A Dual POV YA Contemporary Query Letter from Brandy Meinhardt

Brandy Meinhardt is one of our great Sub it Club members! She brings her own unique experience and insights into our submission support group. Brandy is so willing to help others that today she is here to share her query letter with us for her YA Contemporary, PERFECTLY IMPERFECT. But first, Brandy is going to give us a little background: 

12733619_10153276196752026_4888601204907452490_nWhen writing my query for PERFECTLY IMPERFECT, I struggled with how to show the stakes for both of my main characters since the book is told in dual POV. I wanted to be sure that it reflected both characters, but also flowed well. I took a webinar on querying with two top agents and the feedback was very helpful. I sent out about twenty-five, but with a batch of ten at a time. I ultimately had around five full requests and about four partial requests before landing an agent. I have since parted ways with that particular agent, but the process has been valuable in writing a query for my current novel. Writing my query also helped me to perfect my 140 character pitch for Twitter contests, which also gained quite a few favorites. However, most of my requests and offer of representation came from the slush pile! PERFECTLY IMPERFECT is my second novel. I decided my first novel was better suited as a “practice novel” and a great learning experience. It is a time travel romance and is currently on Wattpad titled TIME IRRELEVANT under the username IddyM1.

Here is Brandy’s query:

Dear Mr./Ms. Agent,

Seventeen-year-old Brody Jacobs thinks he’s a freak show. At least that’s what he’s convinced himself for the past two years since an accident left burns over sixty percent of his body. When Brody moves next door to Maris McKormick, he’s intent on avoiding her at all cost. He’ll soon discover that Maris may be the one who can break down the bitterness he’s locked inside — but only if he’ll let her. Doing so may mean getting hurt all over again.

Maris is at the top of the pyramid when it comes to the social hierarchy of high school. She has the perfect family, perfect friends, and the perfect boyfriend. But perfect girls don’t get pregnant at seventeen. Now she must make an impossible decision that will shatter her perfect image and destroy her reputation. Feeling isolated, she seeks comfort from the only person who could possibly understand what that’s like.

Each of them carries scars, but together they discover they just might have the power to heal each other.

PERFECTLY IMPERFECT is a YA contemporary written in alternating POV and is complete at 67,000 words. I feel this novel will appeal to readers who enjoyed Jennifer Niven’s ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES and Rainbow Rowell’s ELEANOR AND PARK.

———

Thank you to Brandy for sharing her journey and query letter! As I hope you all can see, each writer’s journey is different and we have to take what happens, learn from it, and keep moving forward. I hope you will all take inspiration from Brandy and not let setbacks keep you from your goal of publication!

Brandy Meinhardt is a Navy wife currently stationed in Florida. When she’s not writing she’s usually preventing her three year old son from terrorizing the house, helping her nine year old daughter with homework and driving her to gymnastics lessons, or sitting on the back porch with her husband and a glass of wine. You can find Brandy on Twitter @MeinhardtBrandy and on Pinterest.

Posted in QUERY LETTERS THAT WORKED | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Swap!

My daughter sang a solo in the school talent show this year. I was surprised, because lately, she doesn’t want to sing for us at all. Gone are the days of her belting out “Let it Go” for anyone who will listen. The preteen years have meant less living room performances, and more headphones and closed doors. So when she came to me with her music selected and a fire in her eyes about performing it, I was both proud and puzzled. Proud, because she is more brave than I will ever be. And puzzled, because how could singing in front of her entire school be an option, when singing in front of her family wasn’t?

If there’s one thing you’ve heard a million times at Sub It Club, it’s that putting our art out there for others to critique is difficult. And sometimes, I think it is easier for us to send our work out into the big, wide, publishing world, than it is to hand it to a friend and ask for feedback. Because out in that huge publishing abyss, we are (mostly) anonymous. If the work really stinks, then we get a form rejection or no response at all, and no one ever has to know. When we give our work to people we know, we are being vulnerable with folks we interact with on a regular basis. What if they decide I’m a terrible writer? What if they tell other people I’m a terrible writer? It’s scary. Singing in front of our family means the possibility of being hurt by the people we love the most.

But here’s the thing. Singing in front of our family is also full of wonderful possibility. The possibility of deepening relationship. The possibility of learning from others. The possibility of getting better! When we close ourselves off to exchanging manuscripts with others in the writing world, we close ourselves off to possibility. No matter how great a writer you are, we all have our blind spots. You might be great at description, but terrible at pacing. Or able to write a kick-ass beginning but your endings lack punch. By swapping manuscripts, we are able to both work on our weaknesses and build others up with our strengths.

SWAP-Book-Cover-Steve-Light-OPT-1

Steve Light is amazing, and his newest picture book, SWAP!, is no exception. The detail in his artwork is so fun to pore over, both for kids and adults. In SWAP!, a pirate is unable to head back out to sea because of a broken-down ship. With a little help from a crew-mate, the pirate is able to trade for all the things he needs to repair it. He trades a button for a couple of teacups, the teacups for some rope, and so on, until he has everything he needs to get his ship back out on the water.

Swap-6

And the cool thing about it is, he starts with a button. A single button that has fallen off his coat. If he had stopped to think too hard about that button, he might not have done it. He might have told himself that surely a button was not enough. A button! No one will want a button! But someone did indeed want and need a button, enough to give him two teacups. He took the risk and it paid off.

Don’t we do this with our writing? We convince ourselves that it’s not good enough. No one will want what we have to offer. But if we don’t take the risk, we won’t gain the tools we need to rebuild our ship. It will never leave the dock. So, if you are not already getting feedback on your writing, (which you should be doing before you submit!) what do you need to do?

Get ready to SWAP!

  • First…figure out what you have to offer. What are your strengths? Maybe you are just beginning and all you have is a single button. That’s okay! I guarantee you, there is someone out there whose coat is in need of a button just that size.
  • Next…where do you need work? What are your weaknesses? If you need someplace to put your tea, you need to find someone with teacups to spare. Let me give you an example. For the first time this summer, I wrote a non-fiction picture book manuscript. And to top it off, it’s in verse. Two things I have never done before. I knew immediately I needed help, so I went to my friend who is gifted when it comes to poetry. I was asking her all these questions that felt silly, like, “Do all of the stanzas have to have the same number of lines?” Meeting with her was insanely helpful, and I wanted to return the favor. But when she gives me manuscripts in verse, I don’t feel like I can help her much with the poetry part. And she knows that. But what I can help her with is story structure, upping the tension, and creating endings that make a manuscript feel complete. So we swap, even though I often feel like a road-weary pirate, offering up a single button.
  • And last…don’t be afraid to sing in front of your family! Find someone here in this fabulous Sub It Club community to exchange manuscripts with. I promise you, even if you go a little off-key, we’ll still love you! And we’ll feel that much better about being vulnerable when it’s our turn to step up to the mic.

Now me hearties…GO FORTH AND SWAP!

You can check out the SUB IT CLUB CRITIQUE PARTNER MATCHUP HERE.

Posted in Critiques, Inspiration | 9 Comments

Yvonne Ventresca Shares her Query Letter for PANDEMIC

Yvonne Ventresca is one of our published Sub It Club members. We love having her in the group! She is kind enough to pop in and help others out when she can. Today Yvonne is letting us take a look at the query letter she sent to her publisher that led to the sale of for her award winning Young Adult novel, PANDEMIC.

Here’s Yvonne:

Yvonne Ventresca Author PhotoIn the helpful spirit of the Sub It Club, I’m happy to share the query letter for my YA novel Pandemic, which I sent to Julie Matysik at Sky Pony Press in 2013.

First, some fun facts:

  • Although Pandemic became my fiction debut, it was the fourth novel I had written.
  • I received 151 rejections along the way to publication (for all four novels).
  • My Dear Teen Me letter on Sky Pony’s blog explains how I came to query Julie, if you’re interested. (Note that she is now Editorial Director at Running Press Kids.)

My query letter approach was to explain why I wrote the story, what it was about, and how it could be marketed. (Marketing was specifically mentioned in Sky Pony’s submission guidelines back then, but their guidelines have since changed.) Reading this query now, three years later, there are a few things I would revise, but I hope you find the letter useful.

Dear Ms. Matysik,

            I believe [NAME] mentioned that I would be contacting you. I wrote freelance articles for [NAME] at [NAME] Magazine before I decided to focus on writing fiction for young adults.

            My novel, PANDEMIC, is like the movie Contagion from a teen point of view. I’ve always been fascinated with young adult survival stories (such as Life As We Knew It and Fever 1793). My goal was to create a damaged main character who manages to heal through tragedy.

In PANDEMIC, a deadly strain of bird flu creates chaos in Lilianna Snyder’s small New Jersey town. As the death toll mounts, schools and businesses close. Grocery shelves empty and remain unfilled. The disease leaves Lil’s father quarantined, her mother trapped abroad, and her best friend dead.

Lil is still reeling from an unwanted sexual encounter with a beloved teacher at her high school which has left her emotionally withdrawn. She attempts to isolate herself, but even staying home alone isn’t safe when the teacher repeatedly tries to contact her and dangerous looters steal her entire food supply.

Desperate and afraid, Lil reluctantly befriends another sophomore, Jay Martinez, who cares more about Lil than he admits. Love is the last thing she wants. Safety is the first thing she needs. To gain both, she must confront the sexual predator from her past and survive the harrowing present.

Relating to marketability, this April is Sexual Assault Awareness month. While the assault is not the main focus of my story, it gives teen victims a main character they can identify with. And I think with movies like Contagion and new adult nonfiction books like Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, the possibility of a pandemic will be of interest to young adults. While I’ve read historical YA fiction about the Spanish Influenza of 1918, I have not come across any contemporary YA influenza pandemic novels in my market research.

My book writing credits include two nonfiction books: Publishing (2005, about careers in the field) and Avril Lavigne (2007, a biography about the singer) both published by Lucent Books, a Gale subsidiary. I’ve also written a dozen articles for children, in addition to thirty articles for adults. I’ve been an active SCBWI member for ten years.

PANDEMIC is complete at 64,000 words. Please let me know if you would be interested in reading the manuscript.

Thank you for your consideration.

Pandemic_cover_with_seal SMALLER

Yvonne Ventresca’s latest young adult novel, BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES will be published by Sky Pony Press in October 2016. Her debut YA novel, PANDEMIC, won a 2015 Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and was recently released in paperback. Yvonne’s other works include the short story “Escape to Orange Blossom,” which was selected for the dystopian anthology PREP FOR DOOM, along with two nonfiction books, PUBLISHING (Careers for the 21st Century) and AVRIL LAVIGNE (People in the News). She is represented by Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Agency. You can learn more about Yvonne and her books at YvonneVentresca.com. You can also connect with her on social media:

Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Instagram | Pinterest

Posted in QUERY LETTERS THAT WORKED | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Listen to A.C. Thomas. It Only Takes One Yes!

Author and Sub It Clubber, A.C. Thomas, shares lots of great advice via her Twitter feed. Just about a month ago she told an inspiring little story. It still holds true no matter how long it’s been since she tweeted it, so today I’m going to post it here for some weekend inspiration!

Posted in Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

August 2016 Contest Roundup

SIC Contest RoundupThere’s quite a variety of contests coming up within the next couple of months and beyond. In this month’s Roundup you’ll find pitch opportunities, short story competitions, and more. Some offer agent opportunities, some have nice monetary prizes, and some offer publication. If you’re a romance writer be sure to check out Harlequin’s two listings where editor feedback is guaranteed. Illustrators, don’t miss the Scholastic Graphix listing at the end. As always, contests are listed in order by closing date. I hope you find a contest that’s right for you. Good luck my friends!

August:

8/3: Pitch Wars – “Published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions to shine it up for agents. The mentors also critique the writer’s pitch to get it ready for the agent round. Writers send applications (query and first chapter of manuscript) to the four mentors that best fit their work. The mentors then read all their applications and choose the writer they want to mentor for the next two months. Then we hold an agent round with over a dozen agents making requests.”

8/5: Costa Short Story AwardsOpen to residents of the United Kingdom or Ireland. Story not to exceed 4,000 words. Submit via entry form. Winner to receive £3,500, second place £1,500, third place £500.

8/12: Blue Earth Review Flash Creative Nonfiction Contest – Open to creative nonfiction pieces of 750 words or less. Winner to receive $500 plus publication in Blue Earth Review

8/15: Pockets Fiction ContestOpen to fiction for ages 6-12. 750–1,000 words. Winner to receive $500 and publication in Pockets magazine. General submission guidelines state that submissions should support the purpose of the magazine to help children grow in their faith, though all submissions do not need to be overtly religious.

8/16: Pitch America – Open to fiction, all genres and age groups, written by Latinx. Enter your 35 word pitch and the first 500 words of your manuscript via email. A list of participating agents to come.

8/29: Dragonfly Tea Short Story Competition – Open to UK residents only. Must be a “non-professional” writer. (Non–professional writer is defined as: “a person who has never received a fee for their work, whether it be fiction or non-fiction. Prize money received as a result of entering work into a competition is not considered a fee.”) ADULT COMPETITION theme: Discovery. 3,000 word limit. 3 prizes of £1500, £750 & £250 respectively. CHILDREN’S COMPETITION theme: Adventure. Age categories: 4-7, 8-11, 12-15. 500 word limit. Prizes of £50 voucher for each winner plus £100 school vouchers. See rules & terms for more details.

8/31: The Rotting Post Humor Contest – Enter your humorous piece of 1,000 words or less. Winner will receive $250 and publication on The Rotting Post blog. Second prize will receive $100 and possible publication.

September:

9/1: Madeline Milburn Agency Summer Writing CompetitionOpen to adult novels.  Unagented writers only. ‘Make Us Scared’ is the theme of this competition. Entries can be “anything from gritty crime and suspenseful thrillers to dark narratives, it’s completely open to your interpretation and can even cross genres”. Enter a cover letter, one-page synopsis, and full manuscript (or a minimum of 30,000 words if the novel is nearing completion). The top five entries will receive “comprehensive written feedback” from the agency.  One winner will receive a cash prize and an offer of representation.

9/8: #Pitmad – Open to any genre and category. Pitch your completed manuscript on Twitter using the #PitMad hashtag from 8am – 8pm EDT. Tweet 3 pitches per project for the day.

9/12: Harlequin’s Oh Canada! BlitzOpen to Romance featuring a Canadian romantic hero. Submit your first chapter plus a 3-7 page synopsis. Editors will respond to all submissions with feedback by 12/1/16. Submit via Submittable.

9/15: Harlequin’s #SexyBlitz – Open to sexy Contemporary Romance. Submit 3 chapters and a synopsis. All submissions will receive feedback by 9/30/16. Read the submission guidelines to see just what they’re looking for.

9/19: Pen/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship – Open to published authors of children’s or Young Adult fiction in financial need. Submit a work-in-progress along with other required documents. See lengthy rules and instructions for details. Chosen candidate will receive a $5000.00 Fellowship.

9/29: The Sunday Times Short Story Award – Open to published authors who reside in the UK or Ireland. Enter your short story of 6,000 words or less. Any genre. Winner to receive a prize of £30,000. Five runners up to receive £1,000.

9/30: New Voices Award – “Open to writers of color who are residents of the United States and who have not previously had a children’s picture book published.” Enter your 1500 word or less fiction, nonfiction, or poetry manuscript for children ages 5-12. Winner receives a publication contract and $1000. Honor Award winner receives $500.

Upcoming:

10/31: Tu Books New Visions AwardOpen to Middle Grade and Young Adult manuscripts by writers of color. “Manuscripts should address the needs of children and teens of color by providing stories with which they can identify and relate, and which promote a greater understanding of one another.” Submit a cover letter, synopsis, plus the first 10,000 words. Graphic novels, include the equivalent of 24-30 scripted pages.Please note: “Manuscripts may not be submitted to other publishers, mentorship contests, writing contests, or to TU BOOKS general submissions while under consideration for this award.” Winner receives $1,000 and a standard publication contract. Honor Award winner to receive $500.

11/1: My Real-Life Story Essay Contest – Enter your essay of 2,500 – 3,500 words. Every woman has a moment in life that changes everything. What’s that moment for you? We’d love to find out. Winner to receive $5,000, possible publication in Glamour magazine, and the opportunity to speak with a top New York literary agent. Do be sure to read the contest rules, especially #7.

12/1: #Pitmad – Open to all genres. Pitch your completed manuscript via Twitter using the #Pitmad hashtag betweet 8am and 8pm EDT. Three pitches per project.

4/1/2017: Scholastic Graphix ContestOpen to Graphic Novels for kids. U.S. Residents only. Up to 5 winners will receive an offer to publish their work with Scholastic and a $15,000 advance.

Looking for more contests? I found a list with lots. Looks like there are quite a few poetry contests listed: http://compsandcalls.com/wp/2016/08/01/comps-and-calls-for-august-2016/

Know of a great, no fee contest that I missed? Please link us up in the comments!

Posted in Contests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Check Yourself

Sending your work out on submission is hard. So is rejection. I suspect that many of us can handle rejection alright. I mean, it’s not fun. (Although we can get together and try to have a little fun with it!) But we know, there are so many obstacles we must be able to get over to hear a yes. Not only is this is a subjective business, we need to connect our work with the right person at the right time. There is much more to an acceptance than an agent or editor seeing something is well written or even simply liking a piece.

Make no mistake about it, if you are working toward publication you are going to rack up those rejections. That’s just a fact. We can all have our down moments about it. It can be hard to get rejection after rejection. I like to try to look at rejections as a positive. They mean we are getting your work out there. They mean we are working toward our goal of publication. That doesn’t mean rejections don’t sting sometimes. But there are ways to deal with it and ways not to. If you are feeling angry or hurt it’s good to check yourself.

DO NOT:

  • Post your rejections online. Would you like your query posted online without your permission? It is a personal business letter you wrote to one specific person. It would be wrong of an agent or editor to post it online without your expressed permission. A rejection letter, form or not, is a letter from an agent or editor to you. They have not given you permission to publish their word. Don’t do it.
  • Complain about your rejections online. Not only should you not post your rejections. Don’t complain about them where they can be found online. Do you want to be Googled by an agent and have them find you complaining about other agents who have passed on your work?
  • Do not ever post mean comments about agents or editors you queried, pitched, or otherwise met or heard speak. Why would you do this? Agents and editors are people doing a job the best they can.

Basically, don’t post about your rejections online! I think pretty much everyone knows that. It certainly won’t make a good impression if an agent or editor is interested in your work and decides to see what you’ve been up to on the interwebs. You might just cause yourself an instant pass. For a very specific look at an extreme case of what I’m talking about, take a look at this post: How to get Yourself Blacklisted. I’ve seen a few sites where writers have posted their rejections online. I don’t know what they’re thinking. They certainly don’t have their own best interests in mind.

There are much better ways to deal with rejection!

DO:

  • Realize that it is okay to have some bad feelings. It’s totally normal to feel bad about a rejection. Give yourself time for feelings if you need them, but don’t dwell on feeling bad for too long. Move on to something positive, whether it is sending out a new query, going out with a good friend, or… (you fill in the blank with something good!)
  • Remember that this is a small industry you are working in, no matter how big it might feel. Editors and agents know each other. They move around to different houses. They talk. Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want other agents, editors, writers, and/or illustrators to hear about.
  • Find at least one person that you can vent to safely. This means not venting in a public place online where it can be internet searched, as I am certain you have already gathered. There are so many of us writers and illustrators experiencing rejection. We get it. I bet you have a family member or friend who will get it to. There is someone, somewhere to listen if you need to talk. You can certainly to start a conversation in our Sub It Club group about rejection. There are plenty of us in there who will commiserate with you.
  • Be nice to yourself. Find something that makes you happy!
  • All in all, find a way to deal with it that does not hurt others or yourself!

Share with us in the comments your suggestions on dealing with rejection. Of course, music can help. Here ya go:

Posted in Rejection | Tagged | 4 Comments

The Postcard Post: Steve Asbell

The Postcard Post is having some summer fun with illustrator Steve Asbell!

Steve Asbell is a recent convert to kidlit. He started his garden blog “The Rainforest Garden” in 2009 and has been writing, blogging and illustrating for garden clients for several years. He was twice featured as a ‘Blogger to Follow’ by Southern Living Magazine and continues to blog for Zillow, Tuesday Morning and Burpee.

In addition, Steve has immersed himself into his dreams of writing and illustrating children’s books. He regularly attends critique group meetings, conferences and workshops, and in 2016 received a Rising Kite award (honorable mention, illustration) at the SCBWI Florida winter conference.

steve-asbell-postcard-16

Postcard front

How do you choose the image(s) for a postcard?
My latest postcard’s images were chosen to convey the feeling of a salty, sun-drenched seashore. I wanted this card to say ‘SUMMER!’ in all caps, just like that. The only problem is that the illustrations make me hungry, so hopefully the reader won’t get distracted, order takeout and use my card as a coaster.

Do you prefer text on the front of the postcard with the image or do you prefer all text on the back of the postcard?
I’m leaning towards text on the back. I figure if the art director likes it enough, they’ll remember my name. At least that’s what I’m hoping. I’ve seen lots of good examples of text on the front though, especially on this blog.

steve-asbell-postcard-16 front

Postcard back

Do you create illustrations specifically for your self-promotion pieces?
Yes! I did a simple illustration of a sushi-loving seagull for a few reasons: It was a strong action shot that made me giggle, I happen to be finishing up a similar story, and I could combine it with the fish-shaped restaurant for a summer theme.

The fish-shaped restaurant was a concept piece from a story that I was working on last year. if you look closely, you’ll find that the whole building is made of flotsam and jetsam, such as flip flops, broken surfboards and glowsticks in bottles. I’m hoping that someone will pull up my portfolio website for a better look.

steve-asbell-postcard 15

Some illustrators create a series of postcards and send them out over time. Do you create a series or stand-alone images?
Only standalone images. I have all the time in the world to feature other illustrations, and they’re fun to plan out. By doing one postcard design at a time, I feel like I at least know which piece an art director, editor, agent, etc. responded to.

How often do you send out postcards?
This is only the first time that I’ve actually sent out postcards, since the previous two were either handed out or displayed by my portfolio. Going forward, I plan on doing it four times a year. I’ve never had a promo piece not pay off, and it will be fun to plan future postcard illustrations in the back of my head. Besides, they make me feel so legit and professional… it’s like getting your artwork fitted for a suit! (I am totally picturing my artwork in a suit now.)

steve-asbell-postcard-15 front

Who do you target with your mailings?
I have made three postcards so far, each with a different purpose:
Postcard #1 was made a couple of years ago. It featured my only children’s book illustration on one side and two botanical illustrations (my specialty so far) on the other side. Since I hadn’t yet built up a kidlit portfolio, I wisely abstained from sending it to the publishing world and instead handed it out to a handful of horticultural companies at a gardening event. Nonetheless, I lucked out and they still got me an awesome client.

Postcard #2 was made just so I had something to hand out at the SCBWI Miami conference, and featured the same illustration as before because I liked it and – to be honest – needed to build a stronger portfolio. So only those attending the conference ever saw the thing. My portfolio was all over the place, but the postcard still got me an awesome client in the end.

Postcard #3 is the first one that I’ve decided to send out. I’m specifically targeting art directors at first, but have first researched each publisher and its guidelines. I want to eventually pitch to agents, but am waiting until I have a good, polished dummy book to accompany one of my manuscripts, and maybe some more experience illustrating picture books. If the pattern holds, hopefully this run of postcards will also land me a client. Fingers crossed!*
*Good luck!

How do you compile your mailing list? Any tips on keeping a list and sending out?
So far I’ve only used SCBWI’s THE BOOK for my contacts, and have been sure to check on each publisher’s website to make sure that they are appropriate for my illustrations. I might broaden my horizons to other recipients later on, but for now I’m keeping it simple. did start an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of which publishers, imprints, editors and art directors I’ve submitted to for each mailing.

Do you have any tips on the production process?
I chose to hand-letter my name, return address, etc. because I have been writing incorrectly since childhood and don’t think that anyone can begin to replicate my crazy-looking handwriting. I like my sloppy handwriting, thank you very much, and I might as well hope that some art director feels the same way.

But the sloppy handwriting had to be legible, of course, so I wrote out each line separately in pencil before going over that with a brush-tipped Faber Castell Pitt pen. To fine-tune the details and get crisp edges, I made them really big. I scanned them in at high contrast, isolated each line in Photoshop and made a new layer for each. I then moved them to their correct locations and proudly showed it to my wife, who pointed out a better arrangement.

Scan-of-lettering-steve-asbell

I made her requested changes, saved the front and back images as .tif files, uploaded them to Vistaprint and didn’t bother to check my work again. You do see where this is going, right?
I proudly showed the postcard design off to my friends on the #kidlitart Twitter chat, awaited their ‘oohs’ and ‘aahhhs’ (I’m not full of myself, just a little insecure!) and felt my heart sink into my stomach. A mistake was noticed. I somehow left out the email address and website after moving them around.

I was freaking out. Luckily I talked to the good folks on the #kidlitart chat and they convinced me to either write the website and email address in manually or use a sticker. Since I hand-lettered the return address and would be writing the recipients’ addresses by hand anyways, I tried filling in the missing info with a sharpie.

It worked! The blank spots even give me a little bit of flexibility, since I can add other details as needed. The moral of the story is: When life gives you lemons, show them to your friends. Then write on the lemons with a sharpie.*
*Ha! Glad it worked out. I’m sure all illustrators have a few stories like this.🙂

Do you use any online services? What are your favorite places to get postcards printed?
I use Vistaprint for postcards and business cards, and always go with the heavy stock and UV coating. It’s not like the fancypants details will get my card noticed or anything, but I do want to give them a fighting chance on the way to New York. Or San Diego. Or… you get the idea. The art is what matters, but it has to get there in one piece.

Thanks so much, Steve!
Check out more of Steve’s work here:

Website: www.Steveasbell.com
Blog: www.therainforestgarden.com
Twitter: @rainforestgardn
Instagram: @rainforestgardn
Facebook: The Rainforest Gardener
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rainforestgardn/

If you’re joining us for the first time at The Postcard Post, you can catch up with a general article on postcard mailings for illustrators and previous featured illustrators in the archive (there’s a tab above too).
See you next month.

Save

Posted in Illustration, Postcards, The Postcard Post | 2 Comments