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 entered 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 or make 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. I do see a number of publishers who do not accept unsolicited manuscripts but welcome illustrators to email them their portfolios. 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 as they may change.