If you’ve always dreamed of publishing a children’s book and you want to make that dream a reality, you must make sure that your goal is realistic. Writing books for children can be exciting, but it takes a thick skin, an ability to handle rejection, and a commitment to revise and rewrite. The best children’s book authors are soft-hearted and thick-skinned all at the same time.
Once a publisher bites on your children’s book idea, you’ll want that feeling again. This is why most authors who publish their first children’s book will go on to publish more. Publishing your first book can be a challenge. If you want to learn from others who’ve experienced everything from rejection to publishing offers, here are 5 valuable tips:
1. Read As Many Children’s Books As You Can
Visit as many bookstores and libraries as you can and read as many children’s books as you can both old and new. The only way to know the market and what types of characters are appealing is to immerse yourself and the products that have already been published. You don’t want to copy content but you can get a feel for the writing style, illustrations, and characters that publishers prefer.
2. Attend Writers Workshops and Critique Groups
Become a regular at your local library and ask the people in charge when bulletins, workshops, and conferences are going to be held. When you attend these workshops and critique groups, you can not only speak with authors and interview them to find out how they got started, you can also submit your manuscripts and portfolios so they can give you their honest feedback.
3. Learn the Collaborative Process of Publishing Picture Books
If you’re going to be publishing a book for children between 3 and 10 years old, you’re probably going to have to secure a deal for a picture book. You don’t have to be both the illustrator and the author of the book, but you do have to learn about the collaborative process before you start it.
Collaborators involved in the process include you, the author, the illustrator, the editor, and marketing personnel. If you want to work with a publisher, you have to be flexible and willing to work with all of the parties involved. If you need full and total control, you should publish your own book.
4. Make Your Manuscript Great and Be Persistent
Your manuscript is essentially your job application and your interview all at once when you’re in the field of publishing kids books. You have to remember that it’s great books that get published but it’s great manuscripts that get noticed. Publishers receive thousands of unsolicited manuscripts from excited first-time authors just like you so yours is going to need to stand out.
Don’t just write up a manuscript in a rush. You need to commit yourself to revising it, editing it, revising it, rewriting it, and redoing the process from start to finish before the manuscript is submitted. The publisher must believe that the book is going to compete and having errors and run-ons in your manuscript won’t give the company confidence.
5. Share Your Work With People Close to You
You will probably have to deal with a lot of rejection no matter how good your book is. There are large presses and small presses and sometimes your book just won’t be a good fit. One way to help you build your confidence before you question your talents is to share your work with people who will enjoy reading it. This is what will ultimately encourage you to keep writing.
As fun, as it might sound, getting your children’s book published isn’t an easy process. It will take time to learn the ropes and sift through the competition on the market. Use these tips for publishing a children’s book, and start brainstorming ideas.
Culled from Best Value Schools