Death of a Picture Book

I received the news last Friday. After waiting four years for my picture book to be released, it has been canceled. Years of anticipation, excitement, hopes, and dreams evaporated as I heard the news from my agent. The reason? My book was orphaned when my original editor left for another publishing house. After a new editor took over the project, it was ultimately decided the book would not fare well in the marketplace. I had no one to root for my book – no one who truly believed in it. Friday was a sad day. It felt like a death in my family of manuscripts.

I’m aware picture books are struggling in the marketplace, but I had the false sense of security my book was safe because it was so far along in the process. I had planned multiple ways of promoting my book. I was ready to do anything to get it recognized. Now I’m back to square one.

I’m sad for my loss, but I’m also sad for the many good picture books that may not be published because of the economy. For many people, spending sixteen to eighteen dollars on just one book is not an option any longer. Then there are those people who are under the impression that once a child reaches a certain age, picture books are passé so they don’t purchase them.   

Picture books are invaluable. Children like to be read to and enjoy the visual stimulation a picture book offers. Reading to your child is a perfect way to bond and create future readers. These books provide important tools for teaching children. They are not just for the young. There are many excellent picture books written for older children, too. Picture books inform, entertain, and stimulate the imagination. If you’re a writing teacher, they’re a perfect way to teach the six traits of writing. It’s time to rally for picture books. Sing their praises. Buy one, or two, or three today.

And now like the old song, it’s time for me to “pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again.”

Meanwhile, I’m thinking that changing my name might help me in the picture book market. How about Mylie Cyrus, or Miss Piggy, or Lady Gaga?

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4 Comments on “Death of a Picture Book”

  1. amanda Says:

    So sorry for your loss…truly! I also love picture books, and often read them even when none of my four kids are in sight:) Best of luck in finding a new home for your book~

  2. Ruth Says:

    Cathy,
    It is truly a sad state of affairs. When I see what garbage is being published,I wonder what publishers are thinking. How do we stop the razzle dazzle trend and give families good literature with heart and humor. I am sure your book has those elements. I would still love to read it.

    • cathyso3 Says:

      Thanks for your comment, Ruth. There are many wonderful books out there, but sometimes you have to sift through the razzle dazzle to find those books with heart and humor.


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