The first books many people read are picture books with easy-to-follow messages and engaging illustrations when they are children. On Amazon alone, there are 80,000 children’s books in English. It’s a tough market to break through, but by following the tips and advice within this article, your book will have a better chance within the publishing market.
Choosing Your Book’s Age Range
It is essential to consider your audience when writing a children’s book. You want to ensure your vocabulary is accessible to your audience. This may require you to tune into your inner child. What captures a child’s attention? What sensory details can you focus on? There needs to be a clear plot that leads to a resolution that is actually resolved to the ‘black and white’ satisfaction of a child.
Plot out your story with the end in mind. The standard picture-book format is 32 pages, while for a younger audience it is 24 pages. Each page should be engaging for the reader to want to keep reading.
Consider Your Storytelling
When writing an illustrated children’s book it’s important to consider the storytelling will be told through written word, but also the illustrations. Most of the descriptive text can be cut within the manuscript, since the pictures will show, so you don’t have to tell.
Remember, picture books are usually stand-alone titles, meaning that writing a children’s book series is more common with older kids who will become invested in one character for multiple stories. Picture books are meant to be self-contained with a clear beginning, middle, and end which leads to a resolution that will resonate with parents and children alike.
Children’s books are beneficial to teach empathy for others and learn about the complexities of the world. A recent release from EK Books is This is My Dad, which tells a heartfelt story about a little boy whose love for show and tell turns to dread when he is asked to share about his father, although he does not have one. What he chooses to do next is ingenious and shows families come in all shapes and sizes. The idea for this book came from a teacher librarian who noticed the lack of stories that reflected on children who have never had a ‘father figure.’
Match the Right Format
When presenting your manuscript to a publisher, it is best to consider the clearest way to present your manuscript. Ideally, a text-only document in Microsoft Word gets the message across to the publisher. Any photos or illustrations should be submitted separately. A straightforward manuscript makes it easier for the publisher to get a scope of the story.
Choose the Best Publisher
You’ll want to choose the publisher that shares the same vision for your book. Which publishers share your similar values? Check out sources such as Shelf Awareness (worldwide), The Bookseller (UK), Publishers Weekly (US), Pass It On (Australia), Buzz Words (Australia), The Sapling (NZ).
Consider EK Books when pitching to a children’s publisher! If your book is filled with heart and tackles difficult topics, EK Books may be the best publisher for your book.
EK Books author, Paul Russell, offers a helpful piece of advice to aspiring children’s book authors, “Write for yourself first. If you love the story all you have to do is find a publisher like you and they will love it too.”
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