What makes a Good Book?
In a highly saturated market, writing for children requires content that is both meaningful and relevant.
When we write books for kids, we can use a pretty simple formula to flesh out the most meaningful content possible and see our self-publishing success soar.
Consider these crucial elements and see if your self-published children’s book is high quality.
1) Find a topic that is meaningful to you.
Children who read your book can tell when you really care about what you’re writing. Write about a topic that is true to your values and what you believe. This allows us to say something deeply important in the world. Writing like this for children gives us the opportunity to share important messages with the people who will shape the world after us.
Write down a list of topics that are;
Important to you (and rank them)
Feel most confident explaining,
And which you think the world needs most.
The intersection of these 3 factors is the sweet spot for your meaningful content.
2) Consider a metaphor.
When we’re writing for kids, we have the extra challenge of taking complex ideas and making them simple, clear and easy to understand. Metaphors are a great tool for conveying those complex ideas to those who don’t yet have skills with abstract thinking.
Start by jotting down your concept and then as many related describing words as you can on a page.
Seeing these all written down will inspire your self-publishing heart, and if not, take the next step and do some free-association with a couple of these words.
Get a little bit silly to get the creativity flowing!
3) Create a main character and make them flawed.
One of the best strategies for ensuring that your writing for kids is relatable is by creating imperfect characters. No one is perfectly brave, or always compassionate; we’re all human and your writing for kids should be too. When our characters have unique quirks and real emotional responses, they become relatable.
A kids book for bravery becomes a book for kids who feel anxious sometimes too, but find courage. They become characters that take books for kids and make them love reading. They'll be characters children want to continue connecting with through lots of situations. (Who doesn't love a series?)
4) Target a specific age group
There is so much growth and change that happens in childhood, so for self-publishing, this translates to a need to narrow down our target audience.
When we’re writing for kids ages;
· ages 0-2 are around 250 words,
· ages 3-5 are around 500 words,
· ages 5-8 are around 1000 words,
· age 8-12 are anything between 1000 words, all the way up to 30,000 words!
These will all have illustrations too, even up the 30,000 words (though in different styles at this point).
You’ll also be looking at different levels of vocabulary for each of these ranges. Writing a kids book for your intended audience is a great way to connect with the parents and caregivers who will be purchasing the book. They’ll know it’s right for the children in their life when you pay attention to a specific age group.
When writing for kids, the best gift you can give is a little piece of you and what you find meaningful in the world.
So, get out there! Be daring!
Soar to new self-publishing heights and do so with content that you love. The success you find will keep you moving forward and these strategies will become like second nature!
And... if you find any of these steps difficult, you can always ask us for help!
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