I worry about the dummy. Did I do it right? Are my sketches too simple? Did I spec out the end papers and the intro page correctly? Did I choose the right fonts? Is that why previous dummies have been rejected?
At a recent SCBWI conference, I had separate portfolio reviews with an agent and an art director. Both of them gravitated toward a particular piece in my portfolio. The art director, Lucy Cummins of Simon & Schuster, suggested I turn it into a simple father's day story. The agent liked the idea, and I had one month to send a dummy.
So I sat down and wrote 87 words that made me laugh and cry. I sketched it all up in about 15 hours, which is all that's left in my month after a full time job and two toddlers. It wasn't fancy. It was downright sloppy. It didn't show the cover, have a title, or even have all the right pages. But I sent it anyways.
The agent emailed me back within a day and asked for more illustration samples to show around to some editors. WHAAAA?!! It's that simple? No custom fonts? No comparables? No hand-assembled book? No fully-fleshed pages?! All it took (to peak some interest at least) was a successful concept. Here's the simple format I used.
You can see some more of my work at flikr.com/superfredd. Cheers!