Many of us have an idea for a kids’ book, but how many people actually put pen to paper and make it happen? If it’s a dream you have, there’s really no excuse putting this off. There are so many great resources and tools out there to help you on your way to publication – but it’s up to you to take that first step.
If you’re looking to sharpen your writing skills, try a short course. Utilise your teacher who will review your work and give helpful feedback. You’ll also find like-minded people who can act as sounding boards and editors of your work. Like-minded people are also great motivators, especially when they’re driven to finish their own books. You’ll find you’re more driven too.
If you’ve got a finished manuscript, pull it out of the bottom drawer and polish it up for submission. Published authors know that good writing is actually about rewriting. Before it leaves the house, make sure you’ve taken the necessary steps to edit and review your work. One of our top tips is to use the editor function in Microsoft Word, the simplest way to find anything you might consider changing. Another way is to ask a friend with an eye for detail to read your work, checking for flow, grammar and punctuation—even Andy Griffiths gets his wife, Jill, to examine and edit his work before it leaves his writing nook!
There are many wonderful stories about successful authors whose work was found in the “slush pile,” the big pile of submissions that publishers receive from authors. Due to tight resources, these titles might sit for months or years without getting any attention. The good thing is many people outside of the publishing team have an input about what gets published, and many different eyes get to see your work. Every publisher has a different submission process. Some accept submissions at any time, some invite submissions at particular times of the year, and some will only take submissions from literary agents.
So how do you choose which publisher is right for you? We recommend you look at different publishers’ websites and find the one that publishes works similar to yours. Make sure you follow the publisher’s submission instructions to the letter, or your submission may never get read.
Please read the above paragraph one more time! We cannot emphasize how important it is to submit your work properly. Fail to do this, and you won’t get read. So, if it says that the file size limit is 10MB then make sure your submission adheres to that. Some publishers accept hard copy submissions, and others are strictly digital.
Publishers do not have time to respond to every submission they get. They also don’t give feedback about unsuccessful manuscripts. Don’t take it personally, your work just might not align with what they’re looking for at the time. If you don’t hear from them after a few months, it’s safe to assume that you’re unsuccessful. If they like it, you’ll hear from them.
The good news: Puffin Kids Australia (a division of Penguin Random House Australia) is accepting submissions from 1 Nov to 30 Nov 2020. So get cracking!