Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

How to get your children's book published

HOW TO GET YOUR CHILDRENS BOOK PUBLISHED.jpg

Want to turn your vivid imagination into a children’s book? Creator of Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer explains how to make the bestseller list.

1. The idea

Don’t make the common mistake of looking at what’s popular in a bookshop and then trying to combine two already well-known books. The market changes constantly. Instead take notes of anything you see or think of, you’ll be amazed how your subconscious shapes them over time.

2. Find your reader

Think about who your book is for. Picture the children you know who you think would read your book. Then tell the story to that child – just avoid those who have an emotional link to you as they may be too scared to give you their honest opinion.

3. Getting started

A plan of your book will keep you on track. Knowing what’s going to happen at the beginning, middle and end of your book is essential. And remember your plan is not a finished product – you will keep adding and changing to it.

4. Create characters children love

Plan the characters, give them a back story – where were they born, what’s their favourite colour? You may not get all this on the page but it will help you write. Don’t tell the reader what the character is like, show them through the way they behave. I find creating a mood board can really help.

5. The writing process

Have a routine. I work a 9-5 day, but if you work full-time, steal an hour before or after work. Even if you're not feeling creative, always stick to your plan.

6. Starting your book

Open on something surprising that grabs the readers’ attention and intrigues them enough to want to continue reading. Remember those first few pages are what will also grab an agent’s attention.

7. Seek advice

You may want constructive advice as you write. Ask an objective friend, a local journalist or a teacher from a nearby writing school.

8. Getting an agent

See britishbookstoday.com for a list of suitable agents then submit 50 pages of your book plus a detailed plot summary. Never rush the summary; it needs to be as well written as the book. Include a short letter about yourself, and a cover sheet with the title and your name.

9. The final touches

Once you’ve got an agent, finish the book. Never submit your first draft. Instead, put it down and come back to it. You’ll be amazed at how much needs changing.

Eoin Colfer’s new adult book Plugged (£12.99, Headline) is out now

Related

famous-five.jpg

The 50 best children's books

Childrens-books.jpg

The books we never outgrow

Hero.jpg

Improve your knowledge

More

Practical Magic is FINALLY getting the prequel of your dreams

Flip the switch and let the cauldron bubble…

by Kayleigh Dray
14 Sep 2017

The Moomins are coming back to TV and the cast is incredible

Ready your Little My topknots

by Amy Swales
12 Sep 2017

Your £10 note is worth a LOT of money if it features this tiny detail

Oh Jane Austen, you’re spoiling us…

by Kayleigh Dray
12 Sep 2017

The Fifty Shades Freed trailer has arrived – and it’s pretty dark

Mrs Grey will see you now

by Amy Swales
11 Sep 2017

10 brilliant books to curl up with this September

From gripping crime fiction to beautiful poetry

by Sarah Shaffi
01 Sep 2017

Puberty guide causes fury with “problematic” explanation of breasts

The book said girls have breasts to make them look “grown-up and attractive”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
30 Aug 2017

The 5 biggest plot holes in Harry Potter, as exposed by fans

Accio problematic plot points!

by Susan Devaney
30 Aug 2017

50 unmissable books to kickstart your autumn reading

Your first look at the essential titles for autumn 2017

by Francesca Brown
25 Aug 2017

The 10 must-read books for anyone with siblings

There's often nothing more page-turning than the secrets between siblings

by Stylist
23 Aug 2017

St. Vincent is giving this iconic novel a feminist film makeover

The musician is giving an Oscar Wilde project a major twist

by Amy Swales
17 Aug 2017