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To publish your children’s book, you need first to write a great book,
- Know your target audience
- Refine your manuscript
- Find an agent
- Submit your manuscript to publishers
Putting out a child’s book can be done in a variety of ways, depending on the specifics of the project. It is important to consider all options before deciding on the best method of publication.
An example of this is that when self-publishing, there is no need of a literary agent.
This useful article discusses both self-publishing and traditional publishing. Despite the trend of traditional publishing becoming less and less common, plenty of people still view it as the only legitimate choice.
- Self-publishing, traditional publishing, or independent publishing?
- How to publish your children’s book
- List of children’s book publishers
- Tips on marketing your children’s book
- 3 Ways to Publish a Children’s Book
- 1. Traditional Publishing
- 2. Independent “Indie” Publishing
- 3. Self-Publishing
- Should you professionally publish or self-publish?
- Step-by-Step Guide to Publish a Children’s Book
- 1. Know Your Target Audience
- 2. Refine Your Manuscript
- Proofread & Edit Your Book
- Get Feedback from Readers
- No Illustrations If You Want an Agent
- 3. Find an Agent (for Traditional or Indie Publishing)
- How to Find an Agent (Querying an Agent)
- 4. Submit Your Manuscript to Publishers
- Find Niche Imprints of Large Publishers
- Beware of Vanity Presses
- List of Children’s Book Publishers
- 3 Tips on Self-Publishing a Children’s Book
- 1. Purchase an ISBN number + Barcode
- 2. Scan Illustrations at a High Resolution
- 3. Copyright Your Book
- CreateSpace Is Dead
- 4 Ways to Market a Children’s Book
- 1. Choose Keywords Carefully
- 2. Get Reviews for Your Book
- 3. Build an Audience on Social Platforms
- 4. Plan School Visits
- Traditional publishing
- Independent “Indie” publishing
Investigate all three options thoroughly before deciding which path to take to become a published author.
Traditional publishing means that a publishing house will publish your book online and in brick and mortar retailers.
They pay for your editor, book cover artist, back cover synopsisAuthors often receive a portion of their book’s profits in the form of royalties, but this can be reduced due to various costs associated with the book including ISBN numbers, printing costs, and more.
The big 5 traditional publishing houses are:
- Penguin Random House
- Simon & Schuster
If you plan to traditionally publish, you will need to factor in an additional step in your journey: locating a literary agent. Generally, it is customary for traditional publishers to only accept manuscripts that have been submitted by agents, and they usually do not consider manuscripts that have been sent in by unagented authors.
Side Note: We recently reviewed another great course on publishing children’s books, read our review here.
Traditional publishers offer their authors the bare minimum amount of marketing. They reserve their marketing budgets for their bestsellers. You may get mentioned in a long list or sent to book reviewers
For traditional publishing, I also recommend the resource Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s MarketThe cost of this resource is reasonable, and it is packed with details about traditional publishing companies, literary representatives, and directions for crafting a query letter.
If you’re traditionally publishing your children’s book, you still have to do your own marketing.
- Social media
- Outreach to mothers in your community
- Book signings
- Readings at schools
- Promotional giveaways
- Age-appropriate book reviewers
Indie publishing shares many of the same characteristics as traditional publishing, but typically doesn’t include the lengthy and unnecessary steps that sometimes impede the publishing process.
Independent publishers typically do not need to utilize literary agents, instead allowing authors to submit unsolicited queries directly.
Smaller publishing houses often deviate from the traditional publishing world’s practices, offering opportunities to authors from different backgrounds or those who are just starting out in the industry. This creates a refreshing change from the usual trends that can be seen as unhelpful.
Check out these 30 Publishers that Accept Unagented Submissions.
Publishing your own book is a great way to get your work out into the world. This option is becoming increasingly popular, even for those who have not published before or those who regularly self-publish. This is an increasingly viable business opportunity that many have taken advantage of.
In many cases, self-publishing is more lucrative than traditional publishing.
Many individuals believe that the only way to become a legitimate writer of children’s literature is to go through the standard publishing process. This perspective is outdated and inappropriate. It is similar to a joke that your aunt might make.
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is one of the major platforms for self-publishing. It makes the process of self-publishing much easier, though they do take a percentage of the profits. However, it eliminates the need to do the arduous work of self-publishing.
Although traditional publishers save you money concerning editors, proofreaders, and book cover artists,
Self-publishing lets you keep all the profits (after printing costs).
Beware, relying solely on a traditional publisher for book promotion will likely only yield minimal results. If you want to get your book noticed, you should still plan to do your own marketing through book signings, social media, and reviews from well-known publications.
If you’re afraid of self-publishing because it entails marketing your work, don’t be. Even if you go the traditional publishing route, you’ll still need to promote your book.
Look into the Best Self Publishing Companies
You can also Start Your Own Publishing Company.
The surge of ebook marketplaces, most notably Amazon, has made self-publishing much simpler. I have created some helpful guides on how to maximize the potential of Amazon’s self-publishing platform.
Publishing children’s books is a daunting but rewarding process.Click To Tweet
If you have the financial means to hire an editor and cover artist, and you are willing to do a substantial amount of market research, self-publishing may be a good choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer to have partners in your publishing process, then professionally publishing through a traditional house may be a better fit.
Self-publishing can be a great way to make more money, but it requires more effort and a bit of luck. In contrast, traditionally publishing requires less money but takes more time.
How much money can you make from a children’s book?It has been reported that the most successful authors in the children’s literature industry are able to make more than $200,000 annually from their bestselling titles. For newcomers to the field, it is generally expected that the first book will generate an income of anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000.
Many authors who earn more than $20,000 annually have released multiple pieces of work. It usually requires several works to attract a following and garner significant sales.
It is possible to write and publish your own children’s story. I am available to provide advice and information about the processes of traditional publishing, self-publishing, marketing, getting a literary agent, and becoming a published children’s author.
Check out this article on the Best Book Writing Software,
How much does it cost to publish a children’s book? If you’re traditionally publishing, it costsCreating a children’s book for publication requires more than most would expect. If a publishing house is involved, authors should be aware that a percentage of their royalties will be taken to cover the costs of the venture. Self-publishing requires even more expenditure, such as the cost of a proofreader ($100), editor ($600), illustrators ($1800), and more. The total cost of self-publishing a children’s book can range from an estimated $3000 to even higher.
In order to be successful in publishing a children’s book, it is necessary to understand who the intended readers are.
If you are attempting to target a demographic that does not correspond with the intended age range of your book, you may face difficulty. For example, if your picture book is best suited for children aged 2-5, but it is marketed towards infants, this could be problematic. Similarly, if your Young Adult novel is advertised as Middle Grade fiction, this could also be an issue.
Children enjoy reading stories featuring protagonists that are similar in age to them, or slightly older.
- What themes and keywords are trending
- Who is publishing these sorts of books
- Which authors are most popular with your target audience
When searching for an editor or agent, it is important to show that you comprehend the intended readership of your book. This will demonstrate your knowledge of the publishing industry, which is something that editors and literary agents look for in a writer.
What are the age ranges of children’s books? Generally speaking, children’s books are divided into 5 categories
- Board Books — 0-3 years old, few words, pictures on every page
- Picture Books — 2-5 years old, fewer than 1,000 words, pictures on every page
- Chapter Books — 6-10 years old, 2,000 to 30,000 words
- Middle Grade (MG) — 8-12 years old, 30,000 to 50,000 words
- Young Adult (YA) — 12-18 years old, 40,000 to 100,00 words
It has been noted that more than half of the readers of YA (Young Adult) books are adults aged 18 and over. While this genre of literature was originally intended to be read by those aged 12 to 18, its wide-ranging appeal has caused it to be embraced by adults as well.
Revising your manuscript is a crucial part of getting your children’s book ready to be published. Keep working on the book until you feel that it can’t be improved any further.
Read this article about How to Write a Children’s Book, including essential story elements, formatting,
Revising your manuscript can be invaluable to an editor. They can work with your best work, and end up making it even better. It’s hard to say this five times quickly!
Poor spelling and grammar can lead to readers feeling dissatisfied and leaving negative reviews. It can also cause editors to become overwhelmed by having to correct basic mistakes instead of being able to focus on the style and selection of words.
Refining your manuscript also means improving your story. You might realize that it takes 6 pages to get interesting, then move the “hook” to the first 2 pages.
It is essential to go through your book with a fine-tooth comb, even if you believe it is already flawless. This is a necessity for all professional authors.
If you’re traditionally publishing, the publishing house will probably provide all those services for free in exchange for a chunk of your later profits. If you’re self-publishing, you will have to pay for proofreading and editing services.
Once you have completed your final version, make sure to go through it and check for any errors. Ask your significant other to review it for any mistakes as well. It is also a good idea to have a family member or close friend read it over to make sure everything is correct.
Only after someone in your personal circle has read your book should you pay a professional proofreader and editor.
Before you send your manuscript to a professional, run it through the best proofreading software.
Since most editors and proofreaders charge by word countEditing picture books and short chapter books can be cost-effective and enjoyable.
A professional editor
- Fix your grammar (yes, even you don’t always use perfect grammar!)
- Correct spelling mistakes
- Improve your storytelling
- Make sure you’re writing for the right target audience
- Offer guidance on submitting your refined manuscript
No matter who your readers are, it is important to get feedback from them. If your intended audience is children, you could solicit responses from kids in their family or community by having them read your manuscript.
Kids can be useful beta readers because they’re so honest.
The feedback from their parents is invaluable. After all, it is the parents who purchase your book. It is important to consider how parents respond to the book, as it can indicate whether it is suitable for the intended audience and will be attractive to other parents.
There are also online children’s book communities, from which you can get feedback from parents, young readers (with parents’ permission, of course), and other authors.
- Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Facebook group
- Children’s Book Authors Facebook group
- Children’s Literature Association website
- Children’s Writer’s Guild (become a CWG contributor)
- Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators ($80/year membership)
If you’re submitting your work to literary agents, it’s generally not necessary to invest time and money in illustrations. If you manage to secure an agent, they will usually be able to provide access to an editor who will select a suitable illustrator.
Submitting artwork or instructions for pictures with your manuscript may not be beneficial. Literary agents and editors may not tell you that the effort you put in was unnecessary before they hire a professional to do the job.
If you are a professional illustrator, then being able to market yourself is an important factor in success.
In order to be successful in traditional publishing, it is necessary to obtain a literary agent. Unsolicited manuscripts from authors without representation are rarely accepted by traditional publishers.
If you’re hoping to publish a book for kids, it is important to look for a literary agent who specializes in children’s literature. You will save yourself and the agent valuable time if you do not contact them about a book that they do not represent.
Many independent publishing companies don’t necessitate the use of an agent when submitting a manuscript. Nevertheless, it is possible that a few do. Having an agent can assist with making your submission better and it can also help in determining which independent publishers to send your work to.
What does a literary agent do?A literary agent works to secure the most beneficial publishing agreement for an author. Furthermore, they can also manage film and merchandising rights. It is important to note that literary agents make money only after the author has been successful. Therefore, authors should avoid paying any sort of upfront fee for an agent.
In order to secure representation from an agent, you must query them. With only a few exceptions, you must submit your manuscript and a query letter, which is similar to a cover letter, to agents who are open to receiving unsolicited submissions in the genre and age category that your work falls under.
A query letter is a way to ask a literary agent if they would be interested in taking on your work. It should be a concise, one-page description of your book and how it stands out from the competition, as well as why you would make a good author for it.
Be sure to only send your children’s book to literary agents who specialize in representing authors of children’s books.
How do you submit a children’s book to a publisher?Submitting your manuscript to a publisher can be done by either communicating with a literary agent to work out the best terms for you, or by directly sending your manuscript to publishers that accept submissions from authors without an agent.
Is it better to self-publish a children’s book?Many authors find that self-publishing their children’s books offers both a lower workload and a greater earning potential than traditional publishing.
In 2021, the self-publishing of eBooks has become a booming industry, especially on Amazon. If you are willing to invest in a professional editor and illustrator, self-publishing can be a highly profitable venture in the long run.
Small independent publishers are usually more open to unsolicited submissions than large publishing houses that typically reject manuscripts without an agent.
Can I protect my work when submitting a manuscript?You can make sure your work is safe when submitting the manuscript for your children’s book. Even though your text is automatically copyrighted as soon as you create it, you can provide extra protection for it by registering it with the United States Copyright Office.
This helpful article was written by a lawyer: How to Copyright a Book in the US.
Smaller imprints of larger publishing houses may accept unsolicited manuscripts, providing authors the advantages of traditional publishing without having to query an agent.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has an imprint known as Clarion Books that is open to receiving manuscripts from authors who have not yet secured an agent.
Pengual has an exclusive publishing division entitled Dial Books for Young Readers. Authors can submit their works to this division directly.
No publisher should ever expect you to pay them to publish your book; they will profit from your success. Just as with agents, it is in their best interest for you to be successful.
Beware of vanity presses which try to take advantage of authors who lack experience and have high ambitions. Do not be fooled by vanity presses that require payment prior to releasing your book.
This post provides a compilation of children’s publishing companies that are open to unsolicited manuscripts and their associated guidelines. Please take note that this list may be updated at any time.
- Albert Whitman & Co.
- Arbordale Publishing
- Flashlight Press
- Flying Eye Books
- Free Spirit Publishing
- Gibbs Smith
- Kane Miller Press
- Kids Can Press
- Holiday House
- MB Publishing
- Page Street Publishing Co.
- Pelican Publishing Company
- Penny Candy Books
- Sleeping Bear Press
Creating a children’s book can be a rewarding experience. To ensure your success, there are certain steps you should take. These include finding an illustrator, selecting a publisher, marketing your book, and establishing an online presence. Additionally, you should consider creating an author website, setting up a blog, and sending out press releases. Taking these steps can help you get your book into the hands of your intended readers.
- Purchase an ISBN number + barcode
- Scan illustrations on a high resolution
- Copyright your book
CreateSpace, a self-publishing company which was owned by Amazon, is no longer in existence. Several articles on self-publishing may still refer to it, but it is no longer functional. Further details can be found below these three tips.
In the case of traditional publishing, the ISBN and barcode will be provided for you.
A 13-digit code known as an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is used to distinguish a particular book from other books. This code is offered free of charge in a number of countries, but not in the United States or United Kingdom.
To get an ISBN + barcode in the United States, visit myidentifiers.comBowker is the exclusive provider of ISBN numbers in the United States. They are the only organization authorized to issue these numbers.
Outside the US, visit isbn-international.org
Creating a self-published children’s book with hand-drawn illustrations requires scanning the artwork at a high resolution.
Do some research to find a large format printer that can print high-resolution images from a thumb drive. Reach out to different places to compare prices and services.
It is important to secure your intellectual property by getting a copyright for your children’s book.
Under U.S. copyright law, you own your work as soon as you write it down (or type it). However, you may want to further protect your copyright by registering it with the US Copyright Office.
Check out this article written by a lawyer: How to Copyright a Book in the US.
Articles from the past may refer to CreateSpace, along with Amazon, templates, and printing services for those that publish their own books. Unfortunately, CreateSpace is no longer active, so don’t spend your time looking into it.
CreateSpace was a service that provided print-on-demand (POD) options, primarily for authors who self-publish their work.
In 2005, Amazon obtained CreateSpace, which it later combined with its KDP service in 2018.
Promoting your book, whether you go the self-publishing or traditional route, is an essential part of the process. Thankfully, I have some helpful advice to make the process easier.
- Choose keywords carefully
- Get reviews for your book
- Build an audience on social platforms
- Plan school visits
When choosing a title (and subtitle), you need to select your keywordsParents are more likely to discover your children’s book if they search for specific keywords.
Many children’s books are marketed based on keywords that are tailored to the gender of the reader. For boys, popular terms include “dragon,” “superhero,” and “ninja,” while “princess,” “unicorn,” and “kitten” are often used to target girls.
Creating a list of keywords relating to your book is a great way to gain insight into what parents are searching for when they purchase children’s literature. Analyzing the frequency of these terms can help you develop more effective marketing strategies.
Potential buyers can use keywords to determine if a book is suitable for their child’s age, if it aligns with their interests, or if it follows a particular narrative.
Promoting a children’s book to an untapped audience of potential readers can be achieved by engaging with book reviewers. It is important to have reviews from reputable sources in order to gain visibility.
Check out this Ultimate List of the Best Book Review Blogs.
Note: Traditional publishers often send your book to a list of reviewers. This is super helpful. But you should still send your book off to other reviewers.
It is essential to ensure that the book being sent for review is appropriate for the reviewer, as some reviewers only accept certain types of children’s books. Therefore, it is important to double-check that a children’s book is not being submitted to someone who does not review this genre.
Who can review my children’s book? Here are 8 children’s book reviewers you can submit your work to:
- Kids Lit Review reviews children’s books for ages 0 to 14.
- Kirkus Reviews accepts thousands of books each year, including children’s books.
- Publishers Weekly reviews children’s books every issue.
- YA Books Central accepts all sorts of categories, though it focuses on Young Adult books.
- Booklist reviews “books for youths” in a PDF format.
- Littlest Bookshelf accepts “picture books, graphic novels, and chapter books for review.”
- Old Mate Media tries to “review every request [they] get” for children’s picture books.
- Midwest Book Review prioritizes “small publishers, self-published authors, academic presses, and specialty publishers whenever possible.”
It is important to adhere to the submission guidelines (as indicated above). Prior authorization must be obtained before submitting a book for review.
It is recommended to submit books for review at least two to three months prior to their release date as it usually takes that long for reviewers to get to the book.
Social media isn’t just suitable for connecting with other authors, illustrators, and book reviewers. You can use Facebook, YouTube, Quora,
Creating a fan base on social media can be a time-consuming process. Before releasing your book, it is important to begin the process of establishing a presence on the social networks you plan to use. It can take a while to acquire a dedicated following.
- Write a blog about your writing process.
- Start a YouTube channel talking about handy writing tips.
- Post to Instagram about parenting guidance, your personal experience as a parent, and other topics relevant to moms and dads.
- Use Facebook ads to garner email subscriptions.
- Stay active on applicable subreddits to get your name out there.
- Post cute pet pics to Twitter that inspire your children’s book illustrations
Creating a social media presence can be tailored to the individual’s preferences, target audience, and abilities. Here are some examples of how this can be done.
You could also work with social media influencers who get paid to promote your bookPromoting your work may not provide an immediate return on investment. However, utilizing an influencer can help to spread the word about your work and make connections with other authors and readers who share similar interests for potential long-term sales.
Today, parents of young children are part of the millennial generation. They are turning to the internet and social media for advice on children’s literature, parenting advice, and methods of stress relief.
Maximize this opportunity to increase your visibility and create a following of potential readers on social media platforms.
Organizing school trips to promote your book may seem daunting, but it can actually be quite easy and beneficial. Not only do many schools encourage authors to visit, but they also have a yearly budget designated specifically for these visits.
Reach out to a school official or a library staff member. While some of these visits are complimentary, there may be a fee for others.
Although you may not be financially compensated for visiting a school, you can still benefit from the experience. You can receive feedback from the children who read your book, increase the visibility of your book’s title, and even provide signed copies of your book with a take-home slip.
This useful piece of writing has set you up to put your children’s book out into the world. Remember to save this page so that you can come back to it when you need it!
I decided to go down the self-publishing path because I was aware that I had to pay for an editor and a cover design artist, no matter which route I chose. Additionally, I wanted to be able to keep all the royalties I earned, so self-publishing seemed like the best choice.
There is no judgement if you decide to go with traditional publishing or indie publishers – whatever you feel is best for you is the right choice.
Please share your thoughts on this blog post in the comment section below. I will be sure to reply to any and all questions or comments.
Frequently asked questions
Watch more videos on the same topic : A Love Like Ours – the new Librio book is available now!
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Where can I get my children’s book published?
You can get your children’s book published by submitting it to a publisher or literary agent. There are a number of publishing houses that specialize in publishing children’s books, such as Scholastic, Random House, and Penguin. Literary agents can also help you find a publisher for your book.
Watch more videos on the same topic : Children’s Book – Traditional Publishing vs Self Publishing
Traditional Publishing vs Self Publishing – Royalties, Pros u0026 ConsnnShould you self-publish your children’s book, or should you choose the traditional publishing route? That’s what we will explore in this video, which also includes looking at actual numbers to help you with your decision.nn// LINKS u0026 RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS VIDEO: //nn🔹 Book “How To Self-Publish A Children’s Book”: https://amzn.to/2Q2AYU8n🔹 KDP Calculator: https://www.eevijones.com/KDPtools nn🔹 FREE Masterclass “The 5 Biggest Mistakes Aspiring Children’s Book Authors Are Making”: https://eevijones.kartra.com/page/5BiggestMistakesMasterclass n🔹 Children’s Book University: https://eevijones.kartra.com/page/childrensbookuniversitynowopen nn// FOLLOW: //nnInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/eevi_jones/ nTikTok: https://firstname.lastname@example.orgLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eevijones/ nnNOTE: This description contains affiliate links that allow you to find the items mentioned in this video and support the channel at no cost to you. While this channel may earn minimal sums when the viewer uses the links, the viewer is in NO WAY obligated to use these links. Thank you for your support!nnhttps://youtu.be/D6VDLojTN8Enn#childrensbooks #howtowritechildrensbooks #childrensbookuniversity #eevijones
How do I submit my children’s book for publication?
Submitting your book for publication usually involves writing a query letter, which should include a synopsis of the book, a brief biography, and any relevant publishing credits. You can then submit the query letter to a publisher or literary agent.
How long does it take to get a children’s book published?
The process of getting a children’s book published can take anywhere from several months to several years. It depends on the publisher and how quickly they respond.
What do I need to include in my children’s book?
When writing your children’s book, you will need to include an engaging story with characters, a plot, and a message. You will also need to consider the age range of your audience and ensure that the content is appropriate for them.
What are the costs associated with publishing a children’s book?
The costs associated with publishing a children’s book can vary depending on the publisher and the type of book. Generally speaking, you will need to pay for editing, marketing, and printing costs. You may also need to pay for illustrators and designers, depending on the book.
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Hello…How can I add title to the story book?