thanks again, wheww- a bit overwhelmed here but determined !!!  :slaphead
 Glad for this forum!!!! Thanks!
   
 
#4 - August 06, 2018, 02:41 PM

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Julie, there's a lot to take in the beginning.

You can ask for what you need in the critique. Content is generally what most people offer critiques on.

I recommend participating in the critiques because you learn so much by reading a story critically.

As to paying for services; I recommend that for much later, after you've already done all you can to make it the best story.

If you need help with basics, there are many good books. Given what you've written, Anastasia Suen's Picture Writing would be a good fit. She has a wealth of both PBs and EZs published. Also pick up a copy of Renni Browne and Dave King's Self-Editing for Fiction Writers.
#5 - August 06, 2018, 06:21 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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I recommend going through threads in Online Critiques. You'll see exactly what others do and learn from their mistakes. Copy editing is a true last step before submitting. Whether someone will copy edit depends a little on how good they are with grammar, spelling, usage, etc.
#6 - August 06, 2018, 08:25 PM
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Thanks again Debbie and Vijay,
     I am going to an SCBWI regional meeting here in Richmond Monday and looking forward to it.
 Thanks for your feedback- I am sure I will back for more!!!  Julie 
#7 - August 09, 2018, 01:41 PM

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