Tag Archives: children’s book

Great News for Debut Authors

Elise Parsley went from query to book deal in 72 hours.

Her work is a picture book called If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t! Little, Brown made a preemptive offer (meaning one that was intended to eliminate other bids and a potential bidding war).

The story sparks with creativity and chaos. In juvenile publishing as in other forms of fiction, that creative spark is critical! And yes, quality still sells!


Publishing Trends: Middle Grade

More great news in publishing. Amulet paid a seven-figure deal for a new middle grade series. The four-book deal is for The Terrible Two, which follows two pranksters.

Middle grade books are alive and well. In fact, some chatter has been overheard lately about adults purchasing these books for their own reading pleasures. They’ve been doing that for YA titles for some years now. Although the numbers likely aren’t the same for middle grade, the fact that some folks are admitting to reading the books rather than only buying them for their kids proves that the story counts.

Book Publisher Info

Ripple Grove Press is a new children’s picture book publisher. Authors should submit a cover letter with the story summary, age range for audience, brief bio, contact info (all the information in a submissions packet), and a PDF of the manuscript. 

Book Agent Info

Chelsea Lindman of Sanford Greenberger Associates looks for playful literary fiction, upmarket crime fiction, and forward thinking or boundary-pushing nonfiction. Also reps a select list of children’s book authors whose stories have an emphasis on voice-driven narratives.

Book Publisher Info

Counting over 13 million books sold, Free Spirit is the leading publisher of self-help books for children and teen readers, parents and educators. The press has 300 titles in print to fulfill its mission of providing youth with the tools they need to achieve success.

Book Publisher Info

Ripple Grove Press is looking for picture-driven stories for children aged 2-6. No early readers, middle grade, or YA manuscripts. No religious or holiday themed stories. Desires unique, sweet, funny, touching, offbeat, colorful, charming, different, creative ideas.

Book Agent Info

Maria Vicente of P.S. Literary is looking for literary and commercial fiction, new adult, YA, middle grade and picture books. She also accepts nonfiction in pop culture, pop psychology, design, and lifestyle. She has a particular interest in magical realism, fiction with visual components, and nonfiction inspired by online culture.

Opportunity for Juvenile and YA Authors

The Best American Nonrequired Reading contest finds stories appropriate for young readers that aren’t going to make any required reading lists in school. Selected by a handful of high school students, the collection is published by Houghton-Mifflin. Contact the committee at nonrequired@gmail.com. They read every week, and they read every piece sent in.

The 80/20 Sales Rule for Authors

It’s long been known in business that 20% of your existing customers generate 80% of your sales. The same can be said of book fans. When someone reads a novel or nonfiction title they enjoy, they will actively seek out additional works by the same author. Keep these tips in mind as you reach out to your fan base.

–Keep in contact through social media or your email lists. Let people know what you’re working on as well as opportunities to find older titles you might not be actively marketing.

–Serve your fans. Why are people reading your novels: for entertainment, for a deeper social message? Is your nonfiction a vehicle for inspiration or concrete tips? Be sure to address these components with every outreach.

–Reward return readers. Find a way to say thank you to fans who keep coming back. Offer to provide free ebooks to anyone who sends in a receipt for a particular printed title. Host a lunchtime Skype session where you chat with readers about their burning questions about your upcoming book.

Keep these ideas in mind and you’ll build loyalty to you, the brand behind your books.


Can Unknown Authors Capture the Attention of Literary Agents?

The answer is yes. Yes! YES!

Just last week a client of mine asked me to rewrite the query letter he had created for a juvenile manuscript. I had ghostwritten the story so was intimately familiar with the project and its potential impact on young readers today.

He sent out the new version of the query letter and received a request for sample chapters in less than 24 hours.

This author has never won any awards. He does not have other publications to his credit either for this age group or for any other, including adults. He doesn’t even work fulltime in anything remotely related to books, publishing or the media.

And yet he has what agents want: a strong story with current topical appeal that fills a void in the market.

If that describes your project, send out your query today! If you’re having trouble seeing how your project is unique in today’s market, please let me help.

Book Agent Info

Fiona Kenshole of Transatlantic is looking for all juvenile categories from picture book to YA. In middle grade and chapter books, humor or real children in magical circumstances and animal stories hit the spot. She also accepts literary and commercial fiction and chick lit.

Audio Books

Just connected with a woman who does voiceovers for audio books. She specializes in children’s books but has samples up from a variety of categories. Link here and call or email Becky to see how she can help you.