Posted by: nancyisanders | August 8, 2012

Picture Books: Commercial

Some agents and editors (especially the ones at the big New York publishing houses) want to acquire picture book manuscripts that are commercial.

“What’s commercial?” you may ask.

To help you learn about commercial, read picture books with the following characters:

Fancy Nancy
Ladybug Girl
Skippyjon Jones
Pete the Cat

All of these books have several things in common, all of which add up to making them be “commercial.” These qualities include:

A main character who is very, very unique with lots and lots of pizzazz
The potential to have licensed toys or a cartoon or even a movie, usually because the character is so strong and the plot is strong as well.

If you want to write commercial picture books, grab as many commercial ones as you can that have been published in the last year or two. Then write a brand new picture book with a quirky, unique character who could star in a zillion stories and really grab your readers.

Have fun!


  1. That’s exactly what I want to do with Tootsie! I didn’t know there was a name for that style of book. Is it possible for an unknown author to really get something published in the commercial realm? Or do you have to be an accomplished writer already? I feel like it has a lot to do with who you are and who you know.

    • It’s definitely possible for an unknown author to publish a commercial story! But it does also have a lot to do with who you know. And God is the one who opens these doors, so never give up the dream He’s given you!!!! He has a plan!!!!

      • That’s right, I know God! LOL I guess you can’t really go any higher than that! Thanks for the reminder, friend!!

  2. i love learning from you Nancy. and so true that all success comes from the Lord. smiles!!

  3. It’s like Origami Yoda, Dogman, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Olivia, Pinkalicious, etc…if I’m catching on?

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