Thirty-Thousand Words Later {Preserve Your Story Wrap-Up}

We started out October with “Preserve Your Story” at the top of the to-do list. Two months and some thirty-thousand words later, we’re looking back on what we’ve learned together, from the inspirational to the practical. Thank you for all who followed faithfully through the blog move and other challenges, and especially to those of you who shared your insights in the comments, proving once again that “writing doesn’t have to be a solitary activity.” Here are some of my favorite comments:

“Brilliant advice and so encouraging to know age and experience are my friend as a writer. I’m a late bloomer, confident in writing creative non-fiction, but I have the urge to try my hand at fiction. I don’t know where to begin, but your advice give me hope that even us late comers might give it a (successful?) go.” ~Kimberly

“I am loving this series so much that I actually wrote something yesterday.” ~Barbara, aka “Darcy’s mom” ;)

“Thanks for the encouragement. I just had the opportunity to speak at our first women’s retreat for our church. I’m beginning to embrace all of this as God’s calling on my life. To be honest, it’s a little scary to actually reach for the dream rather than just leave it out there untouched. Your blog is stirring the dream in my heart.” ~Tristi

“I always need to hear this, about starting somewhere, starting messy.” ~Tammy

“I am loving this series and feverishly taking notes as I attempt to apply the content to my own writing. (Yes, I am a closet writer!) ….My struggles, both past and present, ARE the foundation for much of my writing. While some are masked for privacy, they truly are what drove me to my knees and allowed the Lord to write His Story through me.” ~Barbara D.

“Sometimes it is easy to think that with all the good writers, why create? But you are right, there is no one exactly like each other. We need all the voices.” ~Amber

“I’m just realizing that this is the stuff that pours out when I write it and I shouldn’t bottle it up when I think it’s all too much, because there’s a reason it needs to come out and God uses it all.” ~Alia Joy

“I never realized this until you put words to it. My best blogging has truly come from those things that have brought me to tears or that really mean something to me. As I write my tears often flow and healing takes place or I am renewed.” ~Ali

As we close out the series, I hope you’ll take some time to go back through the posts that you missed, or re-read ones that were especially motivating for you. And please keep me posted on your efforts at preserving your story.

~Preserve Your Story: Table of Contents~

Reasons to Preserve Your Story:
1. Preserve Your Story Intro
2. Ink Spill: God’s Story Surfacing in the Midst of Chaos
3. Spotlights, Spider Silk and Self-Reflection
4. Words Between Generations
5. Astonishing Discovery: Writing to Know We’re Not Alone
6. Comforting, Never Comfortable: A Message to Share
7. Flowing Well: Writing to Keep from Going Stagnant

What to Preserve:
8. Write What Makes You Cry
9. Accidental Collage: Writing What’s Before Your Eyes
10. Fresh Language, Quotable Kids
11. Writing Butterflies and Brokenness
12. Seeing the World Right-Side-Up: Writing Answered Prayer
13. A Tale of Teaming Up: Writing Someone Else’s Story

Preparing Your Ingredients:
14. The Truth about Voice
15. Don’t Lose the Sweets: Keeping Track of Good Writing Material
16. The Mess Behind Picasso’s Genius: Drafting and Free-Writing
17. A Well-Punctuated Writing Life: Taking Time to Rest from our Words
18. A Creative Compost: Synergy in the Life of the Writer
19. Sidestep the Poet’s Pitfall: Discipline and Organization as Tools of the Writer
20. Create a Habitat and a Habit: A Place to Write
21. A Recipe for Revision: Refining Content
22. The Story Circle: Finding a Writer’s Group
23. A Feast of Grammar and Grace: The Editing Phase

Good Containers and Techniques for Preserving Your Story:
24. A Blog that Blossoms: Creating a Platform through Blogs and eBooks
25. The Right Container: Exploring Your Writing Type
26. The Dish on Articles
27. Drafting with the Pack: The Benefits of Writing for an Anthology
28. A Mini Readership: Children’s Publishing
29. Friends of the Fiction Writer
30. On Paper, Real Life: Writing a Good Non-Fiction Proposal
31. Sealed with a Book: An Overview of the Traditional Publishing Process

{Which post most inspired or motivated you? Which one best equipped you with information or tools to help you take the next step in your writing life? Share below…and if a particular post or the series as a whole resonated with you, would you think about sharing it with friends on social media to spread the word about Message in a Mason Jar?}

This is the wrap-up of my series 31 Days ~ Preserve Your Story, linking up with The Nester’s annual 31 Days of Change.

 

Sealed with a Book {Preserve Your Story ~ Day 31}

Dry summer that it was, there was still something to celebrate come fall. The fields and orchards gave a smaller harvest, but a harvest nonetheless. And so, she gathered a basket of Indiana apples under withered leaves and cooked them slow.

She drove to my place with jars clattering on the floorboards and the smell of apple butter tempting her from the dish on the passenger seat. I wanted to learn to preserve jellies and jams and garden tomatoes, to learn the practices of the self-sufficient slow-food kitchen, but I needed someone with more experience to give me the confidence, to give me the tools, teach me the methods, and say “you can.”

Maybe you feel the same about writing. You have a taste for a good sentence or a hearty message, and you may know how to cook up your own savory story, but you don’t quite know what to do with it to make it last.

I hope this series has given you a little bit more confidence, and helps you realize that though the writing (and publishing) process can be daunting, with hard work and persistence, you can preserve your story in just the right container.

Just as I learned the canning process and felt empowered to try it on my own, I hope you will feel empowered to consider even the possibility of traditional publishing as you take a look at the process, this particular means of preserving your story.

How to Can Apple Butter…and Publish a Book:

1. Start by deciding what you want to preserve: What is your favorite kind of writing? What do you have a taste for? What comes most naturally to you? Start dreaming and developing your idea.

2. Perfect and prepare your recipe: Visit libraries and bookstores and sift through the shelves of the section where you’d like to someday see your book. Decide what you do and don’t like. Experiment with techniques learned from other writers. Draft your ideas, revise and edit until the content and telling of the story are shelf-worthy.

3. Decide what canning method is best suited to your recipe: Spend some time in self-reflection and seek unbiased counsel on whether you are ready to go through the traditional publishing process or whether you would find more success in the self-publishing route.

4. Warm jars and lids in hot water: Prepare your proposal and sample chapters with the help of a literary agent who knows the industry and knows how to develop an idea, package it and present it in a strong proposal.

5. Remove hot jar with tongs and pour ingredients through funnel: The agent sends a query letter to gauge interest (possibly to a few publishers at the same time). If the acquisitions editor requests more, the agent will then send the proposal and sample chapters.

6. Measure for proper space at the top: The editor may then reject the project, ask for changes or proceed to present the proposal at pub board to other editors, the publisher and the sales and marketing representatives. The team looks for a well-written proposal that addresses a sellable idea. They decide whether or not they’ll be able to secure wide enough distribution to booksellers. They look for an author with a strong platform who will do their part in marketing the book. But even if all of these things line up, a publisher may still reject a worthy idea if they’ve recently published a similar work on their list.

7. Remove bubbles and wipe the rim with a cloth: If the publisher makes an offer, the agent/lawyer will then scour the language of the contract to get the appropriate advance and royalties and negotiate finer points of the deal such as deadline for submitting the final manuscript, word count, and even such complicated issues as right of first refusal, the competing works clause, whether or not there will be an index and who will pay for it.

8. Using a lid lifter, retrieve lid and place on jar, then screw on clean band: It is vital that authors stick as closely as possible to editing/revision due dates as they are put in place to get the book published on schedule. The publisher may time the book’s release to coincide with big events, anniversaries, competition with similar books at other publishers or their own internal publishing load.

9. Using tongs, place jar into stock pot leaving 1 to 2 inches of water above jars: The publisher finishes up work in the production department with cover and interior design, print and binding. You will want to voice any opinions on cover style several weeks before this process begins in order to have the best chance at collaborating. But even if you speak up on time, you’ll want to remember that the publisher usually has the final say should you not be able to reach an agreement.

10. Bring water to full rolling boil, place lid on stock pot and set the timer: The marketing department will continue to work out plans for paid advertising, promotional displays and giveaways, and getting publicity for your work in print and other media outlets. Any efforts on the author’s part must be run through the publisher for the okay. The sales team will present your book in a seasonal presentation to booksellers. This allows the publisher to gauge how many books to print and what locations those books will be distributed to best reach your target audience.

11. Let your jar cool, then see how long it takes for someone to open it up: After one or two years in the publishing process, you’ll finally get to see your work on the shelf at a bookstore or online. If things go well, that spot on the shelf will empty and the store will be calling your publisher for another shipment. This is a time to celebrate with friends and family…and to attend your book release party!

To get all this started, you’ve got to take initiative. I chose to call up Amber from Whole Foods for Whole Families to come and share her expertise and to guide a group of friends as we tried out the canning process for ourselves.

When it comes to your writing career, you may want to talk with a friend who has been published, or find an agent who will represent your work, or pick up an invaluable resource like Jeff Hermann’s Guide to give you the contacts you need to submit your work on your own.

If the traditional publishing route isn’t the one for you, I hope you’ll still go back through this series and soak in some motivation and inspiration for preserving your work in other ways. Because even if the harvest is small, there is a harvest to celebrate nonetheless.

{Have you ever gone through the publishing process or celebrated with a friend who has? What was your experience? Are you new to this? What other questions do you have about the process?}

This is Day 31 of my series 31 Days ~ Preserve Your Story, linking up with The Nester’s annual 31 Days of Change.

Don’t want to miss a post? Be sure and follow via email on the homepage sidebar or click “Get the Message” on the main menu.

(This post contains affiliate links to items that I personally use and enjoy. When you purchase through these links, you encourage continued creative community here at Message in a Mason Jar with no extra charge to you.)

On Paper, Real Life…and giveaway winners! {Preserve Your Story ~ Day 30}

I had a simple plan for Thanksgiving weekend. I’d bake a dozen biscuits, simmer a batch of fresh pumpkin butter and head over for a hearty meal with the extended family. We’d settle in for good conversation on the couch while the kids burned off energy, sure to lead us to an early bedtime. We’d wake refreshed on Friday, clean the house and decorate the tree at nightfall to the sound of Christmas music and the smell of store-bought ginger molasses cookies baking in the kitchen.

But there were problems. A week-long migraine and its sidekick nausea had me in a haze. I left the pumpkin too long in the oven and my biscuits baked up like a tray of stones. At the Thanksgiving feast, the kids took a few nibbles and abandoned their plates for cookies and cupcakes when we weren’t watching. Grown-up conversation buckled under ref whistles and the roar of stadium fans. I always forget about the football games. I settled for a nap, trying to kick the migraine for good, but found myself too often in the middle of the kids’ tackle zone. On the way home, my firstborn tossed his cookies, puking in a Ziploc bag while I hung my head out the window dry heaving and trying to talk myself out of being a sympathetic vomiter. More kid puke after dinner. Friday, the migraine came back in full stealing away any urge to do housework and by the time my husband brought the Christmas decorations up from storage, he opened them to chaos instead of peace. Glass ornaments slipped from overzealous little hands and broke into shards on the floor, apropos.

I’ve chatted with some friends recently about the pressure of the holiday season, how it brings out the best of ideals and then shines light on how reality so often falls short. We deal with our little bit of sickness at home while one of our regular servers at a local restaurant bends from the pain of chronic arthritis with no money to pay for her pills. I grow my baby and plan delivery/recovery under watch of the best medical staff while women who live overseas near my friend Alyssa deal with the prospect that “just having a baby is a dangerous event. Women who suffer traumatic labor often lose their children to death and then face the embarrassment of incontinence–women who leak urine are ostracized by communities.”

This kind of awareness of the world and our feelings about it can sometimes leave us feeling short on holiday cheer, but can also be the foundation for good non-fiction writing. Through experience or research, the non-fiction writer lays a problem or need out on the table and motivates the reader to turn the page to discover inspiration and practical tips for addressing the need.

Even in creative non-fiction, which tells a story of personal experience, the author presents a need and shares solutions, even if in a more subtle way. Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts starts out with a heart wrenching first chapter that gives the raw story of what’s wrong with the world, the crushing pain and loss that can cripple a person’s emotions and leave her ill-equipped to carry out her calling. We are hurried, we are stressed, we are in need. But if we will only pay attention to the beauty around us and respond to its Giver in gratitude, we will find wholeness and joy.

What about your story? What is it that makes you angry, irritable or teary-eyed? What depth of need does your own idealism take you to? This is where you start and where your readers will start, too.

Once you have your passion picked, you’ll want to give it a name and a description. Make your title catchy and your subtitle descriptive. And then write out your premise including the problem/need and your overarching solution. From here, you can come up with an overview and chapter outline that will serve as your framework as you write.

These same ingredients are the basis for writing a proposal for presenting to a publisher. While fiction writers, especially newbies, usually submit a whole manuscript when seeking publication, non-fiction writers have the advantage of presenting the idea in mere proposal form to gauge interest before putting months or years of work into it.

In your double-spaced non-fiction proposal, you’ll want to include:

1. Title: This will be a working title that may change as the book progresses. Again, choose a catchy, interesting main title and a more descriptive subtitle that will clearly explain the contents of the book.
2. Premise: What’s wrong with the world? Why do people need this book? Present the problem/need and your basic answer for it.
3. Overview: Stemming from your premise, write several paragraphs going into more detail about the content of the book.
4. Bio: What is your platform? What characteristics and experience make you the perfect one to write this book? Detail aspects of your background that give you special insight or expertise on the issue. Share past publications and writing experience that will equip you to complete this project. While you want to present yourself at your best with no self-deprecation, some writers shift into 3rd person for this section so it doesn’t sound self-focused.
5. Audience: Who is this a must-read for? Who is your target audience? The more specific you are, the better your aim will be. Include gender, age, profession, etc. (For the writing process itself, some authors picture a particular person or character to make their writing more personal.)
6. Competition: Differentiate your book from classics or current reads on the same issue.
7. Promotion: What creative ideas do you have for getting the word out about this book? Can you recommend certain trade show, conventions, or organizations? Do you have connections with high profile individuals who can help promote your book?
8. Outline: Provide a mini-synopsis of each chapter, preferably in the same style of writing as your chapters themselves. You may include your estimates of manuscript length and possible publication date here as well.
9. Samples: Provide one or two chapters of sample writing for this particular book. Many publishers prefer to see something other than the first chapter.

We’ll talk more about the publishing process as a whole in our final post, but hopefully this will get you started in turning your ideals into something that transforms both writer and reader.

Back at the Christmas tree, I pulled the last of our garland from the box unraveled it and circled it around, all these scraps from the hem of my wedding dress now adorning evergreen branches. These meaningful pieces, these cast-off strips of fabric, somehow made things feel right in our little corner of the world. Each night now, when I leave off my writing and follow my husband to bed, I turn off the lights and find this little surprise of light in the dark, an ideal gleaming.

{What experience or idea do you feel compelled to share? Spend some time working on a 3 to 5 sentence summarizing the need and solution. Share below.}

And now, the winners of our Blog that Blossoms Giveaway….

Results were picked at random from all 72 eligible comments.
Our first winner with comment #19 is Carrie. Congratulations on your free No Brainer Blog eBook!
Our second winner with comment #9 is Becky Marie. Congratulations on your free No Brainer Blog eBook, personalized blog/brand consult and writing/design session!

We’ll be contacting you both soon with details on how to claim your winnings. Thanks again for the enthusiastic response of all who participated. I look forward to getting to know each reader in greater depth in days to come. And for those who didn’t win the giveaway, be sure to get your own copy of The No Brainer Blog here!

This is Day 30 of my series 31 Days ~ Preserve Your Story, linking up with The Nester’s annual 31 Days of Change.

Don’t want to miss a post? Be sure and follow via email on the homepage sidebar or click “Get the Message” on the main menu.

(This post contains affiliate links to items that I personally use and enjoy. When you purchase through these links, you encourage continued creative community here at Message in a Mason Jar with no extra charge to you.)

Friends of the Fiction Writer {Preserve Your Story ~ Day 29}

Giggling with Award-Winning Novelist, Christopher Paul Curtis

Tomorrow night, I head down to college town to hang out with some of my favorite lit lovers. He runs the underground archives of the university, the ones he designed and organized himself. She’s a librarian who teaches librarians. And I get the privilege of listening in on a reading to give feedback as part of her research for her dissertation.

It pays to hang out with librarians, I’m telling you. Pretty much every time Julie comes for a visit, she brings a book tied up in a bow. Our bookshelves are doubly blessed for the friendship.

A few years ago, when she worked for a library in the school system, she asked me to design a media kit for visiting author, Christopher Paul Curtis. I combed through his factory-worker background and his award-winning book list. I picked up his novels, his move you to the edge of your seat with plot tension novels, his knock you off the edge of that seat laughing novels. In the clever and poignant, Bud, Not Buddy, I followed little Bud Caldwell on his quest from an orphanage to find the man from the jazz band flyer tucked in his suitcase, the man he believed to be his father. The writing seemed effortless, packed with conflict, motivation, likable characters, and fires and shanties of the Great Depression lifting up from the page through nouns and verbs like the images in a pop-up book.

For me, writing fiction can sometimes feel like trying to force open a window painted shut. My wordsmith leanings have me happy with theme and setting, but when it comes to believable characters and intriguing plot and conflict, I often get stuck. But sit long enough with a writer and you’ll get the whole story: the process hadn’t been so easy for Christopher Paul Curtis either.

Like Bud’s efforts to escape from the foster parents’ locked work shed in the dark with the impending threat of a hornets’ nest, Curtis had to keep working before he broke through. “I’d tried fiction, but I knew it was terrible.” He encourages aspiring writers saying, “Be patient. Fiction takes a long time. I didn’t really feel comfortable with fiction until my late thirties, early forties. I’d tried it, but I wasn’t happy with the results.” These are the words of a man who has written seven books and received a Newbery Medal, the Coretta Scott King Medal, and a Newbery Honor.

As we move forward in months and even years of reading, listening and practice, we can find our touch instead of losing it. Age can be a great friend to the writer. And so can the generous insights of writers, agents and editors before us.

From novelist and agent Donald Maass, I learn:
1. The best story world is a place prone to problems, one that has conflict built-in.
2. I need to lean on nouns and verbs to write highly specific details of setting, the ingredients that end up making it feel universal.
3. Position each scene’s conflict in the most difficult of spaces, a place with no escape (the subway or the police car as opposed to the kitchen or office).
4. Combine character roles to streamline my cast (lifelong friend is also the family doctor).
5. “If your heroine and her sidekick are standing still it ought to be because they disagree.”
6. My protagonist needs to do something after the climax/transformation that they wouldn’t have done before, an irreversible change or choice…even if it comes with second thoughts or a twinge of regret.

From author James Scott Bell, I learn how to craft a winning opener:
1. Using the name of the character seeing as “the specificity creates the illusion of reality from the get-go.”
2. In the middle of the action, something happening or about to happen, something interrupting or threatening (phone call in middle of night, boss calling character into his office, child taken to hospital, car breaking down on a deserted road).

From editor Sol Stein’s work, I try out the genious exercise of the Actors’ Studio Method using the plot and characters of Bud, Not Buddy:
1. Give the main character a script (goal). Bud’s script: “Big, mean Herman Calloway is your dad. He doesn’t know it yet, so you’ll have to show him all the evidence even if he wants to ignore it. You won’t leave until he acknowledges who he is to you.
2. Give the other character an opposing goal. Herman’s script: “A little pip squeak of a kid wants to tag along with your band and leech your money and time. You must get him back to where he came from without letting him close to anything you value.
3. Give a side character a third script. The Lady: “A lost boy is confused about who his father is. You need to get him a bath, some clean clothes and a good meal and help him get to the bottom of his mystery without letting him get emotionally or physically crushed by Herman.
4. Let them all go at each other and see what happens.

But practice can only take you so far. Eventually, you’ve got to sit long and write out the whole story that’s been buzzing around your mind, let it fly into open air. You’ve got to bust the door open and run free like Bud and his writer.

Some of you are just finishing the challenge of NaNoWriMo, churning out a draft of a novel in just one month. You amaze me. Most of us likely work at a slower pace, maybe sharing in a writers’ circle as chapters emerge or waiting to share a complete draft after years of mulling it over, outlining plot, drawing out characters and penning it all down. I’ve been crafting two novel-length ideas for a decade now, composting story lines, getting to know characters and drafting chapters here and there. For me, fiction takes time…and Christopher Paul Curtis makes me feel better about that.

{Have you tried your hand at fiction? What advice from the authors, agents and editors above is most motivating to you? What can you do today to move your story forward?}

This is Day 29 of my series 31 Days ~ Preserve Your Story, linking up with The Nester’s annual 31 Days of Change.

Don’t want to miss a post? Be sure and follow via email on the homepage sidebar or click “Get the Message” on the main menu.

(This post contains affiliate links to items that I personally use and enjoy. When you purchase through these links, you encourage continued creative community here at Message in a Mason Jar with no extra charge to you.)

A Mini Readership {Preserve Your Story ~ Day 28}

I found myself scratching my head at the end of the story. It had looked like a good one to my son when he picked it out at the school library. How could it not be with a title like Pancakes for Supper? The illustrations were rich and colorful. The main character was a spunky little girl intent on surviving alone in the forest after flying out of her family’s wagon. Except for a few overdone lines, the phrasing was fine. The core of the story centered around the little girl’s interaction with wild animals, how she convinced them not to eat her by offering her boots, mittens, coat and other pieces one by one.

But at the climax, the main character hid in a tree and watched the wolf, cougar, skunk, porcupine and bear in a mean chase around a nearby tree. For a reason that I still can’t figure out, the animals turned into a syrupy puddle at the base of the trunk, the first hint at pancakes since the title itself. And then the girl stumbled upon her parents and demanded pancakes for supper. I looked back through the book sure that I had missed some pages. When they were all accounted for, I thought to myself once again how much work it takes to write a good children’s book.

Many people think of the genre as a starting point for a writing career, but as children’s book author Michelle Medlock Adams says, “Good writing is tough no matter what genre we’re talking about; however, writing for children is one of the most difficult to master….You have to say a lot in so few words–make every word count!”

Children’s books, like any other stories, require a beginning (introducing the conflict and the problem solver…a child or animal in this genre), middle (exciting, engaging) and end (usually a happy one) that all make sense within the theme. When writing a story for children, authors must make every word count, carrying out the plot line in short form (and driven forward by the child problem solver, not by a parent or some unexplained happening) and in active language appropriate to the child’s age or reading level.

Pick up a few of your family’s favorite books. What keeps you and your child reading them time after time? One of our standbys, which I’ve mentioned before, is the book Duck in the Truck. Its simple storyline, funny cast of characters and clever use of rhyme (not forced) are so captivating that our son memorized pretty much the whole thing as a two year old. How does your children’s book idea and the writing of it stack up against the best books on your shelves at home and the ones at your local bookstore? And what about those that you wouldn’t recommend? Take some time to learn what NOT to do from them.

Are you forcing rhyme, making the assumption that children’s book are supposed to be written that way? Peggy Schaefer of Ideals Publications says: “While rhyming verse can be great fun for young readers, writing in rhyme and meter can be challenging– especially the meter. As an editor, I’d rather see well-written prose than poorly written rhyme and meter.”

Are you hammering your audience over the head with your message instead of focusing on good storytelling? Michelle Medlock Adams says: “Children (as well as children’s book editors) dislike preachy books. Good children’s books usually have a message woven through, but the story is what drives them.”

Are you cutting corners on storyline and character thinking kids pay more attention to the pictures anyway? Don’t forget about the parents who are doing the reading, at least for the board book and picture book age range. A bad batch of words could land you in the one and done category when the mediocre book doesn’t sell well.

Get to the point where you feel confident in your story idea and your telling of it. Share it with some unbiased readers, maybe even people you don’t know, and gauge their response. Take a look at the market for your type of book and tailor it to have the appropriate number of pages, word count and vocabulary level for your target age group. According to Peggy Schaefer of Ideals, board books for kids age 6 months to 4 years can have anywhere from 8 to 24 pages and under 200 words. Picture books for ages 4 to 7 will have 32 or 48 pages with a word count between 200 and 800 words. Early readers for ages 5 to 8 will have anywhere from 32 to 64 pages with 500 to 1500 words. Chapter books for ages 7 to 10 will have a page count of 80 and up and a word count starting at 5,000.

After all that, you’re pretty much ready to make a list of publishers to approach. You may want to start with the publishing houses that have already printed books in your category, as your story could be a likely fit for their list. You’d also do well to pick up some reference books such as Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market or Christian Writers’ Market Guide to get you started with appropriate agents and publishers for your work.

Along with a cover letter including a short overview of the book, some words about your background and experience, your research on how your book fills a void in the market and creative ideas for how you might spread the word on the book once it is published, you’ll want to submit the manuscript in its entirety for a board book or picture book proposal and a writing sample/excerpted chapters for an early reader or chapter book proposal. Any illustration ideas can be included on a separate page. Unless you are a professional artist experienced in the kind of illustration appropriate for your book, the publisher will be responsible for hiring an illustrator for the project.

While the children’s book market can be an extremely competitive one, you may just have the thing a publisher is looking for, maybe one of the favorites that my kids could end up putting to memory.

{What makes your favorites your favorites in the children’s book genre? Have you had any ideas that you could see developing into a children’s book of your own? While my husband’s agency generally does not represent children’s books, I would be happy to give you some feedback on your idea so that you can pursue publication on your own. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to chat.}

If you’re looking for some good books to check out, be sure and get your free copy of Anne Bogel’s Paper Gains: A Guide to Gifting Children Great Books here.

This is Day 28 of my series 31 Days ~ Preserve Your Story, linking up with The Nester’s annual 31 Days of Change.

Don’t want to miss a post? Be sure and follow via email on the homepage sidebar or click “Get the Message” on the main menu.

(This post contains affiliate links.)