Writing and marketing a children’s book is an ambitious task, but with careful research you can find a publisher and see your books in print. The book market is in transition, with electronic books commanding a growing slice of the publishing pie. Your ability to find a niche for your book and reach the right editor will go far in helping you succeed.

The Marketplace

Children's book sales have been hit by the recession, but as the economy recovers, so too do book sales. The five-year growth rate for children’s books from 2006 to 2011 averaged 0.7 percent, but in 2012, the growth rate rose to 1.7 percent. Driving the market is an important demographic trend. In 2012, the growth in the K-12 segment of the population rose faster than that of the general population. The book market continues to evolve. In spite of the closure of one of the major book chains, book sales continue, spurred by the eBook segment of the market. With children’s eBooks available on computers, readers, tablets and smart phones, there is a whole new avenue available to market your books.

Conduct Your Research

Start your research by looking for books that are similar to the one you propose. Look for those that are of the same genre, length and content. Ask a librarian which books are popular and read some of them. Visit a bookstore and ask the manager or buyer the same questions. Research shows that 85 percent of all children’s books are bought on impulse. Do not neglect to visit specialty stores. If your book has a religious theme, then visit a religious bookstore. This research will help you to determine the marketability of your books.

Research Your Market Niche

Once you have identified titles that are similar to the books you propose, research the author and publisher. Find out if the author works with an agent. When you identify the publisher you can locate the editor who worked with that author. Verify what the publisher’s submission requirements are. Do not send your proposal to a general mailbox where it will probably be lost in a stack of unsolicited inquiries. Address the specific editor who edits your kind of book. If your research supports the marketability of your idea and you cannot find a publisher, consider doing your own eBook.


There are several resources that you can use as you take your great idea to the market. The Literary Marketplace is the industry bible, containing information about publishers, editors and agents. Plan to spend some time at the library with this -- it’s comprehensive. The Children’s Book Council is an organization of children’s book publishers. Their website includes a membership list and details regarding submissions. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators also has resources that may be helpful to you. If you wish to work with agents, be careful. Most are ethical, but a few are not. Do not pay to have an agent review your manuscript. The Association of Authors’ Representatives maintains high standards, and AAR membership is your assurance that the agent subscribes to their ethical code.