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    1. Laurie Kaplan
      February 25th

      I would like to write a children’s book. I have ideas and need help with getting my dream accomplished. Thank-you.


      • Hi Laurie – best advice I can give you is to ‘just write it’ and test the stories on children of various ages. You will see who is engaged, who is bored, who is laughing etc; kids will give you an instant sense of whether your stories are ‘good to go’ or need some tweaking.

        Good luck!

    2. Debra DeShaw
      February 26th

      I am a 5th grade reading specialist who has a lot of ideas for children’s books but no finished manuscript or query letters sent to publishing houses. I do have part of a rough draft and subject matter that I am trying to develop. Could you help me with some practical tips on getting published? Thank you.

      • Laura Backes
        March 17th


        This is a big question that I can’t possibly answer in one comment box, but we have 25 year’s worth of information on this very topic at our Children’s Book Insider membership site (, along with a monthly newsletter that’s included in your subscription.


    3. I have written the first draft of a book for middle grade children and am looking for a critique group and an agent.

      • Laura Backes
        March 17th


        We have a manuscript critique exchange on the Childen’s Book Insider membership site (called The Children’s Writing Knowledge Base, We also list agents in our newsletter, Children’s Book Insider.

    4. Pride
      March 13th

      I have signed in 4 (FOUR) times and still have been able to get your FREE book–each time on someone else’s page and now another sign–Apparently you wish to keep your free book.

      Enough is enough–Bit it.

      • Laura Backes
        March 17th

        Dear Pride:
        The ebook should have been automatically sent to whatever email you registered with. Please check your spam folder. If it’s not there, please send a message to and she’ll send you the book directly. Please let her know the name of the ebook you wanted, as we offer several on our site.


    5. Researching and writing and soon submitting. MM

    6. paulus
      May 13th

      this information will change my life for good

    7. I have several manuscripts. I have submitted to several agents and haven’t heard back from them (although its only been a week).

      What is the typical protocol when hearing back from agents/publishers?

      What is your take on vanity publishing?

      • Laura Backes
        June 12th

        First of all, it’s common to wait up to a month to hear back from agents (sometimes a bit longer) and several months to hear back from publishers. Check the guidelines for wherever you’re submitting. Some agents and publishers say they only respond to those queries for which they’re interested in requesting the entire manuscript. But they usually give you a time frame in which to expect their response. If you don’t hear within that time, assume it’s a NO.

        As for vanity publishing, that’s changed a lot in recent years. My opinion is that it’s better to completely self-publish your own work, because even with vanity presses (or co-op publishers as they’re sometimes called) you still have to do all your own marketing. The publishers might help get your book into stores, but you’ll pay a lot of money for this service. But you should look at each on a case by case basis and decide what you are comfortable doing yourself.

    8. Hi, Laura,
      I’m already a subscriber…


    9. Do you find it’s easier to get published if you have an agent or enter manuscripts as a freelance writer?

    10. Hi Laura
      As I Waite for your eBook to down load , I know a best sellor is about to give birth.
      Thanks for your help.

    11. I’m already a subscriber but am eagerly awaiting your book!

    12. Linda
      July 30th

      Thank you. This vide is a great milestone toward successful children’s book publishing. It is an adventure. Look forward to the next in the series!

    13. Laura – you use the words “completely self publish”. I hope I understand you because that’s exactly what I did with my anthropomorphic book (which no publishers would even look at – very discouraging) I found an illustrator my son formatted the manuscript (along with the printer), sent it off to be professionally bound, and sold the copies on my own. Quite a lot of work, but I love my book, and feel it should be in every child’s hands.

    14. Nancy Sondel
      February 28th

      Thanks for all the incredible info you provide for children’s writers! 🙂

    15. Raiha
      April 3rd

      Hi Laura,
      I love to write and I wrote a story for a children’s book. I am asking my friend to edit it for me as English is not my first language. However I am just wondering, If I do illustrations too would that be an added point or no? I am just wondering what the process is with a publishing house?

      • Dorothy
        September 16th

        I was wondering I have a book and my mom did the illustrations and I want those pictures in the book how do I go about this is it send text first then talk about illustrations or what?

        • Jon Bard
          September 18th

          Browse through the pull-down menus on and you’ll find some information on submitting to publishers. We have a lot more specific information on how to submit a picture book with illustrations to publishers in our membership site at

    16. Laura Backes
      April 13th


      It’s best not to send illustrations with your manuscript unless you are a professional illustrator or artist. Otherwise, the publisher will find an illustrator for your book.

      Good luck!
      Laura Backes

      • Rodney
        April 25th

        Hello I’m also interested in writing for children and young adults ,would it be better to go to a school for masters in writing for children.

        • While master programs can be very informative, they are certainly not necessary in learning how to write a children’s book. In fact, the vast majority of published authors I know do not have advanced degrees. Check out the Beginner section on to get you started. We are also launching a new, step by step program on how to write picture books in June 2016. If you’d like to get on the VIP list for all the early bird information, go to

    17. Michelle
      May 11th

      Hi! How long does it normally take for the e-book to be sent? Sent the email a couple of hours ago.

      • The ebook is automatically sent to whatever email you used. Check your SPAM folder. If you don’t see it, please contact and tell her which ebook you were expecting. She’ll send it directly to you.

    18. Hi Laura,
      I have a manuscript for children’s book, have found that kids in my target age group loved it, and now I need to know consecutively what steps I should take next. Please list in order what I should do next and how to do it. I really appreciate your time! Thank you! Karen

      • Hi Karen:

        We have lots of articles on our membership site, KidLit Planet ( that explain the process. Start with the Beginner section. We also have the Beginner button on the home page of But here’s something REALLY exciting: we are releasing a new product in early June 2016 called Picture Book Blueprint, that literally takes you step by step through the entire process of writing your book from idea through polished manuscript. If you’d like to get on the VIP list for the information and early bird pricing, go to

    19. Thanks Laura for being at our side. Give us your time and your good advice.
      I hope to not to dissapoint you in what you’ve taught us.

    20. Megan
      May 28th

      Wonderful information! Thank you for sharing and making the process seem not so overwhelming.

    21. Sharon
      June 8th

      Hi Laura,
      I believe you are inspiring writers all over the world. I’m impressed. God bless you.
      Could you please help me with this? Most children in my part of the world are not so much interested in reading but I have been developing some ideas to write children books. Can you give some advice.

    22. Got it! Thank you so much! Just what I was looking for.

    23. Thank you for captioning the replay. So often, I 9a deaf woman sign up fr Web things and find only a talking head and no captions…it is refreshing to find one I CA actually watch and learn from!

    24. Robin
      August 25th

      Wonderful tips- thank you so much!

    25. P. Green
      August 27th

      I am inexplainably excited that I checked my “usually ignored emails,” and found this info waiting for me. I am a published Author (newbie), literally unknown. I retired in 2013, as an educator and since have become addicted to writing and creating my own illustrations and unique characters. I know exactly what it feels like to become a kid again, and I live it, in my manuscripts. Each journey offers me a different adventure. The kid inside me is recognized and organized!

      I live to write and now write to live!

      Oh! I am a 2nd year participant in the 9th annual National Black Book Festival that is held in Houston Texas. Ok. Enough said. ☺️

      Write-fully yours,


    26. P. Green
      August 27th

      I know exactly what it feels like to think, act and become a kid again, and I live it, in my manuscripts! Each journey offers me a different adventure. The kid inside me is recognized and organized!

    27. Palama
      October 15th

      I have sent a request for your e-book 11 steps to writing for children, not once but twice and have still not received the link. How else do I access it ?

    28. Personally, I think self-publishing is the way to go. Even if you do publish with a publisher, I hear you have to do your own marketing as they have such a large inventory. Also, self-publishing helps you refine your craft, you can do your book over, just upload the new version, and you can watch your sales.

      • Laura Backes
        December 28th

        I agree with many of your points Christine. We are coming out with a Self-Publishing Blueprint in March on Keep an eye out for our announcement!

    29. Hi Laura,
      my name is Laura as well, anyway I have an idea of a children’s book about bees, Honey bees especially. I seem to have a way with them and have several short stories that are really cute and i want to share them. Please give me any advice that you may have. Thank you very much and God Bless You.

      • Laura Backes
        March 22nd

        Hi Laura:

        I suggest you check out the Just For Beginners section of Lots of good articles there to get you started. You’ll find it by clicking on Browse by Category at the top of the page. Best of luck with your writing!

    30. Sabrina
      March 28th

      Hi Laura,

      Is it true that you have to market your own book even if published by a publishing house? I am not very good at marketing hence my tendency to go to a publishing house with my manuscript opposed to self publishing… I would love to focus my time on writing and not marketing.

      • Laura Backes
        March 28th


        Yes, most publishers expect authors to do the bulk of their own marketing these days. That’s why so many authors choose to self-publish. If they’re going to market anyway, they want a bigger share of the profits. We have two products that may help you on our site: One of our Power Tools, called Easy Author Marketing, helps you set up your marketing in a way that feels comfortable and fun for you. And tonight (March 28) we’re launching our Self-Publishing Blueprint, in case you want to go that route. If you’re reading this before the end of the day you can still sign up for our free launch webinar and have access to the Early Bird pricing on the Blueprint: Otherwise, check out to see it there.


    31. Hi Laura. As the hurricane wind is bellowing outside here in the Cape and the devastating fires destroys Knysna, I need to read sonething positive. Thanks for my book. Go well. Tessa.

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