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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books (The Complete Idiot's Guides)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  82 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The comprehensive guide to writing, publishing, and selling for the ever-expanding and always exciting children's market-now in a new and updated second edition.

€ Includes new chapters for illustrators, on submissions, portfolios, art directors, and more
€ In 2001, children's book publishing was a $1.8 billion market
€ Offers practical advice on getting started, plus the
Kindle Edition, Third Edition
Published by Alpha Publishing (first published February 3rd 2001)
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A wonderful and easy instruction book, as most of the "Idiot's Guide" series is. I would recommend reading it in concert with at least one other "how to publish" type book, though, as this one can get a little heart-breaking. There's very little encouragement here, which is good because it doesn't try to give you false hopes, but also doesn't feel like it believes you can actually succeed! A good supplement, definitely.
Jan 12, 2011 Joy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: children's book writers
When I first started Harold Underdown's book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books, I thought it was starting too slowly and was a little too repetitive. In retrospect, I'm pretty sure it was just my eagerness to fill my brain with as much knowledge about the process of writing, publishing and selling a children's book that was discontent.

I now feel like I know enough about releasing my manuscripts into the publishing world to take that terrifying leap. Underdown prepares hi
Actual rating: 2.5 stars. If you're looking to learn the basics of publishing, however, then consider this a three star rating. But if that's the case, then you should think about choosing a book that's been updated within the last 5 years. There's nothing glaringly out of date, but I found certain sections such as self-publishing and e-books lacking. Also, this book should have been called "Writing and Publishing Your Children's Book." Huge chunks are devoted to writing and, to a lesser extent, ...more
Kay Mcgriff
Harold D. Underdown gives a complete peek behind the curtain of the children's publishing industry in The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books, Third Edition (Penguin 2008). I have picked up much of the information over the years from following the blogs of some of my favorite writers, but I still learned much about the process, especially what happens once the writing and editing is done.

I found some of the most valuable parts of the books to be the references to additional res
Jamie Collins
After just begiing ot read this book, I slipped it into my backpack to take to work (to read on breaks only bossman, honest). Well, it frickin dumped monsoon-style on my bike ride home and everything inside my pack, including this idiots guide was soaked. I am an idiot. The cheap-assed paper they use in the Idiots manuals blows up when it gets wet, so now I had this unconcealable mess of ruination. Admittedly I tried returning the book to the library (yes, it was a library book) all cool, like y ...more
Anyone who is interested in publishing a children’s book can save themselves a lot of trouble by doing their homework; this book is a comprehensive, invaluable place to start. Underdown generously provides some of this information and other advice for free on his website, The Purple Crayon (, for anyone who wants a preview of what this book includes and more. He covers the entire process of writing and illustrating for children, from “Where to Begin”, through submitting and pub ...more
Eventhough I am only at the preliminary stages of the process, the book gave a great overview of what is to be expected in trying to get my writing published. It did a great job of getting me really excited about it, but still gave a realistic view of how difficult it may be.
Harold Underdown
Mar 30, 2013 Harold Underdown rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
This is the current edition of my book! Since I can't write a review of my own book, I'll just direct you to this information page about it, with links to chapters of the book, a page of reviews, and other materials:
I think the 'idiot' book series are better than the 'dummies' books. Perhaps it's because I feel I'm more an idiot than a dummy. Truly, to me, they are easier to read and understand. I liked this publishing book. It gave good advice but I needed more.
Sue (booknbeachbag)
I'm not sure if, in March 2012, this book has the most up-to-date information regarding submissions, but it provided good solid steps to follow in order to transform a completed draft into a manuscript ready to be submitted - and beyond.
This is more of a reference book that you keep referring to again and again. Not necessarily one to sit down and read all at once. That said, it is a must for children's writers to have on their shelves.
D.l. Price
For a new author coming into the publishing world, this is a great book to read! I have read it cover to cover; and now use as a reference guide. A must have on your publishing book list!
Kirsti Call
I've started writing down some of the stories that I tell my kids. This book is very informative and readable.
Kim Briggs
A must-have tool in the writer's toolbox. Deciding when your manuscript is ready to submit just became easier!
L.J. Boldyrev
A must-have for any aspiring author serious about writing for children.
Aug 09, 2008 Sheri rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers and others
It was such a helpful resource book, I purchased a copy of
Sep 28, 2010 jacky marked it as on-hold  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: interlibraryloan
Interested for myself, but would also make an awesome classroom library book.
Robin Martin
THis is a must-read for anyone considering entering this field.
Such a helpful guide!!! I am going to buy this.
Wendy Bescher Jeffreys Perez
Are you surprised?
The information is valuable. I learned none of this during my graduate work in Creative Writing. Of course, this is the only publishing handbook I've read, I've nothing to compare it to.
Nadine Larter
Nadine Larter marked it as to-read
Jan 15, 2015
Sherry marked it as to-read
Jan 12, 2015
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Jan 03, 2015
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I have been a children's book editor for over 20 years. For the first half of that, I worked in-house at Macmillan, Orchard, and Charlesbridge. More recently I have been working independently--working with authors and publishers, speaking at conferences, and giving workshops. I also run The Purple Crayon, an informational website, at, and am a contributing editor to Child ...more
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