The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books, by Harold D. Underdown, AUTHOR RESOURCE



Honest and precise, everything about writing for children there is to know. ‘Jane Yolen, author. Here is the comprehensive guide to writing, publishing, and selling for an ever-expanding and always exciting children’s market, now in a new and updated third edition. – Includes new chapters on self-publishing and on “how to choose a how-to”, plus revision and updates throughout.- Offers practical advice on getting started and on dealing with out-of-print books.- Covers picture books, chapter books, nonfiction, middle-grade and young novels, and common formats and genres.- Reveals what happens inside a children’s publishing company, and provides guidance in working with an editor. – Sample cover and query letters, manuscript format, glossary, and recommended resources in an extensive appendix.- Plus information on agents, contracts, copyright, marketing and more.


I received this book under a scholastic title while attending school. It was prepared for use by the school under the title, “The Complete Guide To Publishing Children’s Books” because this author is amazing and knowledgeable on the subject material.  Everything you ever wanted to know plus more about writing for children is covered in this book.

The book is broken down into five parts with several subsections under each part. The five parts are: Part One: Where to Begin, Part Two: Finding Out What’s Possible, Part Three: Out Into the World, Part Four: Working With a Publisher, and Part Five: My Book is Published! Now What?  There is a glossary after this, a list of further reading materials and samples and examples.

Under Part One: Where To Begin, you’ll learn about seven different subjects, such as: how children’s publishing is a business and how to treat it personally, tips and techniques for creating stories that children will want to read, exploring what children like to read, you won’t get rich writing for children and why, using a notebook and managing income, how change affects children’s publishing, and, about the common elements that are in all books.

Under Part Two: Finding Out What’s Possible, you’ll learn about five different subjects, such as: book formats and age levels, good vs. fun and genres from fantasy to nonfiction, the kinds of publishers and what they do, writing series, how to choose opinions of those who’ve read your book

Under Part Three: Out into the World, you’ll learn about six different subjects, such as: how to send your manuscript to a publisher, who does the illustrations, connections in the publishing world, the best publisher for your work, other kinds of publishers to avoid, building relationships with publishers.

Under Part Four:  Working With A Publisher, you’ll learn about six different subjects, such as: contracts, copyright basics, rewriting, not connecting with your editor, how much you control with choosing the illustrations, the team behind the dream.

Under Part Five: My Book Is Published! Now What, you’ll learn about seven different subjects, such as: marketing your book, the cost of marketing your book, drawing attention to your book, helping your book sell to bookstores, going to schools, winning a prize for your work, building your career.  Following this section is a glossary, a fabulous resource section and some samples and examples.

I absolutely love this book and keep it handy on my resource shelf referring to it often during writing children’s books, especially my series. I highly recommend it to all who wish to write or do write for children.

I give this book:


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