I finally felt ready to send out my dummy book. I have emailed my dummy book to several agents/publishers on the list provided by the SCBWI conference that I’ve attended.
Writing cover letters to send to publishers was another art in itself. I googled “picture book cover letter sample” or variation of it and use the ones I liked as template. At this time, I’ve already collected a list of publishers that I wanted to send to and list their submission requirements in an Excel sheet. In my picture book illustration classes, we were taught to read lots of picture books, make a list of publishers that publishes the kind of books that you like and google their submission guidelines. A lot of publishers don’t take unsolicited submission meaning you will have to have an agent to submit on your behalf. I think it cuts down a lot of work for the publishers as they receive a lot of submissions. Chronicle Books is one of the publishers that still takes unsolicited submissions and they write a very good blog about the whole process plus some useful tips. I read their blog posts when I first started preparing to submit and found it illuminating. A good place to start here: So, You’ve Written a Children’s Book…Now What?
Some publishers require physical dummy books to be mailed to them. I am happy that I agreed to make yearbooks for my son’s school and was taught how to use Adobe InDesign. It was very useful when I needed to print my own dummy book and have contact to the printing company.
Here is a list of publishers that accept unsolicited manuscripts: 30 Children’s Book Publishers Seeking Picture Books
Go to the publisher’s website to see their most updated submission guidelines.