Publishing Childrens Books: Find a Publisher or Self Publish?

If you want to get into publishing childrens books, then you will need to know what your options are. Fortunately, in today's computerized world, there are a number of choices available to you..

You can put together a manuscript and start the process of sending it off to publishers in the hopes that you’ll find one who’ll publish your book, or you can actually publish the book yourself.

The basic difference between submitting a manuscript and publishing childrens books yourself is where the money will come from and who will own the rights to the work. If you are sending in a manuscript then you are looking for someone else to foot the bill to turn your book from simple computer file into a glossy, high-quality childrens book. If you are publishing children’s books yourself then you are paying for that glossy, high-quality book out of your own pocket.

If you choose to submit a manuscript, there are important elements that must be included along with the document for children’s book publishing companies. There must be a title page with the proposed name of the book, name of the author(s), word count, (i.e. children’s book with 20,345 words), address, e-mail, website (if you have one), and your phone number.

publishing childrens books

You will need to include a brief cover letter which details why you are sending your book to that particular publisher (make sure you show that you've done your research), a short overview of the book (2 or 3 sentences at the absolute most), and the target age group and why they will like your book. Remember that book publishers assume all the risks and show you must show them at a glance that your book will make them money.

There should also be a synopsis which is no more than two pages long. Your synopsis should briefly tell what happens in the book and underscore the major scenes. You should tell how the story ends and what the theme of the story is. Briefly tell about the main character(s), what they do, what they learn, and how they change by the end of the story.

If you are publishing childrens books with more than one chapter, include only the first three chapters with your initial submission to the publishing company. It can take quite a long time to actually hear back from the company. This is partially because at least three people will read and review your book before you ever hear anything, and most publishing companies actually have rather small review departments.

You can eliminate the hassle of sending submissions and waiting for replies by publishing childrens books on your own. However, you must be prepared to assume the costs for designing, printing and promoting your book. Don't worry, if you do it right and follow my recommendations, it will be affordable. Be aware though that there are a number of companies that will print high quality books for you at a premium price (between $500-$2,000 for about 125 copies). There are also publishing services companies that will do the editing, book and cover design for you for one low price. Since these are service companies, they do not take any royalties and the copyright belongs to you.

My favorite way to publish books today including children's picture books is Create Space because it's easy even for the newbie author. Click on CreateSpace publishing to learn the steps to setting up your account.

Back to the service companies. These companies will only print exactly what you submit to them. This means you are solely responsible for editing your work and submitting a quality manuscript. You will not have the benefit of copy editors and readers to catch any mistakes you may have made in grammar, syntax, ambiguity, etc.

Also children’s book publishing on your own, you are the one responsible for actually selling your book. You will have to hit the streets and find creative ways to do your book marketing to get the word out about your book.

Don’t let that creative idea for a children's story continue to sit on your shelf. Set aside some time and either submit your work to a publishing house, or invest in yourself by self publishing children’s books yourself.

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About the Author: Laura Ramirez is the author of two award-winning books, three ebooks and thousands of articles.

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