I am a picture book author. Do you recommend I have 3 solid stories in my pocket before querying?
By the Numbers
Dear By the Numbers…
That’s a fabulous strategy. But only submit one. Think of querying as the door opener to a larger conversation: You open the door with the manuscript you’ve prioritized, and when an agent loves that project, they’ll ask to see what else you’ve got. You will be ready with one or two more, already polished and impressive. This puts you in a strong position to secure their representation then and there. Agents will rep a “one-off” project they know they can sell, but what they really want is a long-term client who’ll keep creating salable projects. Don’t make them guess if you can do this again. Show them. Really, it’s the old writer’s adage “show, don’t tell” applied to submissions, isn’t it? That’s a great mindset for storytelling, and a strong strategy for launching a storytelling career.
The Editor, Deborah Halverson, has been editing books for over 25 years and specializes in Middle Grade/Young Adult fiction and nonfiction, New Adult fiction, and picture books. For her editorial guidance in making your manuscript ready for submission to agents and publishers or for self-publishing, click Editorial services.