Looking at the websites of various publishers is a little deflating. Most publishers only look at manuscripts through agents or already published authors. I’ve been lucky to have a contact who can pass stuff direct to a publisher and I may be able to do it again but it’s probably best not to totally rely on that. My only attempt at interesting agents was a bit miserable. A few years ago I did a picture book proposal and phoned several agencies to see if they would look at it, most wouldn’t look at unestablished creators (there’s a pattern forming here!) and the few that did sent the work straight back saying they weren’t interested in taking on unpublished creators (a bit irritating considering I’d already contacted them to establish that they would look!) and one sent me a polite form letter rejecting the proposal with a little bit of supporting wording.
For someone with a shaky grip on confidence like myself it was a bit disheartening. Getting an agent is possible, as Garen can attest, but you need to have work as good as Garen’s!
Fortunately the encouraging letter from Orion is still working it’s magic on me so the plan is to tweak and improve Simian and work on other projects so I can follow up with proposals if I’m lucky enough to get a similar response to the one I got from Orion. It’s a nerve wracking but exciting time!