Good morning, all!
I haven't gotten as far on my picture books as you have, Alison. In fact, there will probably be at least a dozen queries and a couple of non-fiction proposals under my belt by the time I even think about selling them.
Writing a query is nothing like writing a query for a book for first graders, is it? Sometimes a query seems to slide right off your fingers. Other times you may falter half a dozen times before you think you've got it right.
If I were you, I wouldn't stew about the illustrations. Agents expect a manuscript be submitted with the query, right? Does anything say they expect an illustrated manuscript? The publisher doesn't expect illustrations, why should the agent. That will give you all something to discuss later.
I started searching the Web for some help. This might be a place to jump off - http://www.best-childrens-books.com/childrens-book-agents.html
>>UT, should I just include the manuscript or also include a brief description of the illustrations that will accompany the manuscript and, thus, help "tell" the story? <<
I'll admit I'm not familiar with submitting picture books, so you'll need to do a lot of research. Agent blogs will be a good resource on this. But but from what I've seen, the author doesn't have much of a say in how the book will be illustrated. The publisher will pick the illustrator and work with them on illustrating the book. Part of this is the illustrations come in as part of the budget, so they don't get decided until the book has been accepted and contracted--then they figure out how much to spend. (The authors don't get to help out with the covers either).
But do the research, and even check out the agents you submit to extensively to verify this is accurate.
Writing Blog |
Yeah, what you said . . . .
And you said it so much better than I did.
I agree that research is the key - to almost everything. When looking for an agent, first you make a list of agents. Next you check them out. Preditors & Editors is a great place to start. See if the surviving agents have websites. If they do, read them carefully. (It doesn't hurt to take notes.)
You can never know too much. It helps to have friends who know more than you -- or can say it better.
Yes, barlan, almost all publishers have websites. Those that don't probably aren't worth looking at right now. Either they're so new they haven't put up a website yet or they're so old they still use typewriters and printing presses that haven't evolved much since Gutenberg. Either way you want to give them enough time to grow up and get into the 21st century or go the way of the dinosaurs.
Funny thing is most agents have websites, too. On these sites, one usually finds blogs. While the site may spell out submission procedures, the blog will often tell much more. The agent may outline likes, dislikes, and pet peeves; giving the writer huge insight.
I'm glad you mentioned IMDb. Haven't been on their site for a while but I used to get lost there quite often. Didn't know they had writing boards. Gotta check that out! Thanks.