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


Children's books are very special, and have introduced millions of young people to the joys of reading. Single moms and top celebrities alike have penned best-sellers promoting the virtues and values for children to lead happy, healthy lives. There are many different ways that a children s book can be written, from the simplest rhyming picture books to more involved novella stories. Whatever your story may be, publishing it is within your grasp.

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Children's books are very special, and have introduced millions of young people to the joys of reading. Single moms and top celebrities alike have penned best-sellers promoting the virtues and values for children to lead happy, healthy lives. There are many different ways that a children s book can be written, from the simplest rhyming picture books to more involved novella stories. Whatever your story may be, publishing it is within your grasp.

How to Write and Publish a Successful Children's Book provides a complete overview of everything a prospective children s writer needs to complete and publish his or her own children s book. You will start by learning how to recognize the market that your book s style fits. You will learn the basics of the children s book publishing industry and how it is fundamentally different from that of the rest of the publishing industry. You will learn how to choose the right publisher or print on demand printer for your book and how to start preparing the package, with special consideration for illustrations and other aspects of your book that might change the overall presentation.

Top publishers and writers in the children’s book industry were interviewed and have lent their expertise to this book to provide an overview of everything that is needed in the process. You will learn what morals and values publishers and readers look for in good children s books and what you should expect in a publication deal. You will learn how to build a relationship with your editor, what to expect in revisions, and how to learn the process of selling your book.

You will learn how to gain publicity on your own and what you can do to build your book into a long-term career. For anyone that has ever written or is considering writing their own children s book, this book will provide the information and resources you need to get published.

Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president’s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice.  Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

This Atlantic Publishing eBook was professionally written, edited, fact checked, proofed and designed. The print version of this book is 288 pages and you receive exactly the same content. Over the years our books have won dozens of book awards for content, cover design and interior design including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin award for excellence in publishing. We are proud of the high quality of our books and hope you will enjoy this eBook version.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601384072
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 502,044
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 9

Introduction: Why Write for Children? 11

An Evolutionary History: Early to Contemporary 12

The Importance of Reading 16

Overview 19

Chapter 1 Children's Publishing Market Assessment 23

Getting to Know the Children's Book Publishing Industry 23

Types of Children's Books 27

Types of Publishers 40

Chapter 2 Writing for Children 47

What Children Like to Read 48

Writing: Timelessness and Trend Setting 53

Chapter 3 Story Development and Writing 69

Writing Fiction 70

Style, Tone, and Voice 71

Choosing Narration 74

Characterization 77

Plot and Story Structure 81

Effective Dialogue 88

Creating Interest, Beginning to End 92

Writing: When It is Not Just Fiction 98

Children's Graphic Novels 109

Chapter 4 Writing: Finishing Touches, Finding Time, and Problem Resolution 113

Polishing and Fine-Tuning Your Manuscript 113

Problem-Solving 116

Other Challenges 119

Making and Managing Time 121

Chapter 5 When You Are an Author and an Illustrator 125

Illustrating: Timelessness and Trend Setting 125

Structure, Routine, and Working Life 125

Illustrating: A Process 126

Marketing to Publishers 135

Networking as an Author/Illustrator 141

Chapter 6 Publishing in the Information Age 145

The Value of the Internet 145

Files, Folders, and Documentation 163

Chapter 7 Self-Publishing 165

Why Self-Publish? 165

What Does Your Book Need? 166

The Cost of Self-Publishing 168

Planning Your Book 169

Production Methods 172

Inventory 173

Determining Price 174

ISBNs and Bar Codes 175

Publisher Filings 176

Copyright Law 179

Marketing and Publicity for the Self-Published Author 181


Chapter 8 Publishers and Agents 189

Defining Your Market 189

Why an Agent? 195

What to look for in an Agent 197

Chapter 9 Submitting Your Work 203

A Word about Copyright 203

Crafting a Query Letter 205

Preparing the Submission Package 209

Your Manuscript on the Other Side 213

Chapter 10 Looking at Publication 219

Contracts 219

Working with an Editor 226

Chapter 11 Networking, Promotions, and Public Relations 233

Professional Memberships 233

Networking 238

PR and You 239

Chapter 12 Career Development 247

Publishing in Other Markets 247

Freelancing versus Traditional Employment: Business and Taxes 251

Long-Term Career Building 253

Conclusion: A Word on Perseverance, Persistence, and Tenacity 255

Appendix A Sample Documents 257

Appendix B Information and Resources 273

Glossary of Terms 277

Bibliography 281

Author Biography 283

Index 285

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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