May 1, 2013

Agents or Publishers

Children's picture book submissions follow a different set of rules that other types of literature.  Picture book writers can submit to agents, who will later submit to publishers.  Or, the writer can submit directly to the publisher.

Different people have different preferences.  Some people want to hurry and get to the publisher as fast as they can, since publishers are the ones that ultimately get the book in print.  On the other hand, some want an agent first, since agents have many connections to folks in the publishing world.  Also, agents know which types of books appeal to specific publishers, so it's possible an agent could get it right the first time.  One piece of knowledge PB writers should have is that you always query agents first.  If all of them say "no", then you can try publishers, but never query publishers then agents.

If an agent wants to get your book published, the last thing they want you to say is, "Oh, yeah, I came to you because all the publishers in the world told me they'd never publish my book."  Why?  Well, if all the publishers told you no, who do you think the agents would query?  Yes!  Those exact publishers that turned you down.

So, if you want to query publishers, query them after you have exhausted all of your agent options.

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