Monday, April 14, 2008

Hot Tips for Children's Writers

Do you enjoy writing for a topic or a theme? I found tons of valuable writing tips and information on Liano Mahoney’s website. Surf on over there. In particular I have listed some tidbits to think about that Liano Mahoney listed on her site. Check out the other 9 tidbits by clicking here. There's more: click on this link to a doc file containing an up-to-date theme list for some children’s magazines. Of course you should check out the submission guidelines for any magazine you are interested in.

Perseverance is the ultimate key to publication.

In your quest to getting published, try to remember that children's book publishing is a business. Like all other businesses, it boils down to numbers. Here are some numbers that all children's writers should consider*:

10% = the portion of the American population who believes that they have a "book in them" that they would like to write some day

5,000 = the approximate number of picture books published in a year

1,001 > the number of words that most publishing houses don't expect and don't want in a picture book manuscript

$50,000 = the approximate amount that a publishing house has to invest in the making and distribution of a picture book, including artwork, royalties, printing, marketing, etc.

The number of manuscripts in the average slush pile that are truly publishable: less than 5%

12 = the number of rejections JKRowling received for the first Harry Potter book before it was finally accepted

*DISCLAIMER: Please note that all of these stats have been posted for motivational purposes only. They have not been fact-checked. In other words, consider their implications, but please don't quote them as gospel.

Write it down,



  1. It is discouraging - if you only look at the numbers.

    But one must remember that books do get published. And if the author keeps learning how to write, how to craft a good tale, and keeps submitting her/his manuscript(s) eventually there will be an acceptance.

    The hardest part of this whole thing is the belief in yourself and your story. Keep those positive and you'll succeed too.

    Gayle McCain

  2. Hi Carma...great post...I'll be sure to check out Liano's website.


  3. Gayle, it is true about numbers but we need to look at them with a different perspective in order to get over our gut reaction. Also these numbers don't show the other side and they only show one segment of the publishing world. They don't include ebooks and self publishing.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Hi Donna,
    Liano's website is full of good stuff.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  5. The numbers can be discouraging...or they can become the ultimate challenge. It's true--perseverance is the key...and being a good writer helps too. :-)