Updated: Feb 17
By supporting new and self-published authors and illustrators we help to keep the market full of new and varied content - which, let's face it, is just more interesting! So when you come to buy the gift of reading (either for yourself or another) you have something new and interesting to reach for.
The newer the book the more likely you are to find content that is tackling contemporary issues. Great when you are helping kids navigate topics that you may be unfamiliar with. Isn't it nice to find a children's picture book that deals with potentially difficult to approach subjects? Children may be learning about them in PSHE but you may not have the confidence or experience to feel comfortable with them. In this case the book becomes a good starting point for those conversations.
Some great books dealing with non-traditional topics include:
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson - A true story of two male penguins raising a chick
10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert - A story about a boy who loves dresses
Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed - Tells a tale of life in a refugee camp.
Sounds good! But how do we support new and emerging authors?
A really good way, is to look for self-published authors - both published and emerging (like me!) Self-published authors are not reliant on waiting for a publisher to decide to publish their story: if they see a topic they want to cover they can do that without wasting time waiting around. Because of this, self-published authors are able to tackle with contemporary issues as they arise.
Put on that detective cap!
The problem is with getting found. Self-published authors don't always have the advertising power of publishing houses, so you may need to search them out! A quick internet search of 'self-published author' alongside the topic you are after should show up some results.
Get on Social Media!
Another great way to find them is through social media - you know, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. Most new and self-published authors will be self advertising like crazy on social media. Search the hashtags(#) for terms like #selfpublished #newauthor #childrensauthor and remember not to use grammar in hashtags.
You that Tube!
Another place to look for new talent is YouTube. Like social media, new and self-published authors use YouTube to showcase themselves and their work. In the YouTube search bar search for 'new authors', 'self-published authors', 'children's authors' and I'm sure you'll get some great results. You may even find some pre-published authors (like me as I write this) and get the chance to follow their journey right the way to the end.
And don't forget about the illustrators. Children's picture books wouldn't be half as much fun without the pictures! A lot of illustrators also branch out and write words to accompany their illustrations. To find them, just add 'illustrator' and 'children's illustrator' to your seaches too.
Follow these tips and in no time you'll have a collection of new authors to follow!
To follow my own process find me at the links below and leave a comment or two to say hello!
@emmawoodthorpe (author page)
@embers_and_ink (illustration page)
@emmawoodthorpeauthor (author page)
@embersandink (illustrator page)
My Channel (my illustrator and author journey)