From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

First Forays into Children's Book Publishing

My sister is an illustration major. And not just any illustration major. She is super, super talented. Seriously. She has a gift. I mean, look at that mouse.

So, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity here and asked her if she would be interested in working on some children's books together. She said yes, which makes me very excited. I've got some ideas floating around in my brain, and I'm gonna try and solidify them and let her do some illustrating while I keep working on The Novel, and that will be extra awesome because then I'll feel like I'm getting two things done at once.

Anyway, I'm wondering what the next steps would be after we get something put together. I've done research into regular publishing, and I'm wondering how different it is with kids picture books. I'll do some research into that, of course, but I'm wondering if my wise readers have any beginning advice for me, or recommendations of where to start.

Is it pretty much the same submit-to-agents process? Do we just submit the words and illustrations together, and is that the norm? Can I have an agent and publisher for children's publishers separate from my adult stuff and will there be issues with that?

Yeah. That's kind of what's going on right now. Advice or pointers in the right direction would be fabulous :)

Sarah Allen

p.s. My sister said if I posted this picture I had to include a disclaimer that the photo of it was low res and bad quality. Consider it disclaimed.


  1. Take this with a very large grain of salt, as I tend to skim over posts about picture books but I have a horrible feeling that editors prefer to match their own illustrators with a picture book. As I said though, I may well be wrong. I did a search to see if I could find the post, but as I can't even remember whose blog it was on it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.

    Hopefully, someone who knows more than me will come along.

    I love the picture :-)

  2. That picture is incredible. She is so talented! This sounds like a really exciting venture!!

  3. Don't know what to tell you about finding someone on children's books but I'm sure there's a plethora of info out there. I see plenty when I go to writer's conferences.

  4. I have heard the same thing about publishing houses that specialize in children books. They have their own stable of artists who are contracted out and all the copyright to their work is ironed out as well.

    Don't let that stop you, if scholastic likes the work and it takes off and you find a copy of the book in every school/public library in america, that's ~120,000 sales.

    Before I set about writing my sci-fi trilogy, I started on children books. I have 5 about a little boy named Stan the Man. I moved on because there just wasn't a children book market on Kindles and Nooks. Maybe one day when I am famous I can dust them off.

  5. It's true about traditional houses wanting to assign their own illustrators. A couple of great resources are SCBWI (Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and Children's Book Council. Good luck. Your sister's work is wonderful.

  6. From what I have heard they want their own illustrators to do the books. The exception is if it is the author or a close family member they might reconsider. Good luck with your book.

  7. This is one very, very cute mouse! Normally, the scuttlebutt is that editors want to choose their own artists for a mss, let's say, pairing up a debut author with a more well-known artist. That said, there ARE exceptions. If your sister's drawings are all as inspired as that, you may well convince some adventurous editor to take the chance. I'd submist the mss, and then submit a few illustrations along with.

  8. Ooo, it's gorgeous! What a fun collaboration to work with your sister. I'm jealous!

    Not sure how the children's publishing works, but I follow a great resource on Twitter @4kidlit (I think that's the handle!). You might want to check them out and read some of the blogs they retweet. Good luck!

  9. I love the picture too >:)
    BECAUSE I DID IT! Hahahaha

    f you like the mouse painting, check out my blog at


I absolutely love hearing from you! Thank you so, so much for your thoughts and comments, they really do make my day. Consider yourself awesome. Also, I do my best to respond to every comment within 24 hours, so I invite you to come back and continue the conversation :)

To have weekly posts delivered to your inbox, just sign up here!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...