Writing Children's Books For Dummies Paperback – Apr 29 2005
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From the Back Cover
Create captivating characters, spellbinding stories, and snappy dialogue
Get the inside scoop on writing and selling your children's book!
Want to write a great children's book and make it stand out from the crowd? This easy-to-follow guide provides step-by-step instruction in everything you need to know, from crafting a unique manuscript to finding an agent. You get savvy advice and tips on navigating the entire publishing process and turning your dream into a well-written, saleable book!
Discover how to
- Brainstorm great ideas
- Rhyme & use humor
- Write a great story
- Polish & edit your words
- Find a great agent
- Sell to publishers
- Promote & publicize your book
About the Author
Lisa Rojany Buccieri is a publishing executive with over 15 years’ experience in the industry. Lisa has also written nearly 40 children’s books and co-written a New York Times-bestselling adult nonfiction hardcover, Fund Your Future (Berkley, 2002), with Julie Stav. Her books have received various accolades, such as reaching Number 1 on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list two years in a row (Make Your Own Valentines, PSS/Penguin) and winning the American Bookseller’s Pick of the List (Giant Animal Fold-Outs: Kangaroo & Company, PSS/Penguin). King Arthur’s Camelot (Dutton) was selected to be a Book of the Month Club selection; Child Magazine chose her Exploring the Human Body (Barron’s) as one of its Best New Parenting Books; and The Magic Feather (Troll) won a Parent’s Choice Silver Honor Award. Lisa is currently spearheading a new children’s book packaging and publishing division at Americhip Books, focusing on integrating light, sound, animation, paper engineering, and other cuttingedge technologies with stories and art. She has been Editorial/Publishing Director for Golden Books, Price Stern Sloan/Penguin Group USA, Intervisual Books, Gateway Learning Corp (Hooked on Phonics), and others. She speaks about children’s publishing, writing, and editing at U.C.L.A. Writer’s Program Extension courses and other venues and is currently working on a book of fiction for grown-ups. Lisa also runs her own company, Editorial Services of Los Angeles, in which she helps other writers make their work the best it can be. You can contact her at www.editorialservicesofla.com.
Peter Economy is a veteran author with nine For Dummies titles under his belt, including two second editions. Peter is coauthor of Home-Based Business For Dummies, Building Your Own Home For Dummies, Consulting For Dummies, The Management Bible, Why Aren’t You Your Own Boss?, Enterprising Nonprofits: A Toolkit for Social Entrepreneurs, and many more books. Peter is also Associate Editor of Leader to Leader, the award-winning journal of the Leader to Leader Institute. Check out Peter’s Web site at www.petereconomy.com.
Top Customer Reviews
The structure of the book is clear and easy to handle, the language straight forward and to the point. No matter which aspect of children’s writing or publishing you’re interested in, you only have to look in the table of contents to find it. The authors use interviews and illustrations to present their ideas in a more engaging manner. They also utilize icons to stress important ideas or points. For example, special icons are used for “Tips” (expert advice), “Remember” (important information to store in your brain for later recall), “Warning” (avoiding mistakes), and “Ahead of the Pack” (new and innovative topic). At the end of the book there are five lined pages for note taking, quite practical for those readers who like to take notes as they read.
Everything from formats and genres, understanding the market, setting up your workspace, coming up with ideas, researching, creating compelling characters, the mechanics of writing (conflict, climax, dialogue, setting, point of view, tone, theme, etc.) to editing and formatting, illustrating, finding agents and publishers, the publishing process and much, much more. You’ll even find more than ten great sources for compelling storylines, as well as helpful tips on promoting your work. In short, all the information you’ll need to succeed as a children’s book author.Read more ›
I believe that the Idiot's Guide is only slightly better as it is better laid out.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Much more than a how-to manual, "Writing Children's Books for Dummies" is comprehensive; covering everything from what motivates you to write for children to genres to the children's book market. Yet readers will find plenty of advice such as, how to craft your story, write nonfiction, find a publisher, and market your book. With the help of the thorough table of contents and index, information on a specific topic is easy to find.
As a columnist for children's writers I am particularly impressed with Chapter 2: Children's Book Formats and Genres, and Chapter 3: Understanding the Children's Book Market. The biggest mistake prospective children's writers make is that they simply do not know enough about the age group or market they're writing for. Until now, I lacked a single resource to refer my readers to -- but this is definitely it. Lisa Buccieri is a publishing executive with over 15 years' experience in the business, so readers can take her word for it.
But wait -- there's more! Experienced authors will find plenty to sink their teeth into. Authors Buccieri and Economy dish up the real meat of children's writing by including chapters on plot, dialogue, point of view, and the awesome task of editing your own work. Authors will love the chapters on agents, contracts, and Ten Best Ways to Promote Your Story.
A reader once wrote to me: "I'd like to write for children but I can't think of any story ideas. Where can I find story ideas?" Well, guess what -- Chapter 20 offers More than Ten Great Sources for Storylines, which is more like 12 full pages of story ideas. Rich Tennant's "The 5th Wave" cartoons, plus interviews with authors, editors, and agents generously sprinkled throughout contribute to the excellence of this book and catapults it to the top of my list of recommended reading for children's writers.
The advice found here is positive yet realistic, honest about what you need to do to succeed without being harsh. It gives you the tools you need to improve your work, develop your skills, and polish your professionalism. One of the most useful features is the scattered collection of interviews with professional publishers, editors, and writers, all of whom give you straight-up helpful information about what to do (and what to avoid) when trying to get published.
If you're totally unfamiliar with the professional publishing world you'll find plenty here to introduce you, but even if you're an experienced writer just looking for childrens'-book-specific advice this book is worth your time. My one concern is that the legal information isn't as consistently basic as the rest of the information, and if they're aiming this book at beginners then I'd think that'd be one of the scarier and more alien sections, in need of extra hand-holding help. Legal information in particular tends to make starry-eyed beginners curl up in the fetal position, and I think this material could have used a bit more work to make it accessible.
As fantastically useful as the information is, I did find it harder to stay focused on this book than I do with some others. It gets rather dense with material, and although there are definitely some bright spots of humor, they're a little scarce for a book of this type. Humor is such an invaluable tool for getting frightened beginners to loosen up and absorb information. Other than that, however, the writing is clear and thorough. So if you don't need that kind of help to get through the information you need then this book will be a fantastic aid to you.
The tear-out cheat sheet by itself (in front of Writing Children's Books for Dummies) justifies buying this book. It lays out the bare-bones of writing for children - things I could never have figured out by myself, such as Children's Book No-No's, and the Twelve Commandments of writing for Children - these will save me lots of time and effortin the rewrite stage.
Highly recommended - Not just as a writing primer, but as a way to understand young children's minds in general.
The structure of the book is clear and easy to handle, the language straight forward and to the point. No matter which aspect of children's writing or publishing you're interested in, you only have to look in the table of contents to find it. The authors use interviews and illustrations to present their ideas in a more engaging manner. They also utilize icons to stress important ideas or points. For example, special icons are used for "Tips" (expert advice), "Remember" (important information to store in your brain for later recall), "Warning" (avoiding mistakes), and "Ahead of the Pack" (new and innovative topic). At the end of the book there are five lined pages for note taking, quite practical for those readers who like to take notes as they read.
Everything from formats and genres, understanding the market, setting up your workspace, coming up with ideas, researching, creating compelling characters, the mechanics of writing (conflict, climax, dialogue, setting, point of view, tone, theme, etc.) to editing and formatting, illustrating, finding agents and publishers, the publishing process and much, much more. You'll even find more than ten great sources for compelling storylines, as well as helpful tips on promoting your work. In short, all the information you'll need to succeed as a children's book author.
Whether you choose to read from cover to cover or jump straight to the topic of your choice, Writing Children's Books for Dummies will prove to be an indispensable reference and amalgam of helpful information for your writing career, as well as a fecund source of ideas for articles. Highly recommended for both fiction and non-fiction writers, students of children's literature, and writing teachers.
This book is a wonderful addition to any aspiring writer's library--and it's the one you should actually bother reading from cover to cover. I highly recommend you this book.
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