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The Business of Writing for Children: An Award-Winning Author's Tips on Writing Children's Books and Publishing Them, or How to Write, Publish, and Promote a Book for Kids Paperback – 1 Mar 2000

3.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 116 pages
  • Publisher: Shepard Publications (1 Mar. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0938497111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0938497110
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


ABOUT THIS BOOK

Let me begin with a word of caution. If you're thinking of taking up children's writing as a lark or as an easy way to make money, my advice is: Forget it.

True, there are always those beginning writers who will whip out a children's story, sell it to a publisher on the first try, and wind up with a successful book. But for most of us, entering the profession takes years of practice, self-education, and not a little frustration. And there's more of that after we're published.

But if you're serious about writing for children, this book should significantly speed and simplify your professional development. Though not at all meant to be comprehensive, it lays out the basics, points you toward additional resources, and most importantly, provides tips and strategies not commonly found elsewhere. Along with that, it offers detailed looks at some of my own specialties and gives notice of changes being brought by new technologies.

The material comes from several sources. Most of the Introduction, Part 1, and the Appendix is based on handouts created for my former classes and workshops on writing for children. Part 2 consists of articles first written for the SCBWI Bulletin and Once Upon A Time. All materials have been updated as needed.

Reflecting my own expertise, the focus here is on writing picture book stories and selling them to major publishers. Much of the information, though, will apply to other areas of children's writing as well.

I hope this guide will help in your professional and/or personal growth. Good luck, and don't forget to have fun!

Aaron Shepard


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a "would-be / want to be" children's writer, I found this book a vault of golden nuggets!
It really does deal with everything from where to start to getting published. From basics to building your career, it covers handy hits and tips for writing your book, presenting and submitting manuscripts, dos and dont's and what to avoid when writing children's books.
Moving on from the creative part, Aaron then goes on to give guidance on publishers and agents, contracts, promotion, pitfalls, what to expect and how far, as a new author, you can negotiate.
Throughout Aaron clarifies meanings of different writing terms, which is very useful to the novice. Using his own material, he provides examples of manuscripts, theatre scripts, promotional aids and flyers. I was particularly impressed with the picture book query method he used to find a publisher for several of his books.
There are a few American market referrals, but not enough to make it irrelevant to the British market. What is particularly useful is the further reading guides at the back of the book.
Favourable quoted reviews from other children's authors, publishers and editors, gives the impression this is a very accurate look at the vocation of writing for children. I loved this book so much I read it in a day! Clearly written and easy to understand it is my little bible that I carry everywhere - I think my friends are already sick of me saying "Aaron Shepard says..."
As I have never been published, I don't know how relevant this book is for already successful writers, but I would say it is a must for beginners!
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Format: Paperback
After reading the other reviews for this book I couldn't wait to get hold of it and ordered it right away. But when I received it I was very disappointed with the contents. I was expecting a fantastic book filled with amazing information and unfortunately it isn't, in my opinion. For me, The Children's Writers' and Artists' Yearbook is by far a much better source containing the majority of information Mr Shepard has in his book, plus a hell of a lot more.

From my point of view Mr Shepard's book is written mainly for author's writing illustrated books,(I'm not) which I didn't pick up from the other reviews, and also promoting books that have been self published, a route I don't want to go down.

I find his advice of sending out manuscripts with a Post-it note stuck on the front instead of a covering letter mind-boggling!

This book has obviously been of help to others but unfortunately not to me.
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Format: Paperback
If you’re thinking of writing, selling and promoting a children’s book, The Business of Writing for Children is a title you’ll definitely want to add to your permanent reference shelf. In it you’ll find tips, useful information and resources on how to write children’s fiction, learning what editors want to see in a manuscript, how to submit your queries and promote your book. The book’s short length and concise, right-to-the-point approach make it an ideal first guide for beginners in the field.
Shepard begins by listing some “Dangerous Myths and Terrible Truths” about the business. Then he offers general guidelines on how to write for children, dealing with topics such as Theme, Plot, Story Structure, Characters, Setting, Style and Tone.
The different kinds of children’s books categories can be confusing and hard to distinguish from one another; Shepard describes each in a clear manner.
Everything from formatting and submitting your manuscript, to negotiating a contract, to understanding the publishing process, to building your career, to scripting your story can be found between these pages, and more. A separate section is given to other topics such as Rhythm and Writing and Researching Folk Tales.
Most helpful are the author’s sample flyers and queries, especially his ingenious way for sending one query for multiple titles, saving time and postage fees. Shepard also offers clever alternatives to sending queries by using Post-its. At the end of the book there’s an Appendix filled with useful resources.
Be aware this book will not teach you how to self publish a children’s book, but only how to sell your work to traditional publishers. However, this is a reference work valuable for anybody who wishes to understand the business of writing for children. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a "would-be / want to be" children's writer, I found this book a vault of golden nuggets!
It really does deal with everything from where to start to getting published. From basics to building your career, it covers handy hints and tips for writing your book, presenting and submitting manuscripts, dos and dont's and what to avoid when writing children's books.
Moving on from the creative part, Aaron then goes on to give guidance on publishers and agents, contracts, promotion, pitfalls, what to expect and how far, as a new author, you can negotiate.
Throughout Aaron clarifies meanings of different writing terms, which is very useful to the novice. Using his own material, he provides examples of manuscripts, theatre scripts, promotional aids and flyers. I was particularly impressed with the picture book query method he used to find a publisher for several of his books.
There are a few American market referrals, but not enough to make it irrelevant to the British market. What is particularly useful is the further reading guides at the back of the book.
Favourable quoted reviews from other children's authors, publishers and editors, gives the impression this is a very accurate look at the vocation of writing for children. I loved this book so much I read it in a day! Clearly written and easy to understand it is my little bible that I carry everywhere - I think my friends are already sick of me saying "Aaron Shepard says..."
As I have never been published, I don't know how relevant this book is for already successful writers, but I would say it is a must for beginners!
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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