It’s not that hard to get a children’s book published to make money, if you know what to do and the companies to help.
This article reveals how to do this and some of the best companies that pay you write and publish children’s books.
Importance of Getting a Children’s Book Published
They say that there is a child in all of us and I guess that is true especially when it comes to certain things that give us joy and pleasure.
For example, who doesn’t enjoy playing a game, watching an animated movie, or just simply riding a bike or going to an amusement park?
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Another important childhood indulgence is reading a children’s book to young children either in the family or volunteering at a children’s hospital or daycare facility.
Reading a simple story that has an important message and is fully illustrated not only thrills and delights the young child listening or reading the story along with you but if the truth be known, we most likely enjoy it as well.
In addition, to the entertainment value is the opportunity to interact with the child and to help with their reading and appreciation of books.
In the early 80s, I was blessed with two young sons.
In more cases than not, we had a routine that after their baths and around 8 o’clock, we had the opportunity to pick out a book and I would read to them before they settled in for the night.
I remember during one Christmas season I decided to read the Christmas Carol to them as part of a tradition and help them to learn about the true meaning of the holiday.
Also, a favorite of my oldest son was “Old Hat, New Hat.”
Of course, being the ham that I am, I would embellish the story and provide the appropriate gestures and fluctuations in my voice and try to make the reading even more enjoyable than it was.
I had the time of my life and I believe my son enjoyed it as well and great memories are still cherished to this day.
How to Write and Get a Children’s Book Published to Make Money
In regards to writing a children’s book, it may be helpful to provide some practical tips and candid observations.
Candid tip #1 is acceptance of the reality that it is going to take some time to establish your writing career.
Even if you have a great story that is well written and will resonate with a child and their family, it is still a process that may include a few rejection letters.
Candid tip #2 is that most successful children’s writers utilize an agent to help promote their book and writing.
Candid tip #3 is that you should endeavor to have your work published with a publishing house that provides an advance to its writers and authors.
It is important from the onset to choose your audience or who your children’s books will resonate with.
The five basic categories would include
- Picture books for infants
- Early reader books for ages 5 to 7
- Chapter books for ages 6 to 9
- Middle-grade books from ages 9 to 12
- Young adult novels.
Decide whether you want the story to just be strictly entertaining or whether you want to provide a lesson for the story being told.
Also, remember kids want to be entertained and therefore that should be the primary focus of your writing.
Also, it is important to test your writing and to see how the children respond to what has been authored.
Remember your readers are children.
The writing should be age-specific as well as utilize the proper vocabulary.
The basic consideration of being a children’s book author is that your audience is children.
Therefore, whatever age group you are trying to reach, you must think as that particular aged child would think.
Also, it would be a good idea to read other children’s literature to get an idea of how the successful author wrote.
Once you have a draft of a book it is a good idea to have families and children read that book and get their feedback.
Be thick-skinned as they read with a critical eye and provide feedback to what has been written.
Take their input and suggestions and weigh them carefully and make the appropriate changes if necessary.
Once you have a draft of the book, then it is important to reach out to publishing companies.
Most companies will not accept unsolicited material.
However, there are those publishing companies that will accept submissions of manuscripts.
Once you find such a publisher read their guidelines for submission.
The guidelines may request
- A synopsis of the book or narrative that captures succinctly and briefly what the book is about
- A cover letter introducing yourself
- The current work’s title and word count
- Any biography that is needed
- How the book will be marketed
- The target audience
10 Best Publishing Companies That Pay or Get You Paid to Write and Publish Children’s Books
1. Holiday House
This publishing house welcomes both fictional and non-fictional children’s books.
Publishing in hardcover, their books include the producing of picture books, chapter books, middle-grade literature, and writings geared towards young adults.
This publishing house requests that authors submit the entire work via hardcopy and U.S. mail to the following address.
That address is Editorial Department, Holiday House, 425 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10017.
Of particular note, manuscripts are not returned by the publishing house once they have been submitted.
Click here to check out Holiday House
2. Charles Bridge
This publishing company accepts picture books, board books, fiction focused on middle grade, and novels for young adults.
In particular, this publishing company is looking for new voices within the children’s book industry.
Their focus is to nurture children and to develop an ongoing desire for children to read throughout their life.
If considering the writing of a fictional piece, the plots should be engaging and well-developed characters within the unfolding story.
Nonfiction manuscripts that are accepted by this company focus on the arts, science, math, and writing about diversity.
Submission of a manuscript to this company should include a cover letter that includes the author’s info, any previously published works, and sharing of any relevant writing experience.
To review the submissions page click here.
3. Chicago Review Press
This publishing company welcomes submissions that cover a variety of genres.
Those welcome submissions include books written for young readers as well as young adults.
Typically, Chicago Review Press releases over 60 new book titles each year and particularly welcomes nonfiction writings that cover a variety of topics.
This company does not publish books that would be defined as picture books and are currently not accepting fictional writings.
To submit a writing, it is suggested that a brief inquiry to the company be made to the editors, and then if there is interest a full manuscript may be requested.
Click here to check out Chicago Review Press
4. Sleeping Bear Press
This children’s book publisher is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The company began its publishing service with the well-known book entitled “The Legend of the Sleeping Bear.”
Subsequently, they have a remarkable reputation as one of the better publishers of children’s books.
This particular publishing company does specialize in picture books and also focuses on middle-grade novels in both the fiction and nonfiction arenas.
Right now as of this writing, they are only accepting email submissions.
That email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The author should attach, in word format, the authored writing within an email and provide their contact information.
Also, they should indicate any previous publishing experience, the number of words in the book and provide a brief synopsis of the manuscript.
Click here to check out Sleeping Bear Press
5. Lee and Low
This publishing house is independently run, and the focus of their published manuscripts is on multi-cultural themes.
Specifically, they want to meet the reading needs of children and teens of color by providing authentic titles that are culturally rich and maintain the integrity of the specific genre.
Currently, this publishing company is not receiving any submission of manuscripts but thought it was important to include it on this list of publishers because of its unique focus and concentration towards a rich and multi-cultural narrative.
On their submission page, there are several opportunities to be involved with writing contests as well as providing submission guidelines for authors and illustrators.
Click here for the submissions page.
6. Kane Miller Press
As of this writing, Kane Miller is not accepting any submissions for children’s books.
For future reference, however, they want to publish children’s stories that have charming and engaging characters.
Especially those personalities that reflect the diverseness of the world that we live in.
They ask for stories that are written from a first-hand experience.
When they start accepting submissions, they are looking for an email to be sent to email@example.com.
In that, the email should include a short cover letter, the complete manuscript, or a brief synopsis with sample chapters.
Also included should be the number of words and the author’s professional bio that is captured in 3 to 5 sentences.
Click here to check out Kane Miller Press
With a focus on publishing illustrated children’s books, this publishing company focuses on children ages 0 to 8 years of age.
Their publishing content includes picture books, board books, and novelty books.
This publishing company does not accept work that has not been solicited but if the individual writer has an agent; it does give priority to those agent submissions.
Submission of one’s work should be sent with a query letter, the complete manuscript, and the book proposal.
To email a manuscript, the agent can utilize the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to check out Phaidon
8. Mighty Media Press
This book publishing company considers books and other forms of media that will engage a child’s curiosity.
They want books that are written about a child’s imagination, increasing their social awareness and developing their already keen sense of adventure.
This publishing company will not publish books that do not meet these basic criteria.
Picture books for children ages 0 to 6 as well as junior readers ages 4 to 11 and middle-grade ages 11 to 13 both in the nonfiction and fiction genre are part of their publishing service.
By going to the submissions page, an email address will need to be provided so that Mighty Media will send a link where you can upload the attachments needed.
Those attachments included a synopsis of the book, a cover letter, and up to 30 pages of the book.
Click here to check out Mighty Media Press
9. Pagestree Publishing
New to the publishing scene, Pagestree Publishing has already made its mark in the publishing world.
The books that this company has an interest in include children’s books, picture books, fiction, and nonfiction as well as novels designed to be read by young adults.
To make more of an impact in the children’s book market, this publishing company accepts solicited as well as non-selected solicited submissions.
Submission of a manuscript should be through email and the book be attached in Word format.
Additionally, if it is an illustration book, it can be in PDF format.
The query letter should address the target age range, synopsis of the book, and a bio of the author.
The bio should include the author’s occupation, publishing history, a presence on social media platforms, any agent representation, and other information that may be pertinent to the submission.
Click here to check out Pagestree Publishing
10. Flashlight Press
This publishing house focuses on books that are written for the very young reader.
They are looking for authors with strong writing skills and portraying in their books high graphic illustrations.
The ages of the children that are targeted are between the ages of four and eight.
The storylines written to the young readers should focus on multi-culturalism with a touch of humor.
The length of the book should be 1,000 words or less and have a theme that is universally accepted and respected.
Of particular interest are stories that deal with family matters or situations on a social scale.
Click here to check out Flashflight Press
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Get Paid to Write and Publish Children’s Books FAQs
What Is the Cost to Publish a Children’s Book?
The bottom line for publishing a children’s book would start roughly at $10,000.
But of course, it can also depend on you, the size of the book and the publishing company you want to use.
What Does It Take to Publish a Children’s Book?
There are roughly three parts to begin the process of publishing a children’s book.
The first step would be to create a manuscript, find a book agent, and submit the manuscript to a publisher.
Another option is the self-publishing option.
This means that you do all of the work from writing the manuscript to getting the book published.
Part of the self-publishing steps would include the creation of the manuscript, editing, providing a creative title, and possibly hiring a professional proofreader or editor.
Also, you can self-publish your book through the Amazon platform.
You Can Do It
Not only do you have a flair for writing but you are very creative.
In addition, the parents and children that you have given your manuscript to have provided encouraging feedback and offered a few suggestions on how you could enhance the story.
Therefore, what have you got to lose other than to submit the book to see if a publishing company is willing to advance your writing career?
Your focus is on entertaining children but providing some educational instruction as well.
Being an author or continuing on your road to writing a children’s book can be a bumpy road.
There may be responses of no to one’s submission or possibly not just yet.
Perhaps, taking a page of a successful children’s book is in order.
When writing children’s stories and submitting them for possible publishing, remember the little engine that could.