Becoming an Ethicool Children’s Book Author
How to become a children's book author
People the world over dream of dropping their day job and embarking on the wildly-creative adventure of writing children's books. Of all people, our founders, Teigan and Stu, know this feeling better than most - they dreamed about it for years, but finally took the plunge! There are countless articles online claiming that you "can't make a living writing kids' books". Firstly, we're here to tell you that - if you've written something special - this is completely untrue. In fact, we've even written a somewhat famous blog post about how to write a kids' book and actually get it published.
If you want to join the ranks of those "making it" - with us or elsewhere - we highly recommend our manuscript assessments. Most of our current authors undertook them and it not only helped them improve their story, but also assisted them with getting on our radar!
If you've undertaken an assessment and are keen to submit to us, read on...
An Ethicool publisher on a big mission
For Ethicool, though, there is one critical difference about our children's book publishing: we're not really here to simply publish "great kids' books". Yes, of course, anything we publish has to be great, but it also has to focus on improving the world. The core ethos of our brand is to educate children about the issues that matter. We have a heavy bent towards environmentalism and sustainability, but also toward social and political issues, such as gender equality, poverty and self-awareness.
From children’s bedtime stories to fairytales, our books are special because they manage to seamlessly weave these significant themes into warm and endearing narratives that children love. If you're submitting to us, please bear this in mind and do your research. Order a book or two in our kids' book store, be inspired, read our blog on the topic, and then get your submission in via firstname.lastname@example.org. No matter how busy we are, we're ALWAYS excited to hear from new authors!
Children's book Submission Guidelines
We receive a huge volume of submissions every day. You have our commitment that we read each and every one of them, in absolute detail.
But before jumping in and submitting us your masterpiece, please review the below checklist.
NOTE: if it's clear that you haven't read and followed the submission guidelines, our team will not consider your work. Attention to detail is critical for authors, so please kindly take the time to understand and respect the process outlined below:
This makes the process faster and easier for you and also ensures you're not disappointed if your book is rejected due to not meeting our fine-tuned criteria.
- My book aligns with the themes and purpose of the Ethicool brand.
- I own an Ethicool kids' book or have read one and understand their style and method of writing.
- My manuscript is under 1,000 words (remember, we exclusively publish short picture books only).
- I have read the Ethicool blog on publishing a children's book.
- My book is written for children under 10 years of age (ideally even younger).
- My book is intended to be a picture book.
- I have thoroughly edited every page, or engaged a professional editor to do it for me.
- My children’s book hasn't been published previously (including self-published, Amazon etc.).
- My book isn't under contract to another publisher.
- I understand it can take 12 - 16 weeks to receive a response and, if I'm unsuccessful, I may not receive one at all.
Submission and publishing FAQs
Q: What does the publishing contract entail? A: We cover everything from proofreading and editing, to illustration, production, marketing and distribution. You just provide the story!
Q: How many authors do you publish in a year? A: Beyond our founding authors' work, we aspire to find at least ten new authors every year.
Q: Is there any cost to me, the author? A: Gosh, no! We are not a vanity publisher. We handle any and all upfront and ongoing costs once Ethicool has agreed to publish your children’s book.
Q: Can you help with manuscript review or preparation? A: Not right now, sorry. This is not currently a service we are able to provide.
Q: Why would I publish with Ethicool and not somewhere else? A: Because we're a values-led organisation, that prides itself on sustainability - there is NO other publisher like us.
Q: How do I format my submission? A: In short, almost any way you like - but our popular blog post covers this in more detail. Please ensure you read it and follow the advice given. Please also avoid sending your manuscript as text in an email - it must be attached to the email or have its online location linked.
Q: Do you publish in languages other than English (LOTE)? A: We currently only publish in English. LOTE manuscripts may be considered in late 2021.
Q: Do I need to be based in Australia to submit my manuscript? A: No, we accept manuscripts from authors worldwide, provided they're written in English.
Q: Does my submission need to include illustrations? A: Typically, no. However, if you'd like to submit an illustrated book, these are still accepted.
Q: Do you accept submissions from illustrators? A: Yes, we do. Please use the email@example.com email address to make contact and submit your folio to our team.
Q: Will I still hear back from you, even if my manuscript is unsuccessful? A: In most cases, yes. However, if your submission blatantly doesn't meet our criteria, we are unlikely to respond.
Q: How long will it take for my book to be produced (if I'm chosen to be published)? A: Typically around 6-9 months.
Q: How much do you pay your authors? A: More detail on the earnings process can be found in our blog post.
Q: Do you accept submissions anytime? A: Yes. Occasionally, we run promotions seeking submissions, but don't worry if you miss the submission dates, we accept manuscripts all year round.