Last night I started editing a children's book I wrote a few years ago. I'm not sure exactly when I started it, but the last time I had saved it was April of 2006. It's been through a couple of different phases. It started out first person and now it's third. At the beginning it was more like a poem and now it is definitely a story. Initially the target age was preschool and now it's more like 5-8 yrs old. I think it could use a little more work, but I've definitely decided something. It's time to put this boat in the water.
Yes, I'm going to submit a manuscript to a publisher. Yikes! And I'm making this declaration public so I can NOT chicken out.
It's hard to be objective about my story. I really like it, but while there's a huge chunk of my heart attached to it, there's an equally large part of my esteem that tells me it's a real bore. About 5 people have read it and they say it's great, but 4 of those people are related to me by blood, and the other one is my husband.
I have the Idiot's Guide to publishing children's books (co-authored by the guy behind this website) and another book with more publishing advice and an outdated list of publishers, both of which John bought for me a few years ago. I skimmed quite a lot of them last night before going to the web to do a little research as to which company would be the best match for my book.
The hard part now will be choosing only one of the millions of houses, then waiting for three+ months before I hear anything. That is, IF I hear anything. This system is not for the faint at heart. I can not imagine laboring away over a book of novel proportions and putting that baby out on the curb where someone may never even look under the blanket! However, I still have hopes of finishing a manuscript just like that one day.
The IG recommends using the waiting period to get started on a new project. I'm becoming more and more convinced that getting published is way more about working hard and not stopping until you're noticed than it is about real talent. And some of the books on my children's book shelves are living proof. You would think the poorly written stories would give me hope, but usually they are about already established, wildly popular characters. I'm not sure how you get going on those publications, but it's got to be some sort of grunt writing and I have no desire to add to the world of Dora or Pooh.
My main character is based on me as a little girl and my daughter. I can envision a series of books, but as for now, I have no new ideas. This last one stewed in my brain for quite awhile. I never want to produce microwave stories, but it would be nice if my cooking skills grew a bit sharper and quicker. Of course the answer is to spend more time in the kitchen. Wish me luck!
(this is one of my favorites)