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How to Write and Publish a Successful Children's Book: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply

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  • Posted August 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Have you ever wanted to write your own children┬┐s book? Or do yo

    Have you ever wanted to write your own children’s book? Or do you
    already have a children’s book written, but you don’t know how to get
    your book published? Cynthia Reeser is the editor-in-chief and the
    founder of a quarterly literary journal titled Prick of the Spindle and
    she has written the book How to Write and Publish a Successful
    Children’s Book to help aspiring writers get their stories and books
    published. Several of my short stories have been published in various
    magazines and e-zines, so I was interested in reviewing this book that
    the Atlantic Publishing Group sent to me free of charge. The first few
    pages asks you to ask yourself, Why Write for Children?” and then takes
    you into a brief history of children books, in which the first
    children’s books were written in back in the 1400s. Before you start
    writing your novel, you should look into the current market place and
    see what the popular trend is. Several chapters details the process
    of writing fiction, such as - the style, tone and voice; choosing the
    right narration; creating great characters; plot and story structure;
    and believable dialogue. After you finish writing your book, chapter
    four will guide you into solving those finishing touches and other
    challenges that might occur. If you are going to illustrate your book
    too, then you’ll find chapter five interesting as it covers the subject.
    The author covers both the traditional publishing market and the
    self-publishing market. There are also chapters on how to submit your
    work properly with a few letter examples to get you started. How to
    Write and Publish a Successful Children’s Book provides all the basic
    steps for aspiring writers and offers additional tips for published
    authors as well. Being a writer myself, I loved reading the book and how
    the author explained everything in laymen terms so anyone outside of the
    publishing world can follow along. I recommend the book to other
    children writers.

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  • Posted March 4, 2010

    I DID learn something new from this book!

    I was skeptical when I saw Cynthia Reeser's book "How to Write and Publish a Successful Children's Book." I've bought similar books and workbooks in the past and was sorely disappointed. I have to admit, however, that Reeser's book gave me new information that actually seems to be valuable. This book has something for everyone who wants to write for children. There's information about writing nonfiction and graphic novels geared toward children as well as the standard fiction information.

    I think other writers will also find the section about self publishing very useful. Technology has made it possible for us to do this, but we are told too many times that self publishing has no benefits. Reeser's book looks at the pros and cons of self publishing to help aspiring writers determine what is best for them.

    The three biggest assets to this book are the last three "chapters." Chapter 11 outlines the importance of networking and marketing yourself as a children's writer. Chapter 12 reminds that it's okay to make a living doing other kinds of writing as you work on your career as a children's writer. The appendix is full of sample documents and resources that are geared at making you successful - not selling a sequel or workbook to this book! I'd recommend this book to anyone who has ever considered writing for children. As a matter of fact, forget about the other books out there and get just this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2010

    Good, but verbose

    I found this book enlightening in many ways, but a little verbose at times. The book explains not only the ABCs of children's writing, but also the XYZs. It's an understatement to say that the book is thorough. When I first scanned it, I found it a bit overwhelming, but reading it in little chunks, I gleaned some very informative information.
    The book carries you through the process of writing, finding an agent, finding a publisher, self-publishing and even book tours. The book carefully examines the history of children's writing, the types of writing, how to search for ideas, character and plot development, as well as examining forms of Internet and self-publishing. I learned everything I ever wanted to know about printing costs and bar codes to marketing and public relations tips. This book also addresses the author/illustrator in one chapter and expounds on everything from the use of colors (which I found to be a little too basic for an illustrator) to how to create a storyboard and "dummy book."
    True to its title, the book is explained in simple terms. I found that when I had a question, it was often answered by the time I got to the end of a chapter (or even the page). One helpful tactic the author uses is to sprinkle a generous helping of case studies throughout the book. In these case studies, successful children's writers offer their heartfelt and useful advice to aspiring writers. Near the end of the book, Reeser provides sample cover letters, queries, book proposals, storyboards and even manuscripts. She also lists dozens of organizations, websites and other resources for writers.

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  • Posted February 25, 2010

    Fulfill your dream with THIS book!

    Breaking into publishing requires a lot of time and dedication. If writing for children is your goal, this book is a must read. How to Write and Publish a Successful Children's Book is a multifaceted, well-rounded guide to the industry. Providing a history of the genre and it's growing importance in the early lives of the next generation. The book is realistic, preparing the reader for the inevitable rejections that will come. The players in this game are named and explained whether they be large, corporate-owned enterprises or even self-publishing houses. Tips for understanding the inside world are provided through "must-read" lists. The genre is broken down into it's subs, controlled by its readers' ages, even including the modern graphic novel genre.

    This reference text goes on to explain the writing process for children's books. Idea generating, manuscript editing, story development, characterization, and structure are all important to the writer's toolbox, but any reader would likely gloss over this to focus on the industry information and move towards publishing. The information for author/illustrators is highly useful can be beneficial though it should have been expanded.

    Use of technology is a must-read for any professional looking to break into publishing. This up-to-date section even includes publishing information for Amazon's Kindle e-reader. Desktop publishing software is a necessity for self-publishers creating their own e-books and a variety of software is listed. Using the internet for networking and self-promotion will also assist the reader is moving to the next step with their work. Children's authors looking for agents will also find the do's, don'ts, and warnings to be aware of in their search. This book will stay with you long after you publish, guiding your development as a children's author.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    A Great Book for Aspiring Children's Writers

    Studies have shown that 80% of Americans want to write a book. I think I can safely say that a good portion of those people have an idea for a children's book in mind. This book, How to Write and Publish a Sucessful Children's Book by Cynthia Reeser, is the perfect launching point for those people.

    Reeser's book covers the fundamentals of putting together a children's book - everything from plotting out the story to putting together characters and even illustrating. She then covers the ins and outs of both self-publishing and the traditional methods of finding and agent and publishing house. The book takes readers even one step further, into promoting the finished and published work.

    This is such a great book for anyone who is starting out on their writing journey or intimidated my the business end of writing. Reeser provides great advice and information, guiding readers along in an easy to understand fashion.

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  • Posted February 15, 2010

    Great book!

    This book provides a detailed and realistic guide to writing and publishing a successful children's book. Every imaginable aspect of the children's publishing world is covered in a clear, concise manner. Reeser is extremely thorough in her how-to guide, as she discusses everything from researching various types of children's books to securing a suitable agent.

    Unlike other publishing guides, this book also addresses the actual writing component of the process. For instance, a section on brainstorming is offered, in addition to other significant topics such as characterization, dialogue, and even procrastination. Reeser also provides sample resumes, cover letters and useful lists of web sites and books.

    Reeser prepares the would-be author for inevitable rejection while simultaneously offering encouragement and strategies for overcoming challenges. Navigating through the maze of publishing is far less daunting with Reeser's guidance. Aspiring authors will benefit greatly from reading this book and obtain the necessary tools to publish a children's book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    An exhaustive, authoritative introduction to the world of children's publishing...

    Today, publishing for children is a thriving, dynamic industry, with many writers and would-be writers drawn to it for a variety of reasons. However, this industry is also a complex one, making it especially difficult to navigate.

    This is why Cynthia Reeser's new book, How to Write and Publish a Successful Children's Book, is a small miracle. Her work is one of the most comprehensive, extensive guides to children's book publishing out on the market today. It examines in depth every facet of the industry: its history, types of children's books and publishers,style,characterization, queries, book proposals, agents, public relations, and so on. Through it all, Reeser's simple, unpretentious prose makes a complicated book easy and pleasant to read. Moreover, much of what Reeser discusses applies both to children's and adult publishing.

    Readers will especially appreciate Reeser's case studies, Appendix A: Sample Documents, Appendix B: Information and Resources, the Glossary of Terms, and the Index. These individual items are particularly useful because they supply a myriad of crucial details in a concise, condensed fashion.

    Kudos should also go to Kim Fulscher. Her editing was virtually flawless. This book is a long one, and no typos were ever found.

    The guide isn't perfect. Her bibliography is a bit confusing. Most entries in a bibliography begin with an author's last name. Reeser's entries- save one- begin with the title of the work. In addition, the entries are not in alphabetical order, which is also customary. Bibliography sections should always be standardized.

    These mistakes are minor, and general readers won't care about them. What does matter is that this work is exceedingly helpful. It will greatly benefit emerging authors who find this business to be intimidating. For children's book authors, the book is a must-have item. It is also recommended highly for writers in general.

    ---Jonathan Maxwell
    Author of Murderous Intellectuals: German Elites and the Nazi SS

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  • Posted January 27, 2010

    A well-written guide for children's book authors

    If you are interested in writing children's books and think you're the next J. K. Rowling, you should read this book first. Cynthia Reeser does an excellent job of describing what it is like to write for children and despite what many people think, writing children's books is not easy. She discusses how to develop a writing style specifically geared towards children, and how to create stories that feed their imagination. Also included is helpful information on using graphics and illustrations as well as case studies highlighting the work of successful authors and illustrators.
    This book gets five stars based on the author's discussion on publishing. She delves into every single detail - finding a publisher or agent, self-publishing, technological advances (like Kindle), networking, contracts, copyrights and even bar codes! This information is thoughtfully set out, with corresponding case studies and websites to explore and research. In a nutshell, the second half of this book is gold - mine it for all it's worth!

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