Monday, March 15, 2021

Tips for Aspiring Children’s Book Authors to Succeed in This Niche


Writing for children is a noble vocation because you’ve got a curious and impressionable audience waiting to learn from your words. Children are enthusiastic, engaged, energetic, and excited. They’re a fun group to write for, keeping you inspired. However, before you quit your 9 to 5 job and live off your prospective book royalties, you must be aware of the intricacies in this niche. To help you get started, note these suggestions, which you need to imbibe if you want to get a children’s book deal and go for mainstream publication.

Assess Your “Why”

You must find out the reason why you feel passionate about this craft. It’s not easy to get into this career because you will face a lot of rejections. The road to getting published is a rough journey, so you need to toughen up. If you love what you do, it will be a lot easier to plow through the hard times. Most of all, figure out what niche you can successfully fill. Will you be writing nonfiction biographies for middle-schoolers, or do you feel more comfortable with illustrated books for preschool kids? Answer these questions so you can map out your strategy. 

Be More Patient

Writing for kids is akin to starting a business because you invest so many resources. Unfortunately, the return on these investments doesn’t come swiftly. Remind yourself not to expect tons of money right away. It will take time to make a best-seller, so be patient. Hence, it may take a while to live your dream to become a full-time children’s writer who makes a decent living. Better yet, keep your part-time job so you can keep on writing without worries. 

Keep on Reading

Reading is the foundation of writing. How can you write well if you don’t know your market? For example, you want to create nonfiction for kids, then keep reading biographies and similar articles or journals. If you want to master your craft, you must read the books you want to write. Study the famous authors to assess what makes them click. If possible, take a class to hone your craft. 


Join Various Groups

Consider joining a writer’s support group. Though writing is a solitary career, it helps to have a network for the days when your muse runs dry. The other members share their experiences, give feedback, and provide encouragement when you need it. You will certainly find good friends in this group as you shall be in the company of like-minded individuals. Moreover, you must consider joining professional organizations like the SCWI or Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Having a group where you belong provides an edge when you send a query letter to a publisher. Affiliation is proof of credibility. You also have access to organization conferences, workshops, and resources. Though you need to pay membership fees, it is an affordable and worthwhile investment that helps establish your career. 


Conduct Thorough Research

Writing and publishing are businesses. Thus, you must research the various publishers to see which ones print the kinds of books you write. Take a look at “Books in Print,” which is often available as an actual book or database in your library. You can also check out the annotated list of children’s book publishers released by the Children’s Book Council. Similarly, the Writer and Illustrator’s Guide to Children’s Book Publishers and Agents will also give you a detailed list of information on the kind of manuscripts that various publishers accept, along with submission guidelines.


Follow the Guidelines to a T

Finally, once you’ve identified who you want to send a query letter to, you must follow the publisher’s submission guidelines. Some want an outline, the first few chapters, or the whole manuscript. Find out what they want before you send anything so as not to waste anyone’s time. This can also help you save postage! Double-check the address, name spelling, and other pertinent details to assure your submission is free from errors. Above all else, including a dynamic pitch that allows you to shine must be your priority. Remember, it’s okay to submit multiple proposals to various publishers. And, of course, keep busy writing. Soon, you will be amazed to see you’ve signed several contracts with a publisher. Happy writing!

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