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Any Authors out there have any advice for this aspiring children's author?

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about my life, and although I am 30, have 2 beautiful children and a loving husband, I feel like I have not accomplished anything! I do know that I love writing and making people laugh. ...Which has got me thinking about becoming a children's author. This isn't something I just thought about doing yesterday. I've always loved writing. People have often told me they love what I write and I should be a writer, but never thought about it until now .I thought about writing children's books because my sense of humour is pretty similar to that of a 5 yr old and I know what kids like. I would be the happiest I have been in a long time, if I could write a book or even a series if I'm lucky, and get published!
...I would really love to hear from anyone with good advice for me.

Where do I even start? Do I need a lot of money to get started? Any helpful websites etc. As you can see, I have ALOT to learn! :)

Answer Question

Asked by RubyBlue82 at 5:23 PM on Mar. 25, 2013 in Money & Work

Level 13 (1,121 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • You don't need any money to get started (well, aside from money to live on). I'm an indie author (meaning I self publish), but it costs me nothing. I sell on Amazon and Smashwords, and have paperbacks available on Amazon through CreateSpace.

    My best advice would be if it's something you really want, don't give up. Rejections from publishing houses, slow sales (sometimes even no sales), bad reviews - we all get them. You can't give up after the first one, or the second, or the fiftieth. You won't become a success overnight, or even on your first book necessarily. Maybe you'll never be famous, but if you get to the point where you can live on what you make, then that can be called success.

    Good luck!

    Answer by wendythewriter at 5:29 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • Are you wanting to be published through a publishing company or self publish? Self publishing is the easiest way to get published but it is also very costly. Some published authors even look down on self publishing. However, you need to do what is best for you. (However, stay away from Publish America). First thing I would do is sit down and list your ideas. Write everyday even if you don't plan on publishing or using that part. Cont...


    Answer by JeremysMom at 5:33 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • Next, buy the current edition of Children's Book Publishers. This will give you a list of what each publisher is looking for, if they are accepting submissions, and how to submit them. It also includes children's magazines as well which could be a good way to get your foot in the door. Also, consider joining They offer great advice for members and you can attend chapter meetings and other people will look over your work. Also, there is a few groups here on cafemom that are geared toward new and experienced authors.


    Answer by JeremysMom at 5:34 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • Self publishing is the easiest way to get published but it is also very costly.

    I have self published three books and about to publish my fourth, and have to spend a single dime beyond the cost of my domain name, and paying for my own paperback copies. It is not costly if you do it right.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 5:36 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • *have yet to spend

    Answer by wendythewriter at 5:39 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • Wendy, can you tell me how? I have looked at several options and each option was going to cost up at least $100 but most it was going to be about $500. Also, do you write children's books? I have found that writing chapter books or books without pictures/illustrations to cost much less than children's books.


    Answer by JeremysMom at 5:41 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • I use Amazon and Smashwords for ebooks - neither of which charge me to publish, and Smashwords then also distributes them to sites like Sony, B&N, etc. I use CreateSpace for my paperbacks, and they calculate the printing costs and then I'm given a minimum list price - I can set it for that (with no royalty) or any amount above that.

    They do have a children's book publishing area, which does charge, but it also looks like it may be an option to do it through the regular publishing.

    Also, even if you do go with one that requires you to pay, some are cheaper than others, and honestly, from those I've spoken to, it seems the cheaper ones are often better.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 5:50 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • There are not enough books geared towards the middle school student. Especially realistic fiction. The genre is wide open. This is a shout out for my DD because she can't find any books she likes to read. Very few non sci fi middle school books.

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 6:17 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • Try to find a writing group in your area if you're just starting. The feedback and ideas you'll get from other writers at different stages in the process will be invaluable. Local libraries often host writing groups, as do some places of worship, or you can check the community section of your local paper if you are in a small town. Then keep at it. I have a novel that I've had rejected many times over the years, but I haven't given up on it, and won't.

    Oh, and one other thing. Don't get sucked into those scams that charge you big fees to publish your books. The idea is for *you* to get paid. Self-publishing is another option, but only go that route if you have a way to distribute your finished copies or if you do print on demand, or you'll end up with a garage full of your books and no idea what to do with them.

    Answer by Ballad at 7:26 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • Thank you all for the great advice!!! I'm still kind of confused about self publishing. Does this mean I represent myself? What about editing? Do I do that myself too if I self publish? How much is it for an editor? Is it more expensive to write children's books because of the¬†illustrations? I want to do the illustrating myself. And finally, (but probably not last lol) what programs or templates do you prefer to write with? Word? Microsoft works? Its been a while since I've used any writing tools on my computer, so I have no idea about any of the new or updated ones....Oh, and as far as writing for middle school aged kids, I'm sticking with elementary aged for now since I have ideas already in my head of what I'm writing about. But, who knows? I will definitely keep it in mind :)

    Comment by RubyBlue82 (original poster) at 1:58 PM on Mar. 26, 2013

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