I recently had the pleasure of hosting an open call for submissions through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). In one month, I received over 800 submissions for picture books, middle grade, and YA.
I wanted to make sure I gave each book the proper time and attention, but 800 is a lot! I usually know within a few sentences of the email submission whether or not I am going to keep reading, which means first impressions are absolutely vital. In the end, I only brought about 10 manuscripts before my acquisitions board. For those of you with math skills like mine (meaning I had to use a calculator), that’s just 1.25 percent.
So how do you get into that 1.25 percent? How can you get your query to stand out to an agent, an editor, or a publisher? Well, look no further. I’ve created a handy, five-point system to help you get past the inbox and onto the acquisitions table. Continue reading