Friday, May 13, 2011

I Wrote a Book, Now What? (#2) --Market Research

I did post #1 in I Wrote a Book, Now What? about critiques and revising. But, if you're looking to get published there's a lot more to it than that. You've got to learn about the market, what it wants, and how to approach it.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books 3th (third) edition Text OnlyThere are some really good books on writing for children (and writing in general) and reading a stack or two of them will open your eyes to a lot of things. If you aren't sure where to get started I recommend The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books by Harold Underdown. He's really knowledgeable about the children's publishing industry and his book covers all the basics. Harold's website is a great place to learn too.

And I would definitely recommend you join Verla Kay's Blue Board. It's a great place to learn, keep up to date, and "hang out" with writers.

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators offers lots of opportunities for learning about writing and the market. They have conferences and a monthly magazine plus lots on online info on how to go about all sorts of things that children's writers need to know. You can find them at

Get educated on what the market is publishing by reading tons of newer books in the genre you are writing. Learn how to approach the market (Harold Underdown's book covers this nicely.) Learn the standard way to format a manuscript (Cynthea Liu's site will show you how.) Little steps like these will help you make a good presentation when you're ready to submit a manuscript.

Okay, so maybe all of this talk of research sounds dry. Lucky for us children's book writers, research is fun! For my research today I read a bunch of TumbleBooks at my library's website. I could do that type of research all day!


  1. Good suggestions. Harold Underdown's Idiot's Guide was the very first thing I read when I started writing for kids back in 2001. It gave me all the info I needed to begin submitting.

  2. Yes, research can be fun. I love that reading and even watching shows for our target age groups is considered research. You can't beat that.

  3. Thanks Corey. Harold's book is so great. I've read so many books on writing for kids but his really covers it all.

    I love that too Kelly! It doesn't feel like work at all!

  4. I didn't know there was a Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books.

    I'll check out your links. I also learn a lot via blog reading and during Twitter chats when industry people, as well as writers of all stages, tweet.

  5. I learn a lot through blogs and Twitter as well. There will definitely be a post about that in this series!