How to Write a Childrens Book – Jerry Jenkins | Proven Writing Tips

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Releasing a children’s book in today’s highly competitive industry can be exceptionally difficult.

Printing books that require four-color illustrations is expensive, so many publishers have them printed overseas to reduce costs.

It may appear as though authoring a children’s book would be simpler than a work meant for adults because of its shorter length. However, they are no less of a challenge to compose.

The text should be concise and appropriate for all ages; an understanding of the target audience is essential for creating successful content. Both children and adults must be drawn in by the material, so the writing should be both captivating and easy to understand.

Why Write Children’s Books?

Book sales overall were strong in 2021, growing 8.9%

BacklistPublishers often seek out collections of books from previous publishing seasons to capitalize on sales, particularly within the children’s genres. If parents and children are fans of a single book, they are likely to want to read other titles in the series.

Kids are passionate readers. Make a lasting impression on them and they will surely show appreciation through their letters of admiration.

If you harbor the belief that writing for children is a fast path to riches, you may be sadly mistaken.

But children’s book writing may be just the thing for you if you’re:

  • Dedicated to learning the craft
  • Want to impact the next generation
  • Love the genre and are thoroughly familiar with it

Watch more videos on the same topic : How to Write a Children’s Book: 8 EASY STEPS!

Video Description

Today I am going to show you how to write a kids book. When writing a children’s book you can’t just sit down and start writing. There is a lot more that goes into writing a children’s book and making sure that when writing your kids book, kids are actually going to enjoy it.nnSo, follow along in this 8 easy steps to writing a children’s book video as I take you through all 8 steps one by one. I will also show you different resources that will come in handy when writing your children’s book and how you can find the perfect illustrator for your kids book.nnHow to Write A Children’s Book Full Article: to Title Your Book: Step 1 – Age Range and Understand Your Marketn0:01:42 Step 2 – Choose a Writing Style and Stick With Itn0:03:08 Step 3 – Including Important Children Book Elementsn0:05:08 Step 4 – Naming Your Bookn0:05:59 Step 5 – Decide on an Editorn0:06:39 Step 6 – Decide on Your Books Orientationn0:07:06 Step 7 – Create a Book Dummy or Storyboardn0:07:36 Step 8 – Hiring An Illustratornn#Childrensbook #howtowriteabook #writeachildrensbooknnWANT TO SELL YOUR BOOKS LIKE A PRO:rnhttp://Kindlepreneur.comrnrnGET MY FREE BOOK ON INCREASING YOUR EBOOK’S RANKINGS ON AMAZONrn TOOLS TO SUCCESSFUL SELF PUBLISHERS USE?rnCheck out my Resources:’S SOCIALIZE!rnFacebook:

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Why Writing Books for Kids is Different

Skill in writing for adults doesn’t necessarily translate into the children’s market.

Writing a story in a limited word count can be quite challenging. It requires one to use a restricted vocabulary and succinct sentences to convey the story. This can be especially difficult when the word count is compressed to 200, 700, or 1,000 words.

  • Teach a lesson
  • Educate while entertaining
  • Use age-appropriate language and topics
  • Feature high-quality, professional illustrations
  • Be relatable to a wide range of children

Watch more videos on the same topic : How to write a picture book – Advice from a professional children’s author

Video Description

Children’s author and illustrator of over 300 books with 30 years experience gives his advice about writing picture books.nnJoin me on Patreon from more drawing, illustration and self-publishing videos and be part of my creative crew! of people ask me about writing a picture book. It’s just for kids, so it must be easy, right? lolnnI thought I’d make a video where I’d just talk about writing picture books and the difficulties you may come across. If you think you are going to make a fortune and be a famous author, you are better off working at Macdonalds – Honestly, that’s not a joke.nnIt takes an inordinate amount of luck to have a best seller and a huge amount of work to make any sort of living at it. Author incomes have halved in the last 20 years – really!nnBut you may just want to have a few copies of your book for your family, which is great. These thoughts apply to you to. Any questions? put the in the comments box and maybe you will inspire a new video?!nnHere are links:nnNext Video – https://www.scbwi.orgnSCBWI UK https://britishisles.scbwi.orgnnIngram Publishing my Pandora book herennPandora on Amazon USA Amazon UK Amazon Canada Amazon Australia award winning children’s author and illustrator, Shoo RaynernYou can support this channel by joining me on Patreon n➡️ to this channel on YouTube for lots more drawing :)n ➡️ http://www.shooraynerdrawing.comnnmusic by asks about the tools I use when I’m out using my sketchbook. here’s a video to show you what and how I use them. Tikky Graphic Penn in the UK n in the USA n in CanadannThe Pentel Aquash Brushn in the UKn in the USAn In CanadannHuion A4 Tracing Light Padn in the UKn in the USA n in CanadannThe Seawhite of Brighton a5 travel journaln in the UKn in the USA nnThe Cotman sketching watercolour set n in the UKn in the USAn in CanadannNeutral Tint Half Pan Watercolour Paintn in the UKn in the USAn in CanadannNaples Yellow Half Pan Watercolour Paintn in the UKn in the USAn in CanadannSharpie White China Markern in the UKn in the USAn in CanadannPentel Brush Penn in the UKn in the USAn In CanadannFaber Castell Polychromos Pencilsn in the UKn in the USAn in CanadannTwitter http://www.shooraynerdrawing.comnnmusic by Rayner is an award-winning illustrator and author of over 200 books for children. nnThe Shoo Rayner Drawing Channel won the 2011 YouTube NextUp award.nnMake sure you are subscribed for new videos every week delivered to your inbox. ➡️

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9 Steps to Writing Children’s Books and Submitting Them to Publishers

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1. Know the 4 Types of Children’s Books

The characters in most types of literature are typically one to two years older than their readers. Young readers enjoy reading stories about older characters as it allows them to put themselves in the shoes of their heroes.

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Picture Books

Board books made of thick cardboard are designed to be read-to by babies and toddlers. The illustrations featured in these books do much of the storytelling.


  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

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Early Readers


  • The Animal Ark by Lucy Daniels
  • Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

Chapter Books

Suitable for children aged between 7 and 10, chapter books typically contain 3,000 to 10,000 words and provide an enjoyable, yet fast read. These books usually contain black and white sketches instead of colorful illustrations.


  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  • The Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne

Middle Grade Books

Children between the ages of 9 and 12 read books with word counts ranging from 30,000 to 50,000 words. These books may contain illustrations, particularly for the chapter titles.


  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

The significance of word counts is usually taken into consideration when writing for children, with the exception of J.K. Rowling’s Middle Grade Harry Potter series. These books contain more than 150,000 words and have achieved the highest level of sales of any books ever written.

2. Know Your Readers

It is essential to be informed about the age group you are writing for; guessing is not an option.

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Reading dozens of books in your genre

Familiarize yourself with the conventions and standards of the field and discover what works and what does not.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should be aiming for an enjoyable experience; the message or lesson of your work is an added bonus.

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Paying attention to what kids are into

Discussing books with teachers, friends, and family members can be a great way to discover new and interesting reads. Kids are often very passionate about the books they enjoy and are likely to be eager to share what they like.

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Visiting bookstores

Take a look at the books on the shelves. See which themes, authors, and publishers are popular and why children are drawn to them. Gain insight into what the market looks like.

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3. Decide on a Concept

Encouraging your children to explore their imagination can be a great way to pick out a book idea. Children’s minds are full of creativity and curiosity, so take advantage of that and let their idea take flight.

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Focus on universal themesBoth parents and children share a common appreciation for values like family, friendship, courage, being open-minded, and kindness.

  • Jack and the Beanstalk and the French Fries by Mark Teague
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • The Everything Book of Cats and Kittens
  • National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs
  • Your favorite books as a child
  • What today’s kids love
  • What parents and teachers love about certain books

Conducting a search on either Google or Amazon will reveal books that are related to your concept. What sets your book apart from the rest and why should readers choose your book over the others?

Find a unique angle — a twist, a surprise ending, a different point of view.

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4. Create Memorable Characters

Stories that remain memorable often have a protagonist with a remarkable journey.

Memorable characters often have traits that make them imperfect, yet they grow and develop in ways that allow them to reach their objectives. Through the acquisition of abilities, fortitude and insight, these characters are able to transform and ultimately succeed.

Your character’s arcThe protagonist in the story undergoes a transformation, which makes the narrative all the more interesting. These changes could be either psychological, such as gaining courage or fearlessness, or physical, even to the point of life and death. The more obstacles the protagonist overcomes, the more riveting the tale becomes.

Perhaps your main character believes, like Charles Dickens’s Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, that money is more valuable than love — then learns the truth. Or maybe he learns to become as confident as The Little Engine That Could.

  • Heroes A2Z #1: Alien Ice Cream by David Anthony
  • Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

Creating a character with the right development, even if they face difficulties and have imperfections, can lead to them becoming an iconic figure.

5. Write and Rewrite

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Decide whether you’re writing a standalone or a series?

Kids, parents, and publishers love series,

Create a strong plot

Don’t skimp on plotNo matter the length of your book, it is essential to create tension and excitement to keep readers engaged and turning the pages, even if they are made of cardboard.

Avoid condescension

It is important to refrain from speaking to children in a condescending manner, as this can lead to a lack of connection between readers and the story.

Create an original style of writing. Read your book out loud and pay close attention. Does the story progress smoothly? Does the conversation sound real? Is it captivating?

Books written for older kids can often be read out loud in schools or libraries.

Use a grammar checker like the Hemingway App

Learn a new manuscript preparation process

Creating a book dummy with 32 pages is a great way to plan out and visualize the scenes, text, cover, copyright page, and end matter of a picture book, which typically averages 28 pages.

Ensuring the book looks visually appealing and the story progresses in a logical manner are both important components.

If you’re writing middle grade, your process

In order to be successful with your writing, it is important to allocate time specifically for it, enlist the help of others to hold you accountable, establish a clear timeline, and remove any sources of interference.

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Mind your rhymes

Writing poetry requires more than just matching the last word of each line. To create an original piece of work, one must be creative and think about meter, rhythm and the timing of the words. Lazy rhyming should be avoided.

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Jump into the action

Children’s books are usually short, so it is important to start your story right away and avoid long backstories. Consider how successful books in your category begin and use this as a guide when crafting your story.

Challenge your hero

Your main character needs a realistic external or internal challengeHe is not finding a simple solution; instead, he is attempting to work out a puzzle, build courage, or gain assurance.

Your protagonist should experience various struggles and ultimately prevail in an important endeavor. It is essential for them to make mistakes, confront challenges, and persevere until success is achieved.

Use repetition and ritual

Repeating stories is an important part of children’s literature, particularly for younger readers. It is a great way for them to learn. This is likely why kids often request the same book multiple times.

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Repeating a word, phrase, or concept can help to create memorability. This could be done like Dr. Seuss does in his writing, by repeating a phrase or word, or by repeating a specific situation.

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Allow yourself a messy first draft

Many aspiring authors fail to finish their initial draft due to various distractions or lack of confidence. The most important part is to get the story down on paper, then use further passes to refine and perfect it to your liking.

Embrace rewriting

Learn to self-editOnce you have gone through your book, take the time to go through it again and refine it. Add in more detail, include jokes and humour, and make corrections to any errors. Constantly work at it to make sure that you are completely satisfied with the final product.

Help your illustrator

Children’s books that have success rely on great illustrations, so don’t keep your protagonist confined to a single dull room. Take them to the outdoors, and even to other worlds and terrains.

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Wrap it up

Aim to arrive at a satisfactory ending and make sure that all the details are taken care of. Devote the necessary effort to this process. Demonstrate the development of your protagonist’s character arc — how much they have changed and progressed since the start of the story.

6. Suggest a strong title

Your title will be a major marketing tool for your book and may go through several iterations. In the end, the title is the publisher’s responsibility, but you need the best one you can think of to get their attention in the first place. Brainstorm

  • Play with alliteration
  • Include action, not just description
  • Aim to entice readers with mystery and curiosity

Seek opinions from both children and adults. Are children interested and enthusiastic about the book? Would adults be willing to purchase it?

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7. Get feedback

Once you are done with self-editing your work, it is important to get feedback from other people. It is best to select people you trust and can rely on, who won’t share your work or try to take the credit for it. If you can find someone from the publishing industry to give their opinion, that is a bonus, but otherwise you should look for people who have children in the age range your book is intended for, and see what they think about it.

Enlist beta readers

Think about signing up for a critique group, where you can present your work to other writers and get their input.

Examine social media networks of children’s book authors to see if there are any that you would like to join.

Once a book is released, authors may want to consider joining the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators or the Children’s Literature Association. These organizations offer a variety of resources and networking opportunities for those in the children’s literature industry.

8. Getting Your Children’s Book Published

Securing an agent is the ideal approach to having your manuscript published. Investigate thoroughly to ensure you are approaching agents who specialize in the genre of your work.

Finding an agent is a difficult process as they are inundated with thousands of inquiries and proposals each year. Investing time and effort into the search can be worth it if you can make a lasting impression.

Start with a query letter.

Self-publishingCreating a printed book, particularly a four-color children’s book, can be extremely costly. Therefore, it is important to exhaust all possibilities for traditional publishing first as this will provide the opportunity for the publisher to pay you and be responsible for the financial risks.

9. What About Illustrations and Formatting?

No illustrations are necessary when you are attempting to contact agents or publishers – it is enough to describe the potential illustrations in parentheses or draw simple stick figures. Publishers will typically employ illustrators for their own use.

If you have an aptitude for art as well as writing, consider including illustrations for your book. Publishers tend to be enthused by authors who can both write and draw.

If you decide to publish your work without the help of an established publisher, locating an illustrator is the most essential move and probably the most costly.

Hiring a talented illustrator can be hard to do since they are often booked for several months in advance. It is important to decide who will have ownership rights over the artwork.

A competent illustrator can be of great assistance in selecting an appropriate type font and size, as well as in designing and controlling page divisions.

On the web, there are several places to find illustrators such as Fiverr, Upwork, The Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators, and Illustration Web.

Start Writing Children’s Books Today


Frequently asked questions

What is the best way to come up with ideas for a children’s book?

One of the best ways to come up with ideas for a children’s book is to think about topics that you find interesting and start brainstorming. It may also help to look at existing children’s books for inspiration.

How long should a children’s book be?

The length of a children’s book can vary. Generally, books for younger children tend to be shorter (up to 1,000 words) and books for older children can be up to 10,000 words.

What are the most important aspects of writing a good children’s book?

When writing a children’s book, some of the most important aspects to consider include making sure the story is engaging and easy to understand, focusing on a single theme, and making sure there is a satisfying resolution to the plot.

How do I make sure my children’s book appeals to readers?

When writing a children’s book, it is important to make sure the story is engaging and has characters that readers can relate to. It is also important to make sure the story is age appropriate and has a moral lesson or message that is relevant to readers.

What resources are available to help me write a children’s book?

There are many resources available to help writers create a successful children’s book. These include books, websites, workshops, and classes. Additionally, joining a professional organization such as the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators can be a great way to access helpful resources and gain advice from experienced authors.

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