So you want to be a children’s author?

So you want to be a children’s author?

I hope you’re in for the long haul. Buckle up tight. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

You’ve finished your first draft and you’re ready to start submitting to agents? Hang in there, Speedy Gonzales. You’re going to need to edit, then edit some more. Did I mention you should edit? And then you should probably get feedback from critique partners and perhaps an editor. Then you’ll need to, yep, you’ve guessed it, edit some more.

So, you’re finally ready to start querying. You’ve written a book, polished it till it shines, your journey is nearing its end, right? Been there, thought that, but I’m afraid you’re only just beginning. You may be one of the lucky ones who gets snapped up by an agent pretty quickly. But, more likely than not, you’ll join the rest of us in the Cycle of Doom. You will check your email more times than is healthy and then some more. And there will be rejections; I hope you have a tough hide.

But let’s think about why you’re putting yourself through this rollercoaster. Because you’re going to be rich and famous? Um, sorry to burst that bubble. If you’re lucky enough to get a coveted publishing deal, you’re not going to be a millionaire. In fact, you’re probably going to need to keep your day job. According to a tweet by children’s author Maz Evans of Who Let the Gods Out, a children’s author gets 36p per £6.99 book sold. Yep. Shock, huh?

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So you’re bruised and penniless. Why are you still here? Well, I guess you, like me, have been bitten by the writing bug. It whittles its way in and flaps iridescent wings stirring up a whirlwind of characters, worlds and plots. And it buzzes incessantly until you get those words down on paper (or screen). So make yourself comfortable (cookies and fellow writing friends are advised) and settle down for the journey. The Sat Nav may be faulty (watch out for those ditches and boulders) and who knows where you might end up. But I hope you can enjoy some of the ride. Just don’t forget that crash helmet.

 

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