Read a lot of recently published children’s books to see what is being published. Pay attention to the genres you are interested in. Visit a children’s bookstore or find new releases of children’s books at the library. What other books have been published in your genre? How can you make your manuscript unique and different?
Write the best manuscript you can. Read, revise and polish it until you are sure you can’t make it any better. Consider joining a critique group where you can ask for feedback, or hire a freelance editor to help you refine your work even more.
Research publishers. It is important to submit your manuscript to a publisher whose interests and tastes are similar to yours. You wouldn’t want to send a picture book manuscript to a publisher who specializes in young adult books, for example.
Consult a publisher’s submission guidelines on their website before sending your query letter or manuscript. Prepare your submission package accordingly.
Compose a cover letter introducing yourself and your manuscript. Include information about your story, the age of your intended audience and any writing or other relevant qualifications you may have. Attach a writing sample or a list of publication credits, if you have them.
Don’t send illustrations with your manuscript, unless you are a professional illustrator or artist. Publishers like to select their own illustrators.
Mail or email your package, depending on what the submission guidelines request. Expect to wait 3 to 6 months for a reply. While you’re waiting…
Keep Writing. Work on new ideas, stories, proposals, letters, articles — anything to hone your writing skills.
Enroll in writing workshops, courses or a critique group. Join associations that focus on children’s literature. Learn everything you can.
Persevere! The best way to get published is to keep trying. Don’t give up even when you get turned down. Most published authors have faced rejection. You know the adage, “If at first you don’t succeed…”
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