With several sighs of relief, the contract I've been working on is in the mail. The fact it weighed just short of a pound tells you how much information the publisher required. I've covered some and will continue to update you on things you can do before you receive a contract so the process flows quickly once that prize arrives.
Not all publishers list so many details to be completed. Perhaps it is because this is a non-fiction piece. At any rate, don't be disappointed if you aren't asked for all I've mentioned! Much of the information related to promotion and marketing. Almost all publishers today expect authors to help in both those areas, more so than in the past.
One surprise question involved the inspiration for the title. Luckily, Debbie Dadey attended our critique meeting the night I searched for a new name. She suggested "How the West Was Drawn" because researchers view Russell's paintings to see how the "real" West looked in the late 1800s and early 1900s. I added the part about Cowboy Charlie's Art since that was one of Russell's nicknames and because young children are always interested in cowboys. The question remains, "Will they keep the title?" We'll see.
Next, consider "advance quote leads." Since my main bibliography source passed away a few years after I met him, I wondered whom I could ask. Finally, I chose people who have interest in children and art -teacher/children's author (Ellen Javernick who just published "The Birthday Pet), former librarian/children's author (Debbie Dadey) and a museum curator. All three gave me great quotes.
Plan now who could help promote your book even before it comes out.
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