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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books

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The comprehensive guide to writing, publishing, and selling for the ever-expanding and always exciting children's market-now in a new and updated second edition. * Includes new chapters for illustrators, on submissions, portfolios, art directors, and more * In 2001, children's book publishing was a $1.8 billion market * Offers practical advice on getting started, plus the The comprehensive guide to writing, publishing, and selling for the ever-expanding and always exciting children's market-now in a new and updated second edition. * Includes new chapters for illustrators, on submissions, portfolios, art directors, and more * In 2001, children's book publishing was a $1.8 billion market * Offers practical advice on getting started, plus the basics on writing-and selling-books that kids will love and parents will buy * Very few books on this topic provide specific information by experts * Covers picture book, juvenile, and young adult markets * Includes sample queries and proposals for most types of children's fiction


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The comprehensive guide to writing, publishing, and selling for the ever-expanding and always exciting children's market-now in a new and updated second edition. * Includes new chapters for illustrators, on submissions, portfolios, art directors, and more * In 2001, children's book publishing was a $1.8 billion market * Offers practical advice on getting started, plus the The comprehensive guide to writing, publishing, and selling for the ever-expanding and always exciting children's market-now in a new and updated second edition. * Includes new chapters for illustrators, on submissions, portfolios, art directors, and more * In 2001, children's book publishing was a $1.8 billion market * Offers practical advice on getting started, plus the basics on writing-and selling-books that kids will love and parents will buy * Very few books on this topic provide specific information by experts * Covers picture book, juvenile, and young adult markets * Includes sample queries and proposals for most types of children's fiction

30 review for The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    A wonderful and easy instruction book, as most of the "Idiot's Guide" series is. I would recommend reading it in concert with at least one other "how to publish" type book, though, as this one can get a little heart-breaking. There's very little encouragement here, which is good because it doesn't try to give you false hopes, but also doesn't feel like it believes you can actually succeed! A good supplement, definitely. A wonderful and easy instruction book, as most of the "Idiot's Guide" series is. I would recommend reading it in concert with at least one other "how to publish" type book, though, as this one can get a little heart-breaking. There's very little encouragement here, which is good because it doesn't try to give you false hopes, but also doesn't feel like it believes you can actually succeed! A good supplement, definitely.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joy Rancatore

    When I first started Harold Underdown's book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books, I thought it was starting too slowly and was a little too repetitive. In retrospect, I'm pretty sure it was just my eagerness to fill my brain with as much knowledge about the process of writing, publishing and selling a children's book that was discontent. I now feel like I know enough about releasing my manuscripts into the publishing world to take that terrifying leap. Underdown prepares hi When I first started Harold Underdown's book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books, I thought it was starting too slowly and was a little too repetitive. In retrospect, I'm pretty sure it was just my eagerness to fill my brain with as much knowledge about the process of writing, publishing and selling a children's book that was discontent. I now feel like I know enough about releasing my manuscripts into the publishing world to take that terrifying leap. Underdown prepares his writers for every aspect of the book-publishing process from manuscript completion to submission to working through a contract to wading through the editing, proofing and publishing journey to how to get that puppy sold and keep it alive even when it reaches an untimely OP demise. Not only does Underdown present a history of publishing, but also he breaks down every aspect of the publishing world, including the many branches of the mighty oak that provides us with the books we peruse and enjoy every day. Perhaps the best aspect of Publishing Children's Books for me is the fact that Underdown displays the reality of the publishing world. As he writes, "If you don't like competing with thousands of other people, children's publishing is not for you." In such a submission-saturated field, very few people will actually get their books published; fewer will become a best-seller, win an award, become a household name or be remembered for years and decades to come. Although he lays out exactly what to expect, Underdown also encourages his readers that, with perseverance, patience and a little bit of knowledge of how publishing works, they can see that story--now on their computer, within the leaves of their notebook or still inside their hearts, imaginations and minds--on bookstore shelves one day.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Drucilla

    Actual rating: 2.5 stars. If you're looking to learn the basics of publishing, however, then consider this a three star rating. But if that's the case, then you should think about choosing a book that's been updated within the last 5 years. There's nothing glaringly out of date, but I found certain sections such as self-publishing and e-books lacking. Also, this book should have been called "Writing and Publishing Your Children's Book." Huge chunks are devoted to writing and, to a lesser extent, Actual rating: 2.5 stars. If you're looking to learn the basics of publishing, however, then consider this a three star rating. But if that's the case, then you should think about choosing a book that's been updated within the last 5 years. There's nothing glaringly out of date, but I found certain sections such as self-publishing and e-books lacking. Also, this book should have been called "Writing and Publishing Your Children's Book." Huge chunks are devoted to writing and, to a lesser extent, illustrating.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Linda Martin

    It has been a few years since I read this book and since then I moved and gave all my writing books to a friend before I left town. I was trying to lighten my load but of all the books I gave away I miss my writing books most. I have a lot of respect for the writer of this book and remember it being basic, factual, and helpful. I'd recommend it for anyone who considers embracing the life of a writer for children. Follow your dreams but be realistic. Plan ahead. Stay inspired. It has been a few years since I read this book and since then I moved and gave all my writing books to a friend before I left town. I was trying to lighten my load but of all the books I gave away I miss my writing books most. I have a lot of respect for the writer of this book and remember it being basic, factual, and helpful. I'd recommend it for anyone who considers embracing the life of a writer for children. Follow your dreams but be realistic. Plan ahead. Stay inspired.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    Some of the material here is a little outdated, but a very quick and helpful high-level overview of what you need to know when starting to think about making books for children - types of books, the role of a publisher, working with illustrators or self-illustrating, etc.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Siarra

    Disappointing to see so many odd typos in a book about writing, /editing/, and publishing books, but a hopefully enlightening and helpful read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    Well done, Harold.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Miko Lee

    An adequate guide book about the basics of publishing children's book. Very basic. An adequate guide book about the basics of publishing children's book. Very basic.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kay Mcgriff

    Harold D. Underdown gives a complete peek behind the curtain of the children's publishing industry in The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books, Third Edition (Penguin 2008). I have picked up much of the information over the years from following the blogs of some of my favorite writers, but I still learned much about the process, especially what happens once the writing and editing is done. I found some of the most valuable parts of the books to be the references to additional res Harold D. Underdown gives a complete peek behind the curtain of the children's publishing industry in The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books, Third Edition (Penguin 2008). I have picked up much of the information over the years from following the blogs of some of my favorite writers, but I still learned much about the process, especially what happens once the writing and editing is done. I found some of the most valuable parts of the books to be the references to additional resources, whether book titles or websites. My copy of the book has a rainbow of sticky notes poking out the side, marking all the places I want to go back for reference or to save as bookmarks on my computer before I have to return it to the library. Like other books in the Complete Idiot's series, the information is organized for easy access and packed with information. Sidebars add even more information with definitions of industry terms, "Class Rules" that explain aspects of the publishing business and secret tips. My favorite parts are the playground stories, which share anecdotes from working writers and illustrators. Through it all, Underdown emphasizes the need for writers and illustrators to be professionals and to take their careers seriously. It is difficult to make a career out of writing and illustrating for children, but it is possible with hard work and a little bit of luck. Even though the book has been out for just six year, the rapid changes in technology have made some sections seem outdated already. Self-publishing--especially with ebooks--is still fraught with pitfalls, but it offers a different landscape nearly every week. The section on author visits doesn't mention Skype, which I used in my classroom to connect my students with authors. Even so, this is a valuable reference for anyone interested in writing or illustrating for children. Published on my blog at http://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/2014/0... ‎

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Collins

    After just begiing ot read this book, I slipped it into my backpack to take to work (to read on breaks only bossman, honest). Well, it frickin dumped monsoon-style on my bike ride home and everything inside my pack, including this idiots guide was soaked. I am an idiot. The cheap-assed paper they use in the Idiots manuals blows up when it gets wet, so now I had this unconcealable mess of ruination. Admittedly I tried returning the book to the library (yes, it was a library book) all cool, like y After just begiing ot read this book, I slipped it into my backpack to take to work (to read on breaks only bossman, honest). Well, it frickin dumped monsoon-style on my bike ride home and everything inside my pack, including this idiots guide was soaked. I am an idiot. The cheap-assed paper they use in the Idiots manuals blows up when it gets wet, so now I had this unconcealable mess of ruination. Admittedly I tried returning the book to the library (yes, it was a library book) all cool, like yeah, I checked it out all blown up like this. I may have even been whistling while slipping into the return. Afterward, I stepped over to the children books area (naturally) and made furtive glances up at the librarian, Henry. Well, he pulls it out, turns it over, punches info into the computer that no doubt said "damaged by childish idiot". I now own this book once I go to the Greenlake branch to pick it up.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    Anyone who is interested in publishing a children’s book can save themselves a lot of trouble by doing their homework; this book is a comprehensive, invaluable place to start. Underdown generously provides some of this information and other advice for free on his website, The Purple Crayon (www.underdown.org), for anyone who wants a preview of what this book includes and more. He covers the entire process of writing and illustrating for children, from “Where to Begin”, through submitting and pub Anyone who is interested in publishing a children’s book can save themselves a lot of trouble by doing their homework; this book is a comprehensive, invaluable place to start. Underdown generously provides some of this information and other advice for free on his website, The Purple Crayon (www.underdown.org), for anyone who wants a preview of what this book includes and more. He covers the entire process of writing and illustrating for children, from “Where to Begin”, through submitting and publishing, and finally, “My Book Is Published! Now What?”

  12. 4 out of 5

    Haley Keller

    This book covers just about everything you could want to know about publishing children's books and also provides plenty of other resources if you want to learn more. It's clear that the author really knows what he's talking about as he's knows the industry well. If you're looking for a good book on the publishing side of writing children's books, I would highly recommend this book. http://hmweasley-blog.blogspot.com/20... This book covers just about everything you could want to know about publishing children's books and also provides plenty of other resources if you want to learn more. It's clear that the author really knows what he's talking about as he's knows the industry well. If you're looking for a good book on the publishing side of writing children's books, I would highly recommend this book. http://hmweasley-blog.blogspot.com/20...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sharron

    I think the 'idiot' book series are better than the 'dummies' books. Perhaps it's because I feel I'm more an idiot than a dummy. Truly, to me, they are easier to read and understand. I liked this publishing book. It gave good advice but I needed more. I think the 'idiot' book series are better than the 'dummies' books. Perhaps it's because I feel I'm more an idiot than a dummy. Truly, to me, they are easier to read and understand. I liked this publishing book. It gave good advice but I needed more.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This is more of a reference book that you keep referring to again and again. Not necessarily one to sit down and read all at once. That said, it is a must for children's writers to have on their shelves. This is more of a reference book that you keep referring to again and again. Not necessarily one to sit down and read all at once. That said, it is a must for children's writers to have on their shelves.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maren

    Eventhough I am only at the preliminary stages of the process, the book gave a great overview of what is to be expected in trying to get my writing published. It did a great job of getting me really excited about it, but still gave a realistic view of how difficult it may be.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sue (booknbeachbag)

    I'm not sure if, in March 2012, this book has the most up-to-date information regarding submissions, but it provided good solid steps to follow in order to transform a completed draft into a manuscript ready to be submitted - and beyond. I'm not sure if, in March 2012, this book has the most up-to-date information regarding submissions, but it provided good solid steps to follow in order to transform a completed draft into a manuscript ready to be submitted - and beyond.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Harold Underdown

    This is the current edition of my book! Since I can't write a review of my own book, I'll just direct you to this information page about it, with links to chapters of the book, a page of reviews, and other materials: http://www.underdown.org/cig.htm This is the current edition of my book! Since I can't write a review of my own book, I'll just direct you to this information page about it, with links to chapters of the book, a page of reviews, and other materials: http://www.underdown.org/cig.htm

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Haynes

    The first third of the book was somewhat useful. The rest is outdated.

  19. 4 out of 5

    أميرة

    حُلم

  20. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Bescher Jeffreys Perez

    Are you surprised?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Robin Martin

    THis is a must-read for anyone considering entering this field.

  22. 4 out of 5

    J.R. Wilson

    Full of wonderful advice and hints about the world of publishing. This book is for anyone (published or non-published)in the writing industry.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kim Briggs

    A must-have tool in the writer's toolbox. Deciding when your manuscript is ready to submit just became easier! A must-have tool in the writer's toolbox. Deciding when your manuscript is ready to submit just became easier!

  24. 4 out of 5

    D.L. Price

    For a new author coming into the publishing world, this is a great book to read! I have read it cover to cover; and now use as a reference guide. A must have on your publishing book list!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    It was such a helpful resource book, I purchased a copy of half.ebay.com.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kirsti Call

    I've started writing down some of the stories that I tell my kids. This book is very informative and readable. I've started writing down some of the stories that I tell my kids. This book is very informative and readable.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cortney Davis

    Such a helpful guide!!! I am going to buy this.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Class reading

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    The information is valuable. I learned none of this during my graduate work in Creative Writing. Of course, this is the only publishing handbook I've read, I've nothing to compare it to. The information is valuable. I learned none of this during my graduate work in Creative Writing. Of course, this is the only publishing handbook I've read, I've nothing to compare it to.

  30. 5 out of 5

    L.J. Boldyrev

    A must-have for any aspiring author serious about writing for children.

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