Is Children’s Writing for Me?
If you’re wondering if you could successfully craft a children’s book, the answer is YES! Everyone has potential to be a children’s writer. We’ve all been children. A lot of us are still kids at heart. Furthermore, you probably know (or are) a parent figure and have some insight into parental concerns. This gives you the knowledge to make an interesting children’s book.
In a genre with such a rich history, it’s easy to get wrapped up in clichés. Talking animals and fairy princesses are great, but strive for originality in your story. Make your tale different from the many other children’s books available. Ideas could come from researching hot topics in publishing for your age group. For example, multicultural books are very popular right now.
Foster originality by thinking back to when you were a child. Try to remember your thoughts and feelings when your imagination ran free. What type of book would you have liked to read? What type of book would you have written? It may also be helpful to look up some information on child psychology. Researching children’s thinking may help you find some interesting topics that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
Don’t Talk Down
You probably remember very simplistic children’s books from when you were younger. Today’s children’s books aren’t the same. The stories told now are sophisticated and creative, encouraging readers to imagine a world or situation they’d never thought about before. Today’s youth have access to so much information and entertainment that it takes more to hold their attention.
Don’t assume that your audience can’t follow a somewhat complex story. The purpose of a children’s book is not only to entertain, but to bridge the gap between childhood and the adult world. Use rich language that will spawn learning and curiosity. A story will be more entertaining and worthwhile if it challenges your reader to think and ask questions. Remember, children want to learn.
Share your work with children you know, as well as parents, teachers, and childcare professionals. Listen to their ideas and use the constructive criticism. Chances are, they have good ideas that you haven’t thought of yet. Be open to advice and welcome new perspectives. Your willingness to learn and grow will make your children’s book the best it can be.
Children’s book marketing is quite different from other book marketing. Children don’t buy their own books. Therefore, parents, teachers, and other childcare professionals should be a big part of your marketing decisions. While your book should appeal to children, it’s also important that it contains what parents and teachers want to see as well. All of your marketing not only needs to look fun and appealing to your primary audience, it must also look educational and worthwhile to your secondary audience.
Since children’s books become very close to the readers’ hearts, it’s important to employ a personal touch when marketing them. In-person events usually work best. Many places are excited to open their doors to a motivated children’s book author.
Some ideas for creatively marketing your children’s book are:
- Library Story Hours: Read your book and sell signed copies. Also, try to develop relationships with librarians so they can recommend your book.
- School Visits: You can read your story, do a writing exercise with the children, and sell your book to interested teachers.
- Senior Center Engagements: Many senior citizens have grandchildren. Present your book as a gift idea.