Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Three Ps of Publishing

From time to time I give workshops for aspiring authors. During these workshops, I often speak about the three Ps of publishing: Practice, Patience and Perseverance. Over the next few months I have three new books coming out - all that demonstrate the three Ps beautifully.

The first is my picture book You Wish Jellyfish. You Wish Jellyfish, illustrated by Lee Krutop, hits the bookshop shelves this week. This picture book has been a long time in the making - six years to be exact. Six years of PRACTICE, PATIENCE AND PESEVERANCE.

I started writing the story in mid 2004.
I first submitted it in February 2005.
It received its first rejection six weeks later.

Over the next twelve+ months I reworked the manuscript numerous times. I workshopped it with my writing buddies and reworked it some more. I submitted it to twelve publishers. Almost all replied with very positive comment and feedback, but no banana.

In November 2006 it was finally accepted by Koala Books. YAY! I almost didn't send it to Koala , because for some unknown reason, I thought the publisher, who had already published a couple of my books, wouldn't like it! Shows how little I know.

Next of course the manuscript was edited and reworked again and then began the search for an illustrator. Working in children's publishing, I know firsthand how long and difficult the task of finding the right illustrator can be and for You Wish, Jellyfish it wasn't until about May 2008 that I saw the first sample illustration from Lee Krutop.

It is now May 2010 and the book with Lee's beautifully bright illustrations is finally a reality.

I have seen it in a bookshop.
It has been sold to a Korean publisher.
And it has even received its first review in Junior Bookseller and Publisher Magazine.

Here is an excerpt: "... The wording is playful yet evocative, particularly when Jellyfish decribes to Mussel how 'sometimes the current took him where the sea washed warm and milky green over a garden of twisty coral,' and works best when read aloud, with the refrain of 'You wish, Jellyfish' sure to be a hit with the little ones. This is a gorgeous underwater road trip for ages two and up about accepting who you are and looking at life from a different perspective." Clare Hingston, Bookseller Younger Sun Bookshop, Yarraville.

And, heck, what a classic example of the three Ps of publishing! Time to crack open the bubbly. Cheers!


  1. Congrats, Sue! It sounds great. And I love the reviewer's line - "...gorgeous underwater road trip". I will raise some sake in your general direction.

  2. And now it's time for the three C's.... champagne, celebrations, and Congratulations!!!

  3. Congratulations on the banana! (Isn't that a strange phrase - probably a picture book in it somewhere!)

  4. Well done Sue, its a great example of perserverance- we need that as writers- I'll raise a cup of English Breakfast to your success from a wet London afternoon.

  5. Thanks, everyone. Here's to champers, sake, tea and bananas. What an interesting combination!

  6. Raising a glass of cyber bubbles to you, Sue. I remember you sharing this ms with us at your house four years (????) ago (my how time flies!). Loved it then and am looking forward to seeing it in print.

  7. A lesson for everyone. Stick with it. Good books will find a home eventually if you do. Congratulations.


  8. Writing can be such an exercise in delayed gratification, so it's important to celebrate every success. Here's to you, Sue, "You Wish, Jellyfish" sounds perfect for the godsons of a deep-sea diving friend!

  9. Love the concept of "delayed gratification" Chris - I think that syas it all.
    Thanks for the good wishes, everyone.