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Become a Children's Book Publisher: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Learn how to become a children's book publisher. Explore the education requirements, training information and experience required for starting a career in the literary field.

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Should I Become a Children's Book Publisher?

Children's book publishers typically work for publishing companies and are knowledgeable in all aspects of book publishing. Individuals who publish children's books usually manage their selection, production, marketing and distribution. Although a high degree of satisfaction can be obtained from seeing your choices reach publication, sharp competition resides within the publishing industry. Related experience in writing, editing and publishing, along with the completion of a formal education program, is preferred.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Certificate, associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs
Degree Field Writing, literature, and publishing
Certification None, but the Association of American Publishers offers professional development for its members
Experience Internships may improve marketability for entry-level positions
Key Skills Creativity writing, critical thinking and communication, graphic design and typography
Salary $38,200 is the median annual salary for desktop publishers (2014)

Sources: Emerson College, George Washington University, O*NET Online, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics'

Step 1: Meet Educational Requirements

Specific degree requirements vary by employer. The educational background of children's book publishers ranges from certificate programs to master's degree programs. Certificate programs in publishing are often intensive and may last for about a week. Participants will create a business plan and learn about topics such as marketing, legal issues, literary publishing and design. Some schools offer bachelor's degree programs in writing, literature and publishing. These undergraduate programs aim to provide students with foundational skills and practical experience in a variety of genres. Master's degrees can be pursued to help advance a publisher's career.

Step 2: Gain Experience

Prospective children's book publishers sometimes begin their careers as assistants or interns at major publishing houses. During their time in these entry-level positions, aspiring publishers typically receive on-the-job training in copyediting, fact-checking and research. Additionally, paid internships may sometimes be available in the editorial, publicity, promotion, marketing and production departments of the larger publishing houses, which can lead to higher positions in the publishing field.

Step 3: Earn a Master's Degree

A master's degree program in publishing may give an aspiring children's book publisher additional training and opportunities for career advancement. Typical coursework for a Master of Professional Studies in Publishing includes marketing distribution, management and business. Current professionals who have earned their degrees in other fields may also enroll in master's degree programs in publishing.

Success Tip:

  • Join a professional organization. Children's book publishers who are interested in additional professional development and career advancement can take advantage of the benefits of professional membership-based associations such as the Association of American Publishers (AAP). The AAP offers various opportunities, such as free job postings, seminars, workshops and webinars.
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