Is your manuscript ready to send out to agents? Does everyone in your writing group think it’s great but you keep holding onto it? Are you convinced that the ending still needs some work? Do you need to trim some fat off the plot? Should you add more humor? Is the dialogue sharp enough? These are a few of the questions that haunt us as we clutch our manuscripts to our breasts, afraid to put them out into the world.
Obviously it makes sense not to submit a ragged manuscript but in my opinion writers often hold onto their novels far too long before sending them to agents. It’s been my experience that if she thinks the work is marketable an agent will be willing to work with you in order to polish the book before passing it on to an editor.
An effective approach is to submit your ms to three agents. If all three reject you then by no means have you squandered your chance to get published. There are dozens of reputable agents in the field of children’s literature. Those three rejections and the feedback you may receive from the agents could be invaluable in pointing out the areas of your ms that need to be reworked.
If intelligent friends and co-writers keep telling you that your book is remarkable then maybe it is. Maybe you should believe them. I say send it out. Stop trying to make it perfect. Winston Churchill said, “Another name for perfectionism is paralysis.”
Is the heart of your novel present? Is your voice unmistakable? Is the plot solid? Is your opening powerful? Does you ending pack a wallop? Then send it off and move on to your next book!