The Business Of Writing For Children

( 9 )

Overview

Writing books for children is both art and business. If you dream of becoming a children's author -- or even if you're well on your way -- this handbook can help you in writing sellable stories, getting them published, and promoting your books.

Topics include common myths about children’s writing, children’s book categories, elements of successful stories, manuscript format, submission strategies, contract negotiation, the publishing process, and career building. Also included ...

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Overview

Writing books for children is both art and business. If you dream of becoming a children's author -- or even if you're well on your way -- this handbook can help you in writing sellable stories, getting them published, and promoting your books.

Topics include common myths about children’s writing, children’s book categories, elements of successful stories, manuscript format, submission strategies, contract negotiation, the publishing process, and career building. Also included are specialized subjects such as querying for multiple manuscripts, promoting a first book, and self publishing.

Read "The Business of Writing for Children" to learn the secrets you might spend years discovering for yourself.

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Aaron Shepard is the author of "The Legend of Lightning Larry," "The Baker's Dozen," and sixteen more picture books and early readers, along with several chapter books for middle grades, extensive resources for storytelling and reader's theater, and a graphic novel. His publishers have included Atheneum, Scribners, Clarion, Lothrop, Dial, and HarperCollins, as well as Cricket and Australia's School Magazine. Aaron's work has been honored by the American Library Association, the National Council for the Social Studies, the American Folklore Society, The New York Public Library, and the Bank Street College of Education. He has been a judge for the Golden Kite Awards of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

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"BRAVO! I thought it had pretty much all been said, but I was wrong. All the nuts and bolts are here as well as rules that bear repeating, PLUS insights not usually found in how-to books. Clearly and concisely written, this is an invaluable resource for both beginning and more accomplished writers." -- Susan Pearson, Editor-in-Chief, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books

"Aaron Shepard has written one of the most comprehensive guides available to anyone wishing to enter the competitive field of children's books. It's all here, from initial idea to successful sale, and then beyond to the essentials of contracts, promotion, and the ABCs of building a successful career. If you're starting out, start out here." -- Stephen Mooser, children's author

"Here's clearly-written, no-nonsense help for children's writers by a craftsman. Every fledgling author should own this book." -- Stephen Fraser, Executive Editor, Aladdin Paperbacks

"Aaron Shepard's The Business of Writing for Children is a wonderful resource. His experience-based insights into the art and business of children's writing will save beginning writers years of wasted effort -- and help published writers achieve long-term success." -- Kathleen Duey, children's author

"The Business of Writing for Children is a one-stop shopping center, a complete how-to-do-it guide for the writer who wants a jump-start on looking professional even though he/she may be turning out a first book. Editors will love you if you do it Shepard's way." -- Audrey Baird, Editor, Once Upon A Time

"I carry around a file folder of materials which I share with unpublished writers and illustrators. This book is so comprehensive, I plan to replace my file folder with it. Whether you are a novice or a professional, The Business of Writing for Children needs to be in your library. DON'T write a book without it!" -- Leslie Tryon, children's author/illustrator

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Aaron Shepard has published a terrific guide for aspiring writers of children's books. The subtitle explains it all. How to script your story for readers theatre, design a web page, make flyers, use words that make pictures, and the publishing process, as well as helpful resources make this book a treasure. His e-mail address is SP@aaronship.com. 2000, Shepard Publications, Ages Adult, $12.00. Reviewer: Jan Lieberman
From The Critics
Aaron Shepard is an experienced and award-winning author of books for young readers who in The Business Of Writing For Children brings to bear his considerable expertise in providing the aspiring children's book author a wealth of tips on how to write, sell, and promote their books. Shepard addresses common myths about children's writings, children's book categories, elements of successful stories, manuscript format, submission strategies, contract negotiation, the publishing process, career building, and children's writer resources. he also offers invaluable commentary on querying for multiple manuscripts, promoting a first book, and making arrangements for school appearances. The Business Of Writing For Children is a superbly presented, highly recommended, basic introduction for all aspiring and novice writers of books for young readers — preschool through young adult.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780938497110
  • Publisher: Shepard Publications
  • Publication date: 1/1/2000
  • Pages: 104
  • Sales rank: 324,403
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.22 (d)

Read an Excerpt


ABOUT THIS BOOK

Let me begin with a word of caution. If you're thinking of taking up children's writing as a lark or as an easy way to make money, my advice is: Forget it.

True, there are always those beginning writers who will whip out a children's story, sell it to a publisher on the first try, and wind up with a successful book. But for most of us, entering the profession takes years of practice, self-education, and not a little frustration. And there's more of that after we're published.

But if you're serious about writing for children, this book should significantly speed and simplify your professional development. Though not at all meant to be comprehensive, it lays out the basics, points you toward additional resources, and most importantly, provides tips and strategies not commonly found elsewhere. Along with that, it offers detailed looks at some of my own specialties and gives notice of changes being brought by new technologies.

The material comes from several sources. Most of the Introduction, Part 1, and the Appendix is based on handouts created for my former classes and workshops on writing for children. Part 2 consists of articles first written for the SCBWI Bulletin and Once Upon A Time. All materials have been updated as needed. \

Reflecting my own expertise, the focus here is on writing picture book stories and selling them to major publishers. Much of the information, though, will apply to other areas of children's writing as well.

I hope this guide will help in your professional and/or personal growth. Good luck, and don't forget to have fun!

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Table of Contents

About This Book 7
Introduction: Dangerous Myths and Terrible Truths 11
Part 1 The Basics
Writing Your Story 17
Writer Speak #1 Book Categories 21
Submitting Your Manuscript 23
Writer Speak #2 Book Publishers 32
Negotiating Your Contract 35
The Publishing Process 40
Writer Speak #3 Booksellers 44
Building Your Career 47
Part 2 The Inside Story
Script Your Story! 53
Words That Make Pictures 58
Rhythm and the Readaloud 62
Researching the Folktale 67
In Praise of Post-its 73
The Picture Book Query 75
10 Ways to Promote a First Book 80
Promo Pieces for the Children's Author 84
Info For Author Days 91
Designing Your Web Page 95
Appendix Resources
Books and Periodicals 103
Organizations 108
Online Resources 111
Index 115
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Customer Reviews

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( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2005

    Mayra Calvani -- TCM REVIEWS

    If you¿re thinking of writing, selling and promoting a children¿s book, The Business of Writing for Children is a title you¿ll definitely want to add to your permanent reference shelf. In it you¿ll find tips, useful information and resources on how to write children¿s fiction, learning what editors want to see in a manuscript, how to submit your queries and promote your book. The book¿s short length and concise, right-to-the-point approach make it an ideal first guide for beginners in the field. Shepard begins by listing some ¿Dangerous Myths and Terrible Truths¿ about the business. Then he offers general guidelines on how to write for children, dealing with topics such as Theme, Plot, Story Structure, Characters, Setting, Style and Tone. The different kinds of children¿s books categories can be confusing and hard to distinguish from one another Shepard describes each in a clear manner. Everything from formatting and submitting your manuscript, to negotiating a contract, to understanding the publishing process, to building your career, to scripting your story can be found between these pages, and more. A separate section is given to other topics such as Rhythm and Writing and Researching Folk Tales. Most helpful are the author¿s sample flyers and queries, especially his ingenious way for sending one query for multiple titles, saving time and postage fees. Shepard also offers clever alternatives to sending queries by using Post-its. At the end of the book there¿s an Appendix filled with useful resources. Be aware this book will not teach you how to self publish a children¿s book, but only how to sell your work to traditional publishers. However, this is a reference work valuable for anybody who wishes to understand the business of writing for children. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2004

    a lot of details

    This book has a lot of helpful details. I don't have much more to say than all of the other comments that are already here. I just wanted to recommend the book. I have another recommendation that is a basic guide with lots of internet and printed resources.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    I enjoyed this book and use it as a reference. It offers great w

    I enjoyed this book and use it as a reference. It offers great writing tips as well as some information on publishing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted June 5, 2009

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    Posted May 12, 2009

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