By Ben Jackson
You would think it would be easy. You’d be wrong! Prepare yourself for some hard work and long hours!
I have worked on children’s books for almost eighteen months now. I started writing non-fiction books, wrote a fiction book, and then switched to children’s books. The only easy thing which I have discovered since switching to children’s books is that they’re a hell of a lot shorter! A lot of this information is also pertinent to any book you write, not just children’s books.
Thinking about writing a children’s book? Prepare yourself for some hard work! You start off a children’s book the same as any other. You have a plot, an idea, characters. You need your book to be able to sell itself based off its plot or characters, or you need to write a book aimed at a specific market. Sports, learning, school, friends, pets, animals, holidays or whatever. I have worked with another children’s book author that wrote and published their book and has had to fight every step of the way to gain any market traction. It’s hard to market any book unless it has a market to focus on.
Then you start to flesh out the book. Now, you should think about who’s going to be reading your book. Little boys, little girls, older kids, teens, babies, their parents. This is important, if you get this part wrong, you’ll be trying to market a book at the wrong audience, and you will have a written a book which your target audience has no interest in reading. Now you have worked out what you’re doing it’s time to start writing.
So, you write the book. Then you read it like a child or parent. Now you get some kids to read it. Now, you chop it up and try to get the length down. It’s hard. Children don’t want to read a novel, but you don’t want to leave them missing vital elements of your story. Then it’s off to the editor, proofreader, illustrator and formatted.
When you’re working with an illustrator, you need to help them as much as possible. If you have something in mind, then give them some examples. Send them pictures, examples of scenes, show them where their pictures will fit in with your story and how you perceive the book to look once it’s completed. Work through sketches, to begin with, and then once you are a 100% satisfied move onto final drawings. I always recommend organizing your cover art at this stage and ask for the PSD files of any sketches and final drawings. I used my outlines as images for coloring books which I sell cheap alongside the books or giveaway with the books.
Once you have your images, and the story get it all formatted by a professional. My wife does all our formatting, Indie Publishing Group, but she also works full time for a professional book publishing company. When you’re dealing with your formatter be willing to accept advice just like you would from your editor or proofreader. For the most part, they have your books and your best interest at heart. They don’t make any money off your book, but if they do a good job, you’ll come back.
Books finished, choose your publishing route. Shop it around to publishers, self-publish or print and sell yourself directly. If you choose self-publishing either prepare yourself for some long hours marketing or pay someone else to do it. Now your book is the same as any other book. You have to sell it, market it, sell it and then market it some more!
The author of The Day My Fart Followed Me to Soccer, The Day My Fart Followed Me To Hockey and
If I Was A Caterpillar and several other children’s, non-fiction and fiction books.
Ben Jackson Social Media Links
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15144197.Ben_Jackson Goodreads Page
https://www.amazon.com/Ben-Jackson/e/B00S4A4W5C/ Amazon Author Page
https://www.facebook.com/BenandSamAuthors/ Facebook Ben & Sam
https://www.facebook.com/MyLittleFart/ Facebook My Little Fart