By Nancy I. Sanders-
Writing beginning readers and chapter books has been the bread and butter of my career. Over the years, I’ve written more than 400 beginning reader stories that have been published in a variety of formats including a bestselling book with Scholastic Teaching Resources, 25 Read and Write Mini-Books That Teach Word Families. This book of 25 reproducible beginning reader stories has sold over 250,000 copies to date.
If you’d like to try your hand in this field that is full of variety and fun, here is an overview of some of the opportunities
Trade Book Market
Dr. Seuss invented beginning readers in the trade book market with his book, The Cat in the Hat. Since then most of the big publishing houses have developed their own line of beginning readers. This market is tight, but not impossible to break into. For example, if you’re represented by an agent, you can submit beginning readers to the big houses such as Random House. Or if you write a successful picture book (such as Fancy Nancy or A Visitor for Bear) your publisher might want to turn it into a beginning reader series. And at the chapter book level, even smaller publishers who do not require agented submissions are always looking for the next great series such as the all-time favorite, The Magic Tree House.
The Educational Market
Teachers as well as homeschooling parents use beginning readers in the form of mini-plays, mini-books, and reproducible stories. They can photocopy these and put them in the hands of their students to help them learn how to read. Visit your local teacher’s supply store to look for publishers such as Creative Teaching Press who publish books of reproducible beginning readers for teachers. Search on Amazon see more examples of their stories using the “Look Inside” feature.
The ESL Market
There is a variety of opportunity to earn income writing for the English as a Second Language (ESL) market. Publishers for this market need beginning reader materials in a wide range of formats for students from preschool through adult. To learn more about exciting opportunities available to writers of all levels, explore sites such as:
With the nation-wide focus on teaching children to read along with the development of the Common Core State Standards, publishers are seeking to provide resources such as readers theater plays for educators to use. Readers theater plays can be read aloud while students sit in their seats and don’t require a stage, costumes, or a director. Publishers such as Libraries Unlimited and Lerner are often on the lookout for adding more of these book titles to their
Many children’s magazines feature some type of beginning reader story. From rebuses to repetitive stories to readers theater, there are a variety of formats you can submit to magazines in order to start gaining experience writing for and building published credits in the beginning readers market.
When I first started writing for the beginning readers and chapter book market, I didn’t know the first thing about the opportunities available or the techniques needed to write a manuscript or land a contract. Yet writing for this market became a solid source of income over my career. If I can learn how to experience success, you can, too! Explore the possibilities. Go ahead and give this market a try.
Nancy I. Sanders is the children’s author of over 80 books with publishers big and small. Check out her how-to book for writers, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Beginning Readers and Chapter Books. www.YesBeginningReaders.wordpress.com