Children's Editorial Services
Are you writing specifically for the children's market? Have you found it difficult to get appropriate editorial input on your work ? Do you want to know if it has real commercial potential? Or are you planning to self-publish?
Writing for children
Over the last few years there has been an increasing emphasis on children’s writing, previously the Cinderella of the publishing world. Harry Potter has helped change that, and there now are many children’s writers who command big audiences.
Children’s publishing has become more commercial and more glamorous, but remains extremely enjoyable and livelier than the adult publishing world. And what could be more important than the reading-matter of the next generation of book readers?
Many writers are now tempted to ‘have a go’ at writing for children. There is a widespread belief that it is rather easy to write for a younger audience. Actually it’s a highly competitive field in which you need good writing, originality and a clear grasp of the market to succeed, plus a good illustrator if you are writing illustrated books for younger children. (See Michael Legat's Factsheet on Children's Books)
Our services cover writing for the general children’s market but not the educational market, which is quite different in that publishers commission writers for specific projects.
Our children’s editorial section offers three services. Please feel free to email us if you have any other requirements relating to children’s writing, and we shoudl be able to help.
Please let us know which age group you are writing for.
- Provides a short first report on the work
- Informed comment on:
- The content
- The storyline (if appropriate)
- The style and tone
- The language and whether it is appropriate for the intended age-group
- Whether further work on the manuscript will improve its chances of publication.
- If it is intended as an illustrated book, the suitability and quality of up to 10 illustrations which can be sent to us in jpeg or tiff format with the typescript.
- The likelihood that it will be taken on by a commercial publisher.
- This fuller and longer report will offer a more substantial critique of the work, covering:
- The content
- The storyline (if appropriate)
- The style and tone of the work and its suitability for the intended age group.
- The language and whether it is appropriate for the age-group and for other English-speaking markets (especially the US for non-American writers and the UK for non-British writers).
- The editor will say whether further work will improve its chances and will outline her recommendations for the work to be done, allowing the writer to go back and rework.
- If it is intended as an illustrated book, the editor will comment on the suitability and quality of up to ten illustrations which can be sent in jpeg or tiff format with the typescript. If no illustrations are provided but they are required, he/she can comment on what might be suitable.
- The likelihood that it will be taken on by a commercial publisher, with some comment on its international possibilities
- Copy editing writing intended for children is a highly skilled task, demanding specific knowledge of children’s vocabulary levels at different ages.
- The copy editor will correct your spelling and punctuation, check the sentence structure, grammar and use of words, and impose consistency, using standard copy editing procedures throughout.
- The vocabulary will be checked to make sure it is appropriate for the age group.
- Although the text for a children’s book is likely to be considerably shorter than for an adult title, every word counts.
- If the book is intended for the international English language market, then the copy editor will use their specialist skills to check for unsuitable or misleading language.
- If the book is illustrated, this adds an additional level of complexity and may involve the editor in checking the positioning of the pictures.
For all these reasons we would need to assess the material before we can give a quote for copy editing children’s writing. The figures quoted below are only a guide.
Copy editing alternatives
We will copy edit your work on screen and send you two versions:
- Changes made on screen and accepted - The copy editor will make the changes, working on screen, and will accept them before finishing the job. You will get emailed back to you a manuscript which is clean and ready for press. We would advise you to read through the manuscript carefully when you get it back to make sure that you are happy with all the changes
- The second version will be on screen plus 'track changes', which means that you will be able to see all the changes the editor has made. We strongly advise authors not to use this version unless they are familiar with 'track changes, as it is easy to reintroduce errors. It is very useful though to see exactly what the editor has done.
- We now offer as standard but at no additional cost a unique service which provides the writer with two versions of their manuscript, one showing the copy editing changes made using 'track changes' and one with all the changes accepted.
(Author David Balderstone from Melbourne suggests how to use the two versions: "I studied the version with track change suggestions closely, learnt a lot, and fully realised how much editing work was involved. Then I read the version with track changes accepted very carefully.")
What it costs
The amount of material to be assessed is usually shorter than for adult books, but it takes our editor just as long to consider the work and to write the report. On the copy editing great care needs to be taken with every word.
The Reader’s Report
The Reader’s Report costs £80 for children’s work of up to 50,000 words, payable in advance. We will have to quote individually on longer manuscripts. We would normally expect to email the Reader’s Report to you within two weeks of receipt of your order. Please remember that we will need the word count of your manuscript, which your word processor will provide.
The Editor’s Report
The fee for the Editor's Report is £110 for manuscripts under 50,000 words, payable in advance.
We will have to quote individually on longer manuscripts or if the job will be particularly complex. In either case, we will email you with the revised fee. We would normally expect to email the Editor's Report to you within two weeks of receipt of your order.
Copy editing a manuscript is a demanding and skilled task, with no shortcuts. On children’s work we charge £.008 per word, with a minimum charge for up to 10,000 words of £80. You can get your word-processor to work out the length of your manuscript.
- If your manuscript is in a very untidy state or needs a heavy copy-edit, we may need to quote you a higher fee. Please in any case email your manuscript to us in the first instance and we will give you a quote.
- Make sure you send us a note of anything specific you want the copy editor to look at and tell us the age group you are writing for.
- We would normally expect to get the copy edited manuscript back to you in about three weeks of receipt of the manuscript and payment, but please remember that many hours of detailed work are involved. When we send your quote we will let you know if for any reason the work will take longer than three weeks and we will give you a date for completion of the work.
All fees are payable in advance.
You may also be interested in Children's Publishing from the Inside Pubishing series
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