Friday, November 05, 2010
discovering new writers?
Someone posted this comment on the blog and I thought it was interesting (hope you don't mind me reposting this!)
"While I'll always buy books by an author I like regardless of the publisher, from now on I'm going to try to buy mainly from publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts. It's my way to reward their faith in undiscovered writers."
I was discovered in the slush pile believe it or not. Obviously I only sent my manuscripts out to publishers who accepted unsolicited manuscripts.
It's been a few years (I guess more than a few!) since the day I started to mail stuff out and things have changed a lot. I haven't looked lately at books like the Children's Writer's & Illustrators Market but I know things are harder. I wonder how many houses still accept unsolicited manuscripts. As Alvina can tell you Little Brown is one that doesn't. I know from my experience, however, that a lot of writers can get around the "rules" by meeting editors face-to-face or going to conferences and getting the okay to sub that way. There is always a way around things!
But anyway, I think it's great to reward undiscovered writers. Every new writer deserves the attention or they won't get going with their potential career. I struggled for a while to get noticed and finally found my way when I started doing nonfiction. A frightening new thing in stores like Barnes & Noble is that they are taking away a lot of display space in the kids' department that would be used to display new picture books. There was always the picture book wall (a large wall space to put all the new books out face-out). Now it's gone! It's been replaced by Thomas the Tank Engine and the like. This is scary. Where are the new books supposed to go? In a store like B&N... I don't know. Nowhere. Spine out. How will picture books sell? People will ask for the ones they know: Olivia, Goodnight Moon, books by celebrities... and goodbye new talent. Goodbye anyone who isn't already famous.
I don't know what's happening these days but things are going to become more and more impossible.
Posted by Meghan McCarthy at 11:06 AM