The Complete Idiot's Guide to

Publishing Children's Books

1st Edition Corrections and Additions

2nd Edition Corrections

Third Edition Corrections (to come)

Inevitably, in a book the length of the CIG, errors creep in, cuts must be made for space reasons, and items go out of date. Here, I'll keep them up to date for you, note those errors, and add both missing and new material. If you find an error in the book and don't find it noted here, please feel free to report it to me at

As of the 3rd printing (check the copyright page, or look for a low-slung "A" logo on the spine--earlier printings have "alpha books"), the index has been fixed.

Errors: Thanks to the diligence of my development editor, Debbie Romaine, and the eagle eyes of technical reviewer Alison James, I'm happy to say that I know of no major errors in the body of the book. Unfortunately, the index was sent out and done under great time pressure, and errors did creep in. The one of most consequence is that books with titles beginning with the word "A" are not listed where you would expect, indexed by the second word, but at the start of the "A" section: for example, Look for A Snowy Day near the beginning of the "A" entries, and not in the middle of the "S" entries under "Snowy Day, A." I also apologize to Larry Dane Brimner, who lost his first name in the index, and who in one place acquired a new last name, Brimmer. On page 318, Sneed Collard's name is misspelled, and one other entry should be added after his name, to p. 35.

On p. 78, Merette on the High Wire should of course start with "Mirette." And at the bottom of that same list, "Land" is part of a title that should appear in full as "This Land Is My Land."

On p. 81, the book by Karen Romano Young we call Beetle Love is actually entitled The Beetle and Me: A Love Story, and it is set in 1984.

On p. 98, we refer to Children's Book Press as the publisher of the True Books series. Though this company exists, it is known for it's multicultural books; Children's Press is the publisher of the True Books series.

Updates: Inkspot, the wonderful writing web site mentioned on page 162 and in the Resources section, has been closed down.

On p. 23, the "Can You Keep a Secret?" sidebar mentions the 2000 Children's Choices list. This is no longer online at the URL given. However, the 2003 list is online, or you can search at for the latest list to be issued.

Pp. 115-117 address how to send out your manuscript. In response to a question to a reader, here is a postscript: Manuscripts do not need to be bound in any way. For ease of reading, leave it unstapled. A novel or similar long manuscript could have a binder clip or rubber band around it to keep it tidy.

As an addition to page 121, please note that sending out multiple query letters is an accepted practice.

On p. 141, we note that editors do go to trade shows, but that such venues are not good places to pitch manuscripts. I'd like to add that editors in fact attend only the American Library Association in any numbers--do not go to a convention such as the Toy Show, International Reading Association convention, or any other venue that draws publishers, hoping even to glimpse editors. You won't. But do visit the show to see what's out there, to get catalogs, and to make note of publishers you didn't know about.

In Appendix C, the sample manuscript is single-spaced, even though we say to double space a manuscript for ease of reading. This was done by the publisher to save space. I will see if we can adjust it in the revised edition we are working on, but for now, please just note that you need to "do as we say, not as we do."

New material:

Since writing the book, I learned about a great way to get a comprehensive list of recent books published by a particular publisher:

If you don't have access to catalogs, which are your best option (and usually available from publishers for a SASE with sufficient postage), there is a neat trick you can do on Amazon. Go to the Book Search page--there is a link to it from the bottom of every page in the Book section, or you can try this URL:
    Fill in the publisher, format (if you want--not necessary), age level, and year or years you want results for. I just did a test using Farrar, Straus and Giroux, age level of 4-8, and "During the year 2002," and got a handy list of 35 books from their spring and fall lists.
    You can do this for several years, for different age groups, etc.

On pages 197-98, we listed ten books for a Writer's Reference Bookshelf and promised more detailed information about them in the Resource section in the Appendix. Unfortunately, we had to condense the published version of the Resources list. You will now find these books listed in the reference book section of the online version of Appendix B: Book, Magazine, Organization, and Web Resources. Eagle-eyed readers will also noticed that we have included a recommendation for the Dictionary of Modern American Usage in place of the quirkier but less useful Dictionary of Modern English Usage.

On page 218, we had to leave out some material showing thumbnails and sketches, and so I am putting it up on the web.

I will keep adding material here from time to time, so please check back to keep your book up to date. If you don't own the book, feel free to check back too. I think you'll find these bits and pieces interesting.

2nd Edition Corrections

I won't be noting minor errors of spelling or punctuation.

Notes from January 2004:

In the Resources list, the status of two books has changed since the book went to press. Children's Book Illustration: Step by Step Techniques is no longer in print, and seems to be difficult to find from used book dealers. On the other hand, Words About Pictures: The Narrative Art of Children's Picture Books is still in print, though I thought it was out of print.

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