Unfortunately, it isn't online
When I want information on children's book publishers - or anything else for that matter - I'm like any other competent web surfer. I fully believe in my ability to find it online. For free.
So as I prepared to write this page, armed with my favorite search engine, I searched for that supersite that had all the right information in one place.
A complete list of children's book publishers.
You know what?
I didn't come close. I was finding tiny portions of the information I wanted. But I did notice one thing...
Practically all of the sites I was visiting were recommending the same reference book.
sure, some of them recommended a few different books. But always,
tucked among those books, was one book. Again and again. Usually at the
top of the list.
If this isn't the first site you've visited, I'm sure you've seen it too:
So I went to the library
You see, this book is like an old friend of mine. Or the younger sibling of an old friend. Back at the beginning of my writing career, I spent a lot of time paging through my well-worn editions of Writer's Market and Novel & Short Story Writer's Market.
These were the bibles of what I was trying to do, just like Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market is the bible for finding children's book publishers. Trying to forge a writing career without these things would have been like trying to play golf with a spatula.
Sure, it's a challenge. But don't expect to make the cut.
Being a cheapskate, I sometimes tried to get by with library copies. But these were such sought after books that you could never find the current edition at the library. You usually had to go a few years back.
And having to return the thing after I'd run out of renewals pretty much provoked a life crisis.
Sure enough, yesterday, the most current edition I could find of the Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market was a three years old edition.
So I grabbed it
And I looked through it. And then I got a warm nostalgic feeling.
These books haven't changed, other than to keep the information current. And talk about information! The edition I'm looking at has 750 listings for kids' book publishers, agents, and magazines.
Try to find that on the web.
And there's so much more. Listings of contests. Theatres and producers that put on children's plays.
This book will open your mind to the world of
writing possibilities that is open to you!
And the articles
Interspersed throughout the book are always great articles (and interviews), telling you lots of stuff you didn't know before, all geared toward promoting your career. And each year, the articles are new.
The other thing I noticed, the thing that makes these books even better than they were 15 and 20 years ago, when I was relying on them, is this:
They list the web addresses for most of these children's book publishers.
That's huge! You know why? Because now you can use those sites, in most cases, to get the detailed writer's guidelines from each publisher that you used to have to go through the dreaded SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) process for.
First class postage out. Wait 6 weeks. First class postage back.
Now there IS the possibility...
...that you're not ready to start hawking your book to publishers. Maybe your confidence in the quality of your work isn't total.
(And if that's the case, that's a good thing. Long term, nobody succeeds in the writing biz if they can't look at their own work critically.)
If where you are is trying to figure out if your manuscript is ready, I urge you to check out my Am I ready to publish? page.
But if you're ready...
...then now is the time to buy your current edition of Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market. Because heck, the INDEX is worth buying the book for.
Seriously. Children's book publishers broken out by age and reading level. By 19 different fiction subjects and 24 different non-fiction subjects.
In other words, this book doesn't just list children's book publishers, it helps you find the specific children's book publishers that are right for your book.
Now you can kid yourself that I just didn't know where to look for the best free info on children's book publishers, and you can keep surfing. But take a second to do the math.
exactly are you going to find the website whose part-time owner has the
time and desire to collect - for free - the information that a
full-time editor and assistant editor backed by the resources of Writer's Digest puts together on a yearly basis?
Bite the bullet. Buy the best list of children's book publishers out there.
The main children's books publishing page.
Best Children's Books - Find, Read or Write home page.