Monday, October 01, 2007

Ok I'm ready to print it out and send it off to publishing land!

Wow, I thought I'd never get to post that title! I am so very ready but first would like some advice on what goes with a book dummy. What kind of cover letter do you send? Who should I send it to, the art director or the editor? I have my publishers picked and thoroughly researched but am getting "book dummy submission stage fright" if that could possibly be a term? Anyway, if you have any advice I would love to hear it. Oh and thanks for the feedback on last week's stuff. I fixed up all the loose ends and tweaked all that needed tweaking so now I just have to go get more ink for my printer and double check one last time for typos. Ahh, it feels great to be done at last but by the same token I'm not looking forward to the rejections I know will be in my mailbox. No artwork for this week just posted the two color pieces I'll be including with the black and whites for those of you who haven't seen them. Not intended for critique. Thanks in advance and have great and productive week!


  1. Giselle, these look beautiful! They are so eye catching, they jump off the page. I wish I could give you some advice about sending in a book dummy, but I've only done art samples. I would think you should send it to the art director, but I'm not sure. As for those rejection letters, don't even waste your time on those! With these beautiful illustrations I know you will be getting lots of interested calls as well! Good luck, this is so exciting for you!


  2. Giselle -
    Congrats on arriving at the printing stage!
    You've worked so hard on this and the dummy is beautiful, as are these two beautiful paintings! Love them - and the action is awesome. I remember them well- The colors are brilliant and the details are wonderful.
    Not to blow smoke up your skirt, but, I wouldn't worry too much about rejections - stay positive.
    I know what you mean about the "dummy stage fright" -perhaps that's why I'm taking so long on Spike's dummy - it's scary letting it go and putting it out there.
    As for the publishers - if you have the recent SCBWI Publications Guide (cover art by our lovely Bearded Lady, Carlyn)and the SCBWI Publishers of Books for Young People,(and I think they have a new update in the website) - then follow the guidelines for each publisher - exactly. They change with every house. Some accept multiple submissions and other's don't - either way, you need to let the publishing house know whether or not it's a multiple submission.
    Also, it's standard policy, for Picutre Book submissions - a dummy and a full typed manuscript- to be sent to the editor - not the art director.
    The art director accepts art samples when you're only submitting portfolio samples, but, it's the editor who looks at the stories -and the dummies. If she or he likes it, then, they'll show it to the art director, among several others at the publishing house.
    I think it's appropriate to send a short cover letter (along with the manuscript (typed double space, see the SCBWI guidelines for the standard format) and the b/w printed dummy, along with 2 to 3 finished illustrations to go with the book. Keep the colored copies of your paintings seperate from the dummy. In other words, they like to see the dummy all in b/w and the 2 color images (prints, never originals,)seperate.
    Well, that's all I know for now - if you'd like someone to critique your cover letter, feel free to send it to my email and I'll be glad to look at it for you.
    Also, have you heard about what's going on with Simon and Schuster? You may want to check my comment in Joni's post (this weeks.) for more info.
    Good luck with everything- and don't rush it - and I would choose the publishers you most want and send to them first - maybe only 1 or 2 at a time. Check their response time as well - I'd stay away from the ones that say they don't take multiple submissions and that they won't respond for 6 months to a year. Try to keep your options open and keep on smilin! Go girl! Chris

  3. WOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Yay for Giselle!! Ow, ow, oowwww!!! You've finally made it, all of that hard work, the long nights, the endless critiques and now... the waiting!

    And I think Chris gave you some great advice there, 99.9% of which I completely agree with. The only differing opinion I have is who to send it to. It's true, if you read what they say, they tell you to send these things to the editor. However, when I was at the lovely Illustrators Conference in NYC a few years ago, this topic was discussed and the art directors who were part of the panel were all like, "sure, I'd look at a dummy!" and they all seemed to agree that good work will get in the right hands no matter what. And benefit of sending a dummy to the art director is the art director gets a lot fewer submissions than the editor so it may get looked at sooner. Plus, if they like the artwork, they'll pass it along to the editor and if the editor doesn't love the story, then at least the art director has your artwork and the confidence that if the right project comes up you can handle it! I've always sent my dummies to the art director and had some terrific feedback this way (all rejections, but still!!) and they never once said that I'd sent this to the wrong person. And a few of the responses I received were FROM the editor so they at least DID get passed on which is great! I mentioned I think last week that I had sent out Stinky Feet (to Harper Collins who had liked my work before) and for the very first time, I decided to send it to the editor. I completely forgot that the editor and art director might have different guidelines (rooky mistake!) and received a nice but speedy response just a few days later that said they do not accept unsolicited manuscripts... so it may not have even gotten opened!! I think now I would have been better off sending to the art director, again, as a backdoor in, although because they made this clear (and it was a personal letter, not a form) I'd feel like an idiot sending it again to a different department! So anyway, I guess my feelings are that either way works but my preference is the art diretor.

    BEST OF LUCK!!!! You deserve it!!!

  4. Oh wow! Looking at your detailed sketches, seeing these babies in color is nothing short of the feeling of wonder when Dorothy firs enters OZ.
    The color is stunning. I LOVE little red skipping and the color of her shadow, and the sky!
    I have been told from other illustrators that you send it to the editor, but Gina's explanation sounds good too...hmmm. I'm thinking if in the Graphic Designers and Illustrators Market books if it mentions which to send dummies too, I'm sure some of the descriptions must mentions who accepts dummy submissions.
    If you find out anything new, can you post it here? Now I'm confused as well. (Even though I don't have to think about sending dummies off for a long while.)

  5. Sorry for being so sloppy with my writing! My fingers were going a little to fast!!!

  6. Hey Giselle,

    Just my two cents worth, I'm with Gina. I heard that too, about AD's. And it was at a SCBWI conference in Orlando back in 2004. You're trying to get noticed asap, and you will if you go that route. Your work is beautiful.

    Our SCBWI group leader always ends our meeting with, "Make it shine ladies!" and that's just what you have done here. It's shiney like a new penny!!!!!