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?
- Send your manuscript as a pdf attachment, not in the body of the email.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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).
- I only publish Children’s Books!
- 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.
- 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.
- I love rainbows and unicorns! Any books featuring them will get get special dispensation.