My Writing · picture books · slush pile

My publishing journey has begun…

I am so happy to tell you that a picture book I submitted to Maverick Books has made its way up through the slush pile and has been accepted for publication!  You will know that this is a dream come true for me and I am still afraid I will suddenly walk into an exam hall without my trousers on and realise it is a dream and I have to retake my physics O level instead.

I sent the manuscript at the end of April 2014 but I knew there was a big backlog and Maverick was my first choice so I decided to wait and concentrate on other material.  I have a lot of manuscripts of different age ranges and genres all whizzing about at once!  Then at the beginning of February I received an email asking if the manuscript was still available and for more information about myself.  Funnily enough Maverick had already heard of me due to the number of click-throughs coming to their site through the list of publishers on this blog!  I was thrilled to hear they were interested but tried not to get too excited as I have been at this stage so many times before.  The next email invited me to visit their offices in Horsham.  It was a two-hour drive but nothing was going to stop me!

It was very interesting seeing inside a publisher’s office and I learned a lot about the process as we talked about how a picture book was put together and how Maverick works.  Although it is a small team they have big ambitions and really high standards.  They also like to work closely with their authors and get them involved in editorial meetings, which sounded great.  Contracts were mentioned, hands were shaken and I left the meeting walking on air and hoping I wouldn’t crash the car on the way home!

Putting together a picture book is a lengthy process, so I won’t see Professor McQuark come to life fully until 2016.  But there is the editorial process to enjoy, plus the excitement of seeing sample illustrations from three different illustrators before a final style is selected to suit the Professor and her amazing inventions.  I think that’s what I’m looking forward to seeing most of all.

I’ll keep you up to date with my publishing journey as it happens.  But for now, keep submitting, keep writing – you never know what might happen!


77 thoughts on “My publishing journey has begun…

  1. Jealous! Absolutely not, Envious, yes a bit, but I’m happy for you. I’m in a similar spot with plenty ongoing stories wizzing around in the old noggin, however strangely enough yesterday, I came up with a definite way forward and I can see my first series of seven children’s books coming to fruition quite shortly. Reading your blog has given me a much needed boost/kick

  2. Dear Lou

    I am so excited and pleased for you! You have been amazing sharing information with all of us budding writers and I am sure lots of people, like me, have been given the confidence to submit our work to publishers because of you. So you certainly deserve your success and I really look forward to reading more about your publishing journey.



    Sent from my iPad


  3. Congratulations Lou, all the hard work was worth it. I am still waiting to hear anything from the agents i contacted but still churning the work out. Good luck with the process.

  4. Your determination and now your success is a huge boost to all of us. It is thrilling to be able to ride along on your journey. Well done. Congratulations.

  5. FABULOUS NEWS! Congratulations, I hope your possitive vibes flow in my direction too, wishing you all the best wishes, keep going….

  6. Congratulations I have submitted to Maverick too after going through your list about a month ago and was undecided as to whether I should wait or submit to others as they kind of stood out for me, I think I will wait fingers and everything crossed 🙂 good luck on your new journey xx.

  7. Congratulations! I am so glad to hear you had success with getting through the slush pile 🙂
    I self published my children’s book and it has been a long journey, doing everything myself including the advertisements and promoting. I will be curious to see how publishers approach the many steps of publishing a book all the way to the selves including advertisement and promoting of it before the release date and afterward. Thanks for keeping us updated.
    All the best , Heidrun Metzler

  8. Wow!! So pleased to read this, well done. I have been feeling so despondent recently and questioning my abilities but reading this has made me motivated to start sending out my manuscript again. Best Wishes Michelle xx Michelle Williams

  9. Dear Lou
    Well done you deserve your success you help so many people. I have also submitted a picture book to maverick many months ago.I posted Martha the magic cat if you please on facebook page a bit cheeky I know wish me luck.You must feel very excited best wishes from Leslie x

  10. Really pleased for you Lou. You have worked so hard at your writing and at the same time, have helped others too. I am really pleased for you! Sally x😃

  11. Congratulations Lou, you have helped so many others yourself, so it’s payback time. Funny thing is I thought you had already been published, you come across as so accomplished.

  12. Fantastic Lou, it’s an exciting time for you and a bonus for us that we can share it with you. I submitted a series of children’s picture books to UK publishers last month. Clearly now there is a waiting game…after reading your article l fear l may not meet their criterion. For as you mention an author has a key role to play beside their creations. I now live in the Philippines… yes l know, no freezing weather or bare trees but a very long distance from my roots. So my enthusiasm is rather dampened some and wondering if l should be submitting to publishers in Hong Kong rather than UK?

    1. I think that’s fine, Alan. It makes you more interesting! Not everyone can do the ‘physical’ author promotional stuff, for whatever reasons. Good luck with your series.

  13. I’ve had two picture books published, within two months of each other and when I saw the first time illustrations I simply cried. I could not believe how amazingly well the illustrator captured my character. It was like she got inside my head. It was the greatest feeling! Congratulations! Well done to you! I am excited for you also. 🙂

  14. Congratulations. Thanks for all the help you give to the rest of the writing community. Sometimes finding some clear information is all it takes for sending our ‘babies’ out into the big wide world. I’m proud to say that after reading through your list I have done just that and I the sense of achievement has given me a spring in my step.

  15. Lou – what incredible news!! I could not be happier for you – you utterly deserve it after all the hard work and the invaluable advice and encouragement you give to other authors and inspiring writers. Can’t wait to order my very own copy! Sallyx

  16. So happy for you! As the others have stated, you deserve it but not only because you are so generous with your helpful advice and list of contacts, but also because you do have talent – which is what it takes to rise out of the slush pile. Congratulations Lou!

  17. Congratulations! I am new to your blog, but I enjoyed reading your post. I’m so glad to see your having success. Way to go!

  18. Good for you Lou…… Had a couple of my children’s books (one with illustrations I did myself) rejected by pretty much everybody. Maybe if we outwork or outlive the competition it can happen. Best of luck and congratulations.

  19. Dear Lou, I am so very happy for you. What wonderful news! We are all so grateful to you for sharing your advice and knowledge and giving us all so much encouragement. I have written a number of picture book stories and doubt whether I would have found the courage to start submitting without your advice. I have had two rejections so far but I am full of hope and determination.


  20. Well done Lou, I am very happy for you, and I know this only the beginning of more to come. You have given me hope which I have gained from reading your emails. Your emails have been both helpful encouraging and frankly, I couldn’t be anymore delighted​ if it was mine being published, and when you email it has been launched, I will break out the champagne and drink to your success. This is wonderful news. All the best Yvonne Scott

  21. Hi Lou Congratulations on your impending publication – sounds exciting.By the way your blog is so helpful – hope it helps you build the author platform you need because it certainly offers lots of helpful information. A quick question- I am writing a children’s story for 9-12’s . Would it be unethical if I sent the same manuscript to several publishers at once?  Hope to hear your answer soon.All the bestSally Jesus Said: “Come to me and I will give you peace!”Rev Sally Binymin (Methodist Church)07903444773   

    1. Hi Sally. It’s best to check the publisher’s submissions criteria. They usually give a timescale for responses, but if you haven’t heard I think three months is a fair amount of time to wait before sending elsewhere. Others swear by the scattergun approach of simultaneous submissions to reduce the waiting time, but this means if you are lucky enough to get any feedback you have lost your chance of improving the manuscript before it moves on.

  22. Brilliant! Well done! Suddenly all that hard work, endless waiting and coping with rejections has been rewarded. I’ll definitely look out for your book when it’s published.
    Also, many thanks for alerting me to Maverick Books (your blog is the only place I’ve seen them mentioned). I was thrilled to see they publish rhyming stories. Some years ago I wrote several rhyming stories but I had the same reply from all the publishers I tried, ‘Sorry, we can’t consider rhymes because of translation problems for international editions’.
    Maverick is going to be my first choice for picture books now.

  23. Fantastic Lou; so glad to hear it and very well deserved. Really looking forward to hearing all about the journey of Professor McQuark! Thanks so much for your brilliant blog; you are an inspiration.

  24. That is wonderful news! Congratulations on your dream coming true, it certainly gives me the inspiration to keep going.
    Thanks for all your helpful advice.

  25. Absolutely!! Good for you. Must be so exciting to finally hear that amazing news. Still sinking in? I am in the middle of writing a picture book (rhyming) and now that I have read your post am going to up my game and aim for the closing submission date that Maverick have set. A week’s time! Thank you for willingly sharing your advice..views and endless enthusiasm. No doubt you can’t wait for your book to come to life!

  26. Just wanted to say congrats on your book being accepted for publications. I am very happy for you. Lets hope that this is the beginning of you getting a lot of books published.

    I have been writing children’s books for a few years now, making them up for even longer – used to make them up for other peoples children to keep them entertained and, then for my son. Its only been about 15 years that I started trying to get published but, then I had family deaths etc to worry about so I had to put a hold on my publishing wishes but, have started looking again and hopefully will be lucky enough to get published like you. I would never give up as children always need a variety of books to read.

    Anyway just wanted to wish you the best of luck


  27. Oh Lou I am so happy for you. You so deserve this. Wish I could give you a hug. I can’t wait to buy your book. Hopefully I will be able to buy a signed copy from you. Well done xx

  28. Congratulations Lou, what an amazing achievement. Can’t wait to see the book. You are a continuing source of inspiration and hope to the rest of us!

  29. Congratulations on your book’s publication Lou. What a fantastic achievement! I have two young daughters who love to read, so please let me know when your book comes out.
    I just published my first children’s book, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace.’ If anyone’s interested in taking a look, you can preview it here on . It’s also available on The book has received some good reviews and is starting to sell. Still, all the Marketing and Promotion is a lot of work.
    By the way, is there a website/blog for writers/illustrators, where we can preview each other’s work and exchange Marketing/Promotion tips? Congrats again Lou!

  30. Congratulations on your book’s publication. Hard work well rewarded. You take the time to help others when you deserve your dream. Congratulations again.

  31. I just wanted to say huge congratulations! I am a bit of a ‘stalker’ of your very informative blog. It didn’t seem right not to come out of the shadows and say, very well done. I’ve been quietly appreciating all your hard work so it’s lovely to see it pay off for you. Again, huge congratulations!! Ps that may have sounded a bit sinister! I’m really just a mum of two word-centric, just like you 🙂

  32. Congratulations Lou and many thanks for the time spent providing a blog for us all to benefit from.

  33. There could be an interesting story with all our little icons! Good luck for the future Lou and thank you for all your helpful information to us all.

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