Here’s how to get a children’s book published

The Misadventures of Frederick by Ben Manley & Emma Chichester Clark is published by Two Hoots. Cred

The Misadventures of Frederick by Ben Manley & Emma Chichester Clark is published by Two Hoots. Credit:Text © Ben Manley 2019, Illustrations © Emma Chichester Clark 2019. - Credit: Archant

A lot of people dream of writing a book but what is the secret to making the dream a reality?

Ben Manley, the author of The Misadventures of Frederick. Picture: Sophie Laslett

Ben Manley, the author of The Misadventures of Frederick. Picture: Sophie Laslett - Credit: Archant

Well, according to Ben Manley, 42, from Norwich, whose debut picture book is published on Friday, the key is to never give up and just go for it.

The Misadventures of Frederick, which is illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark, tells the story of Frederick who is bored with his sheltered life in a mansion, but when a new friend Emily invites him out to play, he is too afraid to join her.

Luckily Emily is not one to take no for an answer and over the course of the book the children's worlds interweave and Frederick is convinced to leave the safety of his mansion.

Mr Manley, who is a digital copywriter and web designer, said he had always dreamed of writing a book and had always been involved in creative endeavours, whether it be theatre, short films or prose.

The Misadventures of Frederick by Ben Manley & Emma Chichester Clark is published by Two Hoots. Cred

The Misadventures of Frederick by Ben Manley & Emma Chichester Clark is published by Two Hoots. Credit:Text © Ben Manley 2019, Illustrations © Emma Chichester Clark 2019. - Credit: Archant


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He said he started writing children's stories after being inspired by reading to his own children and seeing them grow up.

Initially sending some ideas to a publisher in late 2015, Mr Manley said The Misadventures of Frederick was inspired by having an idea accepted.

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He said: "I sent a couple of texts off to a few publishers and the whole process began. The writing was a reaction to that happening.

"It's kind of a sense of feeling the fear and doing it anyway and taking your chances when they come along.

The Misadventures of Frederick by Ben Manley & Emma Chichester Clark is published by Two Hoots. Cred

The Misadventures of Frederick by Ben Manley & Emma Chichester Clark is published by Two Hoots. Credit:Text © Ben Manley 2019, Illustrations © Emma Chichester Clark 2019. - Credit: Archant

"Not being afraid to go for it and always looking at my kids and what they were learning."

Mr Manley said after sending off his initial text, publishers took around a month to come back to him with a response before the process of finding an illustrator began.

He said the first time his saw Emma Chichester Clark's illustrations bringing his characters to life was an exciting moment: "You know roughly what [the illustrator] is going to come up with but you're always surprised by the originality and little touches.

"I'm okay at drawing and I did A-level art but my first love was writing... so I'm quite happy to let someone as amazing as Emma do [the illustrations]."

The Misadventures of Frederick by Ben Manley & Emma Chichester Clark is published by Two Hoots. Cred

The Misadventures of Frederick by Ben Manley & Emma Chichester Clark is published by Two Hoots. Credit:Text © Ben Manley 2019, Illustrations © Emma Chichester Clark 2019. - Credit: Archant

Mr Manley said his advice to other budding authors would be to "never give up", adding: "You never know what will happen. You've just got to go for it, it's the perfect reflection of the book."

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