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.