Well, so I went to my Google Docs to revise and edit my book.
The book is called Brad the Hungry Alligator Works at a Bakery. It is a story about a hungry alligator who works in a bakery. He has to deliver cupcakes, but ends up eating a lot of them. Readers will compare numbers as Brad eats his way through his workday.
I made a few changes in some of the details, but didn’t feel like I needed any big changes to the storyline or the characters. I still feel pretty good about the content of the story, the math in the story, and the flow.
Then I re-read the suggestions from the Chronicle website that I linked to in my last post. (Click here to visit that one again.) The article talks a lot about the cover letter. Cover letter? I don’t remember writing a cover letter when I submitted the manuscript last time. Maybe I sent it without a cover letter? Maybe I didn’t even send my manuscript!
Anyway, so I wrote myself a cover letter. I included a little bit about myself (I’m a math teacher), a bit about where the story idea came from (from teaching math), and a short summary/blurb about the story. The Chronicle article also said to make it obvious that I know and love their books, so I searched their online catalog. I found a few non-fiction books that would pair nicely with mine, and one that has a similar vibe to how I am imagining mine, and I mentioned those in the cover letter, too. Then I thanked them for reading and considering my book.
I went to print my manuscript and cover letter, but the printer had no paper, of course! Ha!
That’s really ok, though. My book has a cupcake recipe included that I have never tried. So I figure I should probably make cupcakes according to that recipe tonight, and if it’s good to go, then I will print and mail tomorrow!
I also edited the cover letter for the Arbordale Publishers. They have a few specific things they want to know. They want a 300-400 word biography, and a paragraph about how the book includes math curriculum. They also want me to research what books are already out there that would be my “competition”, and to tell why I think mine will sell better. So, I have a little bit of googling to do tonight while the cupcakes bake.
Another suggestion from Chronicle was to look at the ALA awards lists, to see what is being considered great children’s literature right now. I browsed through those today… here is a link to the awards page… ALA Awards. Looking at the descriptions of the books that these awards are given to, I don’t think Brad the Hungry Alligator will be winning any of them. It may not be award-winning literature, but it’s going to be a great book anyway! Moms, dads, kids, and teachers will all want to read about Brad over and over and over again.
So, tomorrow I will edit the cupcake recipe if needed, print the manuscript and put it in the actual mail in an envelope with a stamp for Chronicle Books, and then email a copy to Arbordale. Then wait patiently for 6 months?
Oh! And Saturday I am going to an authors’ workshop where I will learn about self-publishing. I watched a YouTube video of a podcast with Sheri Fink. She has 5 books that were #1 on Amazon, and 2 more on the best-seller list, and she is totally self-published! So maybe self-publishing could work, if I can connect with an illustrator…
I’ll update again after my author workshop on Saturday.
Anyone else writing a book? Share what you know in the comments!