How Hard is it to Publish a Children's BookWhat is the difficulty of publishing a children's book?
Chances of being released Stink
Recently, a college graduate in the latest meeting of the Kids Book Revisions group asked Eileen Robinson and I lecture on the chances of being released and quoted a declaration that only 3 out of 10,000 copies will be public. One of the authors continued to wonder if there were areas where the advantages were better--if some kinds of illustration missiles have a better probability than others, for instance.
I will raise this issue here because I have already listened to it several occasions, from my point of view as a children's bookreader. As I see it, my remarks also cover other areas of publication. Authors and agencies are often asked about "the opportunities". "I have listened to various numbers, and I have given them myself to try to overcome an author's difficulties when he sends out a manuscript and hopes to be public.
Nobody knows the overall number of different scripts that are sent each year by the author to all the publishing houses in the state, so the figures are usually (if not always) on the basis of the number of entries that a particular publishing company gets in a year. This figure is contrasted by the number of titles her publishing company has produced in a year by first-timers.
So, if the firm has obtained 8,000 unasked scripts and has released 4 first publications, the editors say that only 1 out of 2,000 scripts are out. It is difficult to say whether such a figure applies to all publishing houses, as it is only one number. However, the actual issue is that it says nothing useful about a particular writer wrote a particular work.
The important thing is that they do not mean what quotas mean in a gambling system. The 8,000 incoming scripts do not all have the same chances of being printed. Out of these 8,000, at least 7,500 are denied as soon as they are opened, because a readership notices a bad script of one kind or another, a kind of script that the editor never releases, or another serious mistake like the one I am discussing in Getting Out of the Slush Pile.
These scripts never had a shot. This may leave 200 scripts that are sufficiently focused and composed for the publisher to seriously consider. Those are the longest kept on the desk for this very year. There are still a great many scripts to select from the publisher, but if you reach this inner 200 circles, you have a much better shot at ending than one of the selected ones.
After all, with hard work on typing, research, creativity and perhaps a little bit of happiness (although you can be lucky....), an author can hopefully make it to the "winner's circle" of published scripts. When it is repeatedly done what skilled authors can do, there will be a period when a writer's script is the one that is chosen.
However, is reaching 200-1 the best a author can expect? No. And that's why the chances really don't really play a role. Every journalist can tell a story about the time when he opened a paper and was reading a script that he simply couldn't file and immediately knew he had to purchase it.
It may have been a script seen by a dozen of writers, or it may have been the first. It didn't make any difference. To this author, at this point, the chances of being released were 100%. I' m sorry, but I don't have the incantation to make this a reality.
However, when an author does the work that brings her script into the winning group, she manages to create the conditions under which this instant can occur, so that the chances become pointless and the author joins an editors. A lot of scripts are purchased in other ways, of course - because they meet a specific need, or because they are good work by someone an editors wants to re-publish, but for first-time authors or authors fighting to be republished, I just want to point out that the quotas don't have to play a role.
To be frank, those who concentrate on the opportunities just get down. Instead, authors who are succeeding concentrate on making this link. OK, but how can I get better chances? This may sound marvelous and inspiring, but I know that some aficionados, from a more hands-on passion, are still marvelling if there are not areas where the crude advantages are a little better, or hope the advantages are getting better as the economy reforms or changes population.
It may be, but with two possible exeptions it doesn't alter how a author should go about what he does. Even if the chances of being released are better if you write for a certain era or a certain category, or if the business is better, an author still has to try to link to an editorial team, and that won't be the case if the author does his second-best work.
For example, a picture-book novelist who sees chances in YA typing and is attempting to try a novel. However, unless the novelist has a knack for teenagers that she hasn't already found out, then she has to study a whole new field and perhaps devote years to it before her work has the qualities of a "winner's group.
It is also not profitable to wait for an improvement in the economic situation. It' not going to increase the chances so much, and once it gets better, the author still has to connect to an editors. There is really no other way than to work hard at my work, to make a script as good as possible and bring it out into the wide open.
Under certain conditions, an author must be aware of the chances of being public. An author who has to make a livelihood from working as quickly as possible will want to work for packers, non-fiction and other areas where the space is less overcrowded and more dominated by processes and policies than by brainstorms.
Or, for a woman author who wants to publish a particular script, perhaps a story of a couple, a memorandum or the only novel she wants to compose, it doesn't make any difference to build a writing careers. If so, a novelist should not be wasting her writing resources and energies on being made public in the conventional way.
Authors with this emphasis should instead take their manuscripts out into the wider public: through self-publication, in other words. If you work with the right firms, you can make an appealing book at a sensible price, in volumes of 10 to 10,000 pieces.