I've had a few ideas on revamping the series and will keep everyone posted when I've come up with the right idea for the series, although it may end up not being a series after all. I will have to see which route I'm going to take. Anyway - more when the revamp is completed - E :)
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Friday, August 15, 2014
Around the middle of June, I sent a query to Michael Bourret from the Dystel Agency thinking he would be a good fit to shop my series to Scholastic. This week (Wednesday or Thursday) I got a form rejection email from him, stating the series would not be a good fit for their list. My first rejection.
Around the first week of July, I submitted a query to NatGeo Kids and Schoolwide, Inc and have yet to hear back from either of them.
NatGeo's site states that they are not taking unsolicited work so my query was mostly how one goes about submitting to them; what the process is and how long to wait for an answer. Schoolwide's policy states that if nothing is heard back within 6 months to assume that the work was not accepted.
Since it has been about 6 weeks now, I am planning on submitting to several other places to include Young Palmetto Books (A University of South Carolina Press subdivision geared for young readers); Edupress (this one reaches both homeschooling and regular school systems, which would be perfect for me since my books fit both a homeschooling curriculum as well as supplement a regular social studies curriculum); Creative Learning Press (now Prufrock Press); State Standards Publishing (this is based in Georgia and they are looking for authors to present work about the state they live in but since I'm doing all 50 states, can't possibly live in all of them but I'll do a query/proposal for them and see what happens with them; I also believe I talked with this group when I did the school librarian conference a couple of years ago in Macon, GA); School Zone Publishing; PowerKids Press; and Barron's Educational Series.
All these were found in the Book Markets for Children's Writers 2014 book with over 650 listings. I went to the index and went through the geography/travel listings and probably some of the regular educational listings to try to find the best fit for my series. So tomorrow, I'll be delving into making more inquiries and seeing who is willing to pick up the series and publish it so that it gets out there to the schools and homeschooling sector (sounds like Edupress may be my best bet right now for that), but I will do my research and pose my queries/proposals and go from there.
I keep hoping to hear from NatGeo saying they are definitely interested and offer me a very nice deal for the series but for now, instead of just waiting around, I must persevere and move forward and keep sending out to other possible publishers. I will keep you updated as soon as I hear more on what happens.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
The JGDS series is still on hiatus until I can figure out what to do with it.
I've been trying to decide whether to keep the same format or revamp the whole thing. I'm on a teachers' sell site where teachers post lesson plans, worksheets, et cetera, and sell them to other teachers. I recently hooked up with a member who is a "curriculum coordinator"; I asked Mr. Hughes to make an introduction as she is a friend of his. We started chatting via email. I sent her copies of the books I had on hand and the study guides of the six books I have previously published.
She just finished an event in or near Provo, Utah, and read the first book and sent me some great information. She feels my books would make a great Scholastic addition but they are no longer taking submissions from anyone other than an agent.
What this means is that I need to find an agent who can shop the books around and hopefully have Scholastic pick them up. The process is long and drawn out to go through an agent and as I've never had an agent before, I'm about to find out that the process is more of a challenge than anything else. The waiting to see the whole series in print is fine with me but I don't know if I want to keep the same format as I've already started or if I want to start fresh and do one novel or regional state chapter books or go a whole other direction. I think the biggest problem I'll have in finding an agent is that right now I only have six states completed with the next four started and in various stages of being completed. This is only 1/5 of the total books to be published (if I stay in this format) and I don't know that anyone will pick up the series not being completed. If I revamp and do something totally different, that means I have to take time to write whatever I plan on doing and then shop it around to an agent, probably another year or so.
I looked at the Agent Query website last night to start getting an idea of some of the agents I might query and didn't get very far. I'm only looking at agents who deal with children's books. The three that I'm leaning toward right now are Faith Hamlin from Greenburger Agency, Ellen Levine from the Trident Media Group, and The Betsy Amster agency. I think Faith Hamlin would be a great agent, since she represents the illustrator for Ms. Lynne Cheney, author of Our 50 States A Family Adventure Across America. The other two because they have worked with some of the other publisher's who deal with children's books (McGraw-Hill, Simon & Schuster). The ultimate would be to have Scholastic pick up the series and publish them but I'll be happy wherever they land.
So, I'm in a dilemma right now of what direction to go. Please comment on any ideas you may have on a direction to go in. Any help is appreciated. - Ma America & the JGDS (Mrs. E :))