Do you have children's book ideas

Questions on the topic answered by Sylvia Englert.

Sylvia Englert, also known by her novel pseudonym Katja Brandis, wanted to be a writer even as a child ... and luckily that worked, since she has published over 50 books with well-known publishers such as Piper, Beltz & Gelberg, arsEdition, Arena and Knesebeck. She mainly writes books for children and young people (mostly fantasy, thriller, adventure) and passes on her experiences in the "Handbook for Children and Young People" (Authors' House Publishing House) and other author's handbooks. There is more information about her on her homepages,

annotation: Many of the answers here come from the author couple Kopietz / summerwho answered your questions as experts from July 2001 to March 2002, and from Michael Borlik, our children's book expert until June 2016. We have made this clear in the respective questions.

Can you help me get my teenage novel published?

I wrote a youth novel about a Turkish girl who initially had great integration difficulties, but was then accepted into the class community with the help of her German classmates. Finally she falls in love with a German boy [...]

I would like to publish this book. Can you help me with that?

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How does a fair distribution of royalties between author and illustrator look like?

What royalties, advances, what percentage of the exploitation of ancillary rights for licensed editions are common (in large) children's book publishers for authors if the book is illustrated in color, but is not a picture book, but a novel (well over 100 pages of text plus many pictures) ?

How low must or may authors' shares fall so that it remains fair to the illustrator and publisher without being unfair for authors? And should a staggering be achieved? From which edition, by what percentage?

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Should I send my whole picture book design to publishers?

I made a draft of a children's book, the whole thing comprises a total of 14 pages with cover, spine and a dedication page, the remaining pages are structured as follows [...] The whole thing is a story. Now I'm not sure how many pages to send to the publishers, since you should never actually send the entire book. I thought about sending everything in a smaller format (A5) in black and white and only one or two of the pages as a color print [...]

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How does the collaboration between author and illustrator work properly?

An author has an idea for a series of children's books. She wanted to look for an illustrator herself and not get one assigned by the publisher. I made three sample photos (free), then she decided for me.

She said that since she has published several books (adult literature) [...] she is not in the least worried that the book will get through. She said you had to submit several pictures to the script, and since we're in the same boat, we have to invest both now. In other words: I have been drawing these test images free of charge for weeks, which we are now submitting. These are extremely complex illustrations [...].

Now, as a surprise to me, she asked whether I would prefer that we go through a literary agent. Directly or if the things were not taken straight away. Or whether I want to stick with the fact that she joins the publishers. The agent would get 15-20% of the earnings.

I'm surprised as I thought your main part of the job was to write this marketing concept. Since she, I think, is of the opinion that in percentage terms she is entitled to more than me if the book is taken. Although she only writes 1-2 sentences per page and I will probably work on such a picture for 1-2 weeks.

Is this normal, or am I starting to feel uncomfortable, and rightly so?

Their argument is: You will not earn much from this book, but the authors will contact you in abundance afterwards and you will not be able to save yourself from offers. "See it as an investment to make me known."

How should I act, especially in the event that a publisher takes us?

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What does a row concept look like?

I've written a book that marks the beginning of a series of children's books. What does the publisher mean when it now wants to have a series concept presented? What does something like that look like? Does it only describe the framework that holds the individual books together, or do I have to submit an exposé for each individual book?

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I've heard short stories can't be published. Does this also apply to bedtime stories?

I am currently working on a children's book that consists of many individual bedtime stories. Each story is about a page long and is long enough to be read aloud. I have now heard from some that short stories cannot be published. Does this also apply to bedtime stories? The stories are sorted according to certain topics, so that there would be something for every child.

Another question: How exactly can children's books be created that contain certain mechanical or other elements (such as fold-out pages, knobbly pictures, etc.)? Is it enough to explain the idea in the cover letter or do I have to "pre-tinker" it? For the bedtime story book, the implementation of such elements would be essential [... |.

Which genre would be appropriate for such a story? Or do the publishers give up on something like that?

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How can I assign my manuscript to a genre?

I am very unsure of the extent to which my not quite finished novel will work for young people (girls) from 12/13 years. The main plot is actually a crime thriller (murder). The motivation of the almost 15-year-old protagonist to convict the guilty party and thus to prove the innocence of her fugitive 17-year-old friend is love. I have "spiced up" the whole thing with some mystery elements, which also help the main character to track down the real culprit - but in such a way that the reader is left in the dark whether it is actually a matter of supernatural or optical illusion / imagination Protagonist, i.e. phenomena that can be explained in real terms.

Which genre would be appropriate for such a story? Or do the publishers give up on something like that?

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