Writing a children’s book might seem like an easy process, but even if you have the perfect story planned out, there are many challenges to writing a good children’s book and getting it published.
With the huge number of celebrities writing children’s books, and the fact that there are more children’s books with pictures sent to potential editors and literary agents than any other type of book, we have some tips to help you get to the top of the pile!
1. Figure out your target audience
Children’s reading abilities develop at a rapid pace, so your book needs to fit into a very specific age group. Typically, these age groups are categorised into:
- Young Children: Ages 2–6
- Middle Grade: Ages 8–11
- Young Adult: Ages 12+
There is then a variety of reading levels within each age group. Children ages 5 and 6 years will probably be able to read more words than a child who is 3 years old, for example. Many writers think that their story will work for all age groups, but it is best to choose one group and write specifically for them.
2. Choose the right theme
Choosing a theme is a crucial aspect of writing children’s books. You need to think about what is important for them, for instance, you don’t want to write about a man who works every day at a fast-food restaurant when your target audience is pre-school children. Your main character’s problems and story need to resonate with the reader.
3. Story development is key
There needs to be a clear beginning to your story, a clear middle or peaking point, and a clear ending with closure. Children’s books don’t need to have cliffhangers if there is a series of books., as children like a resolution to the story.
4. Keep it subtle
Your story might have a message for children, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be spelt out. Children read first and foremost for fun, and learning the message happens as part of that. If your story starts to sound more like a fable, then it’s possible your message isn’t being subtle and may sound ‘preachy’ to children.
5. Be unique
If you are submitting your book to a publisher or literary agent, you’ll want your story to stand out from the crowd. What makes it different from all the other children’s stories out there? What other books have your kids read? How is your story different from those stories?
Keep in mind that you can have a silly, funny, or serious children’s book. There is no one single way to tell a story. A child could be dealing with grief or an injury or illness, and a more serious children’s book can help them to overcome those challenges.
If you have a good idea for a serious children’s book, then be sure to consider the above tips to make it effective for your specific age group audience.
If you’re looking for children’s book printing in the UK, get in touch today!