Just after Christmas I sent Jimmy and Cinder off to Orca Press in BC to see if they were interested. Last week I received an email from the acquisitions editor saying she had enjoyed the book, especially the "delightful" Cinder. Unfortunately they didn't feel it fit with what they were looking for at the moment but she encouraged me to send it to other publishers as it may fit their current needs.
I forwarded the email to a freelance editor from Halifax who helps me and she called it a "lovely rejection", It certainly was more pleasing than the previous publisher I sent it to, who had actually asked for it, and I have never heard back from them again. I guess the fact that this editor actually sent me something personal is a very good sign that I'm on the right track.
Speaking of which, it just never hurts to speak to people in a book store. I was at Cover to Cover books in Riverview (my favorite store) a few weeks ago and there was an author doing a book signing. So I chatted with him for a bit, bought his book, and then had a nice discussion about writing with him, I mentioned I was trying to find a publisher for Jimmy and Cinder and he asked if I had tried a publisher here in Riverview. I told him I hadn't realized there was one. He gave me the name, I looked it up on-line and there it was: Chocolate River Publishing. I checked out their website and saw that they were fairly new, had four or five books under contract but none were even close to the fantasy genre I was writing in.
Rather than send a full query, I sent a short email saying what type a book I had and if they would be interested in seeing it. If so, I would send a proper query according to their guidelines. About two hours later, I get an email back from the publisher saying she was familiar with my previous two books and to send her the manuscript right away. Actually she told me to drop it off to her house.as I actually know her. My younger son, Fraser, was in her son's wedding party! Here, I didn't know this lady was a publisher! All this from speaking with another writer at a book store.
So I have dropped Jimmy and Cinder off to her and we will see what happens. If she isn't interested, I think I'll change tactics and look for an agent instead.