If a client of mine is unsure of which publishing path to take, I always advise her or him to at least give traditional publishing a try.
Once the author decides to give it a shot, s/he most always asks HOW.
Let your fingers do the walking.
To submit your manuscript to traditional publishers, you’ll need to do research.
Do an online search for publishers who handle children’s books in the genre of your story.
You might also get the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. Get the most recent edition and look for publishers you think will be a good fit for your book.
This is tedious work and time consuming, but it’s the only way to get your manuscript out there and in the hands of acquisition editors.
Keep in mind that you can also submit your manuscript to literary agents who, if they accept you as a client, will then shop your manuscript around to traditional publishers.
The benefit of getting an agent, if at all possible, is that the agent will be able to open doors you can’t.
You’ll have to actually submit your manuscript.
While it’s tough to put your work out there and possibly get rejected, there’s no way around this.
You’ve got to submit.
You’ll need to write a query letter to submit along with your picture book manuscript, or a portion of your chapter book, middle grade, or young adult.
The publisher’s website will let you know:
- How much of your manuscript should be submitted.
- If you need to email your submission or mail it.
- If you need to email it, the site will let you know if you should attach the document/s or put everything in the body of the email.
- Other details you’ll want to pay attention to.
Go over the publishers’ guidelines carefully and follow those guidelines just as carefully. The editor who receives your submission won’t be happy if you carelessly neglect to follow the rules.
Keep submitting to different publishers. Give it at least 6 months to a year – if you have the time … and the patience.
Be careful: If the publisher asks for any money from you, they are not a ‘real’ traditional publisher.
Attend a writer’s conference.
Another way to possibly get your foot in the publishing door is to attend writers’ conferences.
This is the best way to mingle with other authors, attend workshops, and possibly get to pitch your story to an editor or agent.
Some conferences you might look into are:
There are also a couple of free online writers’ conferences. Just do some research to find them.
Keep it going.
While you’re waiting for replies to your submissions, keep researching other publishers and keep submitting.
While the traditional publishing submissions process takes work and can take a long time, and there are no guarantees you’ll get a contract, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Whether you need editing, rewriting, or ghostwriting, let me take a look at your story. Just send me an email at: email@example.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700
Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!
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