I still haven’t sent out any query letters for my picture book. Is it “analysis paralysis,” an occupational hazard for a former scientist/engineer, or recognizing that I was about to “ready… shoot… aim”? I was researching agents and agencies – web sites are wonderful. One of the prospective agents lists books she is reading, included was Ann Whitford Paul’s Writing Picture Books. If the agent considers this book good enough to list on her website, I'm thinking I should at least skim it for Do’s and Don’ts that could make it or break it. Neither the local library nor Barnes & Noble had a copy that I could skim. Additionally, it couldn’t hurt to comment in my query that I bought the suggested book.
So for less than $10 I ordered a copy on-line, and it arrived in less than a week. Now that I have it, shouldn’t I read it before sending out my query? All of the agents I researched want the picture book manuscript included in the query. Keeping in mind I’m an unknown rookie, I only get one shot - the first impression. If it isn’t the best I can make it… slush pile. So instead of reporting on my first rejection, I’m studying Writing Picture Books. See this week's book review. I think the delay to study the book and make revisions will be worth it. At minimum, I’ll know I gave it my best effort.
Good fortune to all, and have a safe & sane 4th.
p.s. We're into workshop and conference season, anybody have a surprise success or lesson learned disappointment to share?