Advice on Writing a book from A to Z

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Post Tue, Mar 02 2021, 9:44 pm
I've had an idea for a young childrens book for many years now that I'd really like to finally write an get published.

I KNOW NOTHING about the process.
- I need an excellent illustrator (suggestions?)
- using a publisher vs self publishing
- omg I don't even know other questions to ask!!!

I am no writer by profession. I run a business and have no intention on leaving it for writing! but, this book idea needs to get out there. yes, id love to make money on it, but its not meant to be my main parnassah

tell me everything I need to know!!
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Post Tue, Mar 02 2021, 9:51 pm
Start with writing the book...
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Post Tue, Mar 02 2021, 9:59 pm
If you sell a children's book to a publisher, don't expect much parnasa at all. I think at some of the main publishers, children's books earn you between $1 to $3K. Generally they will get the illustrator themselves, do the editing, marketing, layout etc.

You can usually just submit the manuscript to them unsolicited (Hachai, Feldheim, and a few others). They will either accept or send you a nice rejection notice.

If you self-publish, you will need to lay out all of the money yourself. I don't know how much illustrators charge these days, probably well in the thousands, but a graphic designer to do the layout will be a few hundred at the bare minimum, you need to get a GOOD editor (yes, even for a children's book), ISBN costs a few hundred, and printing is probably about $3-$5 per copy depending on where you print it, shipping, etc. Then you need to either hire a distributor or deal with all bookstores yourself, store all books until they can be shipped, deal with inventory. Don't expect to make huge money off it; probably in the low thousands if that.
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Post Tue, Mar 02 2021, 10:09 pm
im not going to write the book until I understand the process and what goes into it etc... if it doesn't make sense, I'm not going to write it

So if I sell it to a publisher, they pay me? do I have to pay them anything? I'm the creative type and I will want say in every aspect of the book. My daughter is a graphic designer and would be capable of doing all the graphics.

with selling to a publisher, I'd be totally fine making $3k lol... if im not laying out any other money or dealing with the distribution details.

does anyone know how it works-- would I make money on each book that is sold? or based on how many stores buy the book?
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Post Tue, Mar 02 2021, 10:21 pm
If you pm me, I can ask my friend who published a children’s book if she wouldn’t mind sharing her number so you can talk to her
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Post Tue, Mar 02 2021, 10:24 pm
Published author of children's books here.

You have to write the book first. There's no getting around that. Lots of people have ideas, but it's the execution that matters. If you don't have a manuscript to show publishers, there's nothing to talk about. Write the book.

Publishers generally want to choose an illustrator on their own. Don't worry about that.

The submission process can be quick, but it's often glacially slow. Publishers and agents have to sift through huge piles of submissions, and that takes time. Follow the submission guidelines on the publisher's website. Make sure you're submitting to the right place. A publisher that doesn't want rhyming stories isn't the right place to submit your rhyming book, no matter how cute you think it is.

In a standard publishing contract, you earn an advance ($3k is huge, unfortunately) followed by royalties on each copy, once the book earns back the advance. All of this is easy to find online. Just Google publishing contracts.You won't earn a lot but the work is rewarding.

If you work with a standard publisher, you will not be asked to lay out any money.

I don't know anything about self- publishing. You will have to arrange for illustration, publicity and marketing on your own, though. Costs vary.

And in case I haven't been clear enough - write the book. You can't skip the first step in the process.

Good luck!!!
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Post Sun, Mar 07 2021, 3:32 pm
OP, if you're into publishing it yourself, and need an illustrator, I have a friend who is an experienced children's book illustrator. You can PM for her contact info.
Good Luck!
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Post Tue, Mar 16 2021, 11:50 am
my sister self-published on amazon. She didn't have to layout any money and she earns a little for each book that is sold.
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Post Tue, Mar 16 2021, 12:53 pm
A good illustrator is expensive. It will cost about $100 per picture.

I wrote a book and hired a relative. She was in art school at the time and didn’t charge that much.

The hardest part isn’t the writing, it’s the marketing. If you’re self publishing, all that falls on you. Designing posters, placing ads, getting it reviewed in Jewish publications. Paying a publicist is more money out of your pocket, but may pay for itself if it boosts sales. I didn’t hire someone last time but I think for my next book I will because it’s just too much.
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