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How to Write a Book Summary

learn to write books for 5 year olds

When a teacher or anyone else asks you to write a book summary, he or she is requesting that you read a book and write a short account that explains the main plot points, characters and any other important information in your own words. The reader of your summary should have an understanding of the book without having ever read it. Many teachers and professors ask students to do this to ensure they read and understand the material they’ve assigned. If you’re currently working on your first book summary, here’s how to do it:

Know the Assignment and Choose a Book

Before you get started, you need to know what your teacher expects from you. Did he or she assign a particular book, or can you select you own? you’ll also need to know how long the summary should be. Your teacher may want it to be at least a page or two or so many words so that you can show that you really understood what you read.

Start Reading and Take Notes

As soon as you have the book in hand, whether your teacher assigned it or you chose it yourself, you should grab a pen and notebook to keep with you at all times. Anytime you read a chapter or two, you’ll want to take notes about what you read. Make a list of the characters and their problems and goals. Keep an outline of the plot. Remember, you’re not rewriting the book entirely — just picking out the most important details and retelling them in your voice. You can also make note when you find something interesting or you see something you need to understand better.

Create an Introduction

Once you finish the book, you should have a few pages of notes and a good understanding of what happened, who the main characters were and all of the important plot points. Now, it’s time to start writing the summary. you’ll want to start with a strong introductions that tells the reader exactly what you want them to know. Be straightforward about the title and author of the book and give a general idea in a sentence or two of what it’s about. You may want to introduce a setting here too. For example, if you read “Gone with the Wind,” you may start with something like “Set during the Civil War, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell is an epic novel that tells the story of a young Southern woman in Georgia, her love affairs and her attempts to save her family plantation while the South burns down around here.”

Organize Your Notes to Create the Body

Once you’ve introduced the book with a few sentences, it’s time to write the body of the summary. This is where you’ll turn to your notes. If you didn’t create an outline before, now is the time to do so. Organize your points in order in paragraph form. The ultimate goal is for the reader to know exactly what the book was about, even if he or she has never read it. Try putting yourself in the reader of your summary’s shoes. What would you need to know to understand what the book was about? Once you’ve finished the body, add a conclusion that gives the reader an understanding of significance of the book. Did it teach a lesson, or was there a moral to the story? Were there themes present throughout the book?

Edit and Proofread

Once you’ve finished, read over your summary a few times to make sure it makes sense. Not only do you want to check for spelling and grammar errors, but you’ll want to make sure the description flows from point to point and makes sense. Try reading it out loud to yourself to see how it sounds when you hear it. Read it a friend or family member to see if they can provide any feedback. Once you’re certain it’s complete, you can turn it in to your teacher or professor.


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Best Learn To Write Book For Kids

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Handwriting for kids can be difficult to master, but repeated practice and having fun is the perfect solution!

As parents, we all want to see our children succeed and thrive in their learning environments. But if we’re honest, handwriting practice, drawing numbers and learning print and cursive handwriting isn’t always that fun, especially if our kids are struggling.

An issue as simple as incorrectly holding a pen can set a child’s progress back and create anxiety around development. Yet most of the time, the problem is simply that the child is not enjoying their learning process. This can turn a fun exercise of learning writing strokes into a stumbling block, sometimes without us even realizing it.

So, how can we solve this?

Why choose Clever Eli Learn to Write books for children?

Clever Eli Learn to Write Books offer a unique, practical and fun solution to learning print and cursive handwriting.

While Learn To Write children’s books are by no means a new concept, Clever Eli offers a different approach that focuses on life-long learning embedded in fun and just a little bit of magic. This unique product is a multi-sensory, reusable writing book that includes lowercase and uppercase letters, short words, shapes, pictures and numbers.

Its revolutionary grooved design helps to enhance each child’s fine motor skills while simultaneously developing their muscle memories. And what’s more, it’s suitable for both left-handed and right-handed children and comes in a big, kid-friendly format that makes it easy to handle.

Each Clever Eli Learn to Write book also comes with a specially designed pen kit. The pen itself contains incredible disappearing ink that vanishes within 20 minutes of writing.

You’ll also receive a special pen grip to keep tiny fingers correctly positioned for practice. Clever Eli truly offers the best book for learning cursive and print writing!

ZB 1-2

Learning cursive writing is so important

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Even with increasing and ever-present technological advances, most children still learn written communication, whether they are in traditional schools or home-schooling systems.

There is a very good reason for this.

Not only does cursive writing improve motor skills, but it also teaches children how to focus, improves their memory, and engages their brainpower.

In fact, studies have shown that writing by hand directly impacts creative flow. A child actively writing is more likely to open their imagination to new ideas.

Scientifically speaking, cursive handwriting helps kids to connect learned words to motor memory. It improves spelling abilities, teaching children how to recognize written words and remember them.

It also stimulates simultaneous brain activity via the process of remembering and practicing as they trace letters in the book.

Exciting News! We are happy to announce that we are launching a Cursive Handwriting Book for Kids in April 2022.

Please click on the ‘button’ below to register your interest and keep up to date on the launch period or for more information about our upcoming cursive children’s learn to write books .

Who Can Benefit from Clever Eli Learn to Write Children's Books?

Children of all ages can benefit from handwriting workbooks, whether they are just beginning to write letters and master early learning skills , to those already adept at full words, sentences , and communication skills .

Why wait for school-age when you can start practicing proper pen control and writing style with Learn To Write books for toddlers at home?

Clever Eli’s reusable learn to write books for kids are easy to follow and use, making them suitable for children with special needs or those requiring extra learning care to practice writing .

learn to write books for 5 year olds

For an early childhood educator and other teachers alike , these books are a fantastic resource that reduces the need to print out endless practice pages or continuously buy kids handwriting books.

learn to write books for 5 year olds

For parents at home, our learn to write workbook is a great way to keep kids interested and help them practice their fine motor skills and the writing process without the time pressure of the classroom.

learn to write books for 5 year olds


Early child educators and occupational therapists (OTs) have found value in the unique design of these books insofar as they cover a range of handwriting issues in a clever all-in-one design.

What Clever Eli Learn to Write books for kids have to offer

Clever Eli offers a beginning handwriting workbook that is unlike any other available on the market today. Writing practice doesn’t need to be restricted to the classroom alone. Instead, it can be actively pursued in a fun and engaging way.

What makes Clever Eli the ultimate writing workbook is the amount of learning offered in a single, all-in-one package:

Learning print and cursive

Kids will be able to conquer both print and cursive handwriting styles by writing letters and line tracing over and over.

Reusable writing book

Clever Eli’s magic copy book can be used again and again using special disappearing ink (yes, you read that right, unlike a learn to write dry erase book , there is no mess or fuss). This means less supervision for the mom on the go.

Grooves to guide alphabet shapes

The unique groove design of each page helps kids' development as it is easier for children to find the correct motor skill coordination to form letters and numbers correctly. And, of course, the pen grip shows kids exactly how they need to hold their pens as they complete their handwriting exercises .

A fun experience

Setting children up for obtainable success in writing eases frustration and improves the learning process, turning it from an unpleasant experience into an exciting task. Parents can feel relieved about positive, progressive education and take comfort knowing their children won't be held back by a developmental delay in their handwriting. Our learn to write books for 4 year olds and other preschoolers truly introduces children to writing in the best way.

Practice Handwriting with Clever Eli Learn to Write Children’s Books

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With Clever Eli, handwriting practice is made engaging, enjoyable, and helps spark kids’ imaginations .

You won’t need to worry about equipping your child with the tools they need for learning if you purchase a writing practice book that approaches a normal issue in a positive, success-oriented way.

Let’s quickly recap why Clever Eli is the ultimate choice for both tactile and visual learning.

There are plenty more reasons why Clever Eli children’s learn to write books are the obvious choice, but the proof will be in their writing!

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Learn to Write Books for Kids 3-5: Learn To Write For Kids Ages 3-5 : Writing Book For 3-5 Year Old Children, Toddlers, Preschool, Homeschool, Pre-K, Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2 - Handwriting Practice (Series #1) (Paperback)

Channie's Easy Peasy Handwriting Alphabet Workbook For PreK-1st Grade handwriting workbook, worksheet improve handwriting quickly with the visual color coded format.

Channie's Easy Peasy Handwriting Alphabet Workbook For PreK-1st Grade handwriting workbook, worksheet improve handwriting quickly with the visual color coded format.

image 0 of Learn to Write Books for Kids 3-5: Learn To Write For Kids Ages 3-5 : Writing Book For 3-5 Year Old Children, Toddlers, Preschool, Homeschool, Pre-K, Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2 - Handwriting Practice (Series #1) (Paperback)

learn to write books for 5 year olds

Growing Reader

The write stuff: 7 books to get kids writing, by liz lesnick.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” — Ernest Hemingway

I think everyone can relate to Hemingway’s feelings about writing. Sometimes the ideas come easily, but it’s hard to find the right words; other times it’s a struggle to know how to even begin. If you have an aspiring writer in your house, or a child struggling with a writing assignment for school, here are some of my favorite books that provide inspiration, encouragement, and practical advice.

Author: A True Story

Author: A True Story

by Helen Lester

Helen Lester, author of one of our family’s favorite picture books, Tacky the Penguin , shares how she overcame her own childhood struggles with writing to become a “real” author. Filled with encouragement, advice, and humor, Author: A True Story will enchant and inspire even the youngest writers. [Ages 5-8]

The Best Story

The Best Story

by Eileen Spinelli, Illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf

Once upon a time, a girl wants to enter the library’s story contest, but she can’t figure out how to write a story. She gets advice from family and friends about what makes a story good. As you can imagine, everyone has their own take on what they like in a story. Young writers (and readers) will be entertained and inspired by Eileen Spinelli’s quirky heroine and Anne Wilsdorf’s lively illustrations. [Ages 5-8]

My Book About Me by ME, Myself

My Book About Me by ME, Myself

by Dr. Seuss

When a friend gave my daughter My Book About Me for her fourth birthday, I think I was more excited than she was. I remembered how much I loved making my own book about me and the thrill of being encouraged to write in a “real” book. Each page has a question or an activity for kids to complete about themselves asked in a way that can only be described as “Seussian.” I still haven’t found a better way to get kids excited about writing. [Ages 4-8]

Q&A a Day for Kids

Q&A a Day for Kids

by Betsy Franco

Keeping a journal is a great way to exercise your writing muscles, but sometimes it’s hard to know what to write. Q&A a Day for Kids solves that problem with a thoughtful question from children’s author Betsy Franco on each page. Even children who aren’t writing on their own can answer the questions and have a grown-up record them in the diary. I gave this to a friend who told me that she sets aside time each evening to do an entry with her young son, and when she forgets, he dutifully reminds her that he can’t go to bed until they’ve done his question. [Ages 4-12]

My Weird Writing Tips

My Weird Writing Tips

by Dan Gutman, illustrated by Jim Paillot

Many kids find writing assignments daunting and overwhelming. And many parents, including yours truly, aren’t sure how to help get their kids started. Thank goodness for Dan Gutman and his My Weird Writing Tips . Gutman pulls off a rare feat, teaching and entertaining at the same time. Gutman covers a wide range of topics including grammar tips and narrative structure. Illustrations, featuring characters from his popular My Weird School series , make the lessons fun and clear. [Ages 8-12]

Writing Magic

Writing Magic

by Gail Carson Levine

I love to get expert advice, especially when it’s from someone whose work I admire. In Writing Magic , Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted , shares tips and tricks to help you get writing. This invaluable volume is filled with ideas about how to craft a story and develop characters and overcome writer’s block.

Carson Levine has penned a companion to Writing Magic called Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink . [Ages 8-12]

Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook

Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook

by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter, illustrated by Matt Phelan

After receiving letters from fans asking for writing advice, authors Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter joined together to create this handbook for young writers. Mazer and Potter offer anecdotes along with practical advice on how to find a voice, develop characters and plot, and make revisions. [Ages 9-14]

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Learning to write


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Home / Book Writing / How to Write a Children’s Book in 9 Easy Steps [2023]

How to Write a Children’s Book in 9 Easy Steps [2023]

How do you write children's books and get them published? You write a children’s book by choosing a target audience, incorporating captivating elements, and beautifully illustrating it. Children’s books may either be self-published or submitted to traditional publishers .

And this article can give you the other tools you need to write the next great children’s book that you may have been thinking about for years, but never thought you'd be able to write and share it with little ones.

What’s your reason for writing children’s books? For me, it’s that smile.

Many authors or aspiring writers dream of publishing a children’s book. Maybe you have an incredible idea that you can’t stop thinking about. Or perhaps you want to put to paper your little one’s favorite bedtime short story — the one you made up while snuggling together.

Whatever the reason, now is the time to check this dream off your bucket list.

Writing and publishing your own children’s book is no longer super challenging to achieve, nor does it take all your life savings (like it might have 20 years ago).

Unless you’re a celebrity or have a large following already, self-publishing your children’s book is a great way to get your foot in the door, even if your ultimate goal is to eventually explore traditional publishing.

If you present a well-performing book and an established author platform, your chances of landing a publishing deal are much higher than if you simply submit a query or manuscript.

How much money can be made from writing a children's book? The answer to this question greatly depends on the subject of the children's book. That's why doing our research is so important, even before we start writing our children's book.

Even for children’s books, we need to validate our book idea .

Table of contents

Additionally, book series are generally doing very well with kids. Once little ones come to love a character, they often can't get enough of them and their parents continue buying the books. The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne and The Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle are wonderful examples.

The roadmap below outlines what steps we’ll take to write and publish a children’s book:

Questions to Consider Before Writing a Children’s Book

For books marketed to younger audiences, you need to know that parents will want to buy this book. Children usually don’t spend the money to buy your story. Yes, make something entertaining for kids — but you need parents to buy your book first.

The primary purchaser of children’s books is between 30 and 44 years old. Females make up more than 70% of these buyers.

A few ways you could really get to better know your audience are:

Side Note: We recently reviewed another great course on publishing children's books, read our review here .

When writing a children’s storybook, it’s really important to know the basic structure of a children’s book. There are lots of templates for writing a children’s book!

To learn more about children’s books and how to structure your writing for a younger audience, you could:

Is there a template for writing a children’s book? Yes, there are many templates for writing a children’s book. Here are some of my favorites:

You should be able to explain your book concept to anyone in a single sentence and in fewer than 30 seconds.

To best explain your book concept to potential readers or traditional publishers, you should develop a logline that encapsulates the plot and the hook.

If you’re not concisely explaining your book’s concept, you might lose potential readers and publishers because it’s too confusing.

These 7 writing tips may help you avoid common issues when writing a children’s book:

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You want to make a children’s book. Below is every resource you’re going to need.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to write a children’s book:

STEP 1 . Choose the Format

Should you publish an ebook or paperback? You should consider publishing your children’s book in both ebook format and paperback format.

Paperback is still the most popular format for children’s books. If you’re looking to sell your children’s book on Amazon or in brick-and-mortar stores , you should invest in a high-quality paperback format.

Ebooks are not a very popular medium for children’s books. However, children’s ebook usage is continuously increasing.

Most parents still prefer their kids to read print books, but the number of parents who prefer ebooks or who have no preference is growing.

Ebooks also come in handy during promotions and review requests. Giving away an ebook for review is a lot easier and more cost-effective.

It’s worth noting that a study out of the University of Michigan found that storytime with ebooks is not as effective . Compared with physical book storytime, parents spent more time talking about the technology, instead of the book’s content, during ebook storytime.

So physical children’s books won’t go away anytime soon.

STEP 2 . Know Your Target Category

To write a children’s book, you need to know your target category — that is, the age of your target audience.

When publishing on Amazon, you will be asked to list what ages your book is for. So it’s important to add the most appropriate age range. Otherwise you may receive lots of negative reviews from parents and other caregivers that thought your book to be unsuitable for their little ones.

Depending on the kids’ age reading your book, you will want to adjust the number of illustrations, word count , writing style, and more.

Most children’s books fall into one of these 5 categories:

Below is a table to show average statistics for the most common types of children’s books:

Children's Book Categories

Short words and short sentences are critical for the youngest children, so readers don’t feel overwhelmed. Colorful illustrations and fun characters are more necessary in children’s books than in adult fiction. Where adults can mentally grapple with ambiguity, kids prefer resolved stories and answered questions.

Each stage of development in a child’s life requires a different story structure and book setup. Adapting to each stage and its cognitive ability is essential if we want our book to be meaningful, educational, and fun.

Board Books are considered the youngest category — including on Amazon’s marketplace. They are for kids aged 0 to 2.

A Board Book is printed on thick paperboard. Often, it contains all pictures or fewer than 100 words.

In most of these categories, but especially these Board Books, marketing to parents is probably more important than appealing to kids. Of course, you want your book to be fun and intriguing to children. But make sure you give parents what they’re looking for: a good message and subtle, effective education.

Picture Books are the next category of children’s books. They are for 3- to 5-year-olds.

Children’s picture books contain up to 400 words, but there should still be vibrant illustrations on every page.

Also called the “Early Readers” category, Chapter Books are just what they sound like — the first books that children will read with the story split up into chapters.

Though some children will be excited to start reading chapter books, others will be reluctant. The broad age range for basic Chapter Books is 6 to 10.

Middle Grade books are for children 8 to 12 — a step up from Chapter Books.

These books typically feature a protagonist aged 10 to 13, slightly older than the reader. They should contain no profane language, no violence, and no romance outside of a first kiss or an innocent crush.

Common themes include friendship, acceptance, good conquering evil, and the importance of family.

A Middle Grade book is longer than a Chapter Book but shorter than a YA book. It usually contains between 30,000 and 45,000 words.

Young Adult books are targeted towards readers aged 13 to 18. Abbreviated as YA, Young Adult is meant to appeal to teenagers, although it’s important to note that more than half of YA books sold are read by adults older than 18.

Some people also use “Young Adult” to mean a genre where the protagonist doesn’t fit in, the parents are absent, they live in a post-apocalyptic world, and a coming-of-age story takes center stage. These are tropes and don’t necessarily apply to every YA story, but you get the picture.

YA books won’t always be considered children’s books. But some traditional publishers may classify “Young Adult” as a children’s book category.

STEP 3 . Choose a Title

You need to choose a winning title for your children’s book. You could do this after it’s written, but having a title in mind may guide you in your writing. You can always improve and change the title after the story is written.

A creative title lets your story’s personality shine through. But you also want readers to actually find your book. This could be difficult if you don’t name your children’s book correctly.

Fortunately, Dave at Kindlepreneur wrote excellent articles on How to Title a Book and Book Title Generators . They will definitely help you craft that perfect title.

To title a children’s book, you need:

The book The Color Monster : A Story About Emotions is a great example:

Speaking of subtitles: It’s important to include a subtitle underneath your title. This helps the marketing of your book by including additional keywords that parents can search for.

As you can see, some kids book genres have decent money coming into them, with less competition. So, make sure you do your research beforehand and see what possible types of kids books you can create.

STEP 4 . Find a Writing Style

You need to find a writing style that fits the age group you are writing for, the associated word count, the story you’re telling, and your own preferences.

You may be an excellent writer, an engaging blogger, maybe even an already accomplished author of adult fiction or nonfiction. But when it comes to writing style for children, you have to adopt a new mindset and an appropriate writing style.

Here are some writing styles you should consider:

There is no right or wrong approach; it’s merely a question of style. Once you have chosen your style, you will need to stick to it throughout the book.

STEP 5 . Incorporate Important Elements

When you write a children’s book, there are important elements that you need to incorporate, such as an appropriate theme, memorable characters , and relatable dialogue .

Your inspired story idea is only as strong as how you tell it. There’s a beginning, a middle, and an end. There are actions, scenes, and emotions. Be sure to be clear about your core message.

The 5 most important elements in a good children’s book:

While the sequence and rhythm of events are significant, keep in mind that not all stories have the same structure. There is no one formula because following a formula would rob stories of their true potential.

Yes, it’s crucial to have an intentional structure. But if it doesn’t fit perfectly, don’t force it.

STEP 6 . Use Solid Characters

You have to use solid characters in your children’s book. Interesting, unforgettable characters are a must, especially when helping kids recall your story and core message.

The best characters in children’s books…

STEP 7 . Make the Story Engaging

You need to make the story engaging in your children’s book.

First, you need a good ending. Younger kids need a happy ending that satisfies them. You don’t want to make a kid cry because your story ended sadly. That doesn’t mean slightly more realistic conclusions are pointless, but your audience may struggle to understand complex topics.

Next, make sure your main character is making deliberate choices to move the story forward. If they aren’t making any decisions, they probably shouldn’t be the main character.

Any good story needs suspense, no matter your age category. Cliffhangers are a great way to engage your reader. In a younger book, a cliffhanger may be as simple as writing “Peek-a-” on one page, then “BOO!” on the next.

Here are some examples of suspenseful questions that different age ranges should ask throughout the story:

STEP 8 . Proofread & Edit

When you finish your first draft, you need to proofread and edit your children’s books.

Check out Kindlepreneur’s useful article on the Best Proofreading Services You'll Ever Find .

You should wait to hire a professional editor until you have self-edited your book. But you need a pro to look at your work before publishing.

Editing is a valuable and necessary investment, particularly for anything longer than 600 words. A professional proofreader or a line editor can help with spelling and grammar. For chapter books and beyond, you may want to hire a developmental editor to look at the big picture.

A good editor is instrumental in making your book a success because poor spelling, grammar, and book structure will reflect poorly on you as a children’s book writer, leading to negative reviews and fewer sales.

Your book and its message might be fantastic, but too many errors will be noticed by your readers. They may voice their opinion in a review like this, which ultimately lowers your overall rating.

So if your book is more than 600-800 words long, you should send it off to a professional editor for proofing.

Yes, you can go over it yourself and let your significant other read through it. But letting an unbiased, independent professional look over it will make your manuscript as good as it can be.

To find a great editor, read Kindlepreneur’s handy article Selecting The Best Book Editor .

STEP 9 . Illustrate Your Book

When it comes to adding illustrations to your children’s book, there are three options you can choose from:

The best option for you will depend on your budget, time, skill level, and trust you’re willing to put into someone else's interpretation of your story. Illustrating your book may take almost as much time as — if not more time than — actually writing the words of your children’s book. I’ve broken up the illustration process into 7 steps:

When it comes to picture books, there are 3 orientations to choose from:

(This doesn’t apply to chapter books or books for older children. Those usually feature the classic 5½” x 8” format.)

You should choose your book’s orientation early on since it will inform virtually every decision about illustrations down the road.

This is not a hard and fast rule, but here are general reasons to choose each:

Whether you hire an illustrator or create the illustrations yourself, you’ll want to make sure you plan your image sizing correctly. This way, once you upload your artwork, everything runs smoothly.

Below are the most common sizes for children’s book images:

If you plan on having your images cover the entire page, make sure to add 0.125” to the top and bottom, as well as one side. This accounts for trimming (sections to be removed in printing).

Amazon offers handy templates to plan your image sizing. But remember that you’ll still have to add the bleed allowance yourself.

Here are great inches-to-pixels and pixels-to-inches converters. These help you know how large your image should be, depending on your selected trim size. Be sure to choose a DPI (dots per inch) of 300 when using the mentioned converter.

A storyboard or book dummy helps you decide what to include in each illustration and how the text will match up with the images.

This is meant to help you determine which illustrations you want to include, better informing your quest to find and hire an illustrator. This step is extra helpful if you are planning to create your illustrations yourself.

The storyboard creation process doesn’t have to be perfect. Be expressive, and have fun. In the end, you’ll probably create a few different versions, each being an improvement over the previous one. How to create a storyboard or book dummy:

4. Combine Text & Illustration

How you combine your text and illustrations is entirely up to you.

However, it's a crucial element on how to write a children's book. Whatever you choose, be consistent throughout.

There are two ways of combining text and illustrations:

Having the text as part of the image makes your book format much more straightforward,, and looks consistent across all devices.

However, you decide to include the text in the image itself, this will have to be done by your illustrator. This method makes editing the text a bit harder — any changes or corrections have to be made within the image itself.

Below (left) is a page from my book The Garbage Trucks Are Here , and on the right is a page from my book A Gemstone Adventure .

The other option is to have the text and image separate. The text sits below or above the illustration or on a separate page.

Below is a double-page spread from my chapter book series, The Amulet Of Amser. It has an image on the left-hand page and the text on the right-hand page.

You can arrange this layout by yourself. You don't have to involve your illustrator.

I've started gathering individual authors and agencies into one big list to help with your search. Check them and their sites out below. Keep in mind that I haven't used these services myself.

Here’s a list of outsourcing sites and social media sites where you can choose an illustrator for your children’s book:

These outsourcing sites provide you with reviews from the artist’s previous clients and may even include information about previous completion rates . Most importantly, these sites are cost-effective .

On most outsourcing sites, you’ll post your project (similar to a job offering), and children’s book illustrators will bid on it.

To get an idea of how much you should be offering, browse some of the platform’s current projects. Know that your bid sets a baseline only, as each illustrator will bid individually on your project if he or she is interested in working with you.

After the initial bidding process (usually a couple of days), you will have to go through each illustrator’s profile and portfolio to decide who would — or wouldn’t — be a great fit.

You’ll need to pay for illustrations. An illustrator is more critical than an editor for picture books — the illustrations are what the reader will be most focused on.

To get a feel for acceptable prices for a project, browse websites to find postings for similar projects. Actual prices differ significantly from service provider to service provider and change drastically over time.

Payments are generally released based on milestones that you set, such as the completion of the storyboard. The milestone setup will depend on the scope of your project and the platform you are using to hire your illustrator.

The cost of your illustrator depends on multiple things:

Once you choose the best-fitting illustrator for your project and they’ve completed their work, you need to obtain the illustrations.

You want high-resolution images (300 dpi) with the proper sizing and the raw files of all images. This will enable you to make changes directly to your illustrations if need be.

A signed art release form is relevant if you decide to hire an illustrator directly . Any art attained via outsourcing sites should automatically make the illustrations your intellectual property.

Need Help with Your Keywords?

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FAQs for Writing a Children’s Book

The answer to whether or not you should copyright your children’s book is entirely up to you. Just know that under U.S. copyright law, you already own your work the instant you write it down. However, you can protect your copyright by registering it with the US Copyright Office .

Read Kindlepreneur’s handy article written by a lawyer: How to Copyright a Book in the US

What should I not do when writing a children’s book?

You should try not to sound too preachy or instructional about your themes and morals. Kids are very perceptive. They smell an agenda miles away.

You should not leave a story unresolved or a question unanswered. Depending on the age group you’re writing your children’s book for, you need to provide a satisfying ending — particularly for smaller kids.

You should not break patterns. Children love a routine. The key to routines or patterns is to not break them. In your children's book, once we’ve established a pattern (rhyme, repeating phrase, character behavior, etc.), try your best to stick to it.

One of the easiest ways to convert your children’s book into an ebook is Amazon’s Kindle Kids’ Book Creator .

While I use other methods, I love working with and recommending this simple yet powerful tool. It’s FREE and helps you create an ebook version for your illustrated children’s book. You can import artwork, add text, and create Kindle Text Pop-Ups.

And the best part is that there’s no HTML/CSS knowledge required!

Yes, your children’s book should have a subtitle , mainly for marketing purposes.

As I share in my book How To Self-Publish A Children’s Book , making use of a subtitle can be very beneficial for connecting with potential readers.

Giving your children’s book a subtitle provides you with an additional opportunity to use keywords, key phrases, or synonyms that potential readers might be using when searching for a children’s book like yours.

Using a subtitle also allows for more creative freedom than with your actual title. So if your title itself doesn't fully communicate the topic of the book, you’ll have the subtitle as a backup.

Figure out what is trending in children's books using Publisher Rocket . Use this info to develop an effective subtitle.

Just type in a children's book idea , and you can quickly see how many people are searching for those books on Amazon, the average amount of money made by the top books, and even the competition:

As you can see, some kids’ book genres have decent money coming into them with less competition. Make sure you do your research beforehand and title/subtitle your children’s book accordingly.

You write a children’s book description (blurb) by looking at similar books’ descriptions. Pay special attention to length, word choice, and the style they are written in. That’s usually a great way to see what your audience expects and is used to.

Like books of other genres, your book description is fundamental to your children’s book’s success.

While your book cover and title help with your book’s discoverability and grabbing a potential buyer’s attention, your description is often the reason a reader decides to buy (or not to buy) your book.

To help you with your blurb format, be sure to check out Dave’s amazing Book Description Generator that takes care of all the text formatting for you.

Amazon has over 450 paperback and 260 eBook categories for children’s books. Your children’s book should be in the category that best describes your audience:

(These categories are how Amazon’s marketplace categorizes children’s books.)

During your children’s book setup, you may have noticed that not all children’s book categories are offered as an option. That’s because some of Amazon’s categories need to be unlocked before being selected.

However, if you set up your children’s book correctly by adding age ranges, you will be able to add your book quickly and easily to any of these hidden categories by following Dave’s steps in his article How To Choose the Best Book Categories . This is a game-changer for you and your children's book.

The best book cover design for your children’s book is one that entices potential readers, looks professional to parents, looks fun to kids, and communicates what your book is about.

To get the best cover design you can for your children’s book, follow this guide for making standout book covers . Then create a book mock-up for your book marketing efforts.

Now you know how to write a children’s book!

Follow this guide, and you’ll craft a beautiful story tailored toward your audience. And you’ll have the illustrations to make your children’s book eye-catching, and intriguing.

Children value creativity and individuality. There is no one way to draw. No one way to paint. No one way to write. It’s about being uniquely you, lending your unique voice to your unique story.

That’s why you shouldn’t be afraid of the way you write, and you draw because that’s what sets you apart. Diversity is important. Tell your story.

Check out my book, How To Self-Publish A Children’s Book – Everything You Need To Know To Write, Illustrate, Publish, And Market Your Paperback And Ebook .

It will teach you how to:

Writing a children’s book is one thing; writing a children’s book that sells is another. Check out Kindlepreneur’s video on How to Write a Children's Book: 8 EASY STEPS!

Want more videos like this? Then click HERE to subscribe to Kindlepreneur’s YouTube channel.

When I’m not sipping tea with princesses or lightsaber dueling with little Jedi, I’m a book marketing nut. Having consulted multiple publishing companies and NYT best-selling authors, I created Kindlepreneur to help authors sell more books. I’ve even been called “The Kindlepreneur” by Amazon publicly, and I’m here to help you with your author journey.

Related Posts

31 epigram examples to inspire and improve your writing, funny writing prompts: 50+ ideas to get your started, topics for memoirs: 50+ ideas and prompts to get you started, sell more books on amazon, how to title a book checklist.

Titling your book can be hard…really hard. As you go through choosing your book title, use this checklist as your guide and make sure you have a title that will sell!

182 thoughts on “ How to Write a Children’s Book in 9 Easy Steps [2023] ”

Wonderful post Eevi ???? Thanks for sharing this article.

Animal Characters in Children’s Literature comprises various bodies of work made especially for children. This consists of picture books and easy-to-read stories for the entertainment and development of children. Children love books not only…

Please read my blog: Animal Characters in Children’s Literature

Have a wonderful day!

Thanks so much for your kind words and for sharing, Caroleann!

Thank you for all of this great information. Does your article or website include how to reach out to publishers once you have your ‘prototype’ book?

Forever grateful,

Thanks so much for reaching out and for your question, Habiba! I mainly share information about publishing your children’s book independently. If you would like to try to reach out to traditional publisher, I would recommend the book “Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market ( ). They have a updated edition out about every year, so this would be a great way to start, as it includes publishing houses, agents, as well as a short section on how to write your query letter. As for any publishers that are not listed in this book, please be sure to do your due diligence when it comes to deciding whether or not to approach them. Hopefully, my quick article on how to find out whether or not a publisher is trustworthy right here is helpful as well: . I hope this helps, Habiba!

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Websites Where Kids Can Create Books

Experiencing success and enjoyment with writing is something we all want for our growing learners. The computer or tablet can be a great tool to get children writing. Here are some websites where kids can make digital books. I always advise adult supervision when children use the Internet, but apart from safety concerns, our kids can learn a lot from carrying out these activities!

For more book and reading ideas,  sign up  for our Scholastic Parents newsletter.  

1.  Storyjumper is a great website where kids can read stories written by other kids, as well as create and publish their own books. 

2.  Little Bird Tales is a site that encourages children to create stories and artwork of their own. You can upload your child's existing drawings, or kids can use the art pad to create something new. It's free to try, and not too pricey for a premium account. 

3.  Storybird is so much fun! There's lots of stunning artwork from adult illustrators available, and members can use these works to illustrate their own stories. 

4.  ToonDoo is a great website where young people can create their own cartoons and comics by manipulating artwork, speech bubbles, text, and templates. It has a book-making feature where you can compile your created comics into a book. For more information, read about  Making a Book at ToonDoo  on my blog. And for an offline guide to creating your own comic book or graphic novel,  How to Make Awesome Comics   by cartoonist Neill Cameron is filled with everything your child needs to know — from the basics of creating a comic to more advanced lessons on crafting the perfect villain and making text and artwork together.

Connect with Susan Stephenson at The Book Chook .

Want more activities and reading ideas?  Sign up  for our Scholastic Parents newsletter.

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The best books to help children learn to read and write

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Books for learning to read and write

As a children’s book editor, I’ve helped hundreds of authors write, edit and publish their children’s book.

Anyone can sit down and dash out a children’s book, and with a little help and guidance, yours can be good enough to earn the attention of thousands of children.

And nothing beats the feeling of holding your printed book in your hands and reading it to a child for the first time.  Follow these 12 steps and you’ll get there in no time.

In this article you’ll learn:

I also help authors with:

Lastly, you can read this whole post and get a decent understanding of how to write a children’s book, but if you want the full, in-depth experience with even more information, videos, PDFs, quizzes, and exercises, you can take my 30-video course on how to write a children’s book:

Online Course: “Two Weeks To Your Best Children’s Book.”

Okay, buckle up and get ready! These are the 12 steps to writing a children’s book.

1. Find Your Best Idea

Writer in brown suit with a lightbulb appearing over his head: he's getting an idea

You probably have an idea already, but you should work on refining it. Here’s how:

This might seem commonsense to check what’s already out there before putting all your time and energy into a book, but so many authors don’t do it! This is just basic research that you can do in 2 minutes that will give you a sense of competing books.

Mother reading a children's book to her son

When I lead most authors through this process, they discover that their idea has already been written about. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing — actually, it’s proof that children want to read about their topic!

The trick is to have one twist for your story that makes it different. If it’s a story about bullying, perhaps your book tells the story from the point of view of the bully! Or if it’s a story about a dog, make this dog a stray or blind in one eye.

Maybe your story is different because you have a surprise at the end, or maybe it’s different because it’s for an older or younger age group, or your character has a magical guide like a fairy or elf to lead them through their journey. Just add one twist that distinguishes it from other books.

2. Build the Character

A friendly black bear sits reading a children's picture book, and says "Hello"

I edit hundreds of children’s books every year, and the best books have unique characters. They are quirky in some way. They have a funny habit. They look strange. They talk differently than everyone else.

But when I see a book where the main character is indistinguishable from every child, that worries me. You don’t want a character who stands in for every child, you want a main character that feels REAL.

My advice would be to go through a Character Questionnaire and figure out how much you know about your character:

Now score yourself on how many you knew right away:

First place gold ribbon

8 – 10

Congrats! Your character feels like a real person to you!

Second place bronze ribbon

6 – 7

Pretty good! You have thought deeply about your character.

Third place Bronze ribbon

5 and below

Take a few more character questionnaires before you start writing.

If you’d like more questions, I have an expanded version of this questionnaire in my  course . 

3. Find the Right Length

What’s the right word count for your book?

This is probably the most common question I get asked, and it’s also the one that most writers get wrong.

Ultimately, you need to figure out what age range you’re writing for, and then write within that word count.

Infographic on children's book lengths for board books, picture books, chapter books

Most writers are writing picture books for ages 3 – 7 — that’s the most common category. If that’s you, then shoot for 750 words. That’s the sweet spot.

If you write a picture book more than 1,000 words, you’re sunk . You absolutely have to keep it under 1,000 words. It’s the most unyielding rule in the entire industry. Seriously, take out all the red pens and slash away until you’ve whittled it down.

4. Start It Quickly

Many unpublished children’s books fail to grab the child’s attention (and parent’s attention!), and that’s because they start too slow. If your story is about a child joining a circus, they should join on the first or second page. 

Don’t give backstory about this child’s life. Don’t set the scene or tell us what season it is.

Just have the circus come into town, and as soon as possible, have the child become a clown or tightrope walker or lion tamer. 

Infographic answering how fast do children's books start

You have such a short space to tell your story that you can’t waste any time. The pacing of children’s stories generally moves lickety-split, so don’t write at a tortoise pace. 

For instance, look at the picture book “ HippoSPOTamus .” When do you think the hippo discovers the red spot on her bottom?

Cover of the book Hippospotamus by jeanne Willis and Tony Ross

Yep, it’s on the first page.

And that event launches the entire story.

Start your book that quickly.

5. Create A Problem

Every character has a problem. It could be a mystery, it could be a person, it could be a crisis of confidence. That problem is what they will struggle with for the entire book.

The majority of the book will be obstacles the main character has to hurdle before they can solve their problem.

Here are the main mistakes beginning writers make with their character’s Main Problem:

Infographic of children's book plot and structure guide

6. Use Repetition

Lollipops repeated in a grid

Children love repetition! Parents love repetition! Publishers love repetition!

Everybody loves repetition! (check out my post on  17 fantastic examples of repetition in literature).

If you’re not repeating something in your children’s book, it’s not going to be a great children’s book.

I mean, all of Dr. Seuss is basically built on repetition (and he’s pretty much the godfather of children’s books).

Here are three types of repetition that you can use:

Any book that rhymes is using repetition of similar words, and I would argue that story structure repetition is even more important than language repetition. 

Click on the image below to learn more about my children’s book course:

Course offer to write, edit and publish your children's book

7. Write for Illustrator s

One of the main jobs of the writer is to set up the illustrator for success. (and you can hire an illustrator from the SCBWI illustrator gallery )

But so many writers aren’t thinking about what kind of material they’re giving to the illustrator.

If you have a book that takes place inside a house between two characters, the illustrator is going to struggle to draw visually interesting images.

A good illustrator can radically improve your book, but they’re also working with what you give them. So give them more:

Inside locations like a school limit illustrators:

Animated children reading books inside a playroom

While illustrators have much more freedom with fun outside possibilities:

Illustration example of a child running into a city with skinny yellow skyscrapers

Remember, a publisher isn’t only evaluating your book on the words alone. They’re thinking about the combination between your words and an illustrator’s pictures. And if you don’t provide a solid half with the words, they’re going to say no. 

And if you’re self-publishing, good visuals are much more fun for the child!

Also, if you’re exhausted by trying to find an illustrator that you can trust, and is affordable, let Bookfox Press do all the legwork for you. We have trusted illustrators that we’ve worked with before, and who do incredible work.

8. End the Story Quickly

Once the main problem of the story is resolved (the cat is found, the bully says he’s sorry, the two girls become friends again), you only have a page or two to finish the book.

Since the story is done, there’s no longer any tension for the reader, which means they don’t have an incentive to keep reading. So do them a favor and end the book as quickly as possible. 

Basically, you want to provide a satisfying conclusion and wrap up all the storylines. 

One of my favorite tricks for an ending is a technique that stand-up comedians call a “Call Back.” This is when they reference a joke from earlier in their set to finish out their routine.

You can use this in children’s books by referencing something in the first 5 or 6 pages of the book. For instance, if the main character was so focused on a purple lollipop that they wandered away and got lost, then after she was found the final page of the book might say: “and from then on she only licked red lollipops!”

learn to write books for 5 year olds

9. Choose Your Title

The titles of six children's books about adventure, fairy tales, and dinosaurs

Now you may say: why are we figuring out the title after we do all the writing? Good question.

The truth is that many writers don’t know the essence of their story until after they write the book. So you can have a temporary title, but just know that you’ll probably revise it after you finish.

And revising is fine! Everybody revises. Don’t be afraid to change your title multiple times until you hit the exact right one.

Also, the title is the number one marketing tool of your book. Most readers decide whether or not to pick up your book from the title alone. That means choosing a title might be the most important thing you do (although it’s probably a tie with choosing an illustrator).

10. A Revision Strategy

Children's book illustration of a pirate making a blindfolded man walk the plank off into a sea of sharks

Most unpublished picture books are far too wordy.

In fact, if you talk to publishers and agents, they will say that children’s books being too long is one of the main things that makes them reject a book.

Here is a revision technique that will fix that problem . Make every single word, every single phrase, every single sentence “Walk the Plank.”

In other words, you highlight it and hover over the delete button (this is the “walking the plank” moment) and ask yourself: if I cut this, will the story no longer make sense?

If the story will still make sense, then PUSH that phrase/sentence off the plank and delete it.

If the story will not make sense, then that word or phrase or sentence gets a reprieve (at least in this round of editing!).

In general, the shorter your children’s book, the better chance that publishers/agents will like it and the better chance you’ll have of pleasing children and parents (not to mention shorter books are cheaper to illustrate — and illustration is expensive!).

11. Find an Editor

Graphic of how to find a children's book editor with coffee and computer

Once you’ve written your book, you really need to get an expert’s opinion to help you improve it. An editor will be the best investment in your book. After all, I know you love what you’ve written, but there are so many tricks and techniques to writing that can improve the experience of the reader.

There are two different types of children’s book editors.

Sometimes you’ll find an editor who can do both, but you can’t do both at the same time — you have to make all the big picture revisions before you start tinkering with all the small details.

Here is a handy checklist when looking for an editor.

The cost of editors vary widely, but if you’re not paying at least $400 – $600, you’re probably getting an amateur without a lot of experience in the industry. And you don’t want a beginner messing around with your book.

If you’d like to hire me as an editor, check out my children’s book editing page .

Giraffe standing next to a sign that says "Improve Your Children's Book"

12. Find an Illustrator

This is the most important step of the post-writing process.

An illustrator will be the most expensive step of publishing a children’s book, but also the most essential for a successful book. The more you spend on this step, the better your book will look. I mentioned the SCBWI illustrator gallery above, but I also wanted to recommend Fiverr as an inexpensive place to hire an illustrator. 

If neither of those work out, check out the website Children’s Illustrators or for another option, Illustration X .

When you’re considering an illustrator, this is what you should ask for:

Infographic on how much children's book illustrators cost

Make sure you’re really in love with the illustrator’s style, and that it matches your vision for what you want the book to look like.


You can’t just throw words up on an illustration and expect them to look good. It’s essential to have a happy marriage between text and image. You want to think about:

So either hire the illustrator to do book design, or hire a book designer. But just don’t choose the fonts and placements and font size on your own — get a book designer to help you.

Common Questions

Q: should i copyright my book.

Light bulb hanging over children's book with a copyright C stamped on the page

There are differing opinions on this, but in general I would say NO. You don’t have to worry about someone stealing your book. If you go the traditional publishing route, the publisher will copyright it for you. If you go the self-publishing route, you already own the material the instant you wrote it, so getting copyright only gives you added protection.

Now if you’re going to chew your nails down to the nub worrying about this, then set your mind at ease. If you live in America, go to the U.S. Copyright Office website and you can register for under a hundred bucks. I walk you through the steps on how to do this in my children’s book course .

Q: Do I need illustrations before sending my book to editors, publishers, and agents?

Children's book illustration of two camels standing in a desert with a cactus behind them

This is a hard and fast NO.

Editors want to work with the language alone, so unless your book requires the illustrations to make sense, you don’t want to send the illustrations. Even then, you can easily put the illustration explanation in brackets [like so].

Publishers always always always hire their own illustrators, so save yourself the money and submit the text alone. This is because choosing an illustrator is a marketing decision (that they need to make, not you) and because a good illustrator can cost $20,000. You probably don’t have that kind of money lying around.

Now what if you’re the illustrator? Well, then you DO want to send the illustrations. But if you get a rejection, it could either be because of the story or because of your illustrations, and sometimes you won’t know what the weak link is.

In general, though, agents are looking to represent illustrator/writers much more often than they’re looking to represent writers alone. That’s because children’s book illustrators earn A LOT more money than children’s book writers (sorry, that’s just the way it is).

Q: Should I ask for a non-disclosure agreement? (NDA)

Laptop with NDA sheet in front of it to protect copyright

If you want to you can, but you have a better chance of a bear eating you than someone stealing your book.

Plus, if they steal it, you can easily sue them and take all the profits and more, so there isn’t much motivation for someone to steal your book.

The truth is that writers worry about this far more often than it actually happens. My advice would be to put all your energy toward creating the best children’s book you can create, and if you have a great book, the agent/publisher/editor will want to work with you, not steal from you.

Q: Will you be my literary agent?

No, I’m an editor, and the role of an editor and literary agent are very different. An editor’s job is to help you make your children’s book the best it can be. The role of a literary agent is to play matchmaker and find a publisher who wants your book.

However, if you sign up for my children’s book email list (via a pop-up on this page) I will send you a list of children’s book agents. Also, here’s another list of agents .

Q: Will you help me find a publisher?

That’s mainly the role of a literary agent, but I do have a list on Bookfox of 30 publishers who will accept submissions without a literary agent.

And if you hire me for editing , sometimes I’ll be able to recommend a few publishers where your book might be a fit, but it’s not like a handshake deal. Publishers get a large number of submissions and they have to take on the books they know they can sell.

Q: How many submissions will an agent or publisher get in a year?

Five children sitting on a green hill reading stacks of children's books

A beginning agent might get 2,000 – 3,000 submissions in a year, while an established agent might receive 3,000 – 8,000 submissions.

Publishers who accept submissions get anywhere from between 2,000 submissions to 15,000 submissions, although almost all publishers who start getting too many submissions stop accepting submissions (because it costs too much to hire people to wade through all those submissions).

I don’t mean to discourage you, but just help you make an informed decision about whether you should self-publish or seek a traditional publisher. It’s really tough to land an agent or a publisher, and it can take a lot of time and work.

What’s wonderful about self-publishing is that within a week you can be holding your book in your hands.

Q: Should I self publish or seek a traditional publisher?

A animated person sitting on a typewriter with the words "Self Publish"

So for self-publishing, there’s lots of upsides : there’s no wait time, and you get complete control of the project (such as cover art and illustration), and there’s not that much of a cost if you do it all yourself.

But … you have to do all the marketing yourself, and you don’t have anyone to guide you through the process, and you don’t have the reputation of being published by a traditional publisher. You should do self-publishing if you’re a real go-getter and you think you can get the word out there about your book.

For traditional publishing, there are also many upsides: you would get an advance (money is nice!), they would handle all the proofreading, ISBN, illustrations, cover art, etc, and they would give you some guidance with how to do the marketing and promotion.

But … it can be very, very hard to get an acceptance from an agent or from a publisher. Sometimes you have to send the story out for a year or two, submitting to a hundred outlets or more. Go this route if you have a lot of patience and you want the book to reach a wider audience.

Have you ever flirted with the idea of writing a NOVEL?

They say children’s books are the gateway drug for writers (actually, nobody says that, except me).

If you want advice on novel writing, read my post, “ 12 Steps to Writing a Bestselling Novel in 6 Months .”

It is the best article you’ll ever read on how to write a novel.

You will never regret clicking that link.

Did you want more advice on how to write a children’s book?

So let’s review the 12 main points:

Please leave a comment below if this material was helpful and if you have any other questions.

Also, please check out my:

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This is a good article

Brilliant article. So much I never knew

The best article I’ve found on the internet on writing for children. Superb job!

This article is fantastic. Straight to the point and very clear. Thank you

I found the article to be full of good information, it gave me a lot of insight into writing a children’s book.

I searched Google on how to write a children’s book and this is by far the best information…Really helpful

Hello,I wrote a children’s book that will be a series. It’s a killer name and character.I need help and guidance cause I wrote a short story too and need a editor.

Thank you for the time you have taken to write this article. It is very informative and has given me some great tips for starting out.

The most profesional of all the articles i have read! Thank you!

This article has been very helpful.

Thank you for this article,it is very detailed and comprehensive .It gives a very structured insight on how a story becomes a book. The story behind the story.

Thank you a great article. I will try self publish Amazon, I have written this children’s book/true story and will illustrate as I’m a graphic designer… I can only try

Thank you. It was absolutely illuminating!

I am writing the first book of a series. Do you have any tips for this particular genre? Ie. Franklin the Turtle, Clifford, the Big Red Dog.

Wow! THANK YOU for writing this. I have always wanted to try writing children’s books. Now I know where to start. Thanks again, this is incredible.

This was so helpful for me. I am very interested in writing a children’s book. Thank you for the advice.

Professional advice for free. I am inspire, thank you for helping me structure my thoughts into something worth daring to start.

Great article I! Very helpful!!.. I have subscribed to your email list.

I agree. You gave me lots of things to think about from many different perspectives as I embark upon this adventure. Thank you so much!

Great article

Quite a good article for the beginners.

So incredibly helpful!! Thank you for your insight.

Great insight on the book writing process, from start to finish. Thank you.

Very helpful and well organized! Thank you for your insight on the writing process!

Amazing article! I’m in the process of editing my 4th draft; after that, I will be looking to hire an editor and illustrator. Thanks for writing this !

This was soo insightful and inspiring. Great guidance for my book writing

Oh, come on. Good article? No. It’s a GREAT article!

One of a kind that has quality and depth to it. This is advice borne from experience. I’ve written quite a few books for kids and this is the best breakdown of the picture book creation process I’ve seen in a long time.

Very generous too.

So sit down, get a cup of tea, and read this through – many times. Until it sinks in.

Then do what it says. (Essentially: Quality children’s books only get written when you, the author, have something worthwhile to say. And when you say it in a way that engages, inspires and entertains young readers.)

I agree -very generous, thank you!

Thank you. I have been hired to illustrate a book which is very challenging. I am also anxious to start my own. My ideas have been brewing and now it’s time to make them a reality. Your advice is great. I’ve been studying hundreds of children’s book illustrations. Some are incredible works of art! That’s the goal.

Thank you for this great info that makes me excited to get started. Im only at the idea stage so along way to go but I am excited!

Thanks for your good comments which was very helpful specially for anyone who is a begginer in this field.

This article is a godsend!

Yes, great article, inspirational and also a call to action…just what’s needed. Now, back to work people! 🙂

Thank you for this post. I am an author and illustrator who has published a kids book. And there is a lot of time consuming work involved. Word choice and the correct placement of illustrations is so important it’s not even funny.

I think that many people believe that children’s books are easier to write, because they’re for children but they’re not . Like you’ve shared, they should be written according to age group. And they have to be very engaging because they’re heavily illustrated and if the cover’s no good, no sale.

This is truly a great article to read and I was really hooked. Joslyn, I agree with you that if the cover and word choice are no good then it is a no sale. As a Librarian when selecting books to purchase for the library, it is compulsory to select covers which are eye catching. Additionally, children are excited when they see attractive illustrations with fantastic colour schemes, intriguing characters and unique settings. I am about to write my first children’s story book and I hope to draw from my experiences from spending 5 years living in Japan.

Thanks for sharing and best wishes.

Wonderful article! Extremely informative (I even took pen and paper notes) and it covers components I had no idea about nor would have even considered (first time writer here). Thank you for the point blank honesty and clear, detailed guidelines!

Wow! This was an amazing read. I’m so happy that I stumbled upon it because I learned so much! Thank you for being so thorough and transparent!

Great article thanks for sharing this info. Structure stuff is really interesting

Thank you so much. This article is very useful and informative. 🙂

This was very helpful. I have just written my first children’s book and found this article really insightful for what I need to do. Thank you

Goal: Have my HS kids write, edit, illustrate, publish a book in 180 days! Any further suggestions about pacing, clumping tasks, etc. would be greatly valued!

Absolutely fabulous article! Thank you!

Very helpful!!!! I’m starting with trying to self-publish a book my 10 year old granddaughter wrote, but after reading this and with your kind of help I may get inspired! Thank you!

I’m so glad I found your website! Thank you for this in depth post!

Lots of great info. Thanks! It really covers fiction well, but would love to see more info on writing (fun) non-fiction for kids.

very helpful

Great article. Although I have published 20 picture books, I still picked up many pointers. Thank you for your generosity. Beryl

Absolutely helpful, informative and I appreciate it.

Amazing Concept, Its very helpful for us.

This is amazingly beautiful, an article.

Thank you for sharing!

This is amazing information. I have thought about writing children’s books for years. Maybe it’s time I actually do something.

Hi, very good article, had a lot of information I never thought about before. I’m interested in writing my own children’s book but I’m 20 years old and probably won’t be able to afford agents, editors and publishers. Do you k ow how much these cost as most publishing websites don’t include costs. Also is there writing grants you can apply for? Thank you Clare

So agents are free up front (they only take 15% of whatever you make).

Publishers are also free — both traditional publishers (they pay you) and self publishing (it’s free on Amazon, and other companies that require money are kinda scammy).

If you want to get an agent or a publisher, though, your book has to be good, which is why you should save up for an editor.

Hi, I wondered what the format is for the video course. Is it in DVD or access to on line videos? Thanks, Ellen C.

Hi Ellen, the videos are all online. I don’t offer DVD access. Hope that works for you!

Excellent article, thank you

Thank you for the information. Much appreciated.

Very helpful indeed, almost finished my first childrens, was interesting to know how illustrations receive more money than writers, I’m doing both. Thank you. Dont have a website yet.

Excellent article. I am sure–without a doubt–your content will be helpful to a lot of writers. Thank you for being brave enough to share your wisdom.

This is a great article one that I need to be able to start writing a book intended for children. Thank you for sharing it.

I am getting ready to get the ball rolling on my first children’s book. I was amazed at all the things in this article that I hadn’t even thought about! What if your husband or son, who are fantastic artists in their own right, want to be your illustrators? Does that fall under editors wanting to promote illustrators/writers?

Sometimes they’ll take on a team of an illustrator/writer. You can always try.

Thank you for this article- very helpful. I’m wondering if it’s appropriate to attempt to self-publish while submitting to publishers and agents? Would a publisher not want to touch a project that is already being marketed in some other way?

Hi Benjamin, So once you self-publish, no publisher wants to touch it. It’s either/or — you can’t do both.

Excellent article and so generous that I just signed up for your video series which was reasonably priced. I’m a best selling author but my first time at a children’s book. I’m confident I will learn from you and may call on you for editing.

Thanks, Linda! Glad it was helpful and I know you’ll love the course, which includes so much more material beyond this little brief post. 🙂

Let me know when you’re ready for me to edit your book!

I am a big fan of your book, Solutionaries: You Are the Answer. Hence, I am reading John Fox’s article. I teach students with Autism and aspire to publish an educational book to create a positive impact in schools, at home, and in the community– one book at a time. Thank you for your beautiful mind. You’re an inspiration!

Sincerely, Flor G.

This article was so helpful. I’m based in Canada and I’ve just written my first children’s book…I’m definitely at the editing stage but I’m considering the traditional publishing option. I would love to work with a Canadian publisher. Can you recommend?

Hi Cindy, I don’t have a list of Canadian children’s book publishers specifically, but I do have a list of 30 publishers looking for unagented submissions.

I would love your opinion on writing an educational children’s book. Would all the same principles talked about in this article (which was WONDERFUL, by the way) apply? Thanks!

Thanks, glad you enjoyed it! I would think almost all of them would apply, absolutely.

There are some additional considerations with an educational book — is the teaching too heavy handed, what about the balance between fun/learning, is there a moral in addition to the learning — stuff like that.

And you definitely have to nail down the age range for a book like this, and target it to exactly what they’re learning in school.

Hello John,

Do you think it is possible to get published in a traditional way in the US for someone who is not a citizen and lives elsewhere?

Thank you so much!

Yes! Definitely possible. But some of the time it’s better to look in your own country first.

Very helpful article. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I have written four books, but never a children’s book.

Great article, I’m going to read it again and again as it covers many helpful points, thank-you!

Hi. I am an author using Amazon/Kindle. I have 11 books in different Editions. is my web site and my author’s page. Looking for a publisher on-demand to publish my book in hardcover and thicker pages. Also looking for an agency that helps to promote my books, If you offer such services please contact me. My books are copyrighted, have a Serial number registered at the Library of Congress ISSM and an ISBN number given by Amazon. The Series is Non-Fiction Science Books for Children: parents, baby to 12 years old.

Hi , I am a daughter of Holocaust survivor and my father wrote a book about it. I would like to write a children’s book based on my father’s memoirs. My father saved my cousin from a ghetto, she was only 4 years old so there is a story to tell that might appeal. I need some guidance before starting this project … can you help?

Great article, thank you! I’m at the very beginning (thinking about it!) stages of writing a children’s book and this article has given me much perspective!

Great content and well articulated. Thank you for bringing it all together.

What an awesome article! I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a children’s book for years (I’ve had a title in my head for far too long) but never had the courage to attempt it – you’ve inspired me. Can I just ask, once a book is written, approximately how long does it take to go through the editing/illustrating/publishing? I know there’s a lot of variables, I’m just wondering if you could give me a ball-park figure?

A lot longer than you would think. If you’re referring to traditional publishing, it can be a year and a half. Self publishing can be much quicker.

I was thinking around a year, so I wasn’t too far off. Thank you so much for the excellent information you’ve provided here.

This was very helpful! I plan on printing it out so I can go back over it in depth. What are your thoughts about Amazon’s e-book publishing? Also your input on using Fiver?

Fiverr can be a great source for cheap illustrators.

Amazon’s book publishing is great, but only publishes soft cover books. If you want hardcover, you need Ingram Spark.

Wow! Thank you so much for writing this article, it’s honestly helped me see writing in a different form. There are so many articles out there that only enhance the fact of beginning, middle and end, but you have literally dot pointed how it works and how each individual piece should be written, you have really done an amazing job at dissecting children’s books into a more understandable format! Now off to writing!

Extremely helpful! I’m illustrating my grand daughter’s book for children. It’s not that easy. But with your guidance I think we can make it work.

This article is an absolute godsend for my UK Year 8 Creative Writing club. There is a wealth of good advice, generously given. Thank you so much.

Thank you for this post, it’s very insightful and informative! I’m more determined to start my book after reading this.

This was very very very helpful as I am a beginner in writing children’s stories! Looking forward to enrolling for your courses! Thank you very much!

Hi Faith, Great, glad this was so helpful!

The course includes a ton of information that I didn’t have time to mention here, so I hope you enjoy it.

Wow. Thank you so much. So helpful for me. Thank you again and again and again. Now I know why I always think I’m not ready to go beyond thinking and writing the first draft. I need to know more, but honestly it’s the best article I ever read about writing. Thankssss. God bless you.

Great information, thank you. But you do assume that every children’s book is going to be a fictional story. What about if it’s an educational book in some way? No need to answer, just something to think on. All the same, there was a lot I could still take from this.

Who says educational books have to be nonfiction? Fiction can teach quite a lot. And if they are nonfiction, you still need a structure for them, even if it’s not a narrative structure.

Great article, thank you!

Extremely helpful information! As a self published author who also started a publishing company, I can attest to the time, talent and treasure required to be successful in this arena. Thank You!

Wow this information was so helpful! I’ve been wanting to write a book geared towards medically fragile children. This article gave me the reassurance I needed to stop doubting myself and just get started! Thank you

It’s very informative and useful. Thank you for sharing! I’m on my way to the first children book with self-publishing. Been trying to offer it to publisher some last few months, but still no news yet. So, I’ll try self-publish this time. Thank you!

Thank you for all your hard work to keep us informed. I’m a French author for children and would like to sell my books in US. My publisher thought we could work with Amazon but they do not print landscape books. Any tips? You can see my work at

Try Ingramspark.

Hi, I’ve just read your great post and I have a question. You have stressed how important an illustrator is and while I am not a professional illustrator I am an artist and really want to illustrate the book myself with a unique multi media technique. What are your thoughts on this. Thanks, Wendy

Well, you can give it a shot. Worst the publisher can say is no.

Could I be my own illustrator or do I have to hire an illustrator? I have many ideas for the art in my book and I have a specific style I want.

If you’re good enough, yes, you can be your own illustrator.

Thank you very much 🙂

Thank you for a thorough article. I am an English learner and my dream is to publish an educational book. I am sure you can help me achieve that dream. As per the article, I would need an editor/quality illustrator/publisher, but I am financially incapable to do so. Which one should I invest the most in? Any technical strategy on this? Also: – how many times can I resubmit my work to a publisher or self-publish the same book (after multiple no’s)? – If I submit my book to a publisher and not hear from them for over 2 years, can I self-publish instead or it will be revoked? – Say I received the manuscript from you with your corrections, is there any additional charge for resubmitting the revision?

You’re welcome for the article! Publishers don’t cost anything — you can self publish for free. Split your money between an editor and an illustrator. Find a cheap illustrator on Fiverr .

You can only submit to a publisher once. After they have passed, don’t send it again. (not answering means they don’t want it).

If you haven’t heard from them in 3 months, consider it a NO.

So when I edit, I give you a lot to revise and a lot to think about. But if you did want to revise and resubmit, I’d charge a discounted rate for another round.

Great Information there. I am from Kenya. I love children’s books and my 7 year old son loves to read. I have been having so many ideas about children’s books. Your article has really enlightened me. Thanks for sharing

This is the best information on writing children’s books that I’ve come across thus far. I am researching tips/ideas and am at the very start of my journey. Thank you so much, I really appreciate these awesome nuggets!

Hi LaTanya, great, glad you liked it! If you want a lot more information like this, my course doesn’t overlap with the information here and you get a lot more.

I’ve written a chapter book about 11-year-old characters. It’s almost 70,000 words. Is this too long?

Hi Lori, 11-year-old characters are MG (middle grade), while this length is more appropriate for YA (Young Adult), ages 13 – 18.

Ideally, a book for this age would be more like 40k to 50k.

I really appreciate this article.

Amazing article! So informative, helpful and easy to understand for first time writers. Thank you for taking time to write, this article and for providing comprehensive information without charge. I will definitely look to use your editing services and course when ready. Thanks again. 🙂

Great guidance and more than enough information to start a successful children’s book! Love you for this!

I have an idea for a children’s book series. Do you indicate that a series is the intent when you submit your work to potential publishers?

Thank you for all the great information!

Yes, I’d recommend that you include that information up front and if possible tell them you have the next two books written (if these are short picture books).

I am based in the UK – I am assuming I can still sign up for the course as the content will be transferable to those writing outside the USA? Thanks

Hi Kirstin, Yes, the content will work worldwide. There are only one or two videos that have US specific elements, but you can easily find the agents/agencies that are appropriate in the UK.

This is a fantastic post! Thank you so much!

Great article. Very informative and answers a lot of my questions. One element I’m still confused on is exactly who types the manuscript into the book? I have an illustrator who has done a lovely job of illustrating my idea. I’ve also hired a book designer who will create the fixed layout book for me to upload to distributors. I thought I was ready to send the book to them at this time but now I’m confused again. Should I ask the illustrator to insert the manuscript or does the book designer do this? I’ve written and published novels without illustrations in the past but a children’s picture book is an entirely new experience. Let’s get technical, please. (re the website – its a work in progress)

It depends on the agreement you have with illustrator or book designer. Most of the time illustrators will do it; it’s more rare for book designers to do it.

I was wondering, in general, what tense works best for a children’s picture book, Past or Present?

When in doubt, always use past tense.

You need a very good justification for using present tense.

This is such a helpful and realistic step-by-step article. I really learned a lot when reading it, so I know your course would be amazing. Looks like the next step after reading this is to take the course! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Yes, I hope you enjoy it! I made sure the course doesn’t just repeat this article — it provides a lot of info and techniques that I didn’t mention at all here.

This is absolutely an amazing article . It gave me a lot to think about . I love the step by step explanation, especially since I have never written a book before.

¡Bravo! Thank you for writing this organized, to the point, article. I learned a lot about working with my creative side and how to make a dream a reality. ¡Gracias!

Wow! Very insightful article and information provided. Thank you

The article is very, very helpful! I”m writing my first children’s book so i really needed this to help me get started.

For the 3-7 category (750 words), how many words should go on a page?

That’s a conversation you have with your illustrator. There’s no hard and fast rule. Sometimes no words at all. Sometimes a paragraph. Sometimes one word or a phrase.

It all depends on the vision your illustrator has for the pacing and images of the book.

This is absolutely a wonderful article . Thanks for sharing.

This is brilliant! The way you support your points by specific examples is eye-opening! Thank you so much! Love from Sarajevo!

I want to write a true story about my daughters dog and how the dog helped her with depression. However the dog’s name is Polly but we call her Popo. So is my title of “Popo saves the day” or “Better call Popo” going to be a huge red flag because Popo can mean police officer. Some site say it is derogatory but others say not. Its a catchy name.

I took notes for every paragraph I read. This article was very helpful to me and I can’t wait to finally begin my journey.

Great article. Very informative. I am an artist and I just completed my first children’s book. I am editing and doing the illustration work now, in watercolor. I don’t have the funds to go the expensive route, so I will probably self publish. Are there better methods or sources for self publishing.

Put it in a PDF and upload to Amazon. It’s free.

And let me know if I can help with editing before that point.

Excellent article. I appreciate it so much. I’m so glad I found it.

After reading valuable advice from this article, I wrote my first book , the book is in a scientific version for children, but considering the beginning of my adventure, I am happy. It’s great that you share your knowledge.Thank you

Hi and thank you for this information! I hope this isn’t a repeat question but can you tell me if it’s best to have my book edited and then sent to a literary agent or can you go straight to a literary agent? I’m noticing all the publishers I’m looking at won’t accept unrepresented work, so it seems I have to use an agent. Would that be right?

The reason why authors get editing is because it’s extremely challenging to get a literary agent. You’re competing against hundreds of other writers for a single slot, and you want to make sure that your book is the best it can be.

Most big publishers only accept books from agents; small publishers accept work directly. Both are extremely competitive.

This is a very good and timely article. It will go a long way in helping me do my semester project work in the University.

My friends and I are all kids, and we’re in a club together writing books. I shared one of the images in your article with them (the main plot guide) and it’s been very beneficial to all of our novels. Thank you so much for writing this!

Excellent article! I was wondering if there is any sort of common understanding of the publishing industry regarding the particularities of the book for each age group. I’m finding it rather difficult to define an age group the book aim to reach. How precise should I be, and how should the language adapt? Should I try to use words and expressions already knew by the children, or can I catch their attention by using a few new words?

Most of the time authors use language the children know, but some authors want to stretch their vocabulary by pushing it. Either is acceptable, though it’s probably harder to pull off the high diction level vocabulary.

It’s not just about language, though. It’s about length, about the intensity of conflict, about the type of problem, and the complexity of the plot. So it’s more like art than science to figure out your age range.

Hi, great article, I just have a question I’m writing children’s book for my school project and it must be completely done by august, printing, writing, everything and I’m on the writing stage. Since its a school project, do I need to publish it and have an editor and everything, from what I know, I can just make my book by myself completely and print it out because its nothing fancy and I don’t plan on having it sold on markets and things. How long do you think this whole process will take? and how long does it take to get a book printed, I don’t need a lot of copies, just around 1-5 maybe. This article was a great read but I don’t which of these tips apply in my case because Im writing a simple children’s book for a school project.

Hi Miya, for a project like this that you don’t intend to sell widely, you probably don’t need to hire an editor. You can make your book yourself, and if you put it into a PDF and upload it to Amazon, then you can buy a few print copies from them.

Great help and advice I’m a grandma writing my first book, or trying to, so i found this information very helpful. Wish me luck, thinking going to need it!! … thanks again for all the info

I am also a grandma attempting to write my first book. Thank you for this information. It is helping me greatly. Please be in prayer for me as I follow God’s lead in His wisdom and guidance as I write this book. Thanks!!

Super helpful information – thanks for your generosity!

Loved this article. Well written and inspiring

Thank you so much! This was very helpful and informative.

Very helpful article. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I wrote my first book on kids

This is great advice for beginners like me. It’s the first link I clicked on when I googled ‘how to write and illustrate a children’s picture book 2020’ so you must be doing something right! Thank you so much 🙂

Hey, thanks a ton for sharing this amazing guide on the ways to write the books for the children. One of my friends has just started writing children’s books and I believe this post will be of great help to him.

This has proven extremely useful. The content is well-written and easy to follow. Thank you !

This article was awesome, very informative, I loved it. I’m ready to get started writing my book right now. Thank you so much.

Thanks, this is very well-written! Writing for children involves a lot of considerations: consider what children like; what they would feel; how they would read your book; and more.

Thanks for the great article, it really helped me focus on my idea

Excellent advice, and great that you are sharing it!

really a good article for beginners. Looking forward to finishing my first book and then will start the struggle to find a publisher. Thanks

Hi there, I’m wondering what the best format is to submit a childrens book to an editor is? How should it be laid out? In word? In powerpoint? Would love to get your input! Thanks 🙂

Word would be best. Keep it simple.

i love this. I’m a kid and i want to be a writer. i have written my first book and i need an editor so it can be published. I love this article so so so so so much

Hi, great article. Can you please provide advice/ tips on bilingual books?

Thanks for the article. It was really helpful. Is it possible to self publish first and then publish again with other publishers? I wanted to write a book based on a personal story and give as a gift, but I thought the story also has potential. I would like to do own illustration and design, and it sounded like self publishing will give more flexibility.

No, once you self publish you can’t publish with a publisher, unless you sell a gazillion copies and they come knocking.

Thank you for this comprehensive discussions. I learned a lot from it.

Great article.

One of my friends was recently seeking a new genre for writing and considered writing books for children, I am sure this article will surely help him in writing the best book fore children will surely share it with him.

Great article, very interesting and useful.

Just starting to write a children’s book. This was great article! Since this is my first time writing a children’s book I am trying to establish a timeline checklist. Please let me know if you have any advice or suggestions.

I just finished writing a children’s book and am now going through the process of assisted self-publishing, and wow I really wish that I read all of this beforehand. This information was so spot on and extremely helpful. I will be using this as a starting point/guide for my next children’s book. Thank you! #Mr.MoneyAdventures

Informative and insightful. Thanks.

Very helpful and valuable tips. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

Grateful for the tips! Absolutely helpful for this African writer!

Thanks to the developer of this amazing guide. I’ve got just what I need to get started in my writing.

Very good material and most enlightening. Thank you for this journey to writing a great and exciting children’s book.

Thank you! really helpful!

Excellent post! Everyone can write a book, but not everyone can produce an amazing one. Whether fiction or non-fiction, it always takes knowledge, experience, passion, and attitude to create praiseworthy literature.

To the point. Relevant information and lots of it! I found it very helpful, thanks.

I have been writing children’s stories I call them bed time stories but I am in a country where they don’t take children’s stories as much important and I have never published any though I have written a number of them, I have no editor, no publisher so am just sitting with my stories though they may be good for children to read them and I would love to be part in children’s happiness all over the world, what should I do

Great info! Thank you so much!

Hi my daughter wrote a book 2 years ago, she is 12 years old now, she want to publish but she doesn’t know how to do? Please tell me what we do next?

I would recommend hiring an illustrator and then with the PDF they give you with the text included, uploading that to Amazon and self publishing. Self publishing is the best option for children who write children’s books.

Thanks so much for the information . I shall work do my best.

Plenty of info thanks a lot.

Great article with practical solutions that might otherwise be unclear even after an assessment. I was able to adjust my story and bring new ideas to it. Thank you

Thank you for putting your dedicated time into writing this article. I have written many books in the past but struggle to finish them because the starting is so long, but now I know to shorten things up a bit. Thanks!!!

The best interesting website I’ve visited in decade. Liked all the interactive content and ideas. Hopefully can make it for my son and daughter with all the share and knowledge you gave John. My best wishes to you and your family. Kind regards from Bali.

Such an insightful article. Thankyou 🙂

Great article, it’s very helpful. Thank you so much.

Amazing article! So helpful. Thankyou!

I found this information really helpful

when was this published?

Hello, I’m seeking an editor in Atlanta for my book. Do you have any recommendations? Your article gives a lot of insight.

I enjoyed reading the article above (Children books ), which explains everything in detail; the writing is fascinating and convincing. Thank you, and good luck with the upcoming items. Thanks, and Keep it up!

I found this site very informative and I have to say there seems to be a lot of work to getting your children’s book accepted and published. I find the tips on this site very helpful to the bigger picture of have a children’s book published and being successful. Before finding this site I thought long and hard about illustration as my book is based on a true story about a pet and his loving owner. I believe the the steps pointed out sound very good and if followed throughly I think anyone’s children’s could be very successful.

Hello, Let me start of by saying I’ve never written a book in my life, My inspiration for this children’s book is my granddaughter her name is Melanie Milagros, she is a true miracle, she was born at 15.9 oz and wasn’t expected to survive. But like a miracle she is now 5 yrs. old and going to school. My fiction book is about her and how she helped animals like rabbits, birds etc. with fairy, magic glitter, from helping a baby bird fly with its family, a bunny rabbit find friends, stuff like that. So the Story about Little Mighty Milagros and a sidekick a Lady Bug. Hmm? Still haven’t finalized that part. Again, I’ve never done anything like this. I don’t know how to find someone to make a cartoon of Melanie for the book.

Good article

FANTASTIC article! Thank you so much for this. I’m a filmmaker writing my first children’s book but I know nil about children’s publishing, so your article is amazing for me. Your generosity is MUCH appreciated.

great article & very useful

I loved all the tips you have shared, you are right when you said How to Write a Children’s Book in 12 Steps . This article was informative that I can’t wait for your next blog.

This is an awesome informative site! thank you so much!

Great article !!

My husband and I really appreciated this article. It has been such an overwhelming experience trying to navigate certain topics and we found ourselves all over the place with what to do first and last. This article has put us on the right track of what we want to accomplish with our children’s books. Wish us luck. Maybe we will update our success or lack thereof, in about 1-2 years.

I appreciate your spelling out the major steps necessary and the payment chart for illustrators. Very concise and direct. Thank you!

Your post is very interesting. Books pick their writers; the demonstration of creation isn’t a totally rational and conscious one. Thank you for sharing your blog.

Hi, Now that I know you are an editor, I would like your assistance. Please contact me by email. Thank you

Thank you for taking the time to write this article for so many aspiring writers! I thought your 12 steps were great and to the point. Hopefully I will be able to put them to use!

It’s great to learn that you should use energy when naming a children’s book. My wife is wanting to write a children’s book and she was wondering how she could effectively name the book once she’s finished. I’ll be sure to tell her to add energy to the title.

I came across your blog and thanks for being spot on. I am a publisher and also a children’s book author/illustrator. I decided to go against the norm and keep my books as picture books even though they were meant to be Chapter Books. They are all around 3k words but I opted for keeping them as PB because I was highlighting the differences between all the characters and I thought visuals were essential. Many agents and publishers didn’t like this. You are 100% correct when it comes to word count and structure. I didn’t start out wanting to be a children’s book author nor illustrator, I was just trying to fill a void in children’s lit. Children need to see themselves in the characters they read about! Anyhow, good advice! And, may the muse be with all your readers!

I recently retired from my teaching positions and I have a lot of experiences I can use in my stories. I want my stories to help students with disabilities accept their uniqueness as a strength and not something to be ashamed of. I have always been interested in writing children’s books and after reading this blog, it has given me more insight on steps to take to master this writing process. Thanks goes to you J. Fox!

Great advice, thank you! I’m writing and illustrating my first children’s book and have minimal knowledge on any of it. I assumed it was the editor that did the word placement and font, (not the illustrator?) and now I feel very nervous and overwhelmed lol. So, let me back up a little and begin by asking… What’s the best way to scan my illustrations? Or is it better to hire a professional photographer?

I’m not sure. Most illustrators work on computers, and so already have a PDF file.

I think a scan would be better than a photograph.

Ok, Thanks for replying!

I’m really glad that I came across this article. I recently decided that I want to write a children’s book about children who may have a parent, sibling or family member with a chronic pain condition. I was inspired by my own chronic pain condition, connective tissue disorder and possibly arthritis as well. I found this article very helpful, thank you.

Have acquired a lot of knowledge and advice from the article. I have a long way to go and still mulling it all over.

Thank you for sharing all this. I am seriously considering the course.

Hi Bridget, Glad you liked the blog post! I’ve gotten a ton of great feedback about the course and am sure it would help you tremendously.

Very helpful…straightforward and informative

Helpful and informative.

Thank you it was very helpful to start writing a book.

Thank you for this really interesting and informative guide. I have made a start on an idea and will definitely follow your 12 steps and then take the next steps for editor and hopefully publisher!

Thank you for such an excellent article! I’ve always dreamed of writing a children’s book, but never thought I could actually do it. I’ve set a goal for myself to write my first book this year; so far, all I have is a very general idea. However, I know what my main character looks like. I don’t want to waste words describing her appearance in the story since the book will be illustrated. When hiring an illustrator, would I have any say-so in the illustrations? Specifically, would an illustrator honor my wishes in how my main character looks?

It depends on the illustrator, but most illustrators want some basic info from you about what the character might look like. Illustrators that you hire tend to want explicit direction from you, while illustrators that the publisher hires tend to want independence and autonomy.

Interesting, but I would have liked more info on writing middle grade.

Thanks! I will be looking to rewrite classics for preteen kids. Like O Henry or Poe stories.

This was exactly what I was looking for! Thank you…this has been something I have wanted to do….time to get to it and DO IT!

hello I would Like info on how to write a children book

See above. Also, click the link at the bottom to get on my email list.

Incredibly informative – my thanks for sharing so many of the steps to success. Its a detailed road for potential success. My thanks.

Wow! What are you supposed to say when you get for free an excellent article (like this) that you know you wouldn’t mind paying for? Two words: Thank you! My only regret is not reading this article before I purchased some ‘how-to-write-a-children’s-book’ books on Amazon. All the same, I got some great ideas on how to market a children’s book. Still, I just realized that I have got work to do on my three books, which I plan to self-publish all at once this summer. I have decided to hit the pause button and take your course first. I will contact you to edit my books after I’m done with your course. Again, thank you!!

This was so to-the-point and practical advice. I am a visual arts teacher and I will use this guide in my classroom for my budding artists and writers. I also have a community arts space, and I will use this there as well.

Every aspiring author will venture out writing children’s books first since they believe that this is the easiest to write among other genres. Writing children’s books enables you to enter a different world, one that is filled with joy, excitement, and splendor. Children’s books are the pathway into other cultures, ideas, and imagination for young readers. These books enable them to be at the feet of other people and travel places unimaginable.

Hmm. One thing that is incorrect is picture book length. The vast majority of publishers now want nothing longer than 500 words (unless it’s nonfiction) – and preferably even shorter than that. Many won’t even look at anything longer anymore.

Great Advice! structure is SO important!

Thank you for the EXCELLENT overview, extensive information and helpful hints. Here is my question: I’m interested in writing a series of “educational” books that focus on African American leaders and heroes for children to read as inspiration. I’ve done my homework in terms of discovering black children read 39% less than white children and that is due in part to not connecting with the content/subject matter. I have a PhD in Education and would like to create a series of motivational/inspirational books – if he/she can do it, I can to! Any suggestions? Feedback is welcome! Thanks~

Sounds great! Go for it.

Thank you so much for your helpful “push!” I have been struggling in getting started and remaining committed to my dream of writing for children 0-5 in age. I’m an assistant Early Headstart Teacher, and reaching the minds of our little ones early with reading, is a journey that I truly wish to be a part of! Is there any way I can print out this article? I like to examine things more closely and I use a lot of highlighters!! Thank you again for giving me a starting point, but more importantly, a new vision!

Start and end your children’s picture book story quickly — and make every word, phrase and sentence “walk the plank”. That’s excellent advice on its own. Thank you. Is it acceptable to submit the same manuscript to several mainstream publishers simultaneously and should you declare this? Is “spreading the net” likely to hinder your chances?

It is acceptable to do simultaneous submissions.

But most mainstream publishers only accept manuscripts from agents.

Also, beware that you don’t submit simultaneously to multiple agents at the same agency — only one agent per agency at a time.

This is so awesome and helpful. Thanks The John Fox!

This was a great article, lots of things I would not have thought of. Thank you

Hi, I am not sure if my story is right for kids? And I don’t know what age group it is?

Thank you so much for the information. Now I have ideas on how to go about writing children’s books. I am new in this and I believe the information will go along way in building my competencies in creating readers for Children.

I respect everything that you have written in this blog. Please continue to provide wisdom to more people like me.

Thank you so much everything you talked about is very helpful. I have someone that can help me with getting my book out there, but one question is what if you write a children’s book and you can make it into a few books to continue the story, even if the main character is not in the rest of the story. Do you just keep going with the story or Do you just start the next book as if it were a new book not of the continuation

Some series can be thematic or located in a certain place, and yet feature different characters. So I would recommend you still call it a series.

I would love to do your course to get insight into my children’s book. I want it to be perfect.

Thank you so much for this invaluable information! I’m considering my first children’s book and I am an artist so I’ll do that part but I’m just starting out and I’m excited now to begin.

Amazing Amazing article! I literally jot down points and learned so much from this article. I wish to buy the children’s book course too. He is so talented and talks right on the point.

any ideas on how to write a childs forever home

An amazing post with great tips as always. Anyone will find your post useful. Keep up the good work.

Hello, I would like to know where your company is located. I am interested in taking one of your courses.

Hi Cynthia, I’m located in California. But you can take courses from wherever you are in the world — I’ve had students from nearly a hundred countries.

Thank you so much John for sharing your knowledge and insight! This is great information and extremely helpful. I do have a question. I’m working with an illustrator on Fiverr. Is it still necessary to ask if they keep the rights or do I? I would assume yes, but not sure if you recommend that based on the structure and operations of Fiverr. Thank you again!

Yes, that’s a good question to ask them. Most of the people on Fiverr would agree to giving you the rights, I believe, while the higher end illustrators hired by a publishing company generally keep the rights.

this article is gold!

This post was truly worthwhile to read. I wanted to say thank you for the key points you have pointed out as they are enlightening.

Great BOOKFOX informative and useful. Thanks.

Both the quality and quantity of the words you speak to your child matter when it comes to early literacy and language abilities. Books are a fantastic way to start chatting, telling tales, and interacting with your child. Thank you so much.

This was the exact information I was looking for as I begin my career as a writer. I appreciate all the time you have put into this amazing article regarding how to write a children’s book.

Hi! I’m curious about your course. How long are each of the videos? Or how long is all of the content put together?

Hi Andrea, most of the videos in my children’s book course are about 6 – 7 minutes. And there are 30 videos. I’ve worked hard to compress all the information you need into compact form — I don’t want to waste people’s time.

Wow! This is a great article. Do you have an article on how to write dialogue? I’m just starting my first book and I have written (and deleted) small stories for fun, but there was more action than words so the conversations were kind of boring. The main character in my book is 12 years old, so I was wondering if I should add words like, ‘literally’ or ‘like’ a lot, because the main part of my story is dialogue (my character is telling a story to her siblings.) Also, I’m a younger writer and closer to the age of my character, and I say those kinds of words frequently, but it honestly might be overkill to write them that many times in a book *if there was a laughing face emoji available I would put it here*. Your response would be greatly appreciated, Holland J

Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom and experience, John! This is excellent information that will be really useful. Anyone can sit down and scribble a children’s book, and with a little help and direction, yours could be good enough to capture the attention of thousands of kids.

Thank you so much. Based here in Ireland and I have a book idea the last 2 years and I really need to get it ready and started as I think it could be huge

Great article! I do have a question. You are speaking to picture books – where the pictures carry the story of the book and not the words. But what about if the writing carries the story and the pictures help to illustrate it? The majority of what you state would stay true but the word count would not be the same?

It’s really nice and educational for a beginner writer.

Books can encourage children to explore what they truly want to do in life. Your book could be a tool for self-discovery.

I loved reading through this. I’m working on my first children’s book series and this article brought up so many good points for my to consider when writing and publishing. Thank you for sharing!

This was exactly what I needed to come across today, very helpful and gives much food for thought. Very appreciative of your outline of the process thank you kindly

Hi. What a wonderful article and very informative too. Thank you. Lots to think about. Cheers

The high level steps, the bullet points, and the tips ar3 incredibly helpful. Thank you.

Excellent article. Very informative. Now at least I have a direction.

I’m a novice story teller with a story about adoption geared for ages 3-7. I have the basic story, photos to inspire an illustrator, but I really just want to tell the story for all of my family and friends who have experienced the JOY OF ADOPTION! I would feel so blessed if it would inspire other to adopt! We’ll see…

Extremely well-written and insightful advice. Thank you for sharing.

Great article! Thanks for the advice. Just reading this page has helped inspire me to keep moving forward with my ideas. The love I see in my daughters eyes when I read to her is my motivation to write a kids book to share that love.

Thanks for helping me “walk the plank”

I appreciate your informative article. After my son passing onto heaven he has repeatedly told me in my dreams to write a children’s book. Give little souls a chance to laugh and look more to simple tasks in a day to better one another because we are not promised tomorrow. May God bless you, Hillary D

Thanks for the honest words and great guide! Much appreciated.

Hi, I am thinking about becoming a children’s book writer, I have no experience.

Lots of great info THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Thanks for all of help on today 5/15/2022 a lot of information was discovered for me in this article I will be following your steps.

A very informative and well-elaborated article. Thank you so much. Has provided me with key points to consider as we write children’s books in local languages with some Ugandan primary teachers.

This is the best article that I have ever found on the internet. Very clear and helpful. Thank you!

Excellent article- so thrilled I came across it

I am glad to have come across this article. Very informativ and encouraging. Thank you!

Very good advice!

I plan to release a children’s book later this year, and I’m considering self-publishing with the help of hardcover book printing services. I appreciate the advice about how it would be best to make the character struggle and fail first before solving the problem to gain the interest of the readers. I’ll be sure to remember this while I look for hardcover book printing services to work with.

Read and then reread. Thanks!

The article is a good gist of all what children’s writer must know. Thanks a lot for this article.

Thank you, thank you! Invaluable advise for novice children’s book authors. I devoured every word in my attempt to write my first children’s book.

This has been a very helpful nicely structured review. It focused on practical points, gave useful examples.

Hello I am interested in writing a children’s book i just reviewed your notes on how and what to do my question is, if i wanted to hire you to help me with my book, do I have to take your course first? And also what is the over head view of funds i would need to publish a children’s book? Thank you very much.

Great article!!! It provided much helpful insight on heels of my self-publishing a “bucket list” children’s book recently. What John provided here is much-need food for thought for a 2nd effort.

Very good article. Well thought out, with relevant, professional information and resources. Thank you!

Not only is this a very well put together article, it even explains and demonstrates some of the elements with which a new writer might not yet be familiar. I will be reading this several times, and then some more Thanks!

A very brilliant and interesting article

I want to say a huge thank you for sharing this post. It has really been so valuable and helpful. Thanks again for sharing.

This is so helpful. Genuine guidance and because of this I am 100% interested in your services when it’s time. Too often these posts are one long advertisement but you hit the right balance between great free info and offering your services as a resource!

Very glad to hear that! Yes, I’ll be ready when you need editing.

Thanks for the article. Very informative

Hi, I’m a pensioner from NSW Australia. I have 22 cartoon Australian animals in my children’s book. All with descriptions and their personalities and where they live in the village around a pond in the Australian Outback. My illustrations have still to be coloured which I thought to do in water coloured paint. Being a pensioner, I cannot afford much and if so, would have to just print my book onto paper and keep it in the family for my grandchildren.

Great article, thank you

its a great article and nice advice

It was all very helpful. Now I can re-evaluate my children’s book. Thank you

Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. This is the best article on helping new writers. I am so excited to get started now.

Thank you for taking the time to share your wisdom. It is so helpful and answers many of the questions I had.

Great info – Thanks. I stumbled on it at the perfect time to write a story for my grandaughter for Christmas.

This was extremely informative and beyond helpful. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Thanks so much for sharing this valuable knowledge!

Thank you so much for this article. We have to write a book for an assignment in my class and read it to the younger kids in my school. I needed a lot of help to get started. My group has an idea and this really helps with adding on to it and making it better.

Your article was very enlightening, I wrote a children’s story many years ago, you have given me the inspiration to publish.

This article was SO helpful and easy to follow. It all makes perfect sense now!

Very informative, great read!

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