Thursday, September 19th, 2019

Independent Publishing – Pros & Cons

Independent Publishing essentially has two definitions. In the commercial publishing world, independent publishers (also called “indies” or “small presses”) are small publishers that publish a limited number of books per year (usually less than 10). Their status may also be determined by an annual sales figure (i.e. less than $50 million, after returns and discounts).  Small […]

Vanity Presses – Pros & Cons

Last week we touched on the three basic forms of self-publishing: vanity, subsidy and independent publishing. Let’s look at the pros and cons of the first item on that list. A vanity press prints and binds a book at the author’s sole expense.  Sometimes the author maintains all rights, owns the books and retains all […]

Traditional Publishing – Pros & Cons

It may be hard to believe there are any cons associated with being published by a traditional, commercial publisher – after all, that’s the gold ring all writers are aiming for, right? Certainly there are many advantages to having one’s books published by a commercial publisher. But in exploring self-publishing as we are at the […]

Something Utterly Inspiring

My daughter attended her annual book fair at school this week.  Among the books she wanted me to buy for her was Clarice Bean, That’s Me by Lauren Child. I was happy to do so, since Lauren Child is one of my heros. Best known for creating the hilarious Charlie and Lola in addition to the […]

Publishers, Distributors, and Wholesalers, Oh My!

I am often asked by my students what the difference is between a publisher and a distributor, or between a distributor, a wholesaler and a fulfillment house. Although these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there are some significant differences between them. A publisher is the entity that contracts with an author to publish a manuscript, […]

Other Ways to Get Published

We’re discussing getting published this month at the Children’s Book Hub, so I’ll be devoting a few posts here to that topic. Here’s a familiar Catch 22: Agents don’t seem interested until you’ve been published, and you can’t seem to get published without an agent. How to break the cycle? Expand your definition of ‘getting […]

SCBWI Highlights

I had the pleasure of spending this past Saturday at the SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC.  Wow!  For those of you remotely interested in writing for children, the SCBWI conferences are a must.  The information, networking opportunities and resources are invaluable. The venerable Lois Lowry gave a superb keynote on finding ideas (during which I […]

Why You MUST Write That Children’s Book

I was recently interviewed for the esteemed blog “Cynsations,” run by the very talented YA author Cynthia Leitich Smith.  It was a real honor – Cynthia’s site is among the most respected, and followed, in the Kid Lit blogosphere – but it also gave me an opportunity to reflect on a core value of mine, […]

Agents and Publishers

Two of the most frequently asked questions I hear from aspiring authors are: “Do I really need an agent?” and “How do I get one?” The answer to the first question is: Ideally, yes. Agents handle everything from submitting your manuscripts to publishers, to negotiating contracts  and overseeing royalty statements, in exchange for which they […]

Submissions 101

So, you’ve written a children’s book and you’re ready to submit it to an agent and/or a publisher.  The following are the industry standards for manuscript submission, regardless of  whether the manuscript is for a picture book, a chapter book or a novel: Standard white paper – Don’t even think of using colored paper! Black […]