I’ve Been a Busy Little Bee

I’ve been pretty busy lately. And I’m happy to say that I’ve been busy working on my own stuff and not job related stuff!!! As you know I sent a bunch of illustration samples out to Harcourt. So that was a good thing, but I do have to say that I felt like I almost sabotaged myself with this. I was dilly-dallying putting this package together including taking my time writing the letter that I enclosed in the package (even though I have a basic form letter written up for when people request samples.) Why was I dilly-dallying? I don’t know for sure, but I know that I did start to have some negative thoughts like “Sure I’ll send her all these samples, get my hopes up and nothing will happen. So why should I rush to send these out? ” I obviously know the answer to this but still had these thoughts none the less. Overall I have been feeling very productive. I have finished my 2nd sample illustration for my children’s book along with making all of the revisions that were called for on my sketches. So I am DONE and ready to send out my book proposal!!! Here is the Cover Image for the book:

franklin_BP
franklin.cover, originally uploaded by cindymedia.

Yesterday I played hookie and took the day off of work. I spent the whole day in my studio putting together dummies to submit to publishers. I had originally said that I was only going to submit to 6 publishers but I upped that to 10. (I have some sort of “connection” with each of the people I am submitting to so I thought that this was ok). I have also been hard at work writing the cover letters that are specific to each person. (no form letters here, well except the book description) I have to say that I definitely did procrastinate on this. It took me quite a while to get started but once I did it I was on a roll. (I have put the sample letters at the end of this post if you would like to take a peek. They still need some tweaking the parts that are italicized are a work in progress.) I just happen to be lucky enough to have a good friend, who writes brilliantly, review these along with my husband. The more eyes the better. I really need these letters to be well written, professional and representational of my work and me. It’s very daunting that one sheet of paper can be that powerful. I am hoping to get all of the proposals sent out by the end of next week. Yesterday I really had the urge to rush and get them sent out by this Friday. I have a real tendency to jump the gun, with almost everything. So, I’m glad that I was able to talk myself out of it. I have been working on this for over 2 years so why would I rush and send something out haphazardly when I could use one more week to send them out the right way. (I really do have to give myself a pat on the back for not acting impulsively at the last second.) This past Tuesday was my first Children’s Picturebook Writing Workshop class taught by Amy Novesky a former children’s editor at Chronicle Books. (Here is one of her pictuere books) I think it’s going to be a really good class, just from the introductions there are some seasoned people in the class and actually 4 of my class members work or have worked at Leap Frog, a leading toy manufacture in the children’s educational market. A company that I have been trying to get an interview with forever. So perhaps I will be able to make some connections. That would be really awesome. But the real reason for taking the class it to work on my next book and to keep the momentum going. My next book is loosely based on the relationship my sister and me had growing up. The main character is a self-centered picky and particular little girl. In fact she thinks she’s the best. Her younger sister in not nearly as particular but want to copy whatever her older sister does. The story is about the older sister wanting a particular doll for Christmas and getting the generic version of the doll instead. She is obviously upset with this and…….this is the part I’m stuck on. I don’t know how it ends. Hopefully this class will help me out. I can actually see this character being a series of books. I have a She had been peculating in the back of my head for a while so I’m excited to start working on her. I have done a few sketch of what I thought she might look like but I definitely need to do a lot more to really flesh her out. I’m happy that I have my next project in the works cause if I didn’t have something on the back burner I think I would really be stuck right now. On another note I’ve been actively procrastinating on making the cold call to potential sponsor for the Roadshow Portfolio display. I committed myself to this when I sign up on the committee. I really should buckle down and do this tomorrow. The problem is that I hate cold calling and I don’t think I’m any good at it. I get nervous and start stumbling over my words. I guess I just need to practice and then just suck it up and do it. Ugh! But I am so dreading it. I think I’m making it worse in my head then it really is. So tomorrow is the day, I’m going to sit down and do it on my lunch break. If I flake out on this I am going to look really stupid in front of all the other more seasoned illustrators on the committee. I think being unreliable and looking like a fool is far worse then cold calling. OK, I just think I psyched myself up for this. Well I think that’s about it. ________________________________________ Below are my drafts for my cover and query letters. If you have any suggestions or see any punctuation or spelling errors please let me know. The parts that I still need to work on are in italic:

e-mail to my contact at Viking/ Penguin Putnam:

Hi xxxxx, It has been a while since we’ve corresponded. I met you about a year ago in your office and showed you my illustration portfolio. I’m the woman that did the image of a doggie wearing a party hat. Well…I’ve just finished working on a book about that same exact doggie. He now has a name, it’s Franklin Meriwether Knox. In Franklin’s book he likes to play and he gets into trouble for breaking a family heirloom. He decides that the best thing to do is to run away. He runs away on an imaginary adventure around the world, which consist of a 1 block radius around his house. Franklin visits France- which is really the local French Laundromat, Italy- an Italian bike shop. and Fiji, Egypt, and Morocco- which are all part of a miniature golf course. With every place that Franklin visits he get a sinking feeling that “it’s just not the same, it’s nothing like home.” At the end of the story Franklin reunites with his family and discovers that they love him no matter what. (need a better zinger at the end here) I would love to have to have the opportunity to submit this story to you for consideration. May I send you the dummy and manuscript for Franklin Meriwether Knox? Should you be interested in publishing this book, I would look forward to working with you and your editorial staff on any necessary revisions that may be required. Thank for your time and attention. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Best, Cindy Ann

e-mail to my contact at Knopf Delacorte Dell/ Random House:

Hi xxxxxx, It has been a while since we’ve corresponded. I met you via email through xxxxx xxxxx a while back. I’ve just finished working on that book idea I had told you about based on the Question: What is Home? The title of the book is Franklin Meriwether Knox, which is the name of the main character. Franklin is a dog that likes to play and gets into trouble for breaking a family heirloom. He decides that the best thing to do is to run away. Franklin runs away on an imaginary adventure around the world, which consist of a 1 block radius around his house. He visits France- which is really the local French Laundromat, Italy- an Italian bike shop. and Fiji, Egypt, and Morocco- which are all part of a miniature golf course. With every place that Franklin visits he get a sinking feeling that “it’s just not the same, it’s nothing like home.” At the end of the story Franklin reunites with his family and discovers that they love him no matter what. I would love to have to have the opportunity to submit this story to you for consideration. May I send you the dummy and manuscript for Franklin Meriwether Knox? Should you be interested in publishing this book, I would look forward to working with you and your editorial staff on any necessary revisions that may be required. Thank for your time and attention. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Best, Cindy Ann

e-mail to my contact at Little Brown/ Time Warner:

Dear Ms. xxxxxxx, I have been working for Time Inc. for almost 5 yrs., at Business 2.0 a business magazine that is under the Fortune Group doing the production on the magazine. While following my career in print production I’ve also been pursuing my personal goal of writing and illustrating children’s books. I thought of the Time Warner vast network and how I could take advantage the network to establish opportunities to publish my book. Little Brown has a long history of publishing quality children’s picture books and it would delight me if I had the opportunity to work with you at Little Brown and stay with in the “Time Warner Family”. I have just finished working on a manuscript and rough dummy for a picture book titled Franklin Meriwether Knox, which is the name of the main character. Franklin is a dog that likes to play and gets into trouble for breaking a family heirloom. He decides that the best thing to do is to run away. He runs away on an imaginary adventure around the world, which consist of a 1 block radius around his house. Franklin visits France- which is really the local French Laundromat, Italy- an Italian bike shop. and Fiji, Egypt, and Morocco- which are all part of a miniature golf course. With every place that Franklin visits he get a sinking feeling that “it’s just not the same, it’s nothing like home.” At the end of the story Franklin reunites with his family and discovers that they love him no matter what. I would love to have to have the opportunity to submit this story to you for consideration. May I send you the dummy and manuscript for Franklin Meriwether Knox? Should you be interested in publishing this book, I would look forward to working with you and your editorial staff on any necessary revisions that may be required. Thank for your time and attention. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Best, Cindy Ann

Letter to my contact at Random House:

Dear Ms. xxxxxxxx, We met a while back through Stephen Kroninger. While I was in college I worked as Stephen Studio Assistant. When I was employed by Stephen I had the opportunity to view him working on his first picture book “If I Crossed the Road” which you published. After I graduated from art school you were kind enough to meet with me and review my illustration portfolio. That was almost 7 years ago! I have to say that at the time I was very naïve. I had not realize what a big “Rock Star” you were in the children’s publishing world. So I’m pleased to say that I have had the opportunity to sit down and meet with you and I’m hoping to re-establish a working rapport with you. (need some help with this part) Today I am submitting to you a manuscript and rough dummy for a picture book titled Franklin Meriwether Knox (which happens to be the name of the main character). Franklin is a dog that likes to play and gets into trouble for breaking a family heirloom. He decides that the best thing to do is to run away. He runs away on an imaginary adventure around the world, which consist of a 1 block radius around his house. Franklin visits France- which is really the local French Laundromat, Italy- an Italian bike shop. and Fiji, Egypt, and Morocco- which are all part of a miniature golf course. With every place that Franklin visits he get a sinking feeling that “it’s just not the same, it’s nothing like home.” At the end of the story Franklin reunites with his family and discovers that they love him no matter what. Should you be interested in publishing this book, I would be honored to work with you and your editorial staff on any necessary revisions that may be required. Thank for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, Cindy Ann Ganaden (my maiden name is Diaz)

Letter to my contact at Scholastic:

Dear Mr. xxxxxxxxx, We met a while back through xxxxxx xxxxxx. I had just graduated art school and you were kind enough to meet with me on the roof patio of the Scholastic building. I have to say that at the time I was very naïve and had no idea what a “Rock Star” you were in the children’s publishing world. So I’m delighted to say that I have had the opportunity to sit down and meet with you. Since that time I have had the pleasure of hear you speak at several SCBWI Conferences and even sat down and chatted with you along with a few of my fellow illustrators. I’m pleased to say that I have had the opportunity to sit down and meet with you and I’m hoping to re-establish a working rapport with you. (need some help with this part) Today I am submitting to you a manuscript and rough dummy for a picture book titled Franklin Meriwether Knox (which happens to be the name of the main character). Franklin is a dog that likes to play and gets into trouble for breaking a family heirloom. He decides that the best thing to do is to run away. He runs away on an imaginary adventure around the world, which consist of a 1 block radius around his house. Franklin visits France- which is really the local French Laundromat, Italy- an Italian bike shop. and Fiji, Egypt, and Morocco- which are all part of a miniature golf course. With every place that Franklin visits he get a sinking feeling that “it’s just not the same, it’s nothing like home.” At the end of the story Franklin reunites with his family and discovers that they love him no matter what. Should you be interested in publishing this book, I would be honored to work with you and your editorial staff on any necessary revisions that may be required. Thank for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, Cindy Ann Ganaden (my maiden name is Diaz)

Letter to my contact at Tricycle Press:

Dear Ms. xxxxx, We met a short while back when you were a guest speaker at xxxxxx xxxxxx Children’s Picture Book class at Berkeley Extension. I have also had the pleasure of hear you speak at a few conferences. Today I am submitting to you a manuscript and rough dummy for a picture book titled Franklin Meriwether Knox (which happens to be the name of the main character). Franklin is a dog that likes to play and gets into trouble for breaking a family heirloom. He decides that the best thing to do is to run away. He runs away on an imaginary adventure around the world, which consist of a 1 block radius around his house. Franklin visits France- which is really the local French Laundromat, Italy- an Italian bike shop. and Fiji, Egypt, and Morocco-which are all part of a miniature golf course. With every place that Franklin visits he get a sinking feeling that “it’s just not the same, it’s nothing like home.” At the end of the story Franklin reunites with his family and discovers that they love him no matter what. Should you be interested in publishing this book, I would look forward to working with you and your editorial staff on any necessary revisions that may be required. Thank for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, Cindy Ann Ganaden

Letter to my contact at Harcourt:

Dear Ms. xxxxxxx, I have had the pleasure of hearing you speak at a few SCBWI Conferences. In your presentation you showed a lot of work by Lois Ehlert and Debra Frasier, 2 of my favorite illustrators. You talked about looking for great stories with good rhythm, and something that gave you the chills. My new book give me the chills and I hope it will with you too! (is this too snotty?) Today I am submitting to you a manuscript and rough dummy for a picture book titled Franklin Meriwether Knox (which happens to be the name of the main character). Franklin is a dog that likes to play and gets into trouble for breaking a family heirloom. He decides that the best thing to do is to run away. He runs away on an imaginary adventure around the world, which consist of a 1 block radius around his house. Franklin visits France- which is really the local French Laundromat, Italy- an Italian bike shop. and Fiji, Egypt, and Morocco- which are all part of a miniature golf course. With every place that Franklin visits he get a sinking feeling that “it’s just not the same, it’s nothing like home.” At the end of the story Franklin reunites with his family and discovers that they love him no matter what. Should you be interested in publishing this book, I would look forward to working with you and your editorial staff on any necessary revisions that may be required. Thank for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, Cindy Ann Ganaden

Letter to my contact at Henry Holt:

Dear Ms. xxxxxxx, I’ve been researching publications to send my manuscript and dummy to. Henry Holt has a history of publishing quality children’s picture books. Today I am submitting to you a manuscript and rough dummy for a picture book titled Franklin Meriwether Knox (which is the name of the main character). Franklin is a dog that likes to play and gets into trouble for breaking a family heirloom. He decides that the best thing to do is to run away. He runs away on an imaginary adventure around the world, which consist of a 1 block radius around his house. Franklin visits France- which is really the local French Laundromat, Italy- an Italian bike shop. and Fiji, Egypt, and Morocco- which are all part of a miniature golf course. With every place that Franklin visits he get a sinking feeling that “it’s just not the same, it’s nothing like home.” At the end of the story Franklin reunites with his family and discovers that they love him no matter what. Should you be interested in publishing this book, I would look forward to working with you and your editorial staff on any necessary revisions that may be required. Thank for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, Cindy Ann Ganaden

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