I get submissions all the time! There are a lot of would-be and aspiring authors and illustrators out there. I can’t possibly read them all, let alone give a detailed critique or feedback. How do I decide what to look at? How do you get me to open that attachment?

  1. Send your manuscript as a pdf attachment, not in the body of the email.
  2. Write a paragraph synopsis in the email, no longer – pretend it’s the blurb on the back of your published book. Make it intriguing, exciting and informative.
  3. Before you send your manuscript get someone to proof read it. Check spelling, punctuation and grammar as much as you can. You’d be amazed at how many manuscripts I get that haven’t been spellchecked. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but please make an attempt!
  4. If you are not including illustrations, why not suggest what illustrations there should be for your book. Fire my imagination! Show me that you really care! See the example picture.
  5. Be original! Check that no-one has written and published your story already. I am unlikely to take on a rewritten Hunger Games (I have had this submitted to me).
  6. I only publish Children’s Books!
  7. I like books with meaning – if you can teach children a positive message or a moral (without being preachy) – for example in Big Bill’s Beltie Bairns, the Beltie Bairns learn about prejudice.
  8. If you’re an illustrator and want to send me your portfolio, then send less than 10 finished images in pdf form, showing your adaptability – most of my books are about animals, but do have people in them too; a variety of both would be great.
  9. I love rainbows and unicorns! Any books featuring them will get get special dispensation.