Anastasia Suen

Developmental Editor

Write a Children’s Book

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Q. I want to write my own children’s book. Where do I start?
A.
Start by reading, reading, reading! The children’s books on the shelves will help you write your book, revise your book, and sell your book!

Q. How can reading children’s books help me write my own book?
A.
Reading recently published books like the ones that you want to write can help you see how other authors handled your topic or theme. These books can help you learn your craft.

Reading new books will also help you see what editors are buying. Editors look at other books on your topic or theme to help them decide if they will buy your book or not. If that’s what the agents and editors do, then you need to do it too!

This is why I post a new booktalk Monday through Saturday!

Q. How long should my children’s book manuscript be?
A.
The length of the book depends on the age of the child who will be reading it. The older the child is, the longer the book will be. Check the word count guides at:

Q. Do I need an agent to sell my book? Or do I send it to editors?
A.
If you send your book to editors first (and don’t sell it) most agents will NOT want to handle that book later because the book has already been shopped. If you think you might want to work with an agent, start that search first.

Q. What do agents charge?
A. Reputable agents do NOT charge a fee
to read your work or to send it out. The agent is paid on commission, so no money changes hands until the book sells–and it is the publisher who pays the agent, not the writer. Most agents take a 15% commission, so they earn 15% of all funds paid for the sales they make.

Q. Why should I pay an agent 15%?
A.
An agent can send your book to publishers that are “closed” to submissions.

FYI: When you send your book to an editor that you have never met at a “closed” publishing house, your work will not be read. Some send it back to you while others toss it in the trash. Delete!

Q. How can I find an agent?
A.
Follow the directions on my How to Find a Literary Agent page.

Of course, none of this will happen if you don’t write the book first! So begin at the beginning. Start reading, reading, reading–and then start writing!

Are you ready to work with a writing mentor?

The author of 275 books for children, teens, and adults, I have been working as a developmental editor with writers from all levels of the continuum (beginner to already published) since 1999. Some of my writers sold the books they wrote or revised in the critiques while others continued to master their craft and sold their first book later.

  1. If you want guidance as you write your first draft, sign up for the Intensive Picture Book Workshop or the Children’s Novel Workshop.
  2. If you want guidance to take your completed children’s book manuscript to the next level, sign up for a Picture Book WIP Critique or a Children’s Novel WIP Critique via email or phone.

Let’s start working together!

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Piece By Piece

Piece By Piece
by Stephanie Shaw (Author) and Sylvie Daigneault (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Drawing inspiration from the natural world around her, a weaver woman with a magical touch crafts exquisite fabrics. And from the fabric she fashions a wondrous dress, with a bodice that sparkles of starlight and lace like the foam of an ocean wave. The weaver envisions the food and clothing she will be able to buy for her children from the sale of the dress. But when she takes the dress to a local shopkeeper, the weaver is told her work is not saleable. And so she starts over again.

Snippet:

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Animal Journeys

Animal Journeys
by Patricia Hegarty (Author) and Jessica Courtney-Tickle (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Animals are simply amazing! Many of them migrate for various reasons, often enduring harsh, unforgiving environments. Learn about which animal has the longest migration of any creature; the creative way that one island assists with its crab migration; and much more in this beautifully illustrated journal of journeys.

Snippet: Humpback whales can be found in every ocean.

They take part in one of the longest mammal migrations, traveling an average of 3,100 (5,000 km) to warmer waters near the equator in order to breed and give birth to their young.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book: Manga Classics
by Rudyard Kipling (Author), Crystal S. Chan (Adapter), and Julien Choy (Artist)

Booktalk: Originally published as a series of short stories for magazines in the late 1800s, the Nobel Prize-winning Rudyard Kipling would eventually publish the classic The Jungle Book in 1894. This manga adaptation brings Rudyard Kipling’s original collection of short stories to life . . .

Snippet:

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

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