So you want to publish childern’s literature. How exactly does one break into the industry of children’s literature? This week’s blog post will focus on what to expect when you start your quest to publish your children’s book.
Do I need to find/be an illustrator?
In short, no. Usually, a publishing company will find an illustrator to compliment your text. Even if you have pictures, even if you’re an artist, a publisher will want to select their own illustrator. Of course, I’m sure you may think of an exception to the rule, perhaps the famous Dr. Seuss. However, exceptions are exceptions for a reason. Though you may include illustrations, it is unlikely that they will be accepted. In fact, such initiative may risk you “slow boating” our own text. Manuscripts consisting of only text are able to be sent to the right people and pumped out faster. Also, the size of the book and even the font are up to the publisher’s discretion.
How Do I Promote Myself?
Most authors of children’s literature have websites that further solidify their presence. I invite you to check out Ronald Dahl’s website, for example. Since children’s literature is vibrant and charming, I recommend having a blog or webpage to immerse your fans in your creative vision.
Your publisher may also set up readings for you in your hometown. Never underestimate the power of locality, folks!
Where is this Industry?
Well, it helps to know where to start. In the USA, one such hub for children/ young adult literature is Minnesota. In sum, 40 children’s literature publishers call Minnesota their home and most are independently owned. Of the 40 houses, 3 (ABDO Publishing Group, Capstone Publishing Group, and Lerner Publishing Group) are the largest in the nation.
Though one can take multiple paths to being a publisher or author of children’s literature, I think it’s worth pointing out that some experts in this field study early elementary edge or similar topics. I think this educational background would help an author or publishers improve his/her craft by better understanding the target audience.