Any ideas on getting a children's book published?
I'm a teacher and have written three good children's books. These are books I know would be helpful in the classroom but I have no connections in the publishing arena and need help breaking into the field!
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
If you're looking to "break into" publishing works for children, the best place to start is to join SCBWI (Society of children's Book Writers and Illustrators). It's a great place to start making contacts, search info, get involved in a local or online critique group, conference and workshops, and all the things that help people learn how to get their foot into the world of Children's publishing. www.scbwi.org
It's eye-opening to learn how hard it is to break into children's publishing, and it's crucial to have be apart of a group that integrates you into the world of writing for children.
You can also get a copy of the Children's Writing Market. You can always look for some publishers that will read unsolicited manuscripts, and whose book list matches your type of book.
Expect rejection letters, be patient and willing to rewrite, revise and learn the business, and you're on your way.
If you're looking to self publish, lulu.com is a good place to look. It's an on-demand printer (not a publisher) They do good work, and don't require that you purchase a minimum amount.
- Anonymous4 years ago
Not an effortless subject to get in to. You will have to learn writers marketplace and search publishers there who submit kid's books. Most publishers say "No poetry and no kid's books." The writer will prepare an illustrator.
- 1 decade ago
You have chosen the most difficult thing in the publishing business - getting a children's book published.
Let me describe for you the current nature of the children's book market. I just finished ghostwriting two children's books for a very major sports figure - already sold to a very major NY publisher. The first is with artist now and due out in Spring. I am currently working on another one with others to follow. This information was given to me by a Senior Editor at the publisher I write for (one of the top 5 on that list) ...
40% of children's books published today are by celebs like Madonna, Jamie Lee Curtis etc.
40% are written by existing, established children's authors like Eric Carle.
15-20% are reprints of children's classics like Curious George.
That leaves at best 5% for new authors.
And that percentage is being cut into by adult authors like Carl Hiaasen and Mary Higgins Clark entering the childrens' market recently.
To that, add the fact that most of the large publishing companies are backlogged with children's books they have under contract but havent gotten out yet.
As a result, most A list publishers aren't even reading childrens' books right now, which means agents arent either. Agents only read what they can sell.
There is very little room to break into the children's market. Only books that are extremely exceptional and have huge appeal stand a chance. Forget any holiday related books - the selling season is too short to make money.
And most publishers have huge backlogs of children's books they have purchased and are not published yet. It takes about a year for a children's book to make it out. It usually takes an artist about a month a page to illustrate. So most publishers have their production schedules for children's books filled out for the next few years.
Take a walk through any major childrens' book department and you will confirm what I am telling you. Getting a childrens' book done is almost impossible - and getting an advance for it is virtually out of the question anymore. Unless you fall into one of those categories above. I am fortunate to have the backing of a very major sports star to get me in the door with kids books. I write adult novels, but believe me I have tried with kids books before and failed for exactly the reasons I list here.
Ghostwriting has gotten me in through the back door, and now I will be able to sell some of the children's books that have my name on them. For now, someone else's name is on the cover. Someone whose name sells books - big time. Don't ask me how you can get a ghostwriting deal for a major sports star ... I really backed into this. It was a gift from Heaven really and it is a blast working with this person too!!! My mantle is now covered with sports memorabilia worth a fortune!! Presents.
That is the nature of the beast. You might get a copy of Writers Market and search for some small publishers who are reading childrens' books, but searching through the agents section, you will see that almost NO agents are reading childrens' books. Try for some small publishers that read without going through an agent. Expect a lot of rejection. Develop a really thick skin and learn to advocate for yourself.
Always remember that before you send anything to anyone, check them out. Preditors and Editors, Absolute Write Water Cooler's Bewares and Background Checks, Writers Weekly.com and Writers Wall are all great sources and totally free - although if they help you, it is nice to contribute a donation. Someone has to pay for running the sites. If you do not see information on the publisher or agent in question, write to Dave K at Preditors and Editors, Victoria Strauss or James Macdonald at Absolute Write or Angela Hoy at Writers Weekly. They are happy to pass along any info they have to help you.
As for self publishing it - it will get you nowhere. Self published books dont make it to bookstores. Childrens' books are impulse buys. What is out on the tables for kids to see is what sells. Kids don't shop at websites for things like books. They have to hold them in their hand and nag Mom to buy it. The only way to achieve that is through a good traditional publisher.
I have starred a lot of great Q and A regarding writing on my profile. You can access it and print out the pages. Start a notebook you can refer to. There s a lot of good information here and I add more as I see good ones. I am doing it to help others. Feel free to use it. Add me as a fan and get the regular updates. Keep writing. Remember you have to need to grow a hide as thick as a herd of elephants. There will be rejection letters.
Just keep writing. Be exceptional!!
Good luck. Pax - C