agents · covering letter · Submissions · synopsis · unsolicited manuscripts · writing resources

How to submit a children’s book

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.

  1. Finish the book.
  2. Edit, re-edit, re-draft, polish and shine to a glittering finish.
  3. Prepare the submission package: covering email, synopsis and first three chapters.  All should be typed, page numbered and double spaced.
    Covering 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!
  4. Research your publishers.  Check out my list.  Make a shortlist of publishers producing books like yours and note down the requirements of each.  Most are now email only.  Some may want the submissions package as one document or embedded in the email.  It’s crucial to get it right.
  5. Email your submission, follow the instructions on your publisher’s submissions page to the letter.  If you are submitting to other publishers at the same time, let them know.
  6. Start work on your next book, if you haven’t already.  You may be waiting many months for a response.
  7. If you get a rejection, take note of any feedback but don’t expect any.  Look on the rejection as an opportunity – it’s another rung on the ladder of success!
  8. 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.