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To Some Degree, You’re out of Luck

If you’ve got a board book idea for tiny tots, more power to you! Just know that traditional publishing presses probably don’t agree with Innovative Editing here.

That is to say they’re probably not going to put their own power behind you.


Publishing presses just aren’t going to pat you – or even the bunny – on the back for nothing. They’re businesses with money to make and people to employ. Moreover, they put significant time and effort into researching reading trends among all age groups, tiny tots included.

Now, they may be right or they may be wrong about the conclusions they draw from researching reading trends. They may also end up publishing pure trash, such as in the case of Too Many Shades of Really Bad Writing.

But one way or the other, it’s their publishing presses. Not yours. So it’s completely up to them – not you – what they decide to back and what they decide not to.

And they typically just don’t take on new board books by unknown authors. In fact, they don’t typically take on board books at all.

Board books are hard ideas to sell to agents.

Literary agents and traditional publishing companies probably aren’t going to be interested in your board book.

They’re not interested in anyone else’s board book either (as further explained below).

That means you’re probably going to have to look into the self- publishing route if a board book is really what you want to write.

According to – which may or may not be officially titled The Purple Crayon – there are really only three different kinds of board books that traditional publishers will consider. And here they are:

  • Something based on a popular TV show, movie or otherwise well-known, well-established media (which means you need the legal rights to mess with it)

  • Something entirely created by the publisher or by an already well-established author for some reason or another

  • Something that’s already been published as a hardcover picture book that is then simply reformatted.

That’s all, writing folks.

Incidentally, no matter my confusion on’s official title, if you’re writing for tiny tots or kiddies in general, the possibly named Purple Crayon seems to be a solid site to check out.

The same goes for I can’t even tell whether the blogger there is still writing or not, but one particular post from 2013 could be very informative if a board book is burning a hole through your head.

Titled, “How I Published a Board Book,” author Shasta Kearns goes through a helpful Q&A that includes questions like:

  • “Why don’t you have a literary agent?”

  • “Why did you create a whole publishing company instead of using a POD (publish-on-demand) service?

  • “What did you have to do to set up a publishing company?”

Good stuff, right?

You can read her replies right here.

Regardless of which resources you choose to use, Innovative Editing’s previously meant well wishes still stand. Creating a board book can be a beautiful thing, and this editor here hopes the absolute best journey for you, your words and your images.

Happy publishing!

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