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.

Plesiosaur

Ancient Animals: Plesiosaur
by Sarah L. Thomson (Author) and Andrew Plant (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Ninety million years ago, giant dinosaurs roamed the earth, pterosaurs flew through the air, and giant reptiles and fish hunted in the oceans. The area that is now Kansas was covered by water and one of its inhabitants was the plesiosaur–a reptile with an extremely long neck and a huge body.

This early reader about the ancient plesiosaur brings the prehistoric world of this ocean-dwelling animal to life, explaining how scientists think these reptiles lived, hunted, and became extinct. Back matter explores other reptiles both ancient and modern and provides additional print, visual, and web resources..

Snippet:

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Waiting for Sophie

Waiting for Sophie
by Sarah Ellis (Author) and Carmen Mok (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Waiting is hard. Liam waited through half of kindergarten for his baby sister to be born. Then, when little Sophie finally comes home, he discovers she won’t be ready to play with him for a long, long time. As the months pass, everyone says that Liam is Sophie’s favourite. He is the best at making her laugh and burp, but laughing and burping are not enough for Liam. With the help of Nana-Downstairs, he designs and builds a Get Older Faster Machine. It doesn’t seem to work on Sophie, but maybe Sophie is not the only one doing some growing up.

Snippet:

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Adele in Sand Land

Adele in Sand Land
by Claude Ponti (Author / Illustrator)

Booktalk: Where can young readers experience boundless imagination? In the sandbox, of course, as they follow Adele on her discovery of a barefoot king, a cloud of fluffy chicks, and a dessert island (YUM!).

Snippet:

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

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