Legal Disclaimers,THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE COPIED AND DISTRIBUTED. WITHOUT THE EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE, Copyright 2012 Children s Book Insider LLC all rights reserved No part of this. book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means electronic or. mechanical including photocopying recording or by any information storage. and retrieval system without written permission from the publisher. Children s Book Insider LLC,901 Columbia Rd,Fort Collins CO 80525. http www cbiclubhouse com, IMPORTANT NOTICE TO READERS This publication is designed to provide. accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This information is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not. engaged in rendering legal accounting or any other professional service If. legal advice or other expert assistance is required the service of a competent. professional should be sought Therefore the Author and Publisher assume no. responsibility to any person or persons in connection with the use of this. publication and this publication is sold with this understanding and none other. Take a moment to tell your online friends about this great free eBook. CLICK TO TWEET CLICK TO SHARE ON FACEBOOK,So You Wanna Be a Children s Book Writer. Awesome Writing a children s book is one of the most. rewarding and enriching experiences imaginable, We ve been helping ordinary folks just like you become. published children s book authors since 1990 and along the. way we ve managed to boil down the entire process into ten. steps plus one bonus step that s maybe the most, In this eBook we ll share those steps with you and provide. links to great information that will make your journey. enjoyable easy and fun, We hope you ll be inspired and encouraged by what you ll find. We also hope that you ll make the big step that has lifted. many people from wannabe status to being successful. authors joining the Fightin Bookworms of Children s Book. We have a special offer for you later on Until then let s start. your journey, PS If you enjoy the book please share it with other aspiring writers by. using the Twitter and Facebook links at the bottom of each page We d. really appreciate it, Take a moment to tell your online friends about this great free eBook. CLICK TO TWEET CLICK TO SHARE ON FACEBOOK,Step 1 Get the Right Mindset. If you dream of writing for children because you see it as a. route to fame and riches it s time we had a little talk. That s probably not going to happen, Sure it might happen J K Rowling s doing quite nicely. thank you But the vast majority of children s writers do it for. love not money They have a passion for sharing ideas and. connecting with young readers that means more than wealth. or recognition, If you have that passion than all the lonely hours of writing. and the occasional rejection letter are just small prices to pay. for the opportunity to create something wonderful and. hopefully lasting, So let s start our journey by looking inward I m going to ask. you some questions Take whatever time you need and. answer them honestly If you ve printed this eBook out write. the answers in the space provided Otherwise write your. answers in a journal or other text document Here goes. Why do you want to write for children, Take a moment to tell your online friends about this great free eBook. CLICK TO TWEET CLICK TO SHARE ON FACEBOOK, What unique viewpoints experience or wisdom do you. have to offer young readers, How well do you deal with criticism and rejection If. the answer is not so well are you willing to develop a. thicker skin, Do you regularly read current children s books or is. your knowledge of the children s book market largely. based on your own childhood experience or from being. a parent years ago, Take a moment to tell your online friends about this great free eBook. CLICK TO TWEET CLICK TO SHARE ON FACEBOOK, Are you willing to learn and invest in yourself to. become a better writer, This isn t a quiz and there are no right or wrong answers But. there are some things you need to understand before we. This will take time Anyone who tells you that you can. knock out a children s book send it off to a paying publisher. and see your book on the shelves in a couple of months isn t. being truthful You ll have peaks and valleys on your journey. that will require patience and perseverance, It s not easy Contrary to what you may have been told. writing children s books is not easier than writing for adults. Yes kids books are shorter but that just makes things more. challenging The author Mem Fox put it best Writing a. picture book is like writing War and Peace in haiku. Craft is Everything There are two kinds of writers those. who say I ve written my story Where do I send it and. those who say I ve written my first draft How do I make the. plot smoother the dialogue better and the characters more. believable Can you guess which author invariably succeeds. Writing is an art Mastering it offers the same challenges and. rewards of mastering the violin or skiing or painting Take. your time sharpen your skill learn to love the journey. Publishing will always be out there but if you really want to. Take a moment to tell your online friends about this great free eBook. CLICK TO TWEET CLICK TO SHARE ON FACEBOOK, make it worry more about being a skilled writer The rest. will take care of itself, Don t Preach You have a message you want to impart to. kids That s fine But chill No one young or old wants to. read a story that practically bangs them over the head with a. Skillful writers know how to subtly incorporate their message. into a compelling read Until you master your craft stick to. making kids laugh or gasp with fear or swoon with romance. before you try to tell them something important, Relax For all its challenges starting a children s writing. career is a truly wonderful adventure You ll meet amazing. folks along the way learn more about yourself than you ever. imagined and ultimately make your mark on the life of a. young reader That s pretty cool Just remember to have. patience stay the course invest in learning to sharpen your. skills and keep on writing no matter what The payoff is. certain to be worth it, Now go back and look at the answers you provided to the. questions I posed Do they fit with what we ve just covered. Are there some areas that will require a bit of attitude. adjustment Let all of this sink in a bit and revisit those. questions later You might just find that you re very much. prepared for the journey ahead, Before we leave Step 1 here are some links that will. really help,VIDEO Think Like a Writer Not an Author. 5 Ways for Writers to Blast Through Self Doubt, Take a moment to tell your online friends about this great free eBook. CLICK TO TWEET CLICK TO SHARE ON FACEBOOK,Step 2 Choose Your Age Group. The world of children s literature is divided along age lines. Become familiar with the standard categories and read from. each of them Before long you ll find yourself gravitating. toward one or two of these That s how you ll know which. age group you re best suited for, Here are the categories along with some classic books to. Picture books In its broadest definition a picture book. is a book in which the illustrations play a significant role in. telling the story Under this umbrella are several types of. 1 Baby Books For infants and young toddlers these books. are generally lullabies nursery rhymes fingerplays or. wordless books The length and format varies with the. 2 Toddler books Very simple stories for ages 1 3 under. 300 words familiar to a child s everyday life or concept books. teaching colors numbers shapes etc Books are short 12. pages is average and the format can be board books sturdy. paper over board construction pop ups lift the flaps or. novelty books books that make sounds have different. textures etc See the Max series of board books by,Rosemary Wells Dial. 3 Picture books Traditionally picture books also called. picture story books are 32 page books for ages 4 8 this. age may vary slightly by publisher Manuscripts are up to. 1500 words with 1000 words being the average length. Take a moment to tell your online friends about this great free eBook. CLICK TO TWEET CLICK TO SHARE ON FACEBOOK, Plots are simple no sub plots or complicated twists with. one main character who embodies the child s emotions. concerns and viewpoint The illustrations on every page or. every other page play as great a role as the text in telling. the story Occasionally a picture book will exceed 1500. words this is usually geared toward the upper end of the. age spectrum Picture books cover a wide range of topics. and styles The list of Caldecott Medal winners available. here is a good place to start your research Nonfiction in the. picture book format can go up to age 10 48 pages in length. or up to about 2000 words of text, 4 Early picture books A term for picture books geared. toward the lower end of the 4 8 age range These stories are. simple and contain under 1000 words Many early picture. books have been reprinted in the board book format thus. widening the audience The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric. Carle Philomel is an example,Easy readers Also called easy to read these books. are for children just starting to read on their own age 6 8. They have color illustrations on every page like a picture. book but the format is more grown up smaller trim, size sometimes broken into short chapters The length. varies greatly by publisher the books can be 32 64 pages. long with 200 1500 words of text occasionally going up to. 2000 words The stories are told mainly through action and. dialogue in grammatically simple sentences one idea per. sentence Books average 2 5 sentences per page See the. Amelia Bedelia books by Peggy Parish or other I Can. Read books published by Harper Trophy, Take a moment to tell your online friends about this great free eBook. CLICK TO TWEET CLICK TO SHARE ON FACEBOOK,Transition books Sometimes called early chapter. books for ages 6 9 they bridge the gap between easy. readers and chapter books Written like easy readers in style. transition books are longer manuscripts are about 30 pages. long broken into 2 3 page chapters books have a smaller. trim size with black and white illustrations every few pages. See The Kids of the Polk Street School series by Patricia. Reilly Giff Dell or the Stepping Stone Books published by. Random House,Chapter books For ages 7 10 these books are 45 60. manuscript pages long broken into 3 4 page chapters Stories. are meatier than transition books though still contain a lot of. action The sentences can be a bit more complex but. paragraphs are still short 2 4 sentences is average Chapters. often end in the middle of a scene to keep the reader turning. the pages Look at the Herbie Jones books by Suzy Kline. Puffin and the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary Morrow. Middle grade This is the golden age of reading for many. children ages 8 12 Manuscripts suddenly get longer 100. 150 pages stories more complex sub plots involving. secondary characters are woven through the story and. themes more sophisticated Kids get hooked on characters at. this age which explains the popularity of series with 20 or. more books involving the same cast Fiction genres range from. contemporary to historical to science fiction fantasy. nonfiction includes biographies science history and. Take a moment to tell your online friends about this great free eBook. CLICK TO TWEET CLICK TO SHARE ON FACEBOOK, multicultural topics Check out some middle grade novels from. the list of Newbery Medal winners to get you started. Young adult For ages 12 and up these manuscripts are. 130 to about 200 pages long Plots can be complex with. several major characters though one character should. emerge as the focus of the book Themes should be relevant. to the problems and struggles of today s teenagers. regardless of the genre The Outsiders by S E Hinton defined. young adult when it was first published in 1967 the. Newbery Medal award list also contains many worthy titles A. newer age category 10 14 is emerging especially with. young adult nonfiction These books are slightly shorter than. the 12 and up category and topics both fiction and. nonfiction are appropriate for children who have outgrown. middle grade but aren t yet ready for the themes fiction or. who aren t studying the subjects nonfiction of high school. Before you move on check out this short video, How Do I Determine the Proper Age Group For My Manuscript. Take a moment to tell your online friends about this great free eBook. CLICK TO TWEET CLICK TO SHARE ON FACEBOOK,Step 3 Develop Your Idea. Let s begin with a simple test to determine what exactly you. feel passionate about Once we have that you can start. polishing a story idea, You walk into a bookstore with a large magazine selection. Where do you go first,Crafts magazines Photography Sports Cooking. Your answer unless you head right to Playboy or High Times. has given you a tremendous starting point for your first story. Start with your passion and writing will seem much much. Combine this passion with what we ve just learned about age. groups and you might start seeing a clear picture of your first. manuscript A middle grade story about a young, photographer A chapter book about a boy who dreams of. being a famous chef A picture book about a little girl who. idolizes race car drivers and wants to be one It s all up to. So now that you ve explored your interests and discovered. that you re drawn to picture book biographies or middle. grade novels or silly easy readers you ve probably got some. ideas itching to be developed So let s see if they re really. ready to be turned into books, First sum up your idea Write the general concept for your. story or nonfiction book in one to three sentences You re not. going to get every nuanced relationship or plot point into. those three sentences but you should be able to convey the. essence of what makes your idea unique You may not know. Take a moment to tell your online friends about this great free eBook. CLICK TO TWEET CLICK TO SHARE ON FACEBOOK, much about your idea at this point so write what you know. Maybe you know your main character and his her problem. and have some ideas about how that problem might be. Perhaps you read an article about new research being done on. how dolphins communicate and think the topic would make a. great picture book, Sum up your idea and a few specific key points that give your. idea some shape Dolphins isn t specific enough How. dolphins communicate and new research that suggests. dolphins actually have a meaningful language is a starting. point for a book Jeremy gets a new baby brother isn t. anything special Jeremy tries to sell his new baby brother at. the neighborhood garage sale is the basis for a plot. If you ve been reading books for the age group you re. interested in writing for now you can compare your idea to. published books and judge if it s right for your, audience Does your picture book idea lend itself well to. many different action scenes and illustrations Or does it rely. heavily on dialogue and internal character development that is. best expressed through thoughts and emotions If the latter. applies to your idea it s better suited to a novel. Since it s still just an idea and not the whole first draft of. your manuscript you shouldn t be too invested in keeping it. exactly as it first came to you In most cases published books. are the result of ideas that have evolved past the initial spark. of inspiration So now s the time to brainstorm and play. with the concept Ask What if What if the main character. were a boy instead of a girl What if I used my idea as a. springboard for a more complex story for young adults What. if I changed the time period from the present to 1975. Take a moment to tell your online friends about this great free eBook. CLICK TO TWEET CLICK TO SHARE ON FACEBOOK, What if I took my serious topic of global warming and added. some humorous sidebars Or what if I created a child. character to host the book who lives in the future after. many of the climate changes have taken place What if I. wrote the entire book as free verse What if my picture book. looked like different pages from a character s web site. Think big Get weird Reach for the most outrageous, concept you can then dial it back until it makes sense The. one thing that will keep your idea from ever getting. published is if it s ordinary A predictable safe run of the. mill book simply won t justify the publisher s substantial. financial investment to bring it to print Your book doesn t. have to be shocking or violent or disturbing but it does. have to be fresh interesting and surprising It has to be. something the editor s never seen before And chances are. your first idea won t fit these criteria, Study authors who have charted new ground with their. books Look at Pirates by David L Harrison illustrated by. Dan Burr nonfiction picture book for ages 8 12 written as a. collection of poems ttyl by Lauren Myracle young adult. story of three high school girls written as Instant Messages. Lincoln Shot A President s Life Remembered by Barry. Denenberg illustrated by Christopher Bing written as a. commemorative edition of The National News one year after. Lincoln s death the entire book looks like a 19th century. newspaper or Dav Pilkey s Captain Underpants chapter. book series each book a combination of story comic strip. and Flip O Rama All these books embodied themes and. ideas that had been touched on before but packaged in a. new exciting way,Now watch this, Laura Backes on Developing Stories for Different Age Groups. Take a moment to tell your online friends about this great free eBook. CLICK TO TWEET CLICK TO SHARE ON FACEBOOK,Step 4 Write Your First Draft. Over the past 23 years we ve written enough on the subject. of writing craft to fill a library or two Any attempt to distill. that into a few paragraphs would be a major disservice So. here s where we have to make a pitch,Join the Fightin Bookworms and we ll teach you. everything you need to know, Plot dialogue pacing point of view character development. It s not brain surgery but it will take some time and attention. So seriously spend what you would each month on a light. snack and you ll have it all at your fingertips Check us out at. http cbiclubhouse com, Until then here are a few pieces of writing instruction to get. you started,Writing Picture Books How to Get Started. Write for Success 7 Tips For Children s Book Writers. Writing Tips 4 Rules Beginning Children s Book Writers. Should Never Break, Take a moment to tell your online friends about this great free eBook.
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