The end of the How to Write a Children's Book Series
You’ve finished your first children’s book and might have some questions.
The question of what to do now that you’ve written your children’s picture book has one answer that is true for all writers, no matter the path they want to take with their writing. That answer is to write another one.
Whether you aspire to write the next Winnie-the-Pooh or only want to write stories for the kids in your family, you need to keep writing. Practice makes better.
Now, let me address some of the most frequently asked questions of the writers who have taken my How to Write a Children’s Book course as you probably have some of the same questions.
HOW DO I PUBLISH MY BOOK?
You have two options for publishing your books: traditional and self.
For this option, you should consider getting an agent. Your agent will help you find a publisher and advocate for your work.
A word of caution - Getting an agent and securing a traditional publishing deal does not mean instant big bucks. Most authors get paid between $10,000 and $30,000 for their stories and maintain little to no creative control over their work.
The upsides to traditional publishing are that you do not have to be as business savvy, and they tend to have in-house illustrators.
HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN'S BOOK
If you are a control freak, like me, then self-publishing might be better for you. But let me be very clear: this is a lot of work.
You are going to be a business owner at this point, which means learning about a slew of topics, from taxes to creative software.
You will also hire and fire employees such as graphic designers, marketers, lawyers, and accountants.
IF BOTH OF these sound like too much work, you can always publish your work on your blog to share it. It’s free and less involved.
2023 Update - Solopreneurship is my favorite way to go. You do the parts you like and hire contractors for the rest. If you are interested in hearing more about this, please let me know by subscribing to the On Writing section.
HOW DO I FIND AN ILLUSTRATOR?
If you have the skills and time, self-illustrating your book is the way to go. You are your single best employee. If you have artistic talents, use them. You can learn the technical stuff on YouTube.
HIRE a Professional
Hiring a professional illustrator is not as difficult as you might think. You most likely have a graphic designer in the family or go to yoga with a painter. Ask around and see if you have any friends or family that are professional artists. If so, negotiate a price and hire them. Simple as pie.
The cost of hiring a professional varies from illustrator to illustrator. Some illustrators will quote you per project and some will quote you per page.
Shop around, and see what’s out there for you.
AGAIN, if you go the traditional route, an illustrator will most likely be assigned to your book.
ALSO, you will notice I’m leaving out things like “Google it” and “Search job sites.” This is because I have not used these for my illustration needs and, therefore, cannot speak on them.
But, yeah - you can Google it.
WHY DIDN’T WE GO OVER GRAMMAR?
If you can use a period, comma, exclamation point and question mark, then you can write the great American novel. So it stands to reason that you can write a kids’ book with it.
WHY DIDN’T WE COVER STORY STRUCTURE?
We get too caught up in structure and the academics of the writing that we rarely write. You wrote a book. You can wax philosophical on the structure and stuff later. Right now, you should be celebrating.
REAL TALK - If you’ve been watching television, listening to talk radio, watching movies, and reading your entire life, I think you know how a story works.
It is in you. You’ve done 10,000 hours of research. Just write and write more to get better at applying what you already know.
Thank you so much for writing your story with me. It has been an honor and privilege.
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from “How To Write A Children’s Book: A 7-Day Workshop In A Book”.
The entire book will be made available here on this blog to read at your leisure. Books and courses are available.
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