Writing a childrens book? How to get started
February 28, 2013 7:58am CST
I wanted to write short stories for children. I wanted to know how can I go about doing this if I decided to go ahead with it. Would it cost anything to do this (out of pocket)? I was also thinking that, with so many books out there, how would mine even get noticed? Where would I start/begin? ANYONE?? -NIKKI-
• Cambridge, England
28 Feb 13
Mot5 successful children's authors started without any intention of publishing anything - sometimes without any idea of writing the stories down at first. Nearly all the best stories, especially short stories, began as bedtime stories told to a child out of someone's head. If you have children of your own - or nephews or nieces or grandchildren - preferably under the age of 8 or 9, start telling them stories out of your own head. Your children will be your best critics and may quite often suggest the way they want the story to go. Perhaps you were told stories yourself by a parent or grandparent. You can draw on these for inspiration. It costs absolutely nothing to tell or write stories. You should only worry about publishing them later, when you are sure that they are successful (from the reactions you get from your captive audience). When it comes to publishing, you can either go the traditional route and submit your manuscripts to a recognised children's publisher or a magazine or you can use a 'vanity' publisher who will print your book for you (regardless of whether it is worth publishing or not). Some of these will charge you quite a large amount and, in due course, deliver you a packet of 250 or so copies which it is then up to you to sell. I can't stress enough that you should avoid such companies like the plague! There are plenty of self-publishing companies which may charge you a small amount for editing and formatting, though if you can do this yourself, you will save that cost. They will then print your book on demand, as it is ordered, so you don't have your loft or garage space taken up by hundreds of copies of unsold (and unsaleable) books. These companies will usually list your titles on their website and, for a small fee, you can buy an ISBN which will allow you (or the company) to list it on Amazon. You can set your own price and the company will charge a percentage of this which is only payable when you make a sale.