5 Things You Need to be a Successful Children’s Author
Take the first step to writing your children’s book story. Download the free children’s book template here to help you get started.
Over 72 MILLION children’s books were sold in the first THREE months of 2021. That’s amazing news if you want to be a successful children’s author. Why??
Because that means agents, editors, and publishers are actively buying books for the children’s market. And they LOVE debut authors!!
That’s what every agent/editor has said in all the interviews I’ve been sitting in on lately. (Apparently, they love to find the JK Rowlings and Suzanne Collins of the writing world. Like you **cough**cough**if they could only read your book first 😉)
How do you know you have what it takes to make it as a children’s author?
5 Things You Need to be a Successful Children’s Author:
1- Love reading and writing as much as you did as a child.
There are children who are obsessed with video games and sports, but NOT you! Give you a book or a notebook and leave you alone for a few hours–that is your definition of finding your happy place.
Career experts ALWAYS say to do what you loved as a child. Naturally, that means writing and reading books for you. And if there’s a cup of cocoa and a fire in the middle of a snowstorm, that sounds peachy-keen too.
2- Be able to find new stories and write books that inspire you.
Now you’re an adult, you’ve gravitated to the more adult-y activities…you know, like buying your OWN books and writing on your OWN computer! But it doesn’t matter how old you get, those oldies but goody children’s books are still your favorites to read.
Now that you have children of your own (Or are still planning your imaginary family in your head), find things throughout the day that inspire you to write a story.
If you need some help finding new ideas, read this post.
3- Have a creative imagination that is filled with fun–or even a little gross (Because, boy humor).
The “what if” question is your jam. Like what if dragons really loved eating tacos or what if pigs really did fly??
You can tell stories that come from a different angle or are based on real-life experiences (Because children really do say the darndest things!). Then add in things like sound effects or made-up words to increase the enjoyment level for your readers.
4- Love children–even if it’s only the idea of children (Cough**Maurice Sendak).
Adult conversations can grow boring or tiresome. There’s all the “how’s work?”, “did you mow your lawn again?” type questions over dinner. YAWN!
But with a child, it’s always a journey. Even something as simple as squiggle coloring red crayon on a paper for a minute can turn into a full-on, twenty-minute conversation if you let them keep talking.
**Note: Even liking the idea of the child’s spirit can work (For those that DON’T like those twenty-minute conversations about nothing or sticky handprints on their walls). It worked for Maurice Sendak and Ludwig Bemelmans anyway. However, the book signings won’t be NEAR as fun.
5- Be up for a writing challenge.
Most people think that writing a children’s book is “easy”. After all, you only have to use a handful of words smattered on a page. Am I right?
WRONG! Writing children’s books can be some of the HARDEST writing for writers.
Because of the limited word count, each word matters that much more. Plus your audience has a smaller vocabulary so it’s your job to know the balance between making it easy for them to read but not too easy that they’re bored.
Becoming a successful children’s author requires having an engaging story that kids love to read again and again. But if you love to read other children’s books, have an imaginative personality, love a child’s spirit, and are up for the challenge of writing, you could be counted as a successful children’s author, too.
Dive into the world of children’s book writing today. Get the free template here to get started.
Have fun working on your story!
Also, check out these articles all writers can relate to:
- 10 Things All Writers Know to be True
- An Open Letter to the Author with Self-Doubt
- Write the Book You Want, Not What’s Popular
- How to Find Time to Write, and not Feel Guilty
Note: Sources for children’s book sales came from Publishing Perspective.
I love #5. There are so many people who think writing a children’s book is so easy. There are so many elements to think of when writing a children’s book: POV, word count, characters, what a child and adult would enjoy reading, page turns, rules of threes, how it sounds read out loud, showing instead of telling, thinking pictorially, picture book vs magazine article, etc. I continue to learn a lot about writing on what I have been calling my writing journey. Have a great day!
Yes!! There are sooo many elements and you have to balance them all perfectly. It’s what makes writing both a challenge AND an exciting journey. I’ve seen so much growth in my writing these past few years, and it’s solely because of all the learning and practice I’m putting in. It’s what makes this industry fun!
I would really love to write a children’s book small with pictures I just don’t know where to start. Would love to hear your advice
Hi Biljana! Great question — seems like you’re interested in writing a picture book. There are a couple of things I recommend: 1 – Read this article about writing picture books: http://journeytokidlit.com/how-to-write-a-childrens-picture-book/ and 2 – get the children’s book template (sign-up on the site!) It will help you get started planning and outlining your story.
Good luck with your writing! Excited to hear how it goes. 🙂
This is a really nice article.
Thank you, Kathryn! I’m glad you liked 🙂
Wow! Thank you for sharing this great article. Loove it!
You’re welcome! Glad you liked it. 🙂
I can’t wait to get started, but I know I need A LOT OF HELP. This article was just what I needed…☺
That’s awesome, Gracie! Glad it was helpful. 🙂
Well written! Nice one!
Thank you!! 🙂
Great information, I found this very helpful. We all know that Kids’ books are a fascinating blend of life lessons and simplicity.
Thanks for sharing your article
Loved the information you have. As far as I might be concerned, the best piece of kids’ books is the essential statements that embody a whole book in a sentence or two. Thanks!
Thanks for this article. I have written and self published a children’s book through Amazon but am not sure how to go about promoting it. Would you have any suggestions as to how I can reach a wider audience? Thanks 😊