How to publish a children's picture book

Updated April 17, 2017

Publishing a children's picture book can be a challenging but worthwhile endeavour. A writer and illustrator may submit an idea for publishing. Read more to learn how you can get a book publisher to publish your children's picture book.

Use brainstorming and freewriting to develop an idea for a children's picture book.

Use a word processor to flesh out the story for the children's picture book. Print out one sentence per page to make yourself a dummy book. Edit the story to a final draft.

Research new trends in the children's book publishing industry by browsing new children's books at your local library. Visit your local book store and spend time researching books there. Read or reread classic children's books to familiarise yourself with older version of successful children's book. Use a book publisher guide online or a printed version to narrow the type of children's picture book publisher you would like to publish your book.

Create a query letter describing your children's picture book. Include relevant information about the story and your experience as a writer. Send a sample chapter only if requested by the children's book publisher to do so.

Print out manuscript versions of the complete picture book and be sure to include your name on each page. Follow the instructions provided in the submission guidelines from the publisher. (Some children's book publishers will not accept multiple submissions.)

Continue contacting publishers and writing query letters. When you receive an offer to have your children's picture book published, hire a lawyer to review the terms of the contract.


Writers are not expected to illustrate their own picture books. Book publishers work with illustrators to bring your words to life.


Do not neglect the publisher's submission guidelines. Not following the rules can cause your manuscript to be ignored. Do not confuse a book producer with a book publisher. A book producer wants to be paid. A bool publisher will pay you. Do not send a complete manuscript to a publisher who has not requested one.

Things You'll Need

  • Stories appropriate for a children's picture book
  • A word processor
  • A computer
  • A printer
  • Postage stamps
  • A book publisher resource book
  • A package of blank paper
  • A box of #10 envelopes
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About the Author

Pam Gaulin is a content specialist and copy writer whose clients have included Reebok,, Walmart, Butterfinger, Ball Park Franks, Modern Mom, McCormikc, Equifax, Transuion, Walmart, and many other notable brands. Her previous positions include editor of "Web Site Source Book," project leader for a K-12 database, business writer for a newsletter publisher and Happenings editor for "The Valley Advocate." Gaulin holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Massachusetts.