The Cutthroat World of…Children’s Books?

So. I wrote a children’s book. And, I swear I never say this about my own work, but this book is so incredibly amazing that every parent around the entire world will be counting the hours until they can read it to their child, over and over again, every single night, for the rest of their lives. Maybe in the mornings, too. And even to themselves just for fun! So move over Sandra Boynton and your ridiculously adorable The Going to Bed Book, my book is the next American classic…

Says every other person that’s ever written a children’s book.

If your experience is anything like mine, after you finally finish your little bundle of wordsmithed joy, like with any newborn, you are likely in for a rude midnight awakening.

And then again at 3am. Possibly again at 4.

After months, even years of writing, re-writing, and then re-writing a few more times, you’re ready to send the damn thing out. Now what?

Researching appropriate publishing options, writing query letters, customized to each publishers specific instructions of course…don’t forget to include your soul as well as your first born.

That’s ok, he kept you up through way too many sleepless nights anyway.

They say your chances of actually being published are as good as winning the lottery. Well, these days is feels more like winning a $12.5 bazillion jackpot, that’s waiting for you at the end of a Lucky Charm rainbow…a double rainbow at that.

But you never know, one of ours might be that lucky one to find that rabbit’s foot of publishing deals. And while you’re making your way through the field of four leaf clovers, here is a little preview of people you encounter along the yellow brick roadway to print:

  1. Vanity Publishers. Oh my goodness, I’ve gotten three responses within the first 25 seconds of submitting my work. See?! My book really is amazeballz! You rush to return the call from Jane Doe of Your Book Is The Most Amazing Thing Ever Publishing House. Ms. Doe also clearly recognizes how unique and wondrous your book really is! And guess what??? All you have to do is fork over a few hundo to get started. Plus $1000 per page for one of their gifted illustrators. All in all that only adds up to about $25,000. But you can pay in installments, how perfect!
  2. Snarky Publishers. Think of these as the Heathers of the publishing world. “We always accept manuscript submissions…so we can whisper back at the office about your totally lame use of rhyme and make fun of your hair.”
  3. Agents. “Dear <NAME>, thank you so much for your manuscript of <BOOK TITLE>. We don’t want it. Good luck in your future endeavors.”
  4. Real, Honest-to-god, Legit Publishers. *crickets, crickets*

Whatever. Don’t give up, my aspiring author friends. You’ve finished a manuscript for god’s sake. And that in itself is a phenomenal feat. Brush that dirt off your shoulders. Be proud of your work.

And hey, if all else fails, effing Shutterfly will print our books for free…now if I could just find that damn coupon.


Have you published a book? Or are you currently growing that extra layer of callused skin to deal with all rejection we’ve voluntarily decided to subject ourselves to? Share your stories, struggles and advice (lord knows we could all use it) below!

 

 

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10 thoughts on “The Cutthroat World of…Children’s Books?

  1. Today all I hear about is self publishing, not sure if that’s a good route for you but, it seems to be really popular in the bloggersphere. I haven’t been inspired to write a book but I can imagine the frustration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Self publishing really seems like the only feasible route…but it’s confusing to know which ones are scams. Good times. 😉 when you find the inspiration for yours, hopefully I’ll have some advice!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually have self published and it has its own sets of challenges, not the least of which is that I am my sole promoter, which means I spent a lot of time in the cyberspace hawking my work every chance I get. The good news is that, while I am far from quitting my day job, is that I have sold copies. Money has come to my account. That is something I never accomplished in submitting my work to the desk piles of the established publishers.

    Tim

    Liked by 1 person

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