Now that our new Writing Fiction for Children course is up and running, I thought I'd offer up some ideas on finding publishers for children's writing.
Market research is a term that can send perfectly rational people into a panic. Where do I start? Who do I contact? How do I know if they pay for submissions? These are just some of the questions newbie writers ponder over. So, below are three great ideas for finding markets for your work.
We all want information and if we can get it for free that's even better! Thankfully, those wonderful people at Wikipedia are very obliging. They've taken the time to collate a list of all the publishers who accept children's writing in the UK. And, as it's Wikipedia, there are links to separate pages for each publisher, which will, in most cases, have a link direct to publisher's website. The list is alphabetised so it's really easy to use. This is a great place to start your research, but you may need to spend some time searching the publisher's own websites for contact details.
Paid For Information
If you have a bit of money to spend a good bet would be the Children's Writers' and Artists' Yearbook. Unlike free resources, ones that you paid for are a little more specific. So, in the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook you'll find details of all the publishers in the UK, and all the other information you might need (including contact details, whether they accept freelance work, submission guidelines and so on) conveniently laid out for you in one place. So, whilst it may mean you have to fork out money upfront, you may decide it's worth it once you realise how much time you save on researching individual publisher's details.
As a newbie to using LinkedIn myself, I have been simply overwhelmed by the sheer number of freelance writing jobs and calls for submissions there are - if you join the right groups. A great starting point is the Children's Book and Comic Book Writers group (just copy and paste the name from here into the LinkedIn search bar and hit 'go' to find it). Not surprisingly, it's populated by a really interesting bunch of people - from beginners to those who are on their 20th book publication!So use their experience and pick their brains about what works and what doesn't.
Societies are a great place to make friends. You'll know immediately that the people you are communicating with are in the same business as you, so there'll surely be some interesting bits of information you can swap with each other. But that's not all being part of a society can do for you, it also gives you and your writing gravitas, as most societies will expect you to have been published before they will accept you as a member. I'd suggest you check out this one first Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
That should do for starters, and if you know of any other great places to find markets for children's writing please let me know.