Thursday, June 7, 2012
Like many writers, I started writing picture books for my child. However it soon became clear that selling a picture book was going to be an uphill battle and I really wanted more immediate gratification. If for nothing else, so my fragile ego could more easily take the rejection from the PB publishers.
I've been a freelance writer of nonfiction books for kids since 2008. This spring marks my tenth contract with Capstone Press--and it's been a wonderful thing for the ego and my writing. Working with a variety of editors on numerous topics has been amazing. This year, I've also started working with a book packager (basically an intermediary who connects writers with publishers).
How did I do it?
Query, baby, query. I didn't have any connections. I didn't have any insider information. I looked at the submission guidelines and I submitted. Writing samples, resume, cover letter--just like applying for a job.
My best advice for writers is to diversify your writing. Love writing YA? Try writing picture books. Try writing nonfiction. Try short stories. Try a book review. Don't pigeon hole yourself into one genre--be flexible. And once you feel comfortable, apply for a freelance writing gig. You can't get a freelance job without applying for one.
Good luck! (And I'm happy to answer questions, either in the comments or privately.)