you are interested in writing and/or illustrating children's books for
publication, you will need to study various aspects of the industry prior
to seeking publication. You must learn what makes a manuscript publishable,
how to find the right publisher for your book and how to submit your manuscript
to the selected publisher(s).
You will not be able to write a story, print it, then send it to the first
publisher you find and expect to be published. There are many beginners
out there who think this is how to get published. You will be well ahead
in the game if you do a bit of reading first.
should be able to put together your own "course" about writing
for children by selecting books from the different areas of the craft.
If learn by reading these books, you won't have to spend several hundred
books for a writer's workshop!
First, I would recommend acquiring a book (possibly two books) about the
process of writing and illustrating for children. Some of the
best books available are listed on this Reference List of Books about
Writing for Children:
Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books
to Write a Children's Book and Get It Published
to Write & Illustrate Childrens Books and Get Them Published
to Publish Your Children's Book
to Write and Sell Children's Picture Books
to Write for Children and Get Published
a Bunny-Eat-Bunny World: A Writer's Guide to Surviving and Thriving in
Today's Competitive Children's Book Market
Distance Between You and a Published Book
ABC's of Writing for Children
These books have the overview information you will
need to learn about writing for different age groups, word counts, editing,
and seeking publication. For more detailed information, you will want
to select books in the specific area of interest. You can find a wide variety of books about writing and illustrating for children in our Bookroom.
you have read one or more of the basic books, you will have a good idea
of what makes a publishable book and how to market your story. BUT,
you may not be ready to get published yet. There is one thing
I highly recommend to improve the publishability of your manuscript. Join
a critique group. Since you are already online, the best way
for you to do this is probably through an email critique group.
Once your manuscript is the best you can make it, your marketing campaign
can begin. This is a highly challenging part of the profession. You
will need to acquire a copy of Children's
Writer's & Illustrator's Market (CWIM). This is the essential
market guide for finding publishers who are interested in your manuscripts.
The CWIM contains contact information, descriptions of needs, and payment
information for hundreds of publishers. It also includes essays
on the craft of writing. This book is required for you if you
want to sell manuscripts in today's marketplace.
Publishers offer a variety of genres (A genre is a specific type literature
that is based on subject area, fiction or non-fiction, or age group). You
must research to find a publisher that handles books of the same genre
as yours. If you have written an easy reader, you MUST find
a publisher that publishes easy readers or your manuscript will be doomed
for rejection. The same applies if you write picture books,
non-fiction, christian literature, chapter books or if you illustrate
for children's books.
I get numerous emails asking, "Who should I submit my manuscript to?" My
answer is, "I cannot possibly answer that question as I am not an agent
nor a publisher. I have no idea what your story is about and
it is research you must do for yourself." With that said, I
can assist you by pointing you to the many publishers listed on this website. When
their submission guidelines can be found, I have provided a direct link
to those guidelines. In either case you will want to look for
stories or books that are similar to, but not the same as, yours.
I truly hope that you have found this information helpful. Happy
Reading AND Happy Writing!
Best of Luck,
Join The CBI Clubhouse Children's Writing Community!
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2011 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market
Buy it here!