I am a working writer (film) and director."People"? You mean like your neighbors and friends and plumber and stuff? They don't know anything about children's books.
I have written a children's book. People seem to really like it,
and of course I want a good illustrator and want it published.Yes.
I was thinking of getting an pro illustrator myself and presenting it to editors in it's completed form--is this crazy?
I imagine editors want to be part of that process, but also fear a hack artist getting assigned to it.Well, get a good editor.
Also, isn't writing children's books like opening a restaurant--something that everyone wants to do but almost nobody really succeeds at?No, no. It's worse than that.
Writing children's books is like singing-- something EVERYONE, even the ones who don't know how to cook, think they can do acceptably. I swear to god, if you started stopping people on the street and asking them if they had an idea for a children's book, 99% of them would say yes. This is why editors don't generally admit to what they do when speaking to strangers.
For restaurants, there are three categories: people playing with the idea of opening a restaurant, people trying to run a restaurant, and people running a successful restaurant.
For children's books, there are four categories: people playing with the idea of writing a children's book, people trying to get a children's book published, people who have gotten a children's book published, and people publishing successful children's books. As much failure as there is in restaurants, there is much, much more in books.
However: there are many things you can do to lessen your chances of failure, and among them are writing a great deal, reading a lot of children's books, and finding out as much as you can about the business.
I mean, who is more likely to run a successful restaurant-- the person who has pipe dreams of serving his grandmother's recipes to other people, or the person who has practiced running a restaurant, investigated how other restaurants are run, and educated themselves about the business of running a restaurant?