How Do You Get A Picture Book Published?

March 30, 2014

Well, for starters, it helps to be born. This might seem inconsequential, but the number of picture books published by the unborn is astonishingly low. Even lower than the number of picture books published by the living, despite what you may have heard. Once birthed, immediately begin writing. Continue writing until you've produced a story with the visual power of a feature length film told in 12 words or less. Spend your waking hours perfecting those 12 words until they can read themselves aloud to passersby. At this point, reflect on the monastic life you've lived then submit your story to all the major childrens publishing houses. Wait patiently. Then graciously accept their rejections. Clearly the story is too short, too long, too wordy, too contemporary, too traditional, or in all ways too horrifying for print. Contemplate other art forms that do not involve editors, such as sword swallowing. Conclude you were meant for a life of real danger. Submit again. At long last, happen upon an editor held fast in a deep, dark dungeon who knows nothing about children or literature. Sign on the dotted line. Shortly thereafter, wake to discover an illustrator attempting the Heimlich maneuver on your story using globs of paint and a tie dying bucket. Sink into the depths of despair. In the face of total defeat, find an advanced copy of your book on your doorstep. Open it to find your 12 words miraculously transformed into something worthy of the Sistine chapel. Or at least the Sunday comics. Boast to anyone within earshot that you never doubted yourself for a moment. Try to remember a moment when you didn't doubt yourself. Take a deep breath and begin the process over from birth in hopes of publishing a second story.

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