Elizabeth O. Dulemba’s Publishing Experiences in Children’s Literature

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.”



2 thoughts on “Elizabeth O. Dulemba’s Publishing Experiences in Children’s Literature

  1. courtneycalderon March 15, 2015 / 12:41 pm

    I had never really thought about the publishing process of children’s books. Many of these stories are so whimsical that it must be hard for the author to look at them from such a harsh, business standpoint.

    I also did not know ten years was the average wait for a book to get published, and that honestly makes me respect these authors so much more. It seems like the climate of children’s book publishing is a little different from traditional publishing. Like Dulemba said, you really have to have passion and dedication to not completely give up on a book, especially a small and simple children’s book.


  2. jesslangone March 15, 2015 / 11:09 pm

    Ten years to get a children’s novel published! That is crazy.
    This was a really eye opening post, I wonder if these constraints are worth the wait to get a children’s book published with a company instead of self publishing.
    Did you find any information about self-publishing children’s books?


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