If you’ve just finished writing a children’s book and are ready to get it out into the big wide world, this post is for you. I’m a serial submitter, and these are my steps to getting your manuscript seen.
- Finish the book.
- Edit, re-edit, re-draft, polish and shine to a glittering finish.
- Prepare the submission package: covering letter/email, synopsis and first three chapters. All should be typed, page numbered and double spaced.
Covering letter/email: a short introduction to the book and yourself. Half a page will be fine.
Synopsis: a one page (max) summary of your plot, present tense, third person.
Chapters: have you got a killer first page/first paragraph/first line? Can those three chapters impress on their own? If not, carry on polishing!
- Research your publishers. Check out my list. Make a shortlist of publishers producing books like yours and note down the requirements of each. Some may prefer post. Some may want the submissions package as one document or embedded in the email. It’s crucial to get it right.
- Post or email your submission, follow the instructions on your publisher’s submissions page to the letter.
- Start work on your next book, if you haven’t already.
- Forget about the first submission. Okay, just try to.
- Wait three months (or longer if the publisher has specified a longer waiting time). Submit to the next name on your list, remembering to re-jig your package (oo-er missus) accordingly.
- If you get a rejection, take note of any feedback but don’t expect any. Look on the rejection as an opportunity. Now you get to submit to the next publisher on your list!
- Stay positive and keep working on your next book. Good luck.
As an alternative to approaching publishers directly, you can submit to a literary agent who, if they take you on, will manage the submissions side for you and are able to deal with publishers who won’t take on unagented authors. The process of submitting to agents is similar to the above, and there is a list of UK agents here.