Sunday, June 19, 2011

Oh, Get Over It!

Hello Madmother,

At this time we are not accepting submissions. I admire your son (and you)

for taking on this project. It is commendable to say the least. I wish you

all the best!

You  guessed it, our first rejection letter. Or e-mail in this case. Well, not really a rejection as such as we merely asked this American publisher if they were open for submissions, but still.

I have realised I am really running blind in trying to assist my son. Thirteen years old, writing a children's book for kids on the spectrum. He wants to help others, and is frustrated at the lack of positive books for the younger age group. He wants others to see the strengths in having Asperger Syndrome, like he does. He feels, whilst it is so very hard during the early years, that to believe in the light at the end of the tunnel, and to work with the good not just the difficult, makes it so much better in the long run. I guess he has only his own feelings of self-worth, confidence and happiness in who he is, AS included, to judge by. And he wants others to see this is not a disability, it is a matter of differing abilities. He wants to help. It is his dream to mentor and advocate for these kids coming along the same path a few years behind him.

But what we are looking for now I guess, is a mentor within the industry.

For questions such as:
*How many pages are neccessary in an illustrated book? We are around the 22-24 mark, but don't want to lose the whole concept by padding it out.
*Who owns the rights - is it jointly between illustrationist and writer, though the concept, character and even the description of the drawings are the writers?
*What contracts are necessary between all parties?
*I know a lot of publishers prefer to pick the illustrationist, but if we go with the one we know personally (who herself has never had a publishing deal) are we losing the battle before we even enter the war?

Boy 1 thinks she is perfect for several reasons. Firstly, because she has submitted a preliminary sketch of the main character which he really liked (bar a few changes), secondly she is very, very talented, thirdly (and I think this plays a big part for him) it is giving her an opportunity to take that leap into publishing and he believes in her talent (have I mentioned I call him Deepak? My own little guru of positiveness), fourthly, and this one is so Aspie, she lives in our community and he won't have to travel for meetings. Yes, I am chuckling at that one.

I am now trying to wade my way through The Style Manual and The Design Manual, two tombs which are supposedly the Bibles of publishing. But I am finding there is not a lot on this type of children's book.

So, if any of you know of anyone willing to give us 30 minutes, maybe even less, to point us in the right direction... Well, you'd have the gratitude of A Madmother and her oldest son, and whilst mine is not worth much, his ranks pretty high in the karma stakes!


Apples and Autobots said...

Don't give up! When you get it published, I'll definitely buy it!

Leanne said...

Hope my email helped (even just a little bit?) and remember, every "no" is one step closer to a "yes". I stopped counting at 15 before my "yes" came through ...
Don't give up!
Oh, and one last word of advice "patient persistence". Striking that balance is essential for this caper ...

Madmother said...

It helped a lot!

You are an incredibly talented, giving, wonderful woman!

Now, please move your family north, and you'd be perfect! (Oh, okay, you are pretty close to it anyway...)

Ro said...

Hey, pick Karen's brain, she's a published children's author!
Miscellaneous Mum.
And don't giv up, I love your son's determination and committment in such a fab project!

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