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Process for Children Books?


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#1 reconsider

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 06:21 PM

Hello everyone!

 

Still new here, so apologies if this has already been asked. (I did try a few searches and nothing came up.) 

 

I'm curious if aspiring children's/picture book authors go through the same process as YA/other authors do? Such as a query letter, finding an agent, etc. I ask this because of the generally short-length of a children's book/picture book. 

 

I currently have finished my children's book manuscript and it is approximately 800-900 words long. I'm lost as far as what my next step goes. I have a friend who has a cousin that owns an independent publishing company and she has asked for my manuscript but has also informed me that there is a publishing fee and that they pay their authors through the royalties of online sales. This seemed like a red flag to me as I have read that you never pay the publishing company, but I do not want to be rude and not respond or throw away my chance to get published. 

 

Any/all help would be greatly appreciated as I'd really like to get my children's book out there, I'm just not sure how exactly to go about it.

 

Thank you,

Shelby



#2 RSMellette

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 06:29 PM

Picture books are a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

 

If I were you, I'd join the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (scbwi.org). You'll get a ton of help from your local region and they have national conventions as well.

 

And yes, money should flow from the publisher to the author. Unless you plan on full on self-publishing, but FYI picture books have TERRIBLE e-book sales and self-publishing a quality picture book will cost you a small fortune.

 

Good luck.


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#3 Springfield

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 09:58 PM

Hello everyone!

 

Still new here, so apologies if this has already been asked. (I did try a few searches and nothing came up.) 

 

I'm curious if aspiring children's/picture book authors go through the same process as YA/other authors do? Such as a query letter, finding an agent, etc. I ask this because of the generally short-length of a children's book/picture book. 

 

I currently have finished my children's book manuscript and it is approximately 800-900 words long. I'm lost as far as what my next step goes. I have a friend who has a cousin that owns an independent publishing company and she has asked for my manuscript but has also informed me that there is a publishing fee and that they pay their authors through the royalties of online sales. This seemed like a red flag to me as I have read that you never pay the publishing company, but I do not want to be rude and not respond or throw away my chance to get published. 

 

Any/all help would be greatly appreciated as I'd really like to get my children's book out there, I'm just not sure how exactly to go about it.

 

Thank you,

Shelby

 

A publishing fee means they're a vanity press. They will likely lie and tell you they're not, but they are. Any publishing house that asks you for money is a vanity press. 

 

Looking for an agent is your best bet, though there are some houses and imprints that take unsolicited subs. Do NOT pursue both of these avenues simultaneously. Decide which is for you, and then go with that. If you want an agent, query agents who rep children's lit/pbs, there are plenty. If you decide to submit to houses yourself, you're likely cutting yourself off from seeking an agent.

 

I mean you technically still could, but your odds would be considerably lower and even if you find one interested in your book, they may not want to take you on. The issue is that an agent knows the market, the editors, and wants all the options available to submit to those houses he or she feels will be the best fit. If you've already submitted to a bunch of houses, those doors are closed to an agent, limiting the places the agent can submit, making it not worth the time or trouble.



#4 Spaulding

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 10:57 PM

First thing you need to do is learn what "Children's book" means. They range from picture books to YAs, but yours is neither. I can guess what yours is, but not enough info to know for sure. So, first learn general information about Children's books, including length. And, given yours is under 1000 words, you might need to learn how to format it too. (If it's a bedtime book, it fits on X number of pages, with specifics on where illustrations go to. Very complex.)

 

Second, figure out what you want to do with it, instead of jumping at the first offer. You may well want to go vanity publication, and that's fine too, but there are four other choices on how to publish it that you don't seem to know yet.

 

You've done what I usually do when I throw myself into a new hobby -- do it, and then figure out how I was supposed to do it. Most of the times that works for me, because my ignorance on how it's supposed to work, stops me from learning I shouldn't be able to do what I've already done. (My first stained glass project was three tulips tied in a bow. Little did I know beginners can't do inside curves. You can't make that stained glass piece without doing inside curves. I read no one can grow a pumpkin in a container when my pumpkin vine from a container was 20 feet long. Whoopsie. So starting with ignorance really does work for some of us and that's good. lol) Well, looks like what you made is working for you, but now it's time to learn what it is called and what can be done with it.

 

Really important, if you'd rather make money on your work than pay others with no guarantee of getting your money back.


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Or the synopsis. (If you're in a particularly cheery mood, I'll accept a crit for both. Better yet, if you're in a foul mood, take it out on both.  :wink: )





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