After months of waiting, I just received a rejection from a publisher for “Thandi sets her hair on fire” and “I’m not a baby.”
The commissioning editor spoke about a number of issues that impact on whether the publisher will accept the work, but reading between the lines, I suspect my stories need a lot of revision.
She said something about ‘being highly circumspect when it comes to selecting new material for publication, preferring rather to err on the side of caution.”
By some twist of fate, I’d this week I read an article by Amy Timberlake, author of The Dirty Cowboy, on why collaboration can play an important role in improving a children’s book.
Last night I emailed the coordinator the SA chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, asking if they have a Johannesburg branch and this morning she responded to give me further details.
So I’ll join, then get to work improving the stories I’ve got. I know there is hope for both stories, because another publisher indicated that she liked 'Thandi sets her hair on fire." Unfortunately, her editorial calendar was full, but she said to revert to her if I can't find another publisher.
I've also had a web site visitor email me to tell me he liked the story and why. However, he was not a writer, parent, editor/publishing or child, and he may have missed something that anyone of these people may find off-putting.
So revision is in order - I just wish I knew if it's the stories themselves that were problematic, or if I simply need to tighten the plot and prose.
I’m also going to continue drafting new stories, so I have a solid pipeline for future submissions.
More word from this publisher?
I also submitted a non-fiction book proposal to this publisher - a guide for parents to protect their children against harmful cellpphone content.
Now I am reassured that this publisher does eventually respond to submissions, I will keep hope that they will also say something about that proposal. Wouldn't it be great if they accepted it?