How to Publish a Children's Book in the UK

July 13, 2023

If you have dreamt of sharing your imagination with young readers, publishing a children's book is a fantastic way to bring your stories to life. The process of publishing a children's book in the UK may seem daunting at first, but with the right guidance and understanding of the industry, you can make your dream a reality. In this article, we will take you through the essential steps and tips to help you navigate the world of children's book publishing in the UK.

Understanding the Children's Book Market in the UK

Before diving into the process of publishing your book, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with the current state of the children's book market in the UK. This knowledge will provide valuable insights into trends and preferences that can shape your writing and marketing strategies.

The children's book market in the UK is a vibrant and competitive industry, with a wide range of genres and themes to explore. From picture books for toddlers to young adult novels, there is a demand for diverse and engaging stories that captivate young readers.

Current Trends in Children's Literature

The world of children's literature is constantly evolving, and understanding the current trends can greatly benefit your writing. Whether it's fantasy, adventure, or educational books, staying up to date with popular themes can help you capture the attention of young readers and publishers alike.

For example, in recent years, there has been a surge in books promoting diversity and inclusivity. Addressing themes like gender, culture, and disability in a sensitive and age-appropriate manner can make your book more appealing to publishers seeking diverse voices and stories.

Another trend in children's literature is the rise of environmental awareness. Many young readers are interested in stories that explore topics such as climate change, conservation, and sustainability. By incorporating these themes into your book, you can not only entertain but also educate young readers about important global issues.

Identifying Your Target Audience

Identifying your target audience is essential for crafting a captivating children's book. Consider the age group you want to target and the reading level appropriate for them. Younger children may appreciate colorful illustrations and simpler language, while older children may prefer more complex plots and relatable characters.

Moreover, understanding your audience's interests and preferences can help you create engaging stories that resonate with them. Conduct research, visit schools, and engage with children to gain insight into their world and what they enjoy reading.

It's also important to note that the children's book market in the UK is diverse, with different age groups and genres catering to various interests. From classic fairy tales to contemporary middle-grade novels, there is a wide range of options to choose from when it comes to writing for children.

Additionally, consider the educational aspect of your book. Many parents and educators look for books that not only entertain but also teach valuable lessons or skills. Incorporating educational elements into your story can make it more appealing to both young readers and those involved in their learning journey.

Furthermore, keep in mind the cultural and regional differences within the UK. Children's reading preferences may vary across different parts of the country, so it's essential to consider these factors when crafting your book. Conducting market research and understanding regional preferences can help you tailor your story to specific audiences.

In conclusion, understanding the children's book market in the UK is a crucial step in the publishing process. By staying up to date with current trends, identifying your target audience, and considering educational and cultural factors, you can create a captivating and relevant book that resonates with young readers and stands out in a competitive market.

Writing Your Children's Book

Now that you have an understanding of the market and your target audience, it's time to focus on writing a captivating children's book. Here are a few crucial elements to consider:

Developing Your Story Idea

Start by brainstorming ideas that capture your imagination and align with the interests of your target audience. Consider unique settings, relatable characters, and compelling themes that can ignite the imaginations of young readers. Once you have a solid idea, create an outline to guide your writing process.

For example, if you're writing a book for preschoolers, you might consider a story set in a magical forest where talking animals embark on exciting adventures. The theme could revolve around friendship and the importance of teamwork. This setting and theme would likely resonate with young readers who are just beginning to explore their own friendships and social interactions.

Creating Engaging Characters

Children's books often revolve around memorable characters that young readers can connect with. Develop characters that are relatable, diverse, and inspire curiosity. Consider their motivations, strengths, and flaws to make them three-dimensional and capable of driving the story forward.

For instance, you could create a main character who is a shy and curious bunny. This character might have a deep love for nature and a desire to explore the world beyond their cozy burrow. By giving the character relatable traits and goals, young readers can easily connect with them and become emotionally invested in their journey.

Additionally, children's books are often accompanied by illustrations. Collaborating with an illustrator can bring your characters to life visually, enhancing the reading experience for young readers. The illustrations can capture the unique personalities of your characters and add an extra layer of visual storytelling to your book.

Writing for Different Age Groups

When writing a children's book, it's crucial to tailor the language, vocabulary, and complexity of the plot to the specific age group you are targeting. Younger children may prefer simpler sentences and repetitive structures, while older children can handle more complex storylines and sophisticated language.

For example, if you're writing a book for toddlers, you might focus on using short and simple sentences with lots of repetition. This helps young readers build their vocabulary and develop a sense of rhythm in language. On the other hand, if you're writing for older children, you can introduce more complex plot twists and use a wider range of vocabulary to challenge and engage their growing minds.

Research age-appropriate reading levels and consider consulting a children's book editor for guidance on crafting your narrative effectively. They can provide valuable insights into the reading capabilities and interests of different age groups, helping you refine your writing to suit your target audience.

Illustrating Your Children's Book

Visuals play a significant role in children's books, captivating readers and enhancing their understanding of the story. The right illustrations can truly bring a story to life, making it more engaging and memorable for young readers.

When it comes to illustrating your children's book, you have two options to consider:

Hiring a Professional Illustrator

Collaborating with an experienced illustrator can bring your story to life in a visually appealing way. It is important to research illustrators who specialize in children's books and review their portfolios to find a style that aligns with your vision for your book.

When you find potential illustrators, take the time to discuss your ideas with them and provide any references or inspiration that you have. This will help them understand your vision and create illustrations that complement your text perfectly.

Working closely with a professional illustrator throughout the illustration process is crucial. Regular communication and feedback will ensure that the illustrations capture the essence of your story and resonate with your target audience.

Remember, the illustrations should not only enhance the story but also create a visual narrative that engages young readers, sparking their imagination and curiosity.

DIY Illustration: Tips and Tools

If you have artistic skills or prefer a more hands-on approach, you may choose to illustrate the book yourself. This option allows you to have complete control over the visual representation of your story.

However, illustrating a children's book yourself requires more than just artistic talent. It is essential to have a good understanding of illustration techniques and access to appropriate tools.

Before diving into illustrating your children's book, consider investing time in researching and learning about various illustration techniques. Online tutorials and workshops can be valuable resources to enhance your skills and broaden your creative horizons.

Additionally, familiarize yourself with the formatting requirements for publishing your book. Understanding the specifications for illustrations, such as resolution and file formats, will ensure that your illustrations meet the industry standards.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Before embarking on illustrating your children's book independently, take the time to practice your skills and experiment with different styles and techniques. This will help you refine your artistic abilities and find a unique visual language for your story.

Whether you choose to collaborate with a professional illustrator or embark on a do-it-yourself journey, the illustrations in your children's book should captivate young readers, allowing them to immerse themselves in the magical world you have created.

Editing and Proofreading Your Book

No matter how masterfully you craft your stories, it's essential to ensure they are polished and error-free. Proper editing and proofreading are vital to creating a professional and engaging book.

The Importance of Professional Editing

Consider hiring a professional children's book editor to review your manuscript. An editor can offer valuable feedback on plot structure, character development, and language use. They will help refine your story and ensure it resonates with your target audience.

Remember, editing is an essential investment in your book's success. The polished final product will greatly increase your chances of attracting publishers and delighting young readers.

Self-Editing Techniques

Before sending your manuscript off to an editor, take the time to self-edit. Read your book aloud to catch any glaring errors or inconsistencies. Pay attention to grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Revise and refine until your text flows smoothly and effectively communicates your story.

Navigating the Publishing Process

Once you've perfected your manuscript and illustrations, it's time to navigate the publishing process and bring your book to market. Here are some key considerations:

Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing

Decide whether you want to pursue traditional publishing or self-publishing. Traditional publishing involves pitching your book to publishing houses, while self-publishing gives you full control over the publishing process. Research the pros and cons of each option to determine the best fit for your goals and resources.

Finding a Children's Book Publisher in the UK

If you opt for traditional publishing, research reputable children's book publishers in the UK. Study their submission guidelines, paying attention to specific requirements for children's books. Craft a compelling query letter and submit it along with your manuscript and any necessary illustrations.

Remember, publishers receive numerous submissions, so ensure yours stands out by highlighting what makes your book unique and appealing.

Understanding Publishing Contracts

If a publisher expresses interest in your book, carefully review any publishing contracts offered to you. Seek legal advice if necessary to ensure you understand the terms and rights involved. Negotiate any aspects that are important to you, such as royalties, marketing support, and rights for future books.

Remember, the journey to becoming a published children's book author may contain setbacks and rejections. Stay persistent, take feedback constructively, and continue honing your craft. With determination and dedication, your book could enchant young readers across the UK.

Publishing Testimonials

I used Publishing Push to publish my novel and am completely satisfied with the service I received. In all my contacts with the organization, I found staff to be knowledgeable, professional and effective. Their friendly and helpful approach has been a welcome bonus.

Michael Brookes

Great experience and first class service! Huge thanks to Sophie and the team!

Mark Stuart

Brilliant experience working with Publishing Push. They kept me in the loop throughout the entire process and were supportive...All the staff were easy to communicate with and equally as talented with their skills. They streamlined the process...Would recommended Publishing Push.


I came to publishing push with very little vision other than my story. Their staff and process made it extremely easy to produce an amazing end product. I am so happy with the outcome. Thank you.

Mr Orchard

Working with Publishing Push was a complete pleasure...Publishing Push remove the worries and hassles so the Author can progress with their work unencumbered by the technical details of publishing. Publishing Push made the publishing experience extremely straightforward; I would not hesitate to publish through them again or to recommend them to any aspiring author.

Kate Taylor

Thank you so much Benjamin and the Publishing Push team! I cannot thank you enough for your dedication and determination to get my book published! You went above and beyond. I am so proud and happy how the book turned out. Such lovely friendly down to earth people! God bless you all! Wishing you all the best! Many thanks, Michelle 😊


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