Frequently Asked Questions About Books, Publishing and Illustration.
Below are some great links containing information on what is involved in making a book.
How do I get into the children’s book publishing industry?
The most general question I am asked is How do I get into the children’s book publishing industry?
Although this is a logical place to start, the question doesn't have a single sentence response. Attempting to enter the world of publishing is done through multiple avenues such as reading online resources, attending conferences, attending workshops and connecting with a community, whether online or in person.
Understanding how a book is made will also be helpful information to know.
Here are some great links to get started on creating a book and entering the publishing industry.
How to create a children’s book
How a book is made
Here are some good communities to get connected with
Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA)
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Australian Society of Authors
Online Children’s Book Community
Here are some great conferences to attend
SCBWI Conference (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators)
CBCA National Conference
Great books to read
Writing Picture Books Revised and Expanded Edition: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication Paperback
by Ann Whitford Paul
CHILDREN'S WRITER'S NOTEBOOK
Illustrating Children's Books
Picture This 25th Anniversary Edition: How Pictures Work
How do I retain copyright of my work?
You should have full copyright over all artwork (intellectual property) from the moment you create it (in Australia). Putting the Copyright© symbol on your work will remind people of this.
Copyright of your work is automatically assigned once you create something in Australia.
This is subject to change if you sign a contact that says anything to the contrary.
Or read the Copyright Act 1968 here -
Should I self publish my book?
Self-publishing can be a great way to start. It allows you to not only promote your book, but yourself as an artist and to work out if making books is something you really want to do.
Self publishing is a little expensive. You have to think of printing costs, buying an ISBN, buying a bar code and distribution.
Ways to finance the project could be through crowd funding or having people pre order the book before printing.
When you get the book printed, if you can, I would suggest finding a local printer you can visit. You have more control over the colours this way and you can see a proof of your product before committing to the print run.
The very best thing you can do to make your work look professional is hire a book designer.
Promoting after printing
If you do get the book printed and ready for sale the next step I would recommend is to start promoting it online.
Start to sell through social media, website or an online store (all three is probably best).
Then contact your local bookstores, school libraries and even preschools (anywhere you can think of really). Some will buy and some you could give a copy to.
Doing all this should give your book a good launching pad to approach publishers and talk about how the book has already been received.
How do you submit work to a publishing house?
Every publishing house has a different procedure for submitting work. So the best way to know is to read the instructions on the company’s website.
All publishing houses operate differently and all have a very certain criteria of how they would like work submitted to them. Some will look at your proposed publication just how it is and some will just want to see a portfolio. Some companies will only take digital submissions and others will only take printed copies. Some are not even open to the public. So research is very important.
Research the style of books that publishing houses create and their target market.
Download their exact criteria for submitting work.
Work out your books intended target market and age group before submitting.
Compare your product to other current books that are already on the market.