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Frequently Asked Questions about the Third Edition of
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books

Are you wondering just what is different about the new edition? Trying to decide if it's worth getting? These questions and answers should help.

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1. Why did you do another new edition?

The "Idiot's Guides" publisher routinely does a revised edition of their more successful titles every three or four years. We did a second edition that came out in 2004.

I was happy to do a third edition so that I could update parts of the book that needed to be kept current; so that I could add some new material; and so that I could continue to revise and expand the information it contains.

2. I bought the second edition recently. Did I waste my money?

I don't think so. For one thing, you've been able to use it ever since you bought it. And much of the book hasn't changed from the second edition, and both the Resources list and the Glossary, which I revised, are posted here on my web site, so that owners of any edition will be able to access the revised information.

3. I already have the first edition. Why should I buy this one?

Times and conditions change. As noted below, several chapters have been updated. Others have been revised and reorganized. And five chapters have been added.

If you can afford it, I don't think you'll regret it, and you can then give your old edition to a friend just getting started, since it's the most basic material that has changed the least.

4. How is this new edition different from the first edition?

Adding the changes made for this edition to the changes for the second gives 60 or 70 pages of new material: there are five new chapters, updates, reorganizations of several chapters, and revisions where needed. Some of the book--perhaps 10 chapters in total--has not been substantially changed because some basic information and advice does not need to be revised or updated.

5. How can I be sure I'm buying the new edition?

If you can hold the book in your hands, you can see immediately on the cover that it says "THIRD EDITION." On the back cover, you'll find a new ISBN, 978-1592577507. If you are ordering the book online or through a catalog and can't see it, check the ISBN. If that isn't listed, check the copyright date. The new copyright date is 2008 (the date for the first edtion was 2001, and the second edition was 2004).

6. I'm already published. Isn't your book just for beginners?

No. I worked hard to make this a book that one could buy as a beginner, but still find useful years later. There are six parts to the book. The first two parts are aimed primarily at beginners, but others might find parts of them useful for reference. The next two are for people who have stepped beyond the beginner stage. And the last two are primarily for authors and illustrators who are published or about to be published. Take a look at it and see for yourself--I've heard from a number of published authors and illustrators that they learned something new from the book, or saw something in a new light.

8. There's a lot of information available for free on the Internet. Why should I waste my money buying your book?

As someone who has had a web site since 1996, and spends a lot of time on the Internet, I disagree with the assumption that there's a lot of information available there for free. Yes, there are lots of bits and pieces of information in just about any subject area, but for thorough coverage, you usually have to go to books. Even if all or much of the information in my book were on the Internet, you would have to spend many hours tracking it all down and making sense of it. If your time is only worth 25 cents an hour or so, then that effort might be worth it. But much of the information in this book is not available online. I have a pretty extensive web site about children's publishing, but I was able to use existing materials in only three of the 30+ plus chapters, and even that needed to be revised and expanded. "Do-it-yourself" information gathering can cost considerable time and money, and I think it certainly does in this case.

9. I want a review copy. How can I get one?

You'll have to show you qualify. There are three ways you can. This is a little complicated, so please bear with me.

First, you might be teaching a class in which you are considering using my book as a text. With an exception I'll go into in a moment, I can't get or send you a review copy. This is not academic publishing, where sending review copies to professors is routine. But if you can't afford to buy the book, you can always look it over in a bookstore or buy it and return it. However, if you teach a class for which you will be buying copies in bulk, you might want to purchase them through the publisher's special sales department. Use my Contact Page to email me, and I'll pass the message along.

Second, if you write for a print or Internet publication, and can provide clips or URLs, and some information about your audience (circulation for a print publication; unique visitors per month for an online one), please send these details and a mailing address to me via my Contact Page, and I'll pass the information along to the Alpha Books publicist.

Last but not least, there may be other reasons why you should receive a review copy. If you believe you should receive one, please email me via my Contact Page, and include an explanation of why you should receive one, and your mailing address.

Thanks for taking the time to read this FAQ. If it does not address a question you have about the new edition, please contact me.