And now on to marketing. In the 2010 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market, there's a wonderful article about how to research to find the right match for your manuscript. The labyrinthian maze of the market world can lead you a merry chase while you try to decide just who would even want to read your manuscript, much less buy it. And no one really wants to wait six months to a year to find out that the publisher they sent their zany fiction piece to, in reality, only prints cookbooks for kids. This particular article explained how to use the wonders of Amazon to help.
So I've been trying out their methods this month by doing the following:
- Reading every publisher entry in the market book, making a list of those who seem likely prospects.
- Using the advance search on Amazon to call up the picture books published by these publishers in the last two years.
- Clicking on the books appearing on publishers' lists and reading the reviews of the books so I can tell just what these publishers are acquiring.
- Compiling notes on each publisher in a spread sheet with actual titles, notes about the titles, and whether or not they are a good match for what I write. (Also putting in a list what manuscripts I currently have that might interest these publishers.)
It is possible to take the process further by targeting specific editors from the houses and using reviews to garner even more information than I did. (The authors who wrote that article had gotten it down to a science.) But for now, I'm happy with the information that I've found, and I can see what I'll be doing during every year for Christmas vacation and the following January. I'm also hoping to give many editors a happy New Year by sending them manuscripts that they actually would like to acquire.
What a way to start the new year!