How to Be a Published Writer of Children’s Picture Books?

The Five Steps to a Published Children's Author!

  1. Decide what age group you are writing for, either for toddlers, kindergarten or first grade, middle school children or high school kids.
  2. Stick to a word count and develop your children's story.
  3. Make sure your children's main character solves a problem.
  4. Either illustrate your children's book yourself or have someone else draw the art to your picture book.
  5. Polish your manuscript and send it to many children's publishing houses. Wait for an answer, and continue blogging to build up your name brand.

If you are not successful after some time with traditional publishing companies, I suggest you connect with an awesome self publishing house. You'll need to spend the money to have your children's picture book self published.

How I Began My Writing Career?

I began my public writing career approximately in 2010. I was looking for something to do online after my computer programming job was sent overseas. I searched and searched and found this site. I thought HubPages was a cool site and I signed up right away, since they promised to pay a commission for every article I wrote.

I was excited and wrote a few hubs and I was elated by the response of my family and friends on Facebook and the community. Straight away many Hubbers became my friends. They absolutely loved the plethora of pictures I posted in my hubs. Then, I wrote a few more hubs and began writing a bunch of children's stories.

Something Hilarious Occurred One Sunny Day and a Children's Story Came to My Mind

I felt elated and on a roll, I had already published six hubs on HubPages and desired to write more. Back then I was living in a large house with a few friends and one strange day, which actually turned out to be my greatest blessing, I discovered a little lizard hiding in a bathroom faucet. I chuckled and thought of writing a short story about this quizzical lizard for my granddaughter.

Within twenty minutes I dabbed an interesting lizard story on a sheet of paper and read it to my roommates. They loved it and laughed out loud and stated it sounded like a children’s book. I couldn’t believe it and my mind started working overtime on how I would turn my children's story into a kid's picture book.

Since, I was already writing articles for HubPages, I imagined creating a children’s picture book wouldn’t be too difficult.

Rated PG,  I Found a Ses in My Faucet by Sheila Craan
Rated PG, I Found a Ses in My Faucet by Sheila Craan | Source

I Found Trafford At First and Tate Publishing Found Me.

I found Trafford and contacted them straight away. They too laughed at my title and said they would love to publish my children's book. Since they are a self publishing company, they normally acquire all authors into their corporation as long as your material is not offensive.

At the time Trafford was running a children's book special for $1000.00 and my marketing consultant put me in contact with a fantastic artist by the name of Frank Roosa.

Mister Roosa was delighted to illustrate my children's book and felt it would be a neat challenge for him, since he was a nautical and lighthouse artist. I paid him $1000.00 for twenty children's book illustrations too.

Within two years my publicist at Trafford suggested I contact a traditional publishing house and I sent my children's manuscripts to Tate and they loved my talking lizard series and took me in after reviewing over two hundred thousand manuscripts that year. I felt lucky and totally blessed.

Tate Illustrated and Printed My Books.

With Tate on my side, I didn't need to spend a plethora of money advertising my children's books anymore. Because Tate decided to invest in me and believed my children's manuscripts would be a hit among children up to to middle school grades. Tate, promised in a 63 page book publishing contract to invest up to one hundred fifty thousand dollars in advertising my three children's picture books. Tate is in the process of publishing all my books and they have made me an author for life. The talking lizard series is composed of nine books. Over the next few years, hopefully by God's grace they'll publish the remaining children's books too.

Rated PG - Mr. Ses Attends Stockville Elementary Academy by Sheila Craan
Rated PG - Mr. Ses Attends Stockville Elementary Academy by Sheila Craan | Source

Tate Invested in Me.

Tate created three children's book trailers for me which they air on certain children's cable television stations. They also in the process of crafting more trailers along with a few children's book videos for children to read along on YouTube.

Each of my children's books comes with a free audio download. Kid's may download the audio file for each of my children's books at the Tate's Publishing web site once their parents purchase my books either at Tate Publishing, Amazon, or Barns and Noble.

Besides, Tate also handles book signings for me and book venues. I only need to show up, smile and sign the books parents buy with a thoughtful saying especially for their children. This is totally exciting and the elementary schools in my area have invited me to do book readings for their students. Tate created a Children's Lizard Book Site for me as well.

Posted on YouTube is my children's book video for Mr. Ses Attends Stockville Elementary Academy for kid's to follow along. It's a cartoon similar to the one listed below for kids to read along as they watch.

Tate is also working on having a children's story book hour on TV for kids in the near future, where they will air my children's book videos.


Will Brianna Be Able to Help Mister Ses?

Will Mister Ses Overcome His Intimidation?

Will the Children Ever See Mr. Ses Again?

Children's Book Publishing Poll

Are You in the Process of Writing a Children's Book or Have You Written one Already?

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See results without voting

© 2014 Sheila Craan

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9 comments

Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Hi Craan, congratulations on your success. This is so inspirational. I have been paid to write the text for two children's picture books (one specifically for iPad with interactive games). An author who's first language is not English had the idea for a story but needed someone to write a poem as text for his book. He found my gig advertised on "fiverr" and hired me. He was impressed and hired me to write the text for a second book. I would however love to write my own children's books but I can't afford the outlay at this stage. This hub is very helpful.


Craan profile image

Craan 2 years ago from Florida Author

You're welcome, @Jodah! I bid you much success in your pursuit of becoming a writer of children's books! Good Luck!


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

Thanks and the writing did it, plus your willingness to invest in yourself. You were fortunate too, to have some shortcuts to acceptance. Thanks for this Hub.


easylearningweb profile image

easylearningweb 2 years ago

Wow, great hub and useful information, thanks for telling your story. I love your positive upbeat "can do" attitude. I feel more motivated to work on my writing projects.

Thanks, and good luck to you and your children's book series!


Craan profile image

Craan 2 years ago from Florida Author

Thank you, EasyLearningWeb! I wish you much success in your writing career!


TolovajWordsmith profile image

TolovajWordsmith 24 months ago from Ljubljana

It's always great to hear such a success story. Congratulations on your books and above all the courage to believe and invest in your text in the first place. I am quite familiar with situation in children literature and can say there is fierce competition among authors and publishers, but there is a space for decent living for both, is they are willing to learn and adapt to non stop changing market.

Have a great time with your talking lizard!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 23 months ago from USA

Thanks for sharing your success story! It's refreshing to hear such positive stories. I wish you and Mr. SES even more success in the future.


AsimAli1511 profile image

AsimAli1511 20 months ago from Rawalpindi, Pakistan

You were made for this. I am sure everybody loves you. Great work.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York

Congratulations on your success. Your children's books are delightful and as Batman would say, "leapin lizards it's great!" Here's to many more successful years.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

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