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Children's fiction written in Spanish to accompany foreign language textbooks

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AnaDavila

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Hello everyone!  Hope you are all doing well.  I am doing some investigation and research into writing and illustrating a very specific kind of children's book/story and was wondering if you all could help me out with some information.  I am considering writing and illustrating children's stories/books that are made specifically to go along with high school or middle school Spanish foreign language textbooks.  I would like for these stories to be of the quality and kind that they could be seen as stand-alone stories (by this, I mean that they seem more like children's fiction that children might choose to read on their own and not just more boring reading assignments), but are actually an extension of the textbook.  The stories would utilize all the elements being taught: vocabulary, tenses, syntax, grammar, etc.  They would be reinforcement of what the students are learning in class in the form of cute little stories.  I have not seen anything like this done before and I wanted to learn more about this industry before I just jumped in.  I have several questions/concerns that I am hoping you guys could help me with:

  1. Is there a market for something like this?  If so, which publishers that might be interested?

  2. I know publishers look for illustrators separately from authors, so would it be an issue for me wanting to do both writing AND illustrating?  If so, is there anything I could do to be able to do both?

  3.  We are in a digital age and I know some schools are trying to incorporate technology more into their classrooms and may use physical books less than they would have in the past.  I don't want to be left behind in an industry change.  Is there an area that is more"future-proof"?

  4.  What things can I do to make myself more attractive to publishers?

  5.  Any other advise and suggestions are more than appreciated!

  Thank you guys in advance for any help you can give me!

   Ana
#1 - December 03, 2013, 07:04 PM

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Ana, I think educational publishers would be interested in something like this. My strategy would be to target a couple of publishers who are already publishing Spanish textbooks and approach them directly with a proposal. A very useful link for writing proposals is here: http://www.fullcircleliterary.com/Nonfiction_Book_Proposal.pdf and there are many good books on the topic as well.

I'd encourage you to check out Ev's site with lists and links of educational publishers: http://www.evelynchristensen.com/markets.html 

Unless you are a professional illustrator, it's better for the publisher to find the best match.

Good luck on your project.
Vijaya
#2 - December 03, 2013, 07:28 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
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Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

AnaDavila

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Thank you, Vijaya!
#3 - December 03, 2013, 07:34 PM

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I'm going to take your questions one at a time. First, something like this exists. Spanish teachers often use Spanish language versions of existing picture books. I've seen Sesame Street books and versions of Eric Carle's stories at my daughter's middle school. There are also stories and non-fiction passages included in some of the text books. You'd need copies of the books to make sure you align your stories to curriculum. Bilingual stories may also be used in classrooms.

1. You'll have to research all of the educational publishers to find out which ones publish Spanish text books and accompanying materials.

2. If you are a professional illustrator, send art samples with your proposals. Illustration can be a good way to break into the text book market. Make sure your style conforms with the style of similar works by the same publisher.

3. Text book publishers now produce online versions compatible with Smart Board technology. They may also make e-books of your stories. This is up to the publisher.

4. Be professional. Be the best author and illustrator you can. Good work speaks for itself.

5. I suppose I answered this to start with. I do think kids would be happy to have more sophisticated content than what is found in picture books. Make sure you are aware of the language level of each group of students you are writing for. You must align with their capabilities as well as with the curriculum.

I hope this proves helpful.
#4 - December 09, 2013, 08:55 AM
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AnaDavila

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Thank you very much, Debbie.
#5 - December 11, 2013, 07:16 PM

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