Choosing a Publishing Pathway
Today there are many different routes to publishing children’s books. There are pros and cons to each of the routes, and it is worthwhile spending time considering which is the best path for you and your story. Think about why you want your book to be published. Do you want to share a story with children that you know? Do you want to begin a new career as an author? Whatever your motivation, it is important to consider this when you are looking at the different routes that you could take toward becoming a published author.
Mainstream publishing houses such as Penguin, are considered the traditional form of publishing. To pitch your book to a mainstream publishing house you will need an agent. Mainstream publishing houses rarely accept unsolicited manuscripts. Finding an agent can be difficult. However, if you do manage to secure an agent, and consequently a publishing deal through a mainstream publishing house, your book is more likely to receive expert marketing and promotion from their internal teams.
Independent publishing houses have smaller marketing budgets, however, you will still receive the support and expertise of their team to get your children’s book published. Some smaller publishing houses will accept unsolicited manuscripts, but it is important to check beforehand. Independent publishers can be more inclined to take a gamble or a longshot, so if your children’s book is a bit quirky or different, you might have more success with an independent publisher.
A popular option for publishing children’s books is to self-publish. This gives you control over your children’s book but will leave the onus of marketing and promoting your book yourself. If you are confident in your ability to sell, then this could be a good route for you. Though here at ShieldCrest we do offer a range of marketing services for post-publishing support if you do not feel confident handling your own marketing. Or if you simply want to share your children’s book with friends and family, then this is the ideal option.
Preparing Your Manuscript for Submission
Whichever route you decide to take for publishing your children’s book, make sure you prepare your manuscript. Edit, edit, and edit again. Ask for feedback from friends and family, parents, and children. Children will give you the best feedback, as they are usually honest! If you are struggling to edit your own work, ShieldCrest can provide editorial services to help you. Make sure your children’s book is the very best it can be when you submit it.
Writing a Book Proposal
Your proposal should be short and sweet and make the publisher want to read your book. This is where you are making your pitch. What makes your book stand out? Which age range is your children’s book for? Why should they work with you? You have a very short time to grab their attention, make sure you do!
Submitting Your Manuscript And Proposal
Check the submission guidelines for each publishing house, many of these vary, and you don’t want your book to be rejected because you have not followed their guidelines. They are often very specific about the format layout of your manuscript, so make sure that you adhere to their requirements. If there is anything that you don’t understand about the submission process then it is best to call the publisher and ask, rather than guess.
Find a Children’s Book Agent
Not all agents deal with children’s books, often agents have areas of interest, and work with specific publishers in certain areas. Do your research and make sure you find agents who specifically deal with children’s books. You need to approach agents with the same eye-catching proposal that you would if be approaching a publisher directly. Agents also receive many submissions from authors, and yours need to stand out. Many agents will also have submission guidelines, so spend some time researching their submission process.
Marketing and Promoting Your Books
If you have published a children’s book, the hard work isn’t over! Promoting and marketing your children’s book is vitally important to ensure that you optimise your chance of sales and success. If you are working with a mainstream publisher they will have a marketing campaign for your book, and you will need to work with them. If you are self-publishing and want to market your own children’s books, then you will need to create a marketing plan, which could consist of social media, local independent bookstores, local newspapers, or magazines. Think about other ideas that could work for you, perhaps visiting your local schools and doing a book reading for the children. Maybe there was something that happened that inspired your children’s book idea? Could this be a newsworthy story?
Legal Considerations When Publishing Your Book
Ask advice from your publishing house about legal considerations. You should always have a contract that should explain both initial payments and royalty fees. If you are unsure about the contract, always consult a lawyer. Never sign a contract if you don’t fully understand the contents. If you are taken on by an agent, you should also receive a contract, as the agent will take a percentage of any publishing deal that you may receive. Some books are turned into films, or sold overseas, and if this is included in your contract ensure that the deal that you are receiving is valid and fair. Don’t be so delighted to have sold your book, that you don’t check the legalities of any contract that you enter into.
Here at ShieldCrest, we work with many authors to publish their children’s books. We know all there is to know about publishing children’s books, and we are here to share our knowledge with you. If you want more advice on how to self-publish a children’s book we are here to help. Our experienced team enjoys nothing more than helping your story reach more children. We believe that books are vitally important, especially for children. Whether your story has dragons, demons, or dancers, we think that stories should be told and shared. We will work with you throughout the whole publishing process from your initial discussion to holding your published children’s book in your hand. We are here to give your story a voice. If you have an idea, get writing, and if you have a finished manuscript then submit it today using our enquiry form. Our team is ready and waiting to read your story.