What To Know About Writing a Children’s Book
Dont worry about an illustrator. most publishers have one for writers to work with.
Books for publishing your childrens book
Find out why knowing more helps you more
Writing for children is what a lot of freelance writers dream of. It’s a great genre that won’t go out of style (ever) and offers a variety of opportunities to showcase your talents. Hidden talents and golden gems are discovered in this genre often when least expected. Though, knowing more about what to expect to write children's books is invaluable. Find out why.
Know the audience
Most writers discover an enormous audience to appeal to. There are toddlers, teenagers and everything in between. They come in all different shapes and sizes. Children read at different levels and for a variety of reasons. This means a decision on what to write about is based on asking several important questions.
Questions to ask
Are you writing to entertain? Are you writing to help with reading and other activities? Are you writing for strictly educational purposes? The list goes on and on.
There are many questions and issues authors find before stepping forth into the wonderful world of writing for children and many of those questions will be answered for you in this article.
Do I have to write and illustrate my book?
No. you don’t have to illustrate as well as write your book. Many freelance writers don’t fancy themselves as an artist and for good reason. If you happen to possess both of these talents, great. However, many publishers actually prefer to find an illustrator for their books. The reason a publisher typically discovers an illustrator is to match an experienced illustrator with a new writer or author. This combo works well.
In addition, countless publishers have the experience for a look or feel for books and the illustrator you select may not fit in with their “look” or feel. Experience and professionalism are needed in many of these circumstances.
Where do you send a completed manuscript?
Finding the right publisher for a children’s book is not a simple task in most cases. You write a story that doesn’t fit for one publisher, but is a perfect match for another. There are several places to search for publishers. They have specialized genres similar to writers.
This is a great map of how to get your manuscript published;
a) Purchase a Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market book. These are put out by Writers Digest Books. Typically you can find these in a bookstore or try your local library. The book contains a complete listing of all children’s publishers and listing needs
b) Subscribe to a newsletter or publication that keeps you informed of what is going on in the children’s book publishing market. Any changes or updates to personnel and other information are usually found with these.
c) Research books on the market. Visit your local bookstore and read the best seller lists for what publishers are putting out in the marketplace for children’s books.
d) Join a writers group. This is a wonderful way to network for others in your niche and keep ahead of the curve of what is going on and the feedback that is being received by similar writers
e) There are a lot of online publishers if you elect to go with an eBook. Research what you can find on the web and blogs that pertain to writing electronic books for this genre.
Should I send my manuscript to one publisher at a time?
Sending a manuscript to one publisher at a time seems like a good idea. This was once the only way to do it, but times have changed. Many freelance writers for children are sending to multiple publishers at the same time.
Send a SASE to each publisher’s editorial department and ask for a complete listing of their writer’s guidelines. After you receive the writer’s guidelines, complete the guidelines for submission and ask if they accept multiple submissions.Most of the publishers will advise they don’t care about multiple submissions as long as the writer informs them.
Do you need an agent?
Working with an agent is usually a personal decision in your freelance writing career. Whether you choose to work with one is purely private. Some work well with them while others prefer to go the road alone. There are benefits to both situations.
Most writers begin to consider working with one after they have invested enough time and energy on their own to sell their work without success. However, if your work isn’t sellable because it stinks, it won’t matter if you have an agent working with you or not.
If you are looking for an agent use Guide to Literary Agents or Literary Marketplace
This is information to use as a freelance writer to begin your venture into writing for children. Hopefully, some informative material can be found among these questions and answers.