Children’s books rarely follow the same formula as a novel or non-fiction. They have an entirely different audience! An audience that is far more receptive to pictures rather than words. We often get asked by aspiring kid’s writers where to start, so here is our advice on the matter!
Step one: Get illustrated!
Words are important, of course. But kids want to look at drawings or illustrations. It’s almost essential to get your book illustrated. The only time you can get away with having your book without is if it’s a young adult novel such as Harry Potter.
Step Two: Writing isn’t always enough
We get a few phone calls of authors who say they wrote a kids book yesterday can we get it published. It’s not as easy as that. Read the above about pictures. But also remember that you need to do more than quickly write a story. Test it out on some kids in your family, show it to some friends to see what you can do to improve. Look in bookshops to see what actually sells, speaking of…
Step Three: Look at the charts
Kids’ books usually have trends. Dinosaurs are very big at the moment! Space books were huge last year who knows what will be next? Well, the market may give you a clue. See what sizes are popular, colour schemes, writing styles, layouts etc. It’s not copying, it’s understanding what works in the market.