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How to Write a Children's Book and Get It Published [Paperback]

Barbara Seuling
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 1, 2004 0471676195 978-0471676195 Third Edition
Your one-stop guide to writing and selling books for children

Get the tools you need to:
* Develop story ideas that work
* Strengthen your writing skills
* Improve your work habits
* Write for different age groups
* Look at your work critically
* Submit proposals and manuscripts
* Find the right publisher for your work
* Understand and negotiate contracts
* Work with agents and editors
* Join the writing community


Do you dream of becoming the next J. K. Rowling? Are you excited about writing for children but have no idea how to begin or where to send your material? Now, respected children's writer Barbara Seuling gives you the essential steps to getting published in the competitive, exciting world of children's literature.

From finding story ideas and creating character sketches to plotting, writing dialogue, editing, and revising your work, you'll learn how to complete a manuscript and prepare it for submission. Whether you want to write picture or chapter books, fiction or nonfiction, poetry or plays, Seuling helps you master the different genres and capture a child's interest and imagination, from the early years to young adult. Her fully revised guide also covers the major developments in book publishing, including vital information about using the Internet to research the market and contact publishers. Seuling even discusses recent successes such as the Harry Potter series, as well as the growth of Amazon.com.

Complete with updated lists of writing organizations, marketing information, and recommended reading, this is the only guide you need to start writing, get published, and touch the lives of children.

Frequently Bought Together

How to Write a Children's Book and Get It Published + 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 + Writing Children's Books For Dummies
Price for all three: $38.50

Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Your one-stop guide to writing and selling books for children

Get the tools you need to:

  • Develop story ideas that work
  • Strengthen your writing skills
  • Improve your work habits
  • Write for different age groups
  • Look at your work critically
  • Submit proposals and manuscripts
  • Find the right publisher for your work
  • Understand and negotiate contracts
  • Work with agents and editors
  • Join the writing community

Do you dream of becoming the next J. K. Rowling? Are you excited about writing for children but have no idea how to begin or where to send your material? Now, respected children's writer Barbara Seuling gives you the essential steps to getting published in the competitive, exciting world of children's literature.

From finding story ideas and creating character sketches to plotting, writing dialogue, editing, and revising your work, you'll learn how to complete a manuscript and prepare it for submission. Whether you want to write picture or chapter books, fiction or nonfiction, poetry or plays, Seuling helps you master the different genres and capture a child's interest and imagination, from the early years to young adult. Her fully revised guide also covers the major developments in book publishing, including vital information about using the Internet to research the market and contact publishers. Seuling even discusses recent successes such as the Harry Potter series, as well as the growth of Amazon.com.

Complete with updated lists of writing organizations, marketing information, and recommended reading, this is the only guide you need to start writing, get published, and touch the lives of children.

About the Author

BARBARA SEULING is the author and illustrator of more than sixty books for children, including the popular chapter book Oh No, It's Robert and its sequels, as well as picture books including Winter Lullaby, illustrated by Greg Newbold, and Whose House?, illustrated by Kay Chorao. She worked for nine years as a children's book editor for major publishing houses. Seuling is also the director of The Manuscript Workshop in Vermont.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; Third Edition edition (November 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471676195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471676195
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 97 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good resource December 31, 2001
Format:Hardcover
This book is divided into five parts. Each part is designed to help you in progressing towards the publishing of a book/play/poem/story for children. This is not a quick process. The key ingredient to this book being successful is that the book shows you what is involved.
In the first section of the book, Seuling discusses the world of children's books. This will give you an idea of the history of children's books and help you become familiar with the lingo.
In the second and third sections (Developing Your Ideas and Writing Your Book, respectively), she talks about some of the pitfalls (she calls sabotage) and talks about what is required for different kinds of books (for instance, what is needed for an Easy Reader versus a Chapter Book). To help you, the author includes the titles of books that best exemplify the kind of book she is discussing. Now, you can check out the book and see the example for yourself.
In the fourth and fifth sections (Selling Your Book and A Publisher in Your Future), she explains how the publishing field works. With this information in hand, you can make your submission more professional and increase your chances of getting a contract.
For each chapter in the book, she summarizes the key points and gives you "assignments" which will help you internalize the material and become an expert. The only problem with the assignments is that there is no right or wrong answer. You will need to assume that you are doing it correctly. If you follow the assignments, however, you will learn a lot.
Most importantly, Seuling has appendices that list a wealth of information on helping you become a successful writer for children. If nothing else, the book is worth it for those lists (things like marketing information, editorial services, references, and reviews of children's books). I would recommend this book for anyone thinking of writing for children.
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83 of 89 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A confusing book filled with conflicting advice October 21, 1997
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
It may not have been the author's explicit intent to discourage new authors form entering the field of children's literature but, it is certainly one of the likely effects that this book will have on its readers. Its hard to believe that this book which is filled with ambiguous and conflicting advice was written by a former editor. The author seems to be interested in showing off erudite sentence structure at the expense of clarity throughout the book. In addition her credibility is drawn into question has she frequently offers conflicting advice regarding format and lay out for submissions. Beyond problems of readability and consistency, the tone of the book is so discouraging that it seems to be the product of an embittered experienced professional out on a crusade to "fix" all of the errors hat she had to endure over the years. Also note that although the book was first published in 1984 and revised in 1991 all of the technical submission advice is geared towards a typewriter. This is to me further evidence of either the author's lack of attention to relevant information or, evidence of an antediluvian attitude. I recommend that you avoid this bitter and confusing advice manual.
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127 of 139 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The information in this book is out-of-date. July 30, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Even though this is the revised edition, I have been told by professionals in the children's book industry that the information I got from this book is out-of-date and incorrect.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Place to Start January 22, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Are you thinking that you MIGHT want to be a children's writer? Maybe you have a story that the family loves but are wondering what to do next. This book is a great place to start. Ms. Seuling gives step-by-step instructions for categorizing your work, editing, formatting the manuscript and deciding where to send it. Great references for related information in the back, too. This is not a perfect book for someone already on the way to being published, but it's a great little book for beginners.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars necessary information June 5, 2001
Format:Hardcover
How to Write a Children's book and get it published by Barbara Seuling is a very informative book for those who are just starting in the business of children's books--Although the book has a brief chapter on illustrating children's books, this section could have been expanded to be more useful to both those of us who are illustrators and those who write and illustrate their own books.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read March 24, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
After reading this concise and highly informative guide on how to break into the children's book market, I immediately sought online tutoring from this frank and knowledgeable author-editor in one of her AOL classes. In ten words or less: if you want to get published, first go to Barbara.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Barbara Seuling was my instructor when I took a two-year writing course in writing children's literature from The Institute of Children's Literature. Ms. Seuling is exceedingly knowledgeable, skillful, talented, and very practical about writing children's literature and getting it published. Also, she writes instructions that are very easy to understand. I highly recommend this book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enormously Informative March 20, 1998
Format:Hardcover
Recently I have read approximately five books on writing for children. I found Barbara Seulings book to be the best of the lot. She realistically portrays the difficulty in breaking into the children's market in the '90s, yet she encourages the reader and provides a wealth of helpful information to do just that. Barabara Seulings book is easily readable for a reference book and one that anyone interested in writing for children today should have in their personal library. Good job Ms. Seuling -
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars ok for used book
It wasn't in as good a condition as described but it will be ok. The bottom edges were very worn and lots of wear on corners of cover... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Hiking mom
5.0 out of 5 stars how to write a children's book
great book. informative and easy to read. I hope to benefit from it** tells me what I have to dio
Published 5 months ago by Rita Mannas
4.0 out of 5 stars Great intro
This is very informative and helpful. I did buy a couple more books on the topic though, it doesn't have a ton of information on publishing. Great intro book on the topic.
Published 7 months ago by Tricia Connor
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for someone with an idea to write a children's book.
I never thought I would ever want to write a book, let alone a children's book but out of a dream came an inspiration for me to do just that. Read more
Published 8 months ago by valerie a lally
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Bought this for my daughter. She loves it and is on her way to finishing her first children's book. She said this book helped her in writing her book and also getting it published.
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and informative
This is a great book that helps the writer make the connections to the publishing industry and provides the writer with a good foundation of what to expect if you choose to write a... Read more
Published 17 months ago by M. Boehringer
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Write a Children's Book and Get It Published [Paperback]
Entering into a new professional field offers excitement as well as challenges. The advice, knowledge, and direction offered by Barbara exceeded all expectations. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid Information
This book contains splendid and valuable information for someone new to the writing and publishing world. Read more
Published 20 months ago by mies
3.0 out of 5 stars Possibly passe
I was excited to receive this book when it arrived, but when I read through the chapters and previewed some of them, it seemed that perhaps this was an older edition - there didn't... Read more
Published on July 1, 2011 by V. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Seemed very thorough and informative
Clearly written with a lot of helpful details. Many references for furthering a writer's goal to get published. Read more
Published on April 8, 2011 by C.Warhammer
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