Children’s Books: To Self–Publish Or Not To Self-Publish?

Recently a friend asked me to review a children’s book she’d written and advise her whether to seek an agent or traditional publisher or to publish it herself. I don’t write children’s fiction myself, so I researched. I’m passing on what I learned for those of you who write for children or plan to do so.

To start with, I did try some children’s writing right after I graduated from college. For years I belonged to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. It remains a wonderful resource. The SCBWI hosts local and national events, has regional chapters, and offers information and articles through its website.


This 2016 article from Writer’s Digest lists agents looking for children’s books with directions on submitting. It’s a year old, so you’ll want to check each of agent’s website to see if the directions are still accurate, but it’s a great way to get started if you’d like to find an agent.

Here is an article on writing query letters to agents or editors regarding children’s books. (The article provides a good overview on queries for any writer.)

Finally, if you think you might want to get an illustrator, or if you’ve illustrated your own book, this article on self-publishing children’s books from Huffington Post provides useful information.

Until Sunday, when I’ll be writing about point of view as inspired by real life events between the current president of the United States and the former FBI director—


L.M. Lilly

P.S. If you’re in the Chicago area tomorrow (6/10/17), check out the Printers Row Lit Fest. You can find me and my books under the Chicago Writers Association tent on Dearborn Street just north of Polk Street in Chicago. There are tons of writers, books, and events, including many for children, throughout Saturday and on Sunday as well.