Barbara Marcus, Random House, said to read as many books as you can so you have a broader knowledge of the industry…hang out in bookstores…and take note of how books are designed, positioned and promoted.
Find a mentor and learn as much as you can.Joy Peskin, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, said that volunteering in community programs for juveniles gave her an understanding of how young people reason, talk, worry, and dream.
She falls back on that knowledge when reading manuscripts. Chris Satterlund, Scholastic, said he wished he’d known earlier how important it is to find your passion and pursue it with excellence.
“Getting paid for your passion is a wonderful thing…but if you let that govern your choice you will miss out. We all need to pay the bills but we sacrifice much when that is our only driver.” Our workbook, Write a Marketable Children’s Book, also has many tips for writers.
Lara Starr, Chronicle Books reminds us that we must step back from books we loved as a child, and ask ourselves, “Who is the reader?” “Can you imagine the kid that will light up when a parent, teacher, or librarian puts this book in their hand?
Spend as much time as you can around people who read books with actual kids—that’s where the rubber hits the road. Teachers, librarians, parents, booksellers, authors, and illustrators do a lot of reading with kids and have a lot to say about what works, what doesn’t, and what makes kids’ eyes light up.”
Samantha Hagerbaumer, HarperCollins, sums up a great strategy for editors and writers— “Ask a ton of questions, read as much as you can, and work your butt off.” While you’re working your derriere off, please consider our workbook, Write a Marketable Children’s Book. It will guide you step by step in crafting your story.