If you have a story you believe in and want to go the traditional route, then dig your heels in, roll-up your sleeves and start submitting.
Keep in mind you don’t have to submit to publishers only, you can submit to agents also. Whoever you’re submitting to, just be sure to read their guidelines super-careful and adhere to them like your life depends on it. Give your manuscript every chance it deserves. You don’t want an acquisitions editor to immediately dismiss your manuscript because the query letter or cover letter isn’t in line with the guidelines. You want to at least get your manuscript in the door and read.
Another thing to remember is that it’s not uncommon at all for an author to receive well over a hundred rejections before the story finds a home. I always use Chicken Soup for the Soul as an example because it’s stuck in my brain. The authors were rejected 144 times before getting a contract!
Think about that. One hundred and forty-four times! That’s a lot of rejection. If they had stopped at 143 . . . well, you get it.
And, it could be your manuscript won’t be acknowledged until 160 or 170 or more submissions.
That contract could be down a very long winding road, but you never know when it’s just around that turn. If you don’t submit, you’ll never know. If you don’t persevere, you’ll never know.
Once you have your finished manuscript, do the research. Find publishers and agents who handle your genre. Find out how to write an effective query letter. Then submit, submit, submit . . .
You’ll also want to attend in-person writing conferences, if it’s feasible. I had a middle grade story client who got 10 out of 14 bites at a conference in New York. Strong enough bites that she was asked to send chapters of the book.
Again, you just never know. Go for it and keep going for it until you get it.
MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN
Being a writer, like being any kind of artist who creates something from nothing, is an amazing ability. It’s almost like magic. And, you are in control. You decide what to create. The only limit you have is the cap on your imagination.
Check out my 180 page ebook that gives you all the basics of WRITING FICTION FOR CHILDREN. It’s newly revised and includes information on finding a publisher or agent, and marketing your books.