Tuesday Tips: Are You Looking for a Publisher

BLOG- Looking for a publisherAre You Looking for a Publisher?

This is the goal line:


To have an editor in a publishing house say, “YES! This is what we’ve been wanting!

So how do we as writers and illustrators find a publishing house? I use several steps:

  1. Do they publish my genre?
    Make sure they publish the genre you are wanting to submit. If Publisher X produces Young Adult books, don’t send them a Picture Book manuscript.
  2. Do they publish my sub-genre / category?
    Make sure your category is listed. You have a Rhyming Picture Book ms. You look on Publisher Y’s website and see TONS of picture books. (yes) Check out their guidelines. Do they list or specify they take on ‘rhyming’ picture books?
  3. Are they open to unsolicited ms?
    Even when a publishing house publishes your genre AND category, they may be closed to submissions. If they are not open, do not send your ms. It’s like breaking into a house. Just don’t.
  4. Are they traditional publishers, self-publishing publishers, hybrid publishers?
    Traditional publishers take on all expenses. They pay the illustrator, copy editor, formatting, printing… etc.
    Self-Publishing publishers take on nothing. You are responsible for all costs.
    Hybrid publishers are a mixture of both. Both you and the company take on costs.
  5. Are they well known?
    This can be major. Less known or new publishers may go out of business. While the more known a publishing house is, the more submissions you will be competing with.
  6. Do they offer a marketing plan?
    Some small houses offer this! Large publishing houses are cutting back on what they offer too. Honestly, be prepare to either be your own pr person or hire someone to do it for you. You have to know how -and be willing- to toot your own horn.
  7. How active are they on social media?
    You would be surprise how little or how much publishing companies are on different outlets. See how they promote other books and their authors/illustrators.

By doing the above steps, I’ve narrowed down who I have sent my submissions too. You can use the same principles with agents too. You have to do your homework and know who and what each house represents.

Good luck on your submissions and may the odds be forever in your favor!

Until next time,


How do you determine which house to send your ms too?
Do you send your stories to small houses? Mid-size houses? ???
Do you have any success stories you would like to share with my audience?

Let me know.

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www.Wednesday… KidLit TV


KidLit TV, which will launch in the fall, will be the online video resource for the greater KidLit Community.

So why am I telling you about this web site now? There has been a FB group created for KidLit TV. This group will be your place to post videos or links to videos! Share your book trailers, news videos, interview videos, school visits, book signings, how-to advice on everything from creating awesome picture books to making animated presentations. You can also share others that you have found helpful, even if you have not created them. This is your video group in the KidLit world. 

I spoke with Julie Gribble, the creative brains behind KidLit TV and here’s what she had to say about it:


Our exciting new venture, KidLit TV, will leverage our experience with other forms of media to help parents, teachers, and librarians learn more about the world of children’s literature. It will feature interviews with children’s book authors and illustrators and will be an online visual resource for the greater KidLit Community.
The KidLit TV website and YouTube channel will be launching in fall 2014!

Remember the FB Group Page I mentioned earlier. There is a ‘soft’ launch going on TONIGHT! Julie and I will be online at 8 pm est to answer your questions and take suggestions.
If you haven’t received an invite to the virtual launch, let me know you would like to be invited. We’ll have to be friends on fb. You can friend me on my page. Also here is the page for the KIDLIT TV FB GROUP PAGE.

Hope to see you all there. Now, get those videos going!




Only three more days to sign-up for


There’s a line up full of great advice, story sparks, and some prizes scattered throughout.

So go to this JUNE 1st POST to SIGN-UP!

***Sign-up is June 1st through June 14th.  You MUST comment on the June 1st post, complete the challenge, and comment on the last post to be eligible for prizes.***

www.Wednesday: KIDLIT411.COM

Are you struggling trying to find information on the internet about children’s writing? Let me direct you to a great resourceful website that is FULL of information:




I spoke with the owners,  Elaine Kiely Kearns &  Sylvia Liu, about the website. It is so full of information and I wanted to give some great highlights. They mention the following interviews:

Good interviews:

Debbie Ridpath Ohi- Author-Illustrator- http://www.kidlit411.com/2014/04/kidlit411-debbie-ohi-author-illustrator.html
Jodell Sadler- Agent- http://www.kidlit411.com/2014/05/Kidlit411-Agent-Spotlight-Jodell-Sadler.html
Drew Daywalt – Author- http://www.kidlit411.com/2014/03/kidlit411-Drew-Daywalt-Author-Spotlight.html


AND here are some of their Most Popular Pages: Most visited

Submissions: Agents & Editors –http://www.kidlit411.com/2014/01/kidlit411-submission-how-to.html
Contests & Awards- http://www.kidlit411.com/2013/12/kidlit411-contest-awards.html
For Writers- http://www.kidlit411.com/2014/01/kidlit411-for-writers.html Picture Books- http://www.kidlit411.com/2014/01/picture-books.html

As you can see not can you find things about agents and editors, and writers and illustrators, but you can find contests, links, and you can learn more about the writing craft, tips, and and … okay, I’m getting tired here. GO! Click on the picture link above to go check out the website!!!



Only 4 more days to sign-up for the SUMMER SPARKS writing challenge!


Let me know what you thought about this website! Are there others you would like seen highlighted here? Do YOU have a resourceful website and would like to be highlighted?

Happy Writing!


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Monday Marketing: Google+



Yes, Google+ is important. Yes, you really should have an account.  And I can give you one GIGANTIC reason why… *hint* it’s the first word… “GOOGLE”.

Google is the #1 search engine. Think about it. A few years ago, you talked about searching for something on the internet. Today we say, “Google it.”. Boom, Bang, Done.

Google+, like any smo, has it’s pluses and minuses. You can find family and friends, create circles, and join communities. BUT there are also Hangouts on there. You can talk to someone face to face and have an actual social interaction with them. WHICH IS GREAT! Who doesn’t like human contact, to see someone smile, or to hear them laugh!

For your business sense, it’s great. I’ve created several circles to where I can send messages to specific individuals. Like writers, family, friends, media specialist, etc. This way you don’t have to worry about bothering everyone else about your latest presentation for schools or the new book signing you may have coming up or the family vacation pictures of you on the river with NOOOOOOO make-up.  See, not meant for everyone’s eyes. hahahhahahaa.

While it is another smo to keep up with and remember to post and share across, I have found that it is a valuable asset to someone with their own business.

Hope to post some tips about Google+ next week.

Let me know…
What you use Google+ for?
What are the benefits?
What ideas on marketing have you found useful?

until then…


*Don’t forget to sign-up for email updates! Easy sign-up can be found over here… —>

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Marketing Monday: Twitter



Who wants to feel like a twit when they tweet?

Not this girl.

So why shy away from this social media outlet? It’s different… It’s scattered… I don’t know what I’m doing. Well you SHOULD use twitter, especially if you are a writer! WHY? It will help you with word count, keep you updated in the field, have at-the-scene at conferences, make friends, have some laughs, OH and MARKET YOURSELF!


You have 140 characters (including spaces) to say what you have to say and let that baby fly! Picture Book Writers… this is for you!  Not a picture book writer??? WELCOME TO MY WORLD.   >:-}   Every word counts. Cut, tighten and hit send.


Follow editors, houses, agents, and other authors/illustrators. You find out what is being published, who may be open to submissions, where someone might be speaking at, contests, and and and… you’re getting the picture right?


OK, so we all can’t make it to conferences. BUT you can feel like you are there. Really! There are tweeters using hashtags in their posts so you can search for them and read all about it.


Follow your friends and see what they are up to, there are different chats that you can attend and some spoofs of those chats can get hilarious! You will get a glimpse into lives and some may shock you at how funny, sarcastic, amusing, and boring they can be.


Yes, you can market yourself on Twitter. Post news about your books, appearances, blogs, and on. One thing I would suggest though. Don’t over market yourself. No one wants to feel like they are being spammed. I try to participate in chats, promote other people, post pictures of my pets, scenery and nail art, and well anything else that might interest me. Keep it versatile and interesting. I really try not to put too much thought into it. I try to be me… the good, the bad, and the ugly.



One way to totally throw yourself into the Twiterverse is to join a chat. Chats can easily be followed by using hashtags (#). There are chats on every subject you can think of (legally), I bet. Two I like to follow are #pblitchat & #kidlitchat. There are ‘specials’ too. Where agents and editors let you ask questions or you can join a pitch chat and hope to catch the attention of an agent or editor.


Lots of good things… so much I can’t even cover it all! I want to give you a few links to keep reading though:

Both of these are worth the time (and money) to read through.

Now go on and spread your wings… before you know it you will be soaring through Twitter and not feeling like a twit at all!

Happy reading!

Tips on a Tuesday… Highlighting

Here is a great tips I have learned… HIGHILGHTING.
And I’m not talking about your hair either. hahaha.

This is a great tip that I learned eons ago. I can’t remember who shared it with me.

STEP ONE:  Finish your manuscript

STEP TWO:  Get several different colored highlighters (yellow, pink, green, light blue)

STEP THREE:  Go over your manuscript and highlight the different sections. Use a separate color for

  • dialog
  • action
  • transition

STEP FOUR:  Look at the color scheme of your story. Is one color overriding another. Do they look balanced? Also note the white space on your pages. White space can be as effective as your best writing to increase tension and strengthen the plot.


This trick has helped me to make my stories flow better and become stronger.

And maybe some highlights in the hair would be nice too. 😉