5 Tips: Writing & Publishing Children's Books

I get a lot of mail from beginning writers. Just about all have the same general questions. Today's post is advice I gave recently to an aspiring children's book author.

Truths About Publishing Children's Books

1. It's harder to get published in children's books than any other kind of writing. Why? Because successful children's books last forever. That's why everything from Poky Little Puppy to Curious George, though many decades old, continues to be published. So the children's market is one of the most competitive niches of all.

2. Children's books are divided into specific groups based on the age of the reader. They begin with books for children aimed at the parent who will read the book to the child and end with books aimed at the teen market with many areas in between. Do you know where your book falls? If not, learn the various classifications of children's books so you'll know where your story fits.

3. Some writers are now self-publishing children's books as eBooks either through the Kindle platform or another platform. Most call self-publishing, indie publishing, akin to the indie film label used by independent film producers. Being an indie publisher and using an eBook format isn't especially lucrative yet because children don't usually use eReader devices like iPad and Kindle to do more than play games even though Kindle Fire and iPad support color illustrations. The number of children reading ebooks will continue to grow, albeit slowly.

4. The more successful way to publish for children, other than traditional publishing, would be to indie publish a print book using a publisher like CreateSpace. This allows you to more easily and economically incorporate color illustrations.

5. The bottom line? Seriously study how to write for children. Read some of the books on the market that are aimed at this genre. Writers Digest Books has published dozens. I think they still publish a market guide for writing children's books.

Takeaway Truth

Abandon the mistaken assumption that children's books are easier and quicker to write. Embrace the genre if that's where your heart leads you.

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