No matter if you aim to form your own publishing house or go to work for an established book company, you must have a full understanding of the industry if you want to become a children's book publisher. There are no formal educational requirements, but you absolutely must be knowledgeable in aspects such as editing, marketing, printing and finance to successfully work in this profession. Children's books are serious business, and nobody knows that like the publisher.
Education is a must to become a children's book publisher. There normally are very loose educational requirements for the job, but a collegiate background in literature, marketing, economics or some combination is incredibly helpful because publishers use those skills every day. In lieu of college, you could work your way up the ladder and learn the industry from the bottom up. No matter your background or how you get started, you probably will not leap directly behind the publisher's desk without first working as an editor, as a marketing director or in production before overseeing the entire operation as a publisher.
Your creative side must be nurtured first if you plan to become a children's book publisher. This means working with editors to scout writers and decide which books to publish. You will need to make decisions based on the demand for certain types of books. Picture books, fiction books and nonfiction books all can be included in the types of children's books, and the publisher is the one who decides which type of children's books to publish.
Production is another side of the business that you must fully understand in order to become a children's book publisher. It is important to know the different book types, such as hardback and perfect bound paperbacks, and be able to do a cost analysis for each type. Knowing the various printing techniques necessary to create color images for picture books also can be important. After the books are printed, you must work with the company's distribution and sales personnel to ensure that the books get into the marketplace to be purchased.
You also need a keen understanding of marketing in order to become a children's book publisher. You must understand how to get your books reviewed in major publications to spread the word. Advertising campaigns for print, online and perhaps radio and television are important ways to get your books in front of potential customers. In general, the publisher oversees every aspect of the company, and you must be able to mesh all of these skills together to run a children's book publishing house.