I'm excited about this
Parents are surfing this site. Now you, the aspiring picture book writer, can show them what you've got!
Are you on the wrong page?
If you arrived here more interested in finding children's books than in children's book publishing, please visit our Home Page.
Here's the plan. We're now accepting submissions of pictureless picture books for temporary postings on this site.
(As you know if you've been to our Publish Children's Books page, there's a method behind this madness.)
If your text is accepted, we will publish your children's book online - for a limited time - by devoting an entire page to it. (Also, you can at any time ask that it be removed.)
We are doing so for free.
Your web-published children's picture book will be linked to and promoted via a page on the readers' portion of this site offering free children's books.
Parents will be encouraged to read your pictureless picture book and then copy it into a word processing program if they like it enough to want to share it with their child. They will be encouraged to print it out and read it to their child, letting their child illustrate it.
Most importantly, they will also be encouraged to offer you feedback on your children's picture book via a form on your page.
What we hope you get from this
Objective feedback is the most valuable commodity for a children's book writer - for any writer, actually. Before approaching a children's book publisher, you'll want to know you've made your book the best it can be.
Feedback from family and friends can be nice, but it can also be misleading. If you dream of perfect strangers someday buying your picture book, then perfect strangers are who you should want feedback from.
Fortunately the web is rather full of perfect strangers, and a bunch of them come to this site, looking for quality free children's books!
Firstly because this is a rather low-tech site. Secondly, because pictureless children's books are an end in themselves.
Parents don't look for free online children's books expecting them to last forever. No, they're trying to locate new reading material for their children right now. A pictureless picture book that a child can illustrate provides reading and an activity.
It's unrealistic to think that we could charge for an online children's book - without binding, without pictures - by a beginning writer.
Think of this instead as market research. If no one wants your free picture book, think how unlikely it is that children's book publishers would be willing to pay for it! Instead of cash, we're going to try to get you some feedback - good AND bad.
So let's get to it!
I'm very excited to be publishing children's books online. If you have a story ready, the instructions for submitting it appear below. On the other hand, if you haven't yet written the picture book you hope to publish, then check out our How To Write A Children's Picture Book page.
Submitting Your Book For Temporary Online Publication By Us
These instructions pertain to the form below.
1) Save your picture book story to a text (.txt) file. Remove all formatting and images, html and otherwise. Tell your story without pictures, bolds and underlines.
2) Remove all indents as well. Paragraphs should be defined by a double return (blank line between paragraphs). Page breaks should be defined by a quadruple return (3 blank lines between paragraphs).
Our format allows for stories approximately 5000-6500 characters long (including spaces). If your picture book text fits in the appropriate space in the submission form, you're good. If it doesn't, you're not.
Be confident of your spelling and grammar. Unprofessional text will not be corrected and will likely cause your page to be rejected. Children's book publishers, of course, would be likely to act similarly.
We do not, as a policy, offer reasons for why your pictureless picture book was rejected.
Have you given thought to page breaks? You should! The most publishable picture books have one vivid setting per page. Each page suggests a different picture.
3) Fill in your particulars. We ask for these details because we don't want people violating copyright and getting away with it. We will not, however, publish your addresses to the web.
Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that no one will misappropriate your pictureless picture book once published.
4) Fill in your title. Give this some thought. Your title is a big part of what will cause people to click to your page or not. It's important to children's book publishers as well. Again, no formatting.
5) Fill in your bio. It must fit in the space provided. Include your first and last name.
6) Write and fill in a synopsis of your pictureless picture book. It must fit in the space provided. It should make people want to read your children's book.
The synopsis is huge! When you try to interest children's book agents or children's book publishers in your story, they will likely want to read a synopsis before reading your book. If they don't like the synopsis, chances are they won't even look at your picture book.
7) Fill in your copyright information. Our suggestion is to simply say, "Copyright (Fill In Your Name), 200_"
8) Copy and paste in your story text, the particulars of which are detailed in 1) and 2) above.
9) Press the "I accept the terms. Here's my submission" button. It means you agree to everything we've stated on this page. The terms will be spelled out again, and more succinctly, on the Thank You page that will appear after your submission.
That's it! We'll try to get back to you in short order about whether your submission was accepted or rejected.
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