When I first attempted to write a children's book and to get published, I knew virtually nothing. Having always been the studious type, I began to do research. Everything I read said you needed an agent, so I set about to get an agent. Little did I know at the time that not all agents or agencies are created equal, and I ended up with an unscrupulous agency that nickled and dimed me to death. They did send out my manuscript, however, after over forty rejections rolled in they told me they wouldn't send my manuscript out any more. Needless to say we parted ways.
I then tried sending my first story to small presses that accepted unsolicited manuscripts. That didn't work out so well either. Finally, I found a small press that was a hybrid publisher. They accepted new authors but with a fee. I know some of you are cringing at this point because everyone says publishers don't ever charge unless they are a vanity press or a scam. But after doing thorough research, weighing my options, and counting the cost, I decided to go that route.
Six years and five books later, I have been happy with my publisher. I have even moved from the hybrid contract to a traditional contract where I pay nothing. I have worked hard to build a network of fellow authors and illustrators that I can count on to support me as I support them. I have worked hard to get invited to invitation only book festivals. I have worked to get invited to schools, libraries, and other speaking events. And, I have worked at building my brand and building up my social media following.
Recently I received an email from an agent that said, " I like your concept but I must pass at this time. A strong platform is vital as an agent. Please resubmit the proposal in six months once you have increased followers on Social Media." This is actually the second time an agent has told me this, so I have decided to take him up on that challenge and run a #HelpThisAuthor campaign.