Q : I wrote a manuscript and was wondering if you would be interested in illustrating it.

A: Congratulations! Writing a manuscript is a huge accomplishment. You are on your way to having a book. If you are looking to self-publish you will need to find an illustrator willing to work for hire. None of us Weirdos at Small Empire work on self-published projects at this time. If you are looking to traditionally publish you will need to find a publisher who is interested in your manuscript and they will find the illustrator themselves. You do not need illustrations to submit a manuscript to publishing houses. Good luck on your project!

Q : Would you be willing to read my manuscript/dummy and give me feedback?

Some of the Weirdos are willing to read manuscripts and give feedback for a small fee. Please choose a link below to speak with the weirdo of your choice

Q : How do I get into children’s book illustration?

We all recommend joining your local chapter of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. From there you can find a critique group, attend workshops, retreats, and conferences, as well as participate in competitions. SCBWI has been instrumental in launching all of our careers.

Q : How do I write a picture book?

If you have a book idea and you are not sure how to go about writing it turn to your local library or independent bookseller. Find books in the same genre as the book you want to write, and then read, read, read. Take note of word count, story pacing, and plot. See if you can find a creative writing class, or workshop that can give you the tools to develop your idea. Then write without being precious about it. Write a little bit every day. If you are feeling blocked give yourself a prompt. Ideas come from free thinking and play. GIve yourself the space and time to create your book. And join SCBWI a critique group will really help if only to commiserate!

Q : How do I get an agent?

Once you have a manuscript or dummy or portfolio you feel is ready to submit, join SCBWI. I know I sound like a broken record. But seriously, do it! Before you actually submit you want to get feedback from industry professionals about whether or not your MS/Dummy/Portfolio is actually ready to submit. So put it out there, hear the criticisms maybe make some changes. Then write a query and submit. But you should always do your research before submitting. Make sure you are submitting to agents who are a) open to submissions, b) interested in the type of work you do *, c) from a reputable agency and d) that their list of talent is appealing to you and somewhere you could see yourself fitting in without competing. Read and follow the agent’s submission guidelines, and make sure they are open to simultaneous submissions before submitting to others. *I like to use mswishlist.com to find agents who are looking for what I have to offer.

Q : How do I get a book published?

I got my first book deal from an editor who liked my portfolio which they saw at an SCBWI event. So, (not to bring this up again) but join, and attend SCBWI events. Submit to agents.