Liz asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 decade ago

I'm working on a series of children's books. Can anyone help?

Hi there. I'm working on a few stories. I won't get into the details, but I will tell you that I want to start a series of books, and I want to write books out of that series. I've been researching a little on-line, and I have found free publishers for beginning authors. Unfortunately, I DON'T have the start-up money for publishing.

I am a first grade teacher, and any stories I have written and shared with my students (in first, second, and fifth grades) have entertained and engaged them.

This is a life-dream of mine. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. Please be nice. Thank you so much!

Update:

No details to add...just wanted to say thanks to "old lady" and "Steph B." I will look into those publishers I've already found AND I will check out Amazon.com and lulu.com. Thanks!

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  • pj m
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Liz,

    Buy yourself a copy of Writer's Market. Here is their website:

    http://www.writersmarket.com/

    You will do better by getting a hard copy so you can 'yellow mark' the pages of literary agents who most interest you.

    Publisher DO NOT ask for money unless they are a vanity press or they are publishing houses who exist solely for authors to self pubish. Self-Publishing can cost you a bit of money, but it's far better than vanity presses who will take anything no matter how bad it is just for a fee.

    Here's what I give everyone who asks this question. Being a teacher, you will probably use this information solely for the purpose of learning how to submit and format your work.

    Buy yourself a few books on formatting manuscripts and writing in general.

    Read on:

    Writing a book takes more than just sitting down and putting your idea into words. There are a lot of things that you have to consider.

    You need a good grasp of the English language. Spelling and Grammar. You will also need to check and recheck your work. Editors are very expensive these days.

    You need to know how to write an effective ‘query letter’ to a literary agent.

    Can you write a synopsis that will hold the interest of the agent, and want to make him or her ask for the first three chapters of your work?

    Do you know how to outline?

    You’ll need to know how to format your manuscript. This includes the fonts that

    most agents, editors, and publishers want. You will need to follow submission guidelines just as they are laid down for your submissions. Anything less will result in your manuscript sent back or destroyed unread.

    Do you know what Point of View is? (POV) Do you know how to write in First Person Point of View? The can’s and can not’s?

    Do you know how to write dialogue? How to format dialogue?

    It’s a good idea to know some of the publishing laws. The use of names and places.

    These include

    o Delivery Of Satisfactory Copy

    o Permission for Copyrighted Material

    o Grant Of Rights

    o Proofreading and Author's Corrections

    o Advances and Royalties

    o Author's Warranties and Indemnities

    o Copies to Author

    o Option Clause

    Do you know how to get a ‘word count?

    Do you know what a prologue is? An epilogue? Do you know how both of them are used and why?

    Do you know what the word ‘genre’ means?

    You’ll need to know how to use the proper ‘page set up’ for your work. Margins, indents, paragraphs.

    Are you prepared to do a lot of ‘research’ involving your work? Many professionals such as, doctors, lawyers, nurses, public accountants, judges, architects, bricklayers, engineers, and police officers read, too.

    Do you know what a plot is? A sub-plot?

    Can you take rejection and constructive criticism? If you’re easily hurt in the feelings department, then this hobby is not meant for you. Critics will tear you apart or build you up. The best writers in the world “King, Patterson, Koontz, J.K. Rowling, and many others” have been torn up one side and down the other. You can’t please everyone.

    If you decide to hire an editor, remember: Your manuscript will be double spaced, which means there will be twice as many pages. A 600 page novel could cost you around $1800.00, some even more depending on what the editor charges a page.

    These are the things you must know to work at your craft. But don’t let these things deter you from writing. There are books in libraries and bookstores that can teach you all of these things. Buying these books (if you want to be a serious writer) is the best thing to do. Why? Well, because you can use a yellow marker to highlight all the points of interest. Then you can use the front of the book to make page references to those markings in order to check back on them at a later date, when you need to.

    You’ll need to get a copy of Writer’s Market for the current year. This has literary agents whom you can send out query letters to. Some of them allow email queries.

    I wish you the best of luck!

    Source(s): Published author. Spook Rock, a novel. Many short stories both online and in printed anthologies.
  • LK
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    First, keep working on the stories. Work them a lot. Then:

    Suggest that in your research, while you might want to keep names of these free publishers if you like, you might also want to invest some time in learning the step-by-step route to a published book. (For example, you wouldn't want to tell a publisher you are just starting a series. A series is a large commitment for a publisher to make on an unknown author... see?)

    My favorite book for this information is "The Writer's Market," but if you go to the library, you can ask the reference librarian for further advise on what is good to read when you are a beginning author and you want to learn how to publish properly. I'm sure there are more books out there about this.

    I do know there are several steps to take before your work will be seen just the way you would like it to be seen, but these steps are NOT insurmountable, and you can achieve them with diligence and care. You can do it.

    Luck--

    Source(s): ADDITION: Have heard lulu is not so hot (vanity press)... so when you check it out, check it out thoroughly. http://www.lulu.com/ I went on so much about checking things out, I decided to finally check this site myself. On one side of the homepage it seems to tout free publishing. On the other side it seems to be saying "Plans start at $45.00..." A big 'Hmm' from me--
  • 1 decade ago

    Firstly, the publishers who want money up front are referred to in the business as 'vanity press' because they play on the fantasies of people who want to be published. What they don't do is offer the distribution, promotion and marketing that will sell your books once they are printed. Most book stores will not carry them. So - you wind up with a basement full of books and have to market them on your own, which rarely works out well.

    Reputable publishers do not ask for upfront money. Period. End of story. So contact a reputable publisher. Go to your local library and get the names of publishers of children's books - especially books that are in the genre in which you are working, and contact them.

    Good luck to you.

  • 1 decade ago

    Just wanted to add that no major publishing house will charge you for publication. Old Lady is right; if you have to pay a publisher, it's because it's a vanity press and you won't get as wide of a distribution as you would with larger houses, such as Random House or Simon & Schuster.

    It is, of course, a double-edged sword. It's easier to publish with a vanity press but you'd have to pay; it's harder to publish with bigger houses but it's free. I'd go with the latter, and best of luck to you!

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  • 1 decade ago

    have you tried www.lulu.com? It's 'print on demand' self-publishing so there's no start-up fees, and for about 50 dollars you can get your books listed on Amazon.com

    Actually, Amazon have started their own POD publishing venture, which might be worth a look.

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