Posted by: nancyisanders | July 16, 2015

Educational Publishers: Different Fish in the Same Pond

lake fulmor boy fishing

As I’ve been exploring the list of educational publishers listed on Ev Christensen’s amazing site, EDUCATIONAL MARKETS FOR CHILDREN’S WRITERS, I’ve realized an important point that I want to share with you…

Not all educational publishers are the same.

Since we were on vacation this past week and took a short hike around this small lake, seeing this young boy fishing reminded me that this list of educational publishers is like different fish in the same pond.

For example, I’ve written for various publishers listed on Ev’s site and some have similar submissions policies and similar products than others.

So I thought for starters let’s look at some of the categories of publishers on this list.

I’ve written a couple of books for Corwin Press. These projects have been work-for-hire where I’ve been handed a fairly lengthy packet of formatting rules to follow and my manuscripts have to fit into a series with other authors working on them, too. These books were based on the publisher’s ideas, not mine.

I’ve written several books for Chicago Review Press. For these books, I submitted my own ideas and landed royalty-based contracts with an advance.

I’ve written a couple of books for Libraries Unlimited that were my own ideas and landed royalty-based contracts with no advance.

For all 3 publishers, I signed the contracts before I wrote the manuscripts.

I don’t know how other people might categorize these publishers I just mentioned, but here’s the two categories I divide them into:

Publishers who need authors to work on projects they develop.

Publishers who accept original ideas from authors.

Why is this important to know?

Because you approach each type of publisher differently.

(And just a note…some publishers do both kinds of projects! It’s important to realize which type you want to contact them about.)

So as you’re continuing to explore and click on different links on this site, keep these 2 categories in mind.

We’ll talk more about this in an upcoming post.


  1. GOLDEN EGG info. 🙂

  2. Hi Nancy, just a quick question, I’m sure you have answered this some where, but, when querying an idea to ex. Chicago Review, and they follow up with interest. Do you follow their guidelines with the lengthy proposal? It includes three chapters, outline, chapters….all of that before the contract offer?

    • Great question, Anita! And yes, you follow their guidelines and put together the 3 chapters and outline and the info they ask for. The exciting thing about reaching this point is that RARELY do they turn down your proposal. Instead, they work with you to have you change parts they don’t feel are strong enough and tweak the proposal until it is what they’re looking for. And if they DO turn down your proposal, you can use the material you’ve worked so hard on for content for you web or magazine articles, etc. It’s a win-win situation! You can read more about it in my book YES! YOU CAN LEARN HOW TO WRITE CHILDREN’S BOOKS, GET THEM PUBLISHED, AND BUILD A SUCCESSFUL WRITING CAREER in chapter 9 (especially section 4).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: