Elizabeth O. Dulemba is children’s author, book illustrator and teacher. She has written over twenty children’s books. On her website, Dulemba discussed some of the challenges of publishing in the children’s literature industry and her personal experience.
Dulemba claims that there are one or two challenges are more characteristic of the children’s publishing industry various other writing industries.
For one, authors are expected to produce effective stories with very minimal and simplistic text, which can be challenging. Most children’s stories are no longer than 1,000 words. Also, Dulemba believes that sometimes children book authors can form strong emotional nostalgic attachments to their work, which in turn makes rejection harder.
Dulemba writes that, “…it took me three years to land my first contract as illustrator. That’s considered very fast. It took me seven years to sell my first picture book manuscript as author/illustrator Again, faster than average. And it took me ten years to sell my first children’s novel. That is actually the average. But I have friends who are still trying to get published after ten years or more of trying.”
Despite time restraints and competitive challenges in this industry, Dulemba offers some encouraging advice. Dulemba writes that, “ if you are truly determined, there are some things you can do to increase your chances in the very competitive world of children’s books…Learn as much as you can about the business side of children’s books.
Dulemba encourages authors to know how the manuscripts should be formatted and to target your submission to the best of your ability. Dulemba advices writers to “Learn the rules so you can jump the hurdles. Educate yourself. The more you know about the inner workings of this business, the better chance you’ll have.”