There are some really great publishers out there that will accept an unagented, newbie like me, but finding them can be exhausting. Here are the simple tools I use to search for a publisher to submit to. You will need the following:
1. A copy of the current Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market (CWIM).
2. A notebook, pencil, eraser and highlighter for tracking the standouts.
3. Patience to look every publishing house up on the web once you find them in the book because since the book was printed they may have changed their submission process or are no longer taking unagented submissions.
4. Time to visit the bookstore or look online to see if your manuscript fits what they are currently publishing or pursuing.
5. You can also use www.writersmarket.com. Which is a great resource tool to search all of the publishing houses that are listed in the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market book. You can save them to a list and reference them in the future. You do need a subscription to this website but if you purchase the CWIM book you can get a 1-year free subscription to a limited amount of information on the site.
Time is the crucial item to make your search process successful. The CWIM book and www.writersmarket.com website is awesome but you need to do the work. You can write a manuscript and have it printed and ready to go. But, until you are ready to commit to searching for a publishing house, that story is going to be sitting on your desk collecting dust.
Go out there and get your copy, grab your notebook, a cup of coffee and a spot by a sunny afternoon window and search. Good luck!