How do I publish a book??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 10-10-2004, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have written a book. it is a children's book and it is part one of a series. I think the concept is unique and that it will be well received. I am not too interested in illustrating, but I can do that if need be.

What I'd rather do is submit my text to a publishing company who has a staff of artists to illustrate it.

BUT HOW do I go about that? Who do I contact?
Does anyone know?!
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#2 of 16 Old 10-10-2004, 11:19 PM
 
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I worked in magazine publishing prebaby, but the last place was a magazine about children's books. I don't want to be too much of a downer, but it's pretty hard to break into publishing. A lot of the really big houses won't take unsolicited manuscripts from unrepresented authors. Getting an agent is very expensive and is hard to do when you're unpublished (it's a Catch-22). Your best bet is to look at all the websites of the publishers that do children's and check out their websites or call them and ask if they are accepting unsolicited ms. at this time and if they have guidelines for material to be submitted. The trick is to find someone small enough that they are taking unsolicited ms. but big enough to produce professional results. I would also go to the bookstore and look at a bunch of books and see who published them and start from that list. See what houses you seem to be drawn over and over again, because they do have styles. Don't worry about not illustrating; they won't want you to. Most authors are not also illustrators. If they chose to publish your book, they would work with an illustrator they liked. I wouldn't mess with big places like Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Little, Brown, Houghton, Harcourt, HarperCollins, and the like. Part of the key to success is finding a house that "matches" the style of your book. Certain companies serve niches. Some names to try are Peachtree in Atlanta, Barefoot (for fairy tales), and Charlesbridge in Boston. Stay away from any kind of vanity press, where you have to pay to publish your book; obviously since you are paying, they don't care about the quality of your book and as someone who had to wade through thousands of books received each week to our magazine, I can say the self-published ones generally went straight in the trash.

HTH,
Beth
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#3 of 16 Old 10-10-2004, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you beth!
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#4 of 16 Old 10-11-2004, 01:35 AM
 
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no problem--good luck!
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#5 of 16 Old 10-11-2004, 12:21 PM
 
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Beth said most of what I was going to say In my pre-baby life, I worked for a big Canadian children's book publisher and part of my job was to glance through all the unsolicited manuscripts that came through. Definitely don't illustrate - just send the text in with a short letter and a SASE. The only thing I disagree with in Beth's post is that I would bother with the big houses. You have nothing to lose except your stamp cost and lots to gain. I am also a writer and I've always found that big houses are just as welcoming as smaller ones (sometimes even more so!). Most of the time you'll just get a form letter back but that's true of all publishers - good luck!
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#6 of 16 Old 10-11-2004, 01:12 PM
 
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It's true that all you have to lose is a stamp, so I guess it's not a total waste. I only said that because some of the people I knew at those places didn't even have a slush pile and threw unsolicited ms. in the garbage. But that's not always true and you never know, I guess. Another place to look at is Cricket in Chicago (part of Carus Publishing), because I know they do have a slush pile.

--Beth
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#7 of 16 Old 10-11-2004, 01:59 PM
 
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Is self publishing an option? Cafe Press has a book option if you were up for promoting yourself.

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#8 of 16 Old 10-11-2004, 02:50 PM
 
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I hope its ok to share a link, but here is a site I have visited and spent time on before that could be helpful for you.

http://www.verlakay.com/

It is a site dedicated to children's book authors and illustrators with ideas on how to get into the biz, how to find contacts, etc: http://verlakay.com/34getting_started.html (scroll way down) There are message boards where authors and illustrators offer support and guidance to one another: http://www.verlakay.com/boards/index.php

(I actually found Verla's site through our mutual webhost and I got two of her books. My special needs DD loves rhythmic rhyme!)

Hope this helps at least a little.

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#9 of 16 Old 10-11-2004, 05:46 PM
 
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I will see if I can chat with my mom - she may have some advice. She has had a few books published by Doubleday. She is on a business trip ATM, but I will try and chat with her when she gets back!
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#10 of 16 Old 10-11-2004, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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that would be great Lauira!
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#11 of 16 Old 10-11-2004, 05:47 PM
 
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Holy cow you are fast! :LOL :LOL
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#12 of 16 Old 10-11-2004, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#13 of 16 Old 10-12-2004, 09:43 AM
 
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Good Luck! My hubby has two books published if you need contact information let me know.
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#14 of 16 Old 10-12-2004, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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fullofgrace, those links look to be very helpful.

Well ladies, I made a very nice query letter and sent it to my first three in a nice large envelope (easy to open and read) with return SASE and a copy manuscript as it is a picture book and most places I have looked into want the copy for a picture book.

I know that this is just my first step to my first rejection letters...but it is a START!

And I will see what I can figure out about self publishing. I don't think it is a fantastic option, but I may try it ... we'll see. I will be starting with queries, though.
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#15 of 16 Old 10-14-2004, 12:54 AM
 
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thought this was interesting in my sunday paper:

http://www.ajc.com/sunday/content/ep...921ba10c2.html

i'm not sure if you'll have to register to read it, but if you do, it's free.

good luck to you---sounds exciting!

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#16 of 16 Old 10-14-2004, 04:25 AM
 
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Congrats on getting your manuscript sent out! So many aspiring authors never make it that far. Good luck!

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