April 17, 2008
Post #2395 – 20080417
Dear Daniel: What I have to say for myself is how much I love and appreciate yourself, especially when you read books with Scott Simon on “Weekend Edtion Saturday.” My brilliant nephew (but that’s another story) grew up reading your books, and he is now 17.
Here’s my question, and you must get this a lot. My friend Ben, a real conservation crusader (and incidentally, a lawyer), has written a wondrous children’s book called “Sockapus,” about a creature that lives in a dryer and steals socks, and his relationship with the little boy who lives in the house. Although I’m a writer, children’s books are not my realm (unfortunately, since they’re ever so much more entertaining than most books for grown-ups). I don’t know quite how a children’s book gets published: if authors must find their own illustrators, or if publishing houses contract with the illustrator they think would be the best match for a particular story. We’ve heard that both approaches are possibilities. Any thoughts you could share would be most appreciated. Thanks!
Oy. I have decided not to give a course in how children's books get written and published. For one thing, I have no idea really. For another, there are a ton of resources, online, in books, in the machinations of a children's writers' society that is a combination of Girl Scouts and Tupperware--and a large number of people who do nothing but contemplate and answer the questions you raise. I just do it, I don't teach it. Others are waiting to welcome you with open mouths.