Selling to Children’s Markets
By Jennifer Drewry
One of the first questions a new children’s writer asks is, “I have a story, who can I sell it to?” In the children’s market there are many places.
Some of the best places to sell your work are children’s magazines. However, don’t just haphazardly send them their, buy a copy of the magazine and read it. Get to know what the magazine is looking for, the style of the writers. There are many magazines for children out there and they are all different in what it is they are looking for.
“The Writer’s Market” is a great book that comes out annually which has all the places where you could possibly sell your work. Go through it and look at what the publishers are looking for, that may generate some ideas for you. A trip to your local bookstore is helpful too, ask the manager if you could have some of the old catalogues from book publishers. They throw them out anyway, and by skimming through them, you can get a sense of what that particular publisher is looking for.
Writer’s block, which hits all of us from time to time, can be elevated by a simple trip to the children’s section of your local library. You want to write for kids, read kid books. Pick out a handful of books that attract you. Then as your reading them ask how did they grab your eye? Was it the cover, the title? Was the story good? What would you have done differently if you were the author?
While you’re at the library, ask the librarian when story time is and volunteer for it. Reading to young children is an excellent way to connect to that “writer within”. You can also volunteer at your local schools, either in a classroom or in the schools library. Furthermore, while your there, ask the librarian questions about what’s been popular with the kids. It is a small sampling, but you may get ideas about what some of the current trends are. Remember though, the trends change with the age group. Five to six year olds may LOVE animal tales, but seven to nine year olds may like adventure stories. Remember your audience and write for them.
One last suggestion which may help you, find a writers critique group. Ask at the library if they know of any in your area. Try local colleges and universities. The ones you find may not be strictly for children’s writers so, maybe you would like to start one. Ask some of your friends if there interested.
Just keep writing, keep sending your stories out and keep your spirits up. There may be a few rejections in your mailbox until you finally get that acceptance letter, that YES, they are printing YOUR story.