How do I get my picture books published?

I have written 2 picture books and my adult daughter has illustrated them for me. Does it help if I already give a teacher development workshop on using picture books in middle school classrooms? Where can I find a literary agent who will look at my work? Will it be helpful to have a mag article published first? I also have a short story that could be published in nearly any women or family magazines. How do I go about getting the story published, if that is what's necessary for my picture books to be looked at?

3 comments for “How do I get my picture books published?

  1. de bossy one
    July 25, 2006 at 4:17 am

    if you arent apublished author, get published in small newspapers, local mags or other small, low paying, sometimes only in copies, publications. purchase or find a copy in the library, of The Writer’s Guide. it lists almost all publishers, and provides the requirments for submission, fees paid, how often they publish, etc. each publisher is different, but good luck. if you’re lucky, you’ll get published fast, but don’t assume so as it is hard to break into the author field, especially for an unpublished author and illustrator.

  2. old lady
    July 25, 2006 at 4:21 am

    Whoa! Let’s go one step at a time. You have written two picture books and your daughter has illustrated them for you. That’s a bit of a problem. Some publishers like to have a house artist do the illustrations, to help achieve a certain ‘look’. Frustrating, I know. My daughter-in-law illustrated a couple of mine, and that’s what I ran into. Then you have the conundrum, do you submit the words only, without the pictures, and hurt your daughter’s feelings? Or do you do what you have to to get it published? In any case, you really need an agent to pitch it for you. Have you ever heard of Writers’ Digest? It lists publishers and agents and could prove a good starting point for you.
    It’s always helpful to have something published first, so you can provide a point of reference and show the agent or publisher that you aren’t a rank beginner. Magazine stories should be sent directly to the magazine you’re pitching. There is a list of magazines in Writers Digest as well, and each of the entries (there are THOUSANDS of them) tells exactly what they are looking for and what lengths they publish.
    Best of luck to you. It’s a hard market to crack, but stay with it!

  3. george_the_w_bush_president
    July 26, 2006 at 2:24 am

    Getting a literary agent to look at something is harded than getting a job interview. However, if you have write up’s in women’s or family magazines first it might be easier (especially if you have a promo copy to distribute to individuals interested in more than one copy, and you might even get a few sales if you have finished copies available).

    Have you considered self-publishing?

    You could check out a book about it cheaply at Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_i_0/103-8893298-6470200?ie=UTF8&keywords=publish&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Apublish%2Ci%3Astripbooks&page=1

    Here are some Self (vanity) publishers I found (in no particular order):

    http://www.oldmp.com/omp.htm

    http://www.instantpublisher.com/

    http://www.outskirtspress.com/publishinginformation.php

    http://www2.xlibris.com/

    Note, I have never published a book, so I don’t even know how this truely works in the end. I have stories and tales galore in my head but no time to entice them to paper, I do hope to do this some day.

    I do think you have thought this out very well, realizing the book may need you to promote it before you get far. Unfortunately, even with childrens books, celebrity status sells (even if they are from drunken potheads and whores (Jimmy Buffet and Madonna)), which is sad.

    I am far from a perfect example, but for parents to teach children I or the above may be someone to adore or idolize just because they are mom’s or dad’s favorite singer is wrong, and that is what buying their childrens books and reading them to them does. You sound more like someone whose books I would like to see my sisters reading to their kids.

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