Tips for Children’s Book Authors

Are you writing or thinking about writing a children’s book? It’s not as easy as you might think. There are standards and rules for children’s literature. And in children’s book writing, age makes a difference—not your age, but the age of the audience. You need to understand the vocabulary for the age group you are writing for and the recommended page number, words per page, types of illustrations, etc.

Here are three things I’d like you to take into consideration when you are writing for children.

• Take a course in writing for children. Read books by professionals.

• Read books in the age group you are writing for. Lots of them. Study the style, the vocabulary, the structure, size, number of page, illustrations.

• Read your book to children and let children read it before you ever approach a publisher. If dozens of children in your target age group go bananas over your story, perhaps you are on the right track.

How do you find children to read to? Perhaps in your neighborhood. With their parents’ permission, of course, see if you can gather them together some sunny afternoon and read to them. Or hand out copies of a prototype of your book and ask them to read it.

Volunteer to read to the children in the Sunday school program at your church some Sunday.

Connect with your local library. Do they have story time for kids? Ask if either you or the regular reader could read your book during a session. If there is no scheduled story time for kids, set one up. Observe the children carefully as you read.

Get into the schools. It can sometimes be tough to get in. Private schools might be more flexible. And if your book teaches a character lesson (gratitude, thoughtfulness, honesty, etc.) you may have a better chance of being invited to come in and read it to the children.

I have some great ideas for promoting children’s books in my book, “Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author.” It’s available at amazon.com in print, Kindle and audio. It can also be found at other online and downtown bookstores. Or order your copy here: http://www.matilijapress.com

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