As a freelance Illustrator still scraping my fingernails to get noticed by the industry, I’ve created a site that includes multiple styles. I had been told all through art school this was a big No-No to feature multiple styles under the same name. I find this rather frustrating, as I’m sure Editors can appreciate diverse styles to fit story needs… right? Is it better to have one solidified style to ‘brand’ one’s self in the memory of Editors? Or do you appreciate an artist with multiple approaches to solving a children’s text?I like multiple styles. The designers I know like multiple styles. I don't know what they're teaching people in art school.
I hear people talk all the time about revising manuscripts based on what rejection letters say. If I have received 50 form rejection letters that have no specific connection to my writing, does that mean my work is not worth commenting on, editors are over-worked, or something else entirely?I would say that's a bad sign. Whether it means you've been submitting something unremarkable or submitting to people who don't take the sort of thing you're submitting, I don't know.
About a year ago I sent out a manuscript to three slush piles of three prominent houses and a couple of other places which shall not be named. Today I was walking through Target and saw MY BOOK WITH ANOTHER PERSON'S name on it. Obviously, it was her book, containing my idea, and a little suspicious that it is out a little less than one year after submitting it. Is this just how the business works? Does my book even have a chance? Should I hope that it is a best-seller so that another publisher wants to pick up my book? Should I get a lawyer? Okay, so not the last, but it is tough seeing a water-down version of my fabulous story on the shelves. Yes, it may be like the Twilight phenomena and we just had the same idea at the same time, but it doesn't make me feel better. The one saving grace is that I like the illustrations and I know that another version is worth publishing. Though the reason I like the illustrations of the woman's book so much is because they are very similar to the illustration that I sent in on my cover letter. I know these things happen, but I feel I need a "pat on the back" and "carry on young grasshopper". I promise I won't be pathetic tomorrow.First of all, it's unlikely that a publisher could find your idea in the submissions pile and crank out an imitation in less than a year. The book you saw in Target has most likely been underway for a couple years. Likewise, if you sell your manuscript, it will be another couple of years before it comes out. So unless it's a very unusual topic and your approach isn't meaningfully different, there's hope for your book yet.
I write literary fiction, mostly, as well as young adult. But that's beside the point. My question is what does one do with a 15,000 word story--not long enough to be a novel, but not short enough (I understand) to be a short story. Is there any way to sell stories around that length?Probably not. I mean, Seedfolks is around 11,000 words, but chances are you're not Paul Fleischman. And I can't think of anything that short in YA. I never say never, but that sounds like a bit of a long shot.