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My child is driving me crazy and I need help!

Much as we would like to offer personal help, we are unable to give advice on individual problems. Two reasons for this are:

  • We are book publishers, not counselors.
  • Few vexing problems can be adequately described by e-mail.

The expertise of our authors is available from our books. Also:

  • Your favorite bookstore and library have many helpful books.
  • Your state extension service may have some resources to assist you.
  • Finally, counseling assistance may be available from your child’s school or elsewhere.

We wish you success in solving your problem.

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I’ve written a book on [some topic]. What do I do now?

You have two major options—find a publisher or be your own publisher. Each choice has its advantages and disadvantages.

In either case you will need to identify your audience, understand the competition, and know why your book is unique. We suggest you start by writing a proposal for a publisher. Even if you eventually decide to self-publish, writing the proposal will help you focus your thoughts. We’ve listed some resources below. Your local library will probably have some of them.

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I’ve got a great idea for a book. How do I get it published?

The process will vary depending on the publisher.

You can read Parenting Press’s manuscript submission guidelines. They discuss the process we use as well as what is needed from the author.

Three books that may help you are:

  • How to Get Happily Published by Judith Appelbaum from HarperPerennial
  • How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen from Writer’s Digest Press
  • Is There a Book Inside You? A Step-by-Step Plan for Writing Your Book by Dan Poynter and Mindy Bingham from Para Publishing

Three Internet sites that discuss publishing are:

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I’ve got a great idea, but I’ve never written a book before. What do I do?

Start with a query letter (our manuscript submission guidelines have information on what we want to see). If we agree that the idea is suitable for us, we’ll try to pair you with an experienced author to share the writing.

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Is there a market for my book?

If publishers could answer that question, they would all be wildly profitable. Unfortunately there is a difference between a need for a book and a market for a book. For example, there are many good needed books that we (Parenting Press) cannot publish because the market is too small or too difficult to reach.

Who determines if there is a need or market? Initially the author, next the publishing company, and finally the market itself. A good book proposal will include documentation on why there is a need and a market for the book. If the book is of interest to the publisher and there appears to be a market, then it will do its own estimates of how large a market there is and how the publisher might reach that audience. Finally the market itself determines how successful the book is. For some reason, some books “take off” and other equally good books limp along. In some part the difference is marketing, but part is just “chemistry” of the moment.

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I want Parenting Press to publish my book. Where do I send my manuscript?

Wait a minute! We want to see more than the manuscript.

Be sure to include a query letter. A query letter outlines the book you have in mind, the market you see for the book (including its competition), and why you are the right person to write the book. The information we want in a query letter is described in more detail in our manuscript submission guidelines.

Along with the query letter, include a sample chapter or two for a parenting book, or the manuscript for a children’s book. Mail it to:

Carolyn Threadgill, Acquisitions
Parenting Press, Inc.
P.O. Box 75267
Seattle, WA 98175-0267

Please note:

  • If you want the manuscript returned, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
  • Be sure to keep a copy! We know of some horror stories including a windstorm that broke an editor’s office window and spread a manuscript over Manhattan.

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May I submit my manuscript by e-mail?

No. Mail it to:

Carolyn Threadgill, Acquisitions
Parenting Press, Inc.
P.O. Box 75267
Seattle, WA 98175-0267

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I’d like to illustrate for Parenting Press. What do I do?

If you wish to illustrate for Parenting Press, begin by looking at the kinds of illustrations we have used. For samples of what we want, look at our covers and the illustrations used with the Weekly Parenting Tips (which come from our books). We look for illustrations that show children as “alive.” We like to see children with emotions and personality. Most of our illustrations are black and white, but occasionally are color.

Our selection process is somewhat unusual. We invite illustrators to submit a sample illustration(s) on speculation. These illustrations are then field tested with potential customers. We then evaluate the responses and, when a new book project appears, choose an illustrator. Sample illustrations may be sent to:

Attn: Illustration Submissions
Parenting Press, Inc.
P.O. Box 75267
Seattle, WA 98175-0267

If you wish to submit illustrations or a portfolio through the internet, please send us the URL of your website.

Schedule: Once an illustrator has been selected, we develop a tentative list of illustrations and a schedule. The schedule includes deadlines for rough illustrations (to be used to field test the book), revisions of the roughs, and final camera-ready drawings.

Compensation: Parenting Press generally pays a royalty on each book. For picture books, the royalty is split between the author and illustrator.

Sample illustration

from Heidi’s Irresistible Hat

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I see   Order from IPG all over. Who is IPG and why am I ordering from them?

IPG is the Chicago-based Independent Publishers Group (IPGbook.com). In 2013, Parenting Press outsourced its warehousing and fulfillment to IPG. So when you order a printed book from the Press, it will be shipped from Chicago. Downloadable books as PDFs continue to be processed from the Seattle office. When you click on the Order from IPG button, the IPG web site opens in a new tab or window, so you have both web sites immediately available from tabs at the top of your browser. You can switch between the two tabs to select both print and downloadable materials. If your order includes both print and PDF editions, you will need to check out from both web sites.

As a result of outsourcing, series prices and certain discounts are no longer available. A special offer or discount is available in each issue of News for Parents, our monthly newsletter.

If you’d like more information about this new fulfillment service, just ask. You can reach the Parenting Press staff at office@parentingpress.com, 800-992-6657, Ext. 101 mornings Pacific time. Or use IPG’s toll-free customer service number, 800-888-IPG1.

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You offer a choice between “paperback” and “library.” What is “library?”

“Library” is short for “library binding” and refers to the way the book covers are made and attached to the pages.

Libraries do not generally like paperback books because the covers wear out too quickly. A library bound book looks a lot like a hardcover or cloth bound book, but is more sturdy. The covers are stiffer than hardcover books and are laminated. The pages are sewn to cloth which is, in turn, sewn to the covers.

Library bound book construction

The interior pages are the same as paperback books. In fact, our library bound books are manufactured by removing the covers from paperback books and rebinding them in library covers.

As the cover pictures below show, the library cover is slightly larger, but otherwise they look nearly the same.

PaperbackLibrary Binding

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May I link to your web site?

Yes, you may. You may link to any page in the site. We would appreciate a note so we know who is linking to our site.

Caution: We are currently reorganizing the website. All the material will remain, however some of the web addresses (URLs) are changing. The changes will be made as time permits. If you’d like to be notified as we rename things, send an note to the webmaster with the subject “Site reorganization” [posted 11/29/13].

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May I reprint material from your web site?

You may reprint only with permission.

Some of our material comes with a grant of permission to reprint. The specific terms are specified with the material. For example, our brochure “Talking with your child about war” comes with permission to reproduce for educational purposes.

If you publish a school, preschool, day care or parenting newsletter, you are welcome to reprint articles from our monthly newsletter or the weekly parenting tips in your newsletter. Simply include our copyright notice with a phrase such as:

Reprinted with permission from Parenting Press News for Parents, copyright © 2004. For a free subscription, see www.ParentingPress.com/newsletter-subscription.html.

or

Reprinted with permission from Parenting Press’s weekly parenting tips, copyright © 2004. www.ParentingPress.com/weekly-parenting-tips.html.

If the material you wish to reprint does not fit in any of these categories, you must request permission to reprint.

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Last updated January 19, 2014