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Marketing my late mother’s children’s picture books : Conversation question • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Marketing my late mother’s children’s picture books

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
bahamaswriter
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Marketing my late mother’s children’s picture books

Postby bahamaswriter » Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:03 pm

I wish to market two delightful children’s picture books, one nursery rhymes and the other fiction, written by my late mother and beautifully illustrated by my cousin. Can anyone suggest how I introduce these books to prospective publishers, with my mother no longer being alive? I inherited the copyright to this work and would be willing to write sequels to the storybook if required. Any advice would be much appreciated!
Fay Knowles, Nassau, Bahamas
http://www.bahamaswriter.com

jaus tail
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Re: Marketing my late mother’s children’s picture books

Postby jaus tail » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:32 am

Google search agencies which represent children's books. Their websites would have their list of their previous books and whether accept unsolicited requests, do they represent new writers. It would also mention what they need while considering prospective writers, mostly they'd ask for a synopsis plus the writer's biodata.
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mammamaia
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Re: Marketing my late mother’s children’s picture books

Postby mammamaia » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:58 am

you'll need to write a good query letter, for starters... submitting the ms usually only comes after that, if it's requested... i doubt many [if any] publishers will accept unsolicited and unagented mss... illustrations will be a problem, if your mother wasn't a well known artist/illustrator, as picture book publishers almost always assign their own illustrators and won't even allow artwork to be submitted...

good luck!
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bahamaswriter
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Re: Marketing my late mother’s children’s picture books

Postby bahamaswriter » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:45 am

Many thanks to you both for your responses. I've done my market research and compiled a list of publishers to submit a query to, but the problem is what to say in my query about my mother no longer being living? Do I say that I'm representing my late mother or that my late mother wrote these books - or do you have any other suggestions? I was also wondering if I should submit my queries to agents, rather than publishers.

It was always my mother's wish that her niece's illustrations should accompany the nursery rhymes and story book, but I know publishers usually like to use their own illustrators, so I may have to self-publish, just to get the books into print in my mother's memory. I'd like to try the traditional route first though.
Fay Knowles, Nassau, Bahamas
http://www.bahamaswriter.com

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Jowen
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Re: Marketing my late mother’s children’s picture books

Postby Jowen » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:58 pm

You would have to say it like it is -- that the mss were written by your late mother, but that you now own the copyright. Do you own the copyright for the illustrations, too? Or does your cousin own them? If so, a separate deal would have to be negotiated. You could submit the mss and say that illustrations are available if the publisher would like to see them, and that you could submit samples, but you would also have to name the artist and be clear about who owns the copyright.

If the mss are accepted, the fact that you are a published writer should strengthen your position, but if you want the books published exactly as your mother wrote them, with no editorial changes or changes to the illustrations, then it might be best to consider self-publishing. If the books sell well, you could then write sequels using your own byline.

Good luck!
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bahamaswriter
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Re: Marketing my late mother’s children’s picture books

Postby bahamaswriter » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:14 pm

Fay Knowles, Nassau, Bahamas
http://www.bahamaswriter.com

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rosebud
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Re: Marketing my late mother’s children’s picture books

Postby rosebud » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:02 am

Good luck Bahamaswriter. Sounds like you've got your work cut out for you. I don't have any additional advice. Just wanted to send some encouragement.

bahamaswriter
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Re: Marketing my late mother’s children’s picture books

Postby bahamaswriter » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:20 am

Fay Knowles, Nassau, Bahamas
http://www.bahamaswriter.com


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