Monday, August 24, 2015

Finding an Agent. Picture books.

by Susan J Berger

Finding an agent for your picture books is more challenging because agents make less money on picture books. And because most agents specify a preference for author/illustrators. That's not me.

I've been racking up some rejections for my mid grade novel and neglecting my picture books. I've only had three rejections for picture books this year. Why? Not querying enough.

 I am nowhere near the rejection totals Hilde gave in her post Rejection Junction, What's Your Function. I need to query more.
 Next month my picture book group will be meeting to do a query session. Pen and Ink did a query session in June. (Yes indeedy. Another link.)
What to say in a Picture book Query
I Googled that. Lots of resources. Best advice? Keep it short and sweet. You are going to be including the PB MS so you don't need to say much. Try to keep your pitch paragraph in your author voice.
Here are my favorite links for PB query advice.

Who to query?
 Here are some resources:
Chuck Sambuchino writes for Writers Digest and features new literary agents. This month he featured Sherry Bestor of Willow Words. I went to Willow Words' website. They only accept queries the first seven days of the month. Here are the Willow Words Guidelines.

Query Tracker. Join for free. For 25.00 per year you get a lot more service, but start with the free one to see how you like it. You can filter by children's books, but you have to check to see what kind of children's books they accept.
I took these from Query Tracker
Three Seas Literary Cori Deyoe is the only agent who accepts picture books. Submission Guidelines

Betsy Amster Literary Mary Cummings. Submission Guidelines

Barry Goldblatt spoke at 2015 SCBWI National Conference. Submission Guidelines. I sent Barry a picture book query this week and marked it exclusive. (It was, I promise you.) I had a very courteous rejection within forty eight hours. He said at conference, he would know what it was he wanted when he saw it. The Undertoads wasn't it.  Next!

Casey McCormick's BlogSpot Literary Rambles is one of my go-to resources. Casey has interviews with lots of agents. Here's her list of Picture Book Agents.
Her interviews include links to the agents' websites so you can get an idea of their client list and submission guidelines.

Lastly here are some of the top selling picture book agents from the list Greg Pincus mentioned on the SCBWI list serv. I removed the ones who are not accepting queries. Query on
Holly McGhee (Pippin Properties), 16 deals. Website
Alexandra Penfold (Upstart Crow Literary), 12 deals. Website
Emily van Beek (Folio Literary Management), 11 deals. Website
Rebecca Sherman (Writers House), 11 deals. Website
Rubin Pfeffer (Rubin Pfeffer Content), 10 deals. Website
 Lori Kilkelly (Rodeen Literary Management), 9 deals. Website
Kathleen Rushall (Marsal Lyon Literary Agency), 9 deals. Website
 Stefanie Von Borstel (Full Circle Literary), 8 deals. Website
Anna Olswanger (Olswanger Literary), 8 deals. Website
Steven Malk (Writers House), 7 deals. Website
Paul Rodeen (Rodeen Literary Management), 7 deals. Website
Caryn Wiseman (Andrea Brown Literary Agency), 7 deals. Website


  1. Thank you for all the links and advice. Beryl

  2. Nice compilation Susan! I just did my submission #100 last week, but I had neglected submissions for almost a year and just getting back to it.

    1. You rock, Lucy. I need to get cracking. Did two today for Tasha,

  3. I picture my book.
    YA Why


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