I just handed over my children’s book to a content editor on Sunday.
This was a big step for me as I was struggling to get the book finished for a few weeks. When I started to write my book, the thought of sending my book to a content editor didn't cross my mind. But as I read and researched more, I knew that a content editor would be able to provide me with practical advice to improve my book.
While this is still fresh in my head, here are 3 questions to ask yourself when writing your children's book.
Step One: Does your story flow and are there gaps?
My main concern was making sure my story flowed and made sense.
So once I had written a few pages, I read the book to my daughter. She laughed and started repeating parts of the sentences after me. Phew.
I also sent the manuscript to a friend who was a preschool teacher before for a quick look. She asked me to change the flow of certain scenes for the little reader to stay engaged.
Step Two: How can you differentiate your book?
With the wide array of children's books on the market, it is important to think about the selling point of your book?
- Can this book be read again and again? Is your book a bedtime book that can be read every night or a book that will grab a child's attention with a scary main character like the Gruffalo?
- Is this book aligned to the teaching curriclum of the age group you are writing for?
- Would it come with anything extra? You could add in a fact sheet or a QR code in your book to your website with more resources.
Step Three: What type of illustrations would work best with your book?
As you are writing each scene of your book, it would be good to picture what the accompanying illustrations would look like.
- What would each scene look like? Try to picture the scene in your head as the next step would be to write it out and be as descriptive as possible.
- Are there particular illustration styles you prefer? Some popular styles are realistic, black and white, whimsical and fantasy.
- Do you have a children's illustrator in mind? If you want to find a verifiable illustrator who will create original work, the best place to start is at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
I will be waiting eagerly for my content editor to get back to me. In the meantime, I am going to sketch out the drawing for each page and then approach a few illustrators to get quotes.
Stay tuned ✌️.
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