You Can Write Children’s Books, Second Edition
By Tracey E. Dils
Writer’s Digest Books, 2009
$14.99 paperback, 176 pages
About the Book
Find out everything you need to know from inspiration to publication! You Can Write Children’s Books gives you all the advice and encouragement you need to write and sell your children’s book. You’ll find specialized instruction on writing picture books, beginning readers, chapter books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. Noted children’s book author and editor Tracey Dils gives you exclusive insight into the ever-changing worlds of education and children’s book publishing—and tells you what it means for you.
Praise for You Can Write Children’s Books
“Tracey Dils brings the right mix of encouragement and realism to this caring and careful book, bracing would-be authors for the genuine task, the daunting work, and the profound rewards that working in children’s literature can bring.”
—Michael J. Rosen, author of more than 40 books for children and young adults
“You Can Write Children’s Books covers the basics of writing stories for children and getting published in an easy-to-read style that covers a wide range of topics. Plus the Exercises and Tips from the Top are great challenges for all of us!”
—Constance W. McGeorge, author of numerous books for children, including the Boomer series
“Tracey Dils has created a wise, comprehensive, and up-to-date guide to writing for young people that will be invaluable to both aspiring and experienced writers. In lucid prose, Dils deftly leads the reader through each step of the writing process.”
—Edith Pattou, author of Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden and young adult novels
“I always recommend Tracey’s book to people who want to write for children but aren’t sure where to begin. It takes writers through the process of writing a children’s book, researching publishers, and submitting a professionally styled manuscript. A must-have for any aspiring children’s author.”
—Teresa Domnauer, children’s book author
“Tracey will leave writers feeling more inspired and less intimidated about the whole process. The pages read like having that close friend in the business with all the answers. Tracy expertly covers every detail about the business of writing children’s books—without forgetting about the joy of writing them.”
—Erik Jon Slangerup, children’s book author
“Chock full of hands-on advice, You Can Write Children’s Books takes the reader through all the steps of the writing process, including how to get inspired, develop characters and a workable plot, and write a query letter to send out with the finished manuscript.”
—Erica Farber, children’s book author
“I would send this book to everyone who has ever sai to me ‘I have a great idea for a children’s book. How can I get it published?’ Tracey Dils is offering everything you need to know to actually get off your seat and do it! Dils gives aspiring authors advice on how to work hard, stay committed, take criticism, and be a true publishing professional.”
—Dorothea DePrisco Wang, owner of Blue Elephant Books, Inc.
“As a children’s book illustrator, I have a unique appreciation of Tracey’s book. This book teaches about visual pacing and how to create illustrations that tell as much, or more, of the story as the text itself. This book is a must for both illustrators and authors.”
—Rodger Wilson, illustrator
“As an agent and former publisher of children’s books, I am asked a lot of questions from aspiring writers and I know how valuable Tracey’s advice is. This is the book that I recommend as it offers insight into all aspects from writing (picture books, readers, young adult novels) through to finding the right publisher. She covers the ins and outs of the business with information that writers can find nowhere else. Having sat on both sides of the desk – as a publisher and published author – Tracey offers a rare and unique perspective about both the art and the business of children’s publishing. It’s a must-read for both beginning and seasoned writers.”
—Patty Sullivan, p.s. ink. publishing solutions
Table of Contents
1. What You Need to Know to Get Started
Explore the world of children’s books—the mission, the market and the magic—and dispel some misconceptions you may have about the field.
2. Picture Books
Discover how to write pictures books that warm the hearts of youngsters and adults alike.
3. Beginning Readers and Chapter Books
Find out the special guidelines for books that will help young readers celebrate their ability to read.
4. Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels
Discover how to write books for that inspire and speak to older readers.
Get to know the exciting rewards and opportunities of this often overlooked genre.
6. Look Like a Pro
Learn the important conventions of style and technique that give your manuscript a professional and polished look.
7. Find the Right Publisher for Your Book
Discover how to navigate the publishing maze and target the right publisher for your manuscript.
8. Give Your Manuscript a Fighting Chance
Craft a query and proposal, format your manuscript and submit it to publishers
9. Breaking into Print
Create a writing rhythm that works for you and learn the secrets that will unlock publishing opportunities.