Finding a Publisher

Now, the tricky thing about having my book published, well one of the tricks, is finding a publisher. There are so many publishers just in the US!! However, for my stories, the list is narrowed to children's book publishers, fiction, and publishers who take manuscripts from writers without agents.

I've re-checked out a book from the library entitled "2011 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market," Alice Pope, Editor. It's a nearly overwhelming book full of information on book publishers, magazines, agents, conferences, workshops, contests, etc. It also has some information on what makes a good children's book. It's fabulously helpful. In the back are some happy indexes just waiting to be cross-referenced.

I will look in the Age-Level Index. Where does The Toilet Monster fit in? "Picture Books and Picture-Oriented Material are for preschoolers to 8-year-olds;Young Readers are for 5- to 8-year olds..." Is it a Young Reader or a Picture Book? There are about 140 publishers listed under each age group. I need to figure it out. Maybe reading a few publisher descriptions will help clear things up. So that will bring it from 280 to 140 publishers.

I will cross-reference the publishers of the age groups, to the subject index. Adventure? Animal? Fantasy? That should narrow it down more.

I will read the description of the publishers, and cross them off if an agent is needed. I'll make sure my story would be something they'd be interested in. Happy, sigh, another narrowed down list. With that list, I'll search what they've previously published. Do they have books that are in the style that I envision mine to be? Are they too conservative for a book that is set in the bathroom?

I'm sure I can find a publisher who would be thrilled to read my story. Aren't you excited?! You get to be here when I get the news of acceptance or rejection! What happens if my story is rejected, you ask? Well, I review any helpul information the publisher might send with the big, fat, no. Then I will send out my story to the next publisher on the list.

Oh, and what if the first publisher sends it back wanting to publish my story? I will say, 'thank you please send me the contract.' Don't worry, I'll read the fine print. (After I stop jumping around in my gleeful happy dance.)


  1. So, in the children's market, is it better to go straight to the publisher? Or find an agent first?

  2. Sorry Vince! I've neglected my blog, and neglected to answer promptly.
    I've read that you can go either way.

    The advantage to trying on your own is that you don't have to give up that 15% of your income to your agent.

    The advantage to having an agent is you can get a contract to get some income. Many publishers do not accept unsolicited material from authors...but there are some that do.

    Your qustion drove me to compare the pros and cons more closely for my stories. Thank you for asking. I have decided to send in my stories myself first. If I get a contract back, I'll take it to a lawyer who specializes in that sort of thing to make sure it's fair.

    Thanks again for your questions.