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Children's Picture Books: How to Self-Publish Your Way to Success! Paperback – April 1, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Shari Faden Donahue is the author of Celebrate Hanukkah with Me, My Favorite Family Haggadah, Philly's Favorites Recipe Collection, and The Zebra-Striped Whale with the Polka-Dot Tail. She is a member of the Children's Book Council and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and the founder of the Zebra-Striped Whale Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks to enrich communities through the art of children's book publishing. She lives in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Arimax, Inc (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963428756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963428752
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #365,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Blaine Greenfield on April 24, 2009
You must read Shari Faden Donahue's CHILDREN'S PICTURE
if you've ever considered writing and/or illustrating such books . . . me
thinks that even published authors in this field will pick up
valuable tips, too.

It is a comprehensive insider's handbook that contains information
on writing, illustration, design, printing, sales, distribution and

One of the things I liked most about it was that it did not talk
down to the potential author . . . that is the feeling I get
when reading some "Idiot's Guides" on various subjects . . . Donahue,
instead, makes you feel like you are her partner in the process . . . and
she even tells you, "Sure, it's simple, writing for kids . . . just as simple
as bringing them up."

Yet don't let that discourage you . . . she goes on to tell you exactly
what you need to every step along the way . . . in doing so, she
includes both informative examples and colorful illustrations from
one of the other books she has authored: THE ZEBRA-STRIPED WHALE
WITH THE POLKA-DOT TAIL (one of my favorite children's books, by
the way).

You know that Donahue knows what she is talking about because
she has been there . . . so when she says something, you
should make a mental note to do it--such as when she advises
how to minimize your errors:

* According to Brent Sampson, author of Publishing Gems,
Insider Information for the Self-Publishing Writer, a writer
benefits from reading his/her manuscript aloud--as well as
backward--to find errors. He states, "When you read a manuscript
backward, word for word, misspellings literally jump off the page.
Read more ›
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I got this book to learn more about self publishing in general and about self publishing a children's book more specifically. I found the information very helpful and accessible, even with the legal issues and jargon. It has helped me to make better decisions and plans for my book and I will need to keep it handy as I get further along in my project.

I highly recommend this book if you are planning to self publish, whether it is a children's book or not.
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Children's books are a substantial part of the publishing industry and children's picture books are a substantial part of children's books publishing. That's why the 'marketplace competition' for a children's picture book is so intense -- whether it's the joint collaboration of an author and an artist, or whether the author is also the artist. Often the only viable alternative for a picture book project is that of self-publishing. That's where Shari Faden Donahue's "Children's Picture Books: How to Self-Publish Your Way To Success" should be considered essential reading for anyone aspiring to become an author and/or illustrator of children's picture books. As a veteran picture book author, illustrator and publisher, Donahue draws upon her years of experience and expertise to provide a wealth of practical, 'user friendly' information, commentary and instruction on all aspects of self-publishing a picture book including the writing, illustration, design, printing, sales, distribution, promotion and publicity aspects of the process. In the interest of full disclosure it should be noted that the Midwest Book Review and its editor-in-chief James Cox are cited four times in the text. Providing 344-pages of solid information that carefully and succinctly walks the reader through every phase of the publishing process, "Children's Picture Books" is complete course of instruction under one cover and is enhanced with up-to-date information that includes publishing industry vendors, thematically appropriate websites, organizations, conferences and workshops, a self-publisher's glossary, a reading list, and direct contact information for more than fifty children's picture book reviewers (including the Midwest Book Review!). Of special note are the chapters dealing with marketing.Read more ›
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Well, maybe gold at prices a few decades back. I'm publishing my first children's picture book and did extensive research and reading to find the right book to address the multitude of questions that pop up during this arduous process. Ms. Donahue's book is thorough, well-researched, well-laid out and an overall invaluable reference source. You can cross-reference everyone's opinion online or search until you're blue in the face for an answer to a simple question, but I always find myself coming back to to her book and finding the correct answer right there in print. My illustrator and I are about to send the final artwork to press (at Worzalla), and I would not have progressed anywhere near where I am now without this book. So glad I found it.

A general note that can be of concern in this ever-changing industry: Ms. Donahue's advice is still accurate and applicable in almost all of the cases I found. However, a couple website links here and there can use some updating.

Ms. Donahue covers it all including:

Copyright page requirements
EAN, PCN, ISBN numbers
Distribution and all the options on the table
Awards & Organizations
Very educational glossary and resource appendixes

If you're self-publishing a children's book of any sort, this is a must have.
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