Child Book Writing - What New Authors Need to Know

Child book writing can be fun and profitable if you learn what to write and how to get published. To get started on your project, adopt a child's perspective. Since we were all children once, this is an easy exercise. Try to remember what fascinated you as a child. What kind of stories did you like? What things in life did you have questions about?

Child book writing first involves picking a topic, determining if it would best be explored as fiction or non-fiction. Next, pick the age group you intend to write to and make sure your story speaks to this group in a way they can understand. Before writing your book, go to Amazon and see if there are already children's books published on your topic and see how well they are selling. You might even want to buy a couple of books to make sure that yours offers a unique slant on the subject.

Although most children's picture books are under 1000 words, don't fool yourself into thinking the writing will be easy. It is often more challenging to write a shorter piece than a long one. The word count range for a children's picture book translates into 24 to 32 pages. Some of these pages can have words, illustrations or both.

child book writing

Once your child book writing project is complete, you can determine which child book publisher to send it to or even consider self-publishing. If you self publish a children's book, you will need an illustrator, unless you are a skilled artist yourself.

Self publishing your children's book is easy and requires minimal up front expense especially with the advent of print on demand publishers who will do small print runs of your book so you're not stuck with boxes of unsold inventory. If this is the direction that you plan to go in, take a moment right now and follow this step by step tutorial to create a publisher's account with CreateSpace publishing. CreateSpace is owned by Amazon and makes it easy for you to get your book into print.

If you are sending your manuscript to a child book publisher, send sample illustrations only if they look like they were done by a professional. A friend of mine who has sent her manuscripts to big publishers and self-published her own children's books told me that poor illustrations can turn off a child book publisher, causing them to reject your work, even though they might like your content. (She learned this from experience!) Remember that images are powerful and create instant gut level reactions, so make sure your illustrations are top-notch.

After your manuscript is accepted, the publishing company will select the illustrator. Know that the author does not have any say in who is selected. Be careful of letting your expectations about how the illustrations and the book will look get in your way of acting like a professional. Instead, be happy that you're getting published.

The time lag between getting accepted by a child book publisher and holding a finished product in your hands can be long. An author friend of mine submitted a manuscript that was accepted by a New York publisher. Five years later, the book finally hit the shelves. The illustrations and the look of the book were nothing like she had in mind, but she bravely accepted it and the book is selling well.

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Related Resources:

Writing a Child Book - 3 Tips for Aspiring Children's Book Authors

Child Book Illustrator Jobs
Publish a Child Book - 7 Tips for Getting Published
Publishing Childrens Books - Submit or Self Publish
Self Publishing Child Book - Steps to Self Publishing a Children's Book

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