College Girl stealing mom's blog again to tell y'all about a book that, in exchange for this review, became my early birthday present. : ) As soon as I heard about it, I knew this was the book for me. Of course, I'm getting a little ahead of myself. I haven't even told you the title yet, have I? Whoops. Let me try this again. ;)
How to Write and Publish a Successful Children's Book: Everything You Needed to Know Explained Simply - sure, the title's a little long, but Cynthia Reeser has done most of the heavy lifting for any authors hoping to break into the young writer's market. As promised in the forward written by Lisa J. Michaels, an author and illustrator in her own right, ""Reeser has done your homework for you...[this] book gives back years that you otherwise would've spent researching, questioning, and floundering through the process..." Beginning with a history of children's books in the forward, the book delivers what it promises.
Reeser's book goes through the entire process, beginning with an explanation of the children's book market. From picture books to educational texts to juvenile fiction, it all has its own little subdivision, each with its own rules and dos and don'ts. Chapter 2,
which focuses on writing for children, walks the prospective author through the process of developing an idea. One recommended and easy exercise is to return to your own childhood and examine your own memories to help with story development or ideas. In addition to discussing the needs of a younger audience, sources are scattered throughout the book. From publishing houses to resource mailing lists to personal experiences re-told by other children's authors, the various sources give multiple starting points. Two appendices that include sample manuscripts, cover letters, and press releases as well as lists of organizations for writers and illustrators give this book
even more resources to assist the hopeful or already published author
at every stage of the game. There is even a chapter dedicated to e-publishing and another for self-publishing.
For all the information and spectacular resources in this book, How to Write and Publish a Successful Children's Book is, perhaps, most successful in its simple language and thorough explanations of each aspect of the process, from publishing to agents to authors that are their own illustrators. I didn't grow bored while reading it & loved the ease with which the information flowed, smoothly from one chapter to the next. Another big selling point, for me, was when I opened the front cover and saw the small paragraph dedicated to Bear, the rescue dog owned by a family at the publishing company. Having recently lost Bear, his owners decided that a portion of the profits from Reeser's book would go towards the Humane Society of the United States. As an animal lover myself, one who has owned a few rescue pets through the years, I loved seeing the dedication in the front of this book. It was the icing on the cake!
We wish to thank Cynthia Reeser, Atlantic Publishing and Meredith Wynn for sending this book on to us. As College Girl stated, this became her early birthday present. And was quite well received.