envelopesSo, I sent out my two picture book manuscripts to several publishers on Friday. The picture shows the stack of submissions, minus several query letters I sent out earlier that day. 

Wow, was that intense or what? A lot more so than I anticipated. I would love to have an assistant (or an agent!) do this for me. Maybe one day?

Although I sent the manuscripts to several publishers, this stack is actually the result of a significant narrowing process. I’m so glad I used Writer’s Market and checked publisher websites for current submission guidelines – I would have hated to discover that some of the publishers I submitted to don’t even publish picture books, don’t accept unsolicited/unagented manuscripts, or have other guidelines that would automatically disqualify my submissions.

A few additional things I learned:

-If the publisher asks for a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE), make sure to jot down the publisher’s name as the sender on the envelope (if you’re doing multiple submissions). I received one of my SASE’s in the mail, with nothing in it! (in fact, it wasn’t even sealed) I have no idea if one of the publishers sent it to me as a confirmation they had received my submission, or if a SASE slipped out of a burst-open submissions envelope. I sincerely hope it wasn’t the second, because then one of my submissions didn’t reach a publisher – and because I didn’t mark the SASE I don’t know which one!

-There’s a lot of conflicting information on the internet (surprise, surprise!). One website said that sending more than one manuscript at a time to a publisher is fine, or even positive because it shows them you are not just interested in being a one-time-only author. Another website said to NEVER send more than one manuscript at a time. As it turns out, the second site is more reputable. Unfortunately, I didn’t read the second site until AFTER I had mailed all my manuscripts. Oops.

-Finding the name  of an editor to send your manuscript to is sometimes tricky, even if you’re armed with the Writer’s Market guide (especially if you have an older version because people come and go). I tried calling a few publishers to ask for specific names but the ones I called only had an automated messaging service. As a side note, the next time I send something out to book publishers, I will probably purchase the online version of Writer’s Market because it has the most current information available.

Anyway, I did it, and it’s done! Now I just have to wait! (and wait, and wait, and wait…)

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