Submitting & the Market
with Alice Pope
MelLane: I was just saying, Verla, you'd better get here or you'll miss your own workshop. grin.
Verla: brb...I'm getting here...LOL. Not MY workshop...Alice's
NOTE: brb = Be Right Back (or sometimes BathRoom Break)
LOL = Laughing Out Loud
DonaV: AND my CWIM came today!
NOTE: CWIM = Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market guidebook
DonaV: Talk about good timing!
Verla: Great timing, dona!
mythmyth: boy, you are all so friendly!
Verla: grin. Children's writers are neat people, myth
Verla: I have some stuff to set up before we start...would one of you please take care of the podium, get Alice a glass of water and stuff?
MelLane: My turn to do the sound!
Terre1: brb, going to get some snacks and drinks
MelLane moves mike out of the closet, sets up stand.
MelLane taps mike.
MelLane: one....two....three.... testing testing.
MelLane: Sound ok, everyone?
DonaV turns her back and looks busy so she won't have to help mel move furniture
MelLane: Go get Alice some water, ok?
DonaV looks innocent
DonaV: Yes Mel?
Terre1: I'm back, anyone want a rib sandwich?
Harazin: terre--what else is on the menu?
*** AliceMP has joined channel #Kidlit
Verla: Hi, Alice!
DonaV: Hi AliceMP
ClaraRose: hello Alice
AliceMP: Hi everyone
Verla: Our fearless leader is here. No more editor-bashing, folks...behave!
DonaV: We haven't bashed a single editor, Verla!
Verla: (I'm just kidding, Alice...we don't bash editors often. GRIN.)
Harazin: Not since last night
MelLane: Just chat room leaders... like Verla. grin.
AliceMP: Verla--bash away, I won't tell
NOTE: Alice Pope is the editor of the CWIM market guidebook used by most serious writers of children's literature to find current markets for their manuscripts.
DonaV: So are you going to require a copy of CWIM for admittance tonight? (I'm so happy! Mine came in the mail today!)
** MelLane: I haven't gotten mine yet, I'll admit it. Sigh.
Verla: AliceMP...you ARE Alice Pope, right?
AliceMP: Yes, I'm Alice Pope
AliceMP: And I'm never changing my name again!
MelLane: You're not changing your name? That's all the fun of the chat room! Grin.
AliceMP: Okay--only in chat rooms, not in life
Verla: Okay....another test:
dorii: This is going to be a great workshop! Feel it in my bones!
_Lyra: having aliases is fun--although I often have to identify who I really am for new people
Verla: TESTING tonight's welcome message: Welcome to our workshop for Children's Writers. Please hold all personal conversations (including hellos and goodbyes) until the workshop has been completed.
Verla: Good! That will work
MelLane: That will do, Verla.
Leesius: Sounds good Verla!
Verla: seven minutes to show time!
gaillynn: I've been away for a while Verla. What is the topic tonight?
Verla: Tonight we have Alice Pope, the editor of CWIM here, Gaillynn
MelLane: Did you get Alice's ice water, Dona?
MelLane: It's gonna be a GREAT workshop!
MelLane: Course, they're all pretty terrific.
*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to "Talk with an Editor" Workshop here tonight
ClaraRose: something I need to hear.... pretty badly
dorii: Where's SuzyQ? She usually brings the popcorn.
DonaV: I'm getting out my pen and notebook
MelLane: Oh, good! A note taker!
ponytailmo: pen and paper, good idea - can you tell I'm a newbie?
Verla: Alice, if questions come too fast, just yell and I'll get them all to slow down.
MelLane: Pen, paper. A writer never goes anywhere without them!
Verla: Two minutes to workshop time! You almost ready, Alice?
_Lyra: I don't have pen or paper--just my cat sitting on my lap (g)
MelLane: But you have an agent, Lyra....
_Lyra: well...yeah, but I used CWIM to sent out a short story today (g)
MelLane: Aren't you clever, Lyra?
MelLane: I'm SO excited!
dorii: (This is so exciting)
AliceMP: I'm ready, I guess
Windy2u: My new CWIM came in the mail today. Anastasia's Baby Born has a nice 3/4 page pic of her cover on pg 138.
_Lyra: great for Anastasia!
dorii: I should get my copy in the mail tomorrow
*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to TALK WITH AN EDITOR Workshop in progress
Verla: Welcome to our workshop for Children's Writers. Please hold all personal conversations (including hellos and goodbyes) until the workshop has been completed.
Verla: Alice Pope is our workshop leader for tonight.
Verla: Here is her bio..
Verla: Alice Pope says: I've been editor of Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market for more than five years. I'm also Senior Editor of the market books department of Writer's Digest Books. In addition to editing CWIM, I also assist on acquisitions and development of our trade books dealing with writing for children. I'm also the assistant regional advisor for the Ohio SCBWI.
NOTE: SCBWI = Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators
I attend a lot of writers conferences and at each one I'm asked at least half a dozen times if I write outside of my job. I don't, but children's books have always been something I've been passionate about and I feel like I fell into the perfect job for me. When I'm preparing to interview an author, I may spend a week sitting at my desk studying her picture books or reading her novels. I can't imagine getting paid for anything better.
Verla: Okay Alice...You are ON. :-)
AliceMP: should we jump into questions?
Verla: Whatever you want, Alice
Verla: Did you have anything you wanted to say first?
AliceMP: maybe I should clear up the name thing
Verla: Great, Alice...
AliceMP: Pope was my original last name. I just got rid of my husband, so I took it back.
Verla: Do you want us to just ask questions, Alice?
AliceMP: ask away--not too fast, though
BeckyCraig: I must tell you all that my CWIM came in the mail this afternoon. I was sooo excited. What should I read first?
AliceMP: I really like First Books this year, Becky
BeckyCraig: I'll look for it.
MelLane: What is the biggest mistake a writer makes in submitting, other than not researching the markets?
AliceMP: not researching is a big mistake
AliceMP: maybe submitting before their work is ready to be out there
A-Suen: Someone emailed me & said that my BABY BORN book was on page 138! I am so happy! How did you decide on that?
BeckyCraig: It is ....Baby Born is sooo cute!
AliceMP: Anastasia, we saw it in Lee & Low's catalog and loved it
A-Suen: thanks! :)
AliceMP: We bought 2 copies for the office. Did you get a contributor copy?
A-Suen: I didn't get a copy, Alice, not yet anyway
AliceMP: Anastasia, make sure I have your snail address and I'll be sure you get one
A-Suen: thank you!!!
Dani257: How long should you wait after the set response time to contact an editor about the status of your work?
Verla: Do you have any advice to give new writers on how to know if their work is ready to submit, Alice?
NOTE: this question was not answered
BeckyCraig: If they have an e-mail address listed in CWIM is it okay to e-mail queries or is this just for information?
AliceMP: I wouldn't e-mail a query
AliceMP: Although, I love email queries.
DonaV: Alice, what about emailing to find out the status of your manuscript?
AliceMP: ... e-mail. I'm not sure how editors would feel about emailing for status reports.
AliceMP: These are good questions to ask them next year.
gaillynn: Are there any new publishers we should be especially aware of?
AliceMP: New publshers...
AliceMP: not off the top of my head. Any new ones I have in the 1999 CWIM seem pretty old to me
Verla: Did you see Dani's question, Alice? Dani257: How long should you wait after the set response time to contact an editor about the status of your work?
AliceMP: No, I missed it--sorry Dani
Dani257: That's okay:-)
AliceMP: most of them say 3 months or so
AliceMP: I guess that's the average, but I'm sure you writers know otherwise
AliceMP: If that's what they advertise, I'd say ask
AliceMP: after their time limit is up--couldn't hurt
Marianne__: Alice, I'm in Ohio (Medina) - I didn't know you were the Assistant Regional Advisor - Could you explain that? I know Laurie Knowlton-Lazzaro is, but?
NOTE: Marianne is talking about Alice being the Assistant Regional Advisor of her area's SCBWI
AliceMP: Marianne, Laurie is the Regional Advisor
AliceMP: I'm her assistant, taking care of things in Southern Ohio
Marianne__: Thanks, big area to cover I imagine. (:)
AliceMP: We didn't have much going on down here
AliceMP: The response has been good
ponytailmom When submitting a query, should you include a sample of your work, even if they don't necessary specify it in the listings?
MelLane: Will publishers who only accept agented material consider a query letter?
AliceMP: Mel, most will.
Verla: Did you see this question, Alice? ponytailmom When submitting a query, should you include a sample of your work, even if they don't necessary specify it in the listings?
Umak: Do publishers pay to get listed? Or how do they get on your list to be conbe considered?
DanielJack: How do you feel about simultaneous submissions?
AliceMP: wait wait, I can't keep up
Verla: Hold questions for a minute...
Verla: And don't worry, Alice...I'll catch the ones you miss and repost them.
AliceMP: where did I leave off Verla?
Verla: Ponytail mom is next
AliceMP: okay, go ahead ponytailmom
Verla: ponytailmom When submitting a query, should you include a sample of your work, even if they don't necessary specify it in the listings?
ponytailmo: thanks Verla, I couldn't retype it fast enough!
AliceMP: I'd just send the letter if that's what they ask for.
Verla: Umak: Do publishers pay to get listed? Or how do they get on your list to be considered?
AliceMP: No--they do not pay to be listed.
Verla: DanielJack: How do you feel about simultaneous submissions?
AliceMP: We read newletters, Publishers Weekly, etc. to look
AliceMP: for pubs we don't have and send them questionnaires.
Umak: thanks, I wondered why my publisher isn't in there.
Verla: Okay...next group of questions...
Leesius: I've got a self-published book that's selling locally but I'd like to have reprinted by an established publisher. Should I send it out in its book form?
AliceMP: Leesius, I'd send it in its book form I think. Any opnions on this?
Verla: I don't think it would hurt to send it in book form, either, Alice....
MelLane: I'd suggest book form, with a note that it's self-published and has been selling well.
Umak: Bk form, definitely.
Leesius: Thanks! I just did to Houghton Mifflin. Any line on who's most open to reprints these days?
Note: This question was not answered
MelLane: Do you have many Christian publications listed this year?
AliceMP: Mel, I think the number remains about the same as 98
Verla: Alice....DanielJack: How do you feel about simultaneous submissions?
AliceMP: DanielJack, I'm all for them
MelLane: How do publishers feel about simulataneous submissions?
MelLane: As a general rule?
AliceMP: Mel, I it depends on who you ask
AliceMP: With the response time what it is, I think it's wise to submit to several publishers at once
DanielJack: Good! So am I (makes life easier).
AliceMP: I don't see how they can object. It's a fact that they've got tons of slush. They can't expect you all to wait
Umak: I've heard editors say it's OK as long as you let them know.
ponytailmo: The Writers and Illustrators Market doesn't have very many Canadian publishers, does yours?
AliceMP: We've got some Canadian
AliceMP: It's hard to get info from them
Amishka: Ponytail Mom try the Canadian Writer's market
Verla: (just for the record, ponytailmom, I got my ICL Children's Writer's newsletter today and it's really heavy on the Canadian market news this month.)
NOTE: ICL = Institute of Children's Literature
ClaraRose: Are publishers open enough to you to share with you what is on their 'list'?
AliceMP: Clara, I'm not sure what you mean
MelLane: What's the best way to research book markets, without the expensive catalog copies?
AliceMP: Go to bookstores and peruse catalogs on publishers' websites
Verla: (If you go to your state Reading Association conference, mel...you can pick up all the publisher's catalogs FREE)
Windy2u: In last weeks PW, they gave a ranking of publishing houses for 98. Should that have any influence on who we might submit to?
AliceMP: You should submit to publishers you thing best fit your work, Windy.
DanielJack: What do you put on an SASE when submitting to international markets?
Dani257: Should you submit to publishers who've already published books similar to yours, or not?
AliceMP: Dani, I think that's okay.
Verla: Alice, here's the next question: DanielJack: What do you put on an SASE when submitting to international markets?
AliceMP: Candian, include International Reply Coupon w/ the envelope. You can get them at post office
_Enchanted: Alice, the CWIM has so much useful info, articles, interviews, etc. Yet, once the new issue is out, the listings in the previous issue are pretty much "taking up space". Ever think about publishing a "cumulative" of sorts, including all of the advice and interviews?
AliceMP: Enchanted, don't think that's in the budget, but it would be fun!
AliceMP: The articles are my favorite part
Verla: Do you ever notify people (like Anastasia) who have something in a CWIM article?
AliceMP: Verla, we usually do. Depends on what info the publisher gives us
Verla: Neat! Thanks, Alice..
MelLane: Are the percentages of new writers getting accepted increasing?
dorii: How many copies of CWIM do you think sell in a year ?
AliceMP: 1998 sold just under 35,000
DanielJack: Is there any point in trying to call an editor to get them interested before submitting?
AliceMP: Daniel, it might be tough getting them on the phone at some houses
Deetle: Alice: I hear a lot of "don't do this" and "don't do that" but my experience in the business world tells me that if you do something "well" you can break the rules. do you think this is true?
AliceMP: Deetle, I'm sure a lot of people break rules and have success
AliceMP: it's hard to give a formula for getting published--everyone had to find out what works for them
MelLane: That's true. Any advice for new writers trying to break into print?
Verla: Here's a question that got missed, Alice: MelLane: Are the percentages of new writers getting accepted increasing?
AliceMP: Mel, that's a tough question, and I don't know where I'd find stats on it
AliceMP: but I read tons of review publications and constantly see first books being
AliceMP: reviewed, so I know it's happening. I've also heard
AliceMP: edtiors say that they might be more likely to publish a first timer
AliceMP: than something else from a published authors whose sales have not been great
Verla: That's REALLY good news for new writers, Alice!
Verla: And... I'm curious as to how you pick the authors to interview for your articles in CWIM.
zzap: verla, is that nice?
MelLane: any advice for new writers?
AliceMP: don't go it alone
mythmyth: what do you mean?
AliceMP: find a network, like this chatroom and the CW list
NOTE: CW list = Children's Writer's List
PamelaRoss: You mean critique groups?
AliceMP: yes, or a critique group through SCBWI
Verla: Having writing friends around you is SOOOO helpful!
PamelaRoss: Yes, ditto, Verla
MelLane: It really is... I don't know what I'd do without my friends in chat.
zzap: I don't know what I'd do without CWIM :-)
AliceMP: thanks. me too
mythmyth: what do you think of the institute of children's literature?
AliceMP: mythmyth, don't have much experience w/ ICL personally
AliceMP: have heard many writers who like their program
MelLane: Myth: I took the course and loved it. So did Verla.
Verla: I just completed their advanced course (ICL Institute of Children's Literature) and I think it's TERRIFIC for a SERIOUS writer
Marianne__: I buy CWIM religiously every year, but then I hear after about 5-6 months it's outdated. I know CBI updates for you, but do you believe in this theory personally? When do most publishers send the questionnaire's back to you?
NOTE: CBI = Children's Book Insider
DanielJack: There is a pubisher that was in the '98 CWIM, but is not in the '99 (not in the index either). Why?
AliceMP: We get questionnaires back in summer
AliceMP: and go to the printer in September. So yes, it does get old
AliceMP: There are things in the '99 edition that are not up-to-date
A-Suen: any plans for a CD-ROM?
Marianne__: Like? We're all ears!
AliceMP: Anastasia, not for CWIM, just Wrtier's Market
Verla: I often by the Writer's Market and always get the ICL market guides...but I also HAVE to have the CWIM...it always has something in it that the others don't...
DonaV: Alice, will you do updates on www.writersdigest.com
AliceMP: Dona, we update new writers guideline in the Big Guide to Guideline, but
AliceMP: I've heard no plans for straight updates so far. I bet you'd all like to see that
Marianne__: Yes (:)
DonaV: Alice, Yes we would!
A-Suen: it would make a great newsletter, Alice
Verla: We sure would, Alice!
BigJohNN_: Actualy AliceMP it's a shame that there could not be a webpage for additions to CWIM and a cd when the information warrants it.
Marianne__: I like the CD on Writer's Market, personally..
AliceMP: The Writer's Market CD-ROM has done very well for us
A-Suen: so I hear! :)
Verla: Yeah...so did I (like the CD rom market guide version)....until they quit making it for Macs. :-((((
Leesius: Lots of the listings in CWIM are also in Writer's Market, and it is on CD--it's pretty good, I have it
MelLane: There are so many market books out there. How do you choose the right one?
AliceMP: choose CWIM : )
Verla: LOL! Silly question, mel....
zzap: there's not a close second to CWIM, MelLane, not for kid's stuff
MelLane: I write only fiction... and there's so many NONfiction entries!
AliceMP: Is it fiction for children, Mel?
MelLane: For the most part... Christian fiction primarily.
MelLane: Christian fiction for Children... some "crossover" stories. And I want to be sure and pick the best guide for me.
Verla: So Alice, how DO you pick your authors that are interviewed in the front articles of CWIM?
AliceMP: Verla, I pick people I like whos work I admire. It's purely
AliceMP: selfish : )
AliceMP: Actually, I try to balance the types
AliceMP: of articles year to year.
Marianne__: Think you've done a great job so far, I LOVE the front articles...
AliceMP: Thanks Marianne!
Verla: So do I, Marianne!
AliceMP: I'm alway open to suggestions and queries
Dani257: I love the articles about how first time authors made it
Verla: Those are always inspiring, Dani!
Marianne__: Me, too. And their backgrounds, I find that so interesting..
MelLane: The articles are awesome, Alice. I enjoy them.
AliceMP: lindy (zzap) is in that article for 99
A-Suen: go, lindy!
zzap: yes and I only had to send Alice to Europe for the summer all expenses paid and my first born child. <vbg>
NOTE: <vbg> = Very Big Grin
Verla: Yeah, Lindy!!!!!!
MelLane: Small price to pay for fame, zap. Grin.
AliceMP: I'd like Michigan better, Lindy
zzap: Next year. I'll put your name in. ;-)
Verla: Hey, not BAD, lindy. Is she picking up the bill for college expenses now, then?
Verla: Some of the best information on "how to" write for children was gotten from CWIM by me...
JannaMH: I'm just waiting on my first copy...on order now...
Verla: I hope to get mine tomorrow...going to stop by the bookstore to see if it's in yet
AliceMP: Can I ask a question?
Verla: LOL You are the leader, Alice. You may do anything you like! (Well, anything within REASON, that is...)
A-Suen: ask away
AliceMP: What info is missing from CWIM that you'd like to see?
JannaMH: Well, CWIM was the first thing that induced me to order by credit online. Alice, you have no idea how big an incentive it had to be.
Verla: More on contests and awards?
Dani257: I agree, Verla. I'm always looking for contests to enter
Leesius: I'd like the contests thing too
MelLane: And contests. More contests.
Verla kicks mel. I just SAID that!
JannaMH: Would contests be difficult?
Verla: (Sorry mel. Sorry Alice.)
_Lyra: did you ever put anything about packagers & unusual markets?
zzap: I loved your first books follow-up section. what a great idea!
MelLane: A division between the Christian and Religious markets.
AliceMP: good suggestions
AliceMP: I need ideas for 2000. I'm starting on it now
DanielJack: I like when the pubs give their own tips. Get the pubs to give more! :)
Harazin: Agents that accept childrens' writers
Amishka: More Canadian publishers would be nice
DonaV: how to deal with publishers by email
_Lyra: I deal with my agent and new editor by email, but wouldn't send without knowing them first
DonaV: How to write synopses for books in the different age groups
Leesius: Ditto on the agent listings, and the more tips from the pubs
PamelaRoss: AGENTS used to be listed, weren't they?
Marianne__: Trends in the children's publishing field, faddish subjects or how a "hot" topic would be treated by publishers...
BigJohNN_: How about lookin in to the play writing market Alice, play writing for children?
BeckyCraig: I would like more information on books for infants and toddlers
Umak: how about electronic markets?
DanielJack: Get more listings for YOUNG writers.
_Lyra: I use the young writers section when I speak to kids and encourage them to write
PamelaRoss: How about e-mail addresses for CWIM 2000?
DonaV: I just my copy today and the first article that caught my eye was the one on how to make a dummy...I wasn't as interested in how to make it sturdy as how to make one in general...but I really enjoyed that article
Verla: I want that, too, dona
Verla: ohhhh.... I HOPE they have a copy at my bookstore for me...
Verla: I'd like to see the Canadian publishers in a section of their own...as many don't accept submissions from people not from Canada...and then the Canadians who want to submit wouldn't have to dig through all the submissions to find them, either.
_Lyra: I agree, Verla...we can't submit to most Canada markets
Amishka: Thanks Verla
Marianne__: Yes, Verla, I would like to see Canadian publishers in their own section...
ClaraRose: In the subject index, is there anyway of indicating age level? I usually take a marker and color in the specific age in order to know who to look at.
DanielJack: How about more British and Australian pubs....very few of those in CWIM.
Verla: I'd like to see a special section just for Young Authors, too
DanielJack: Ditto on Verla's!!!
Marianne__: Someone said about agents, but Writer's Digest has a separate book for agents, I have it...
Marianne__: Guide to Literary Agents, had to look..
DonaV: agents are listed in the 1999 Writers Market (the regular one)
Verla: yes, they do, marianne...but I'd love to see an agent book or at least a separate section in the Guide to Literary Agents JUST for children's agents
MelLane: But so many separate market books are expensive.
A-Suen: Alice - can you provide a list of who owns who? There are so many conglomerates now
DonaV: I'm wondering if that means they'll drop the agent book since they've moved the listings into Writers Market
Marianne__: Poor Alice. She asked! LOL!
Leesius: it would be nice if CWIM could just put in agents that do children's stuff.
PamelaRoss: Reputable agents []
Verla: yeah, pamela!
NOTE: <g> = Grin
Marianne__: Where did Alice go? (:)
MelLane: Oh, I agree Verla and Pamela. That would be a GREAT addition.
DanielJack: How about the CWIA? too much work for Alice!!
Verla: Yikes! Our hour is UP...it went WAY too fast...
MelLane: NO! It can't be UP!
_Lyra: ok--One hour is DOWN...either way all gone
Verla: Sigh....sorry, but it is...
DanielJack: It was fun while it lasted.
Verla: Alice...this was a GREAT workshop and we really appreciate you taking the time to come and share with us!
Marianne__: Did we scare off Alice? I hope not!
Dani257: Great workshop, even if I did have to keep disappearing:-)
Amishka: Thanks Alice
Verla: Thanks, Alice!!!! Wonderful Job!!!!
ClaraRose: clap clap clap clap applause applause
JannaMH: Thanks, Alice.
DonaV: Thanks Alice! Good workshop
Leesius: Thanks a ton Alice, and everyone else too. Great workshop
JannaMH: and Verla, too!
A-Suen: Thanks, Alice - you were great!
Verla: Clap clap clap clap clap clap clap!!!!
DanielJack: Thanks Alice!!
PamelaRoss: I think she went to work on the new 2000 edition. :>
MelLane whistles loudly.
BigJohNN_: Very interesting Alice. Thanks
MelLane: Thanks, Alice!!
Verla throws confetti all over everyone!
MelLane: She left quick.
Harazin: Thank you, Alice
Umak: Thanks Alice, and Verla. I1yotalk, kwuel
Verla: I think she got lost...but she will see your thank you's in the transcript...so thank away!
_Lyra: so thanks Alice (in the transcript!)
zzap: clap clap clap (handing Alice bouquet)
Amishka: hope she didn't get bumped
*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to Writers & Illustrators of Children's Literature Meet Here
Deetle: Night all!
Windy2u: Thanks Alice.
Verla: Well, at least she waited until the workshop was over to disappear....
zzap: poor Alice!
_Enchanted: Well, thanks, Alice, whereever you are! Thanks, Verla, for hosting.
Suzy-Q sends silly string flying through the air.
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