This is my journey in creating concepts, writing, illustrating, finding a literary agent, and becoming a published children's book author and illustrator for the picture book genre.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The path less traveled...but widely recommended.

Hey, guess what?! I wrote a story.
Yeah, you and thirty thousand other folks.

So, the journey continues. A story has been written. Characters were created and developed. I have an ant named Andy, a green frog who points the way, a very helpful red fish named Claire, and three bumbling bees who use their nice words and expect nothing less from our little ant.  The message sang as songs do. It was a melodious tune of greetings, nice words, and an adventure. The ending was happy. I beamed at my first masterpiece. It was around this time that I thought about wanting to see if I could get this published.

My plan:
  • step 1: write a story.
  • step 2: send to publisher.
  • step 3: story published.

Please commence with the laughter. I was as naive as my little ant character. The world was a far crueler place.  The work would be hard and the road would be rough. I was now faced with the truth and shocked by the amount of work there was still to do. I stood on an unsteady bridge over dark waters. Crossing it could be dangerous or an exciting adventure. What lay on the other side unknown to me. All of this work could be in vain. Is this worth the risk of rejection? Was my story good enough? I still ventured. Each foot flatly placed on one unsteady step after the other. I ventured forward with my manuscript in hand. I needed to decide a route of which to pursue. Do I skip the agent process and try to submit to a publisher, research and submit to agents, or self publish? I haven't even begun to research the digital world of e books.  After a lot of research, months and years of  research, I can proudly say that I have an idea of how this complex process works and the steps I must take.
  • Step 1: Write something. DONE. I can check that part off of my list.
  • Step 2: Edit to PERFECTION. Not kidding on this, people. The editing process should take several readings and revisions.
  • Step 3: Query writing. What is a query letter? It is a document you create to sell yourself to the agent or publisher. There is a format to follow. Word choice is also important. There are several books on this subject. I have read 4 and some online reviews written by agents about the dos and don'ts of query writing. It resembles a resume of sorts. Another quirk to this quest.
  • Step 4: Edit your work. Have someone edit for you. I would like to recommend this man to you. His name is Gerald Zepeda. His website Although his company is Edit Genesis, I like to think of him as Edit Genius. A copy editor can be an aspiring children's book author's best friend in achieving the dream of a published book. His work has solidified my writing voice and confidence in my writing skills. Gerald Zepeda is a  super hero complete with boots and cape flying in to save my manuscript from the agent's recycle bin. 
  • a query letter example.
    they vary in format and
    content depending on genre.
  • Step 5: repeat steps 2-4 over and over and over and over....remember, PERFECTION!
Let's stop there for now. Take a moment soak it in. Bathe in it and check out Gerald's website. When I feel that I have lost my way, I step back and review the work I have done.
I have a mission and a purpose to my story which helps motivate me through these thick and mysterious waters of becoming a children's book author. 
Establishing manners in our youth will allow them to be successful in a multitude of interactions throughout their lifetime. Emily stated it best, "Manner is personality—the outward manifestation of one’s innate character and attitude toward life."

No comments:

Post a Comment