Firstly Happy New Year to all of us! I wish everyone a very successful and joyous 2018!
Now on to the second part of my Blog series on writing Children's books.
So you have decided that you are going to write a children's book based on the idea you had in the shower or wherever you got the idea from.
It's easy to simply start writing. And if you do, good for you! However, I do recommend doing research regarding the book you are going to write first.
You need to consider the following:
- For what age is this book intended?
- Do I simply want to write a fun story or is there something I would like children to take away / learn from reading the book?
- Will it be a stand alone book or part of a series?
- Why do I want to write this book and what is it that I want to share with my readers by writing the book?
- Has this story been told by another author in a different book?
The best place to start your research is at the local library or even your children's bookshelves (if you have children).
Take a look at books written regarding the same or similar subject matter.
Take note of authors who have written about the same subject as you and look at other works by those authors.
Look how many times the books you believe are similar to the one you will write, have been checked out of the library. Ask yourself why. Ask the librarian if they can give an opinion on the books and it's popularity or lack thereof.
Ask the librarian if they notice demand for any specific subject and what the popular books are for the age group and subject you intend writing for.
You can also ask your children what books they like and why (if you have children).
Once you have a collection of books related to the topic you plan to write about study them and get an idea of the length of the books, the kind of language. Is it simple and short or is there a lot of text? How are the books laid out? Are they illustrated (most probably)? What illustration styles do you like and why? What are the illustration styles and text of the most popular books in your category.
You can also search for best selling books online in the age group and category you plan to write for. See what is currently trending and try to understand why.
Also, take note of all the publishers of the books you study. You want to start building a database of publishers that you could possibly submit your book to for publication.
Once you have this information gathered you will have a better picture of the type of illustrations, story, length and target market. Some of this may not be immediately relevant to your writing but it will be relevant later when you start to seek a publisher.
I hope that you find this information informative and that it helps you to write the next best selling children's book!