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ENTRY

How to find a publisher
July 30, 2013

A friend asked me to help her friend find a publisher. Here is how I responded: There are several options or routes to explore. One is to find companies that publish books similar to your friend's stories. A good way to do this is to go to a bookstore, find similar books, and note the publishers. Another way is to search for "children's book publishers." Then go to their websites and look for their "submission requirements," which will tell if they accept query letters or unsolicited manuscripts, and if they do, they will provide the guidelines of how to submit. Some publishers will not accept unsolicited manuscripts, but usually accept them through an agent.

Agents will generally accept query letters from new authors. To find appropriate agents do a search for "children's book agents" and several links will come up. Be sure to read each agent's profile of what kinds of books they are looking and their submission guidelines. Do not use an agent who charges a reading fee. They should only get a percentage of the author's advances and royalties. Agents will also help the author revise their manuscripts for submission to a publisher.

Writers conferences are another way to find agents and publishers. Search for "writers' conferences" and see if they include children's books as part of the program. Conferences do cost some money but can be worth it for writers looking to be published. They usually have seminars and workshops on writing query letters, developing ideas, working with an agent, and other relevant topics.

Writing consultants/coaches or publishing workshops can be a big help in getting a manuscript ready for submission. But be sure to do some research on them to make sure they are worth the effort and expense, and are targeted for specific needs and markets.

Self publishing bypasses the traditional routes, and is becoming more feasible and popular with the rise of e-Books. Amazon in particular is into this market of taking a manuscript and putting on their Kindle bookstore (for a percentage of the price) of course. They also will do print books for sale as well. There also presses that will publish books for a fee (so-called "vanity presses") that I don't recommend.

None of these routes is easy, of course, and they all require perseverance and ability to take rejection and criticism. And getting published is only one step, after that, there is the writer's responsibility to help market and sell the book, even with traditional publishers.

Best of luck!

COMMENTS

Number of comments: 2
click here to add a comment

Lee Witte
In other words, there is no "royal road" to publishing!

Jo Reed
Unless you have a "royal" name already.

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