Many people think writing a children’s book is easy when that’s actually far from the truth. Even more people write their own delightful children’s story and submit it to publishers, only to be met with rejection after rejection. What gives?
The truth is that while it may appear simple to write a children’s book, there are five important rules to consider to make sure that your children’s book is worth publishing. By sticking to these rules, it will help you to fine-tune your children’s book manuscript so that you’re even more likely to get noticed by the top publishers and agents out there:
- Solve a Problem: Almost all children’s books center around solving a problem or considering a moral dilemma. These themes are easy for young children to identify with, and problem-solving will also attract children to a storyline right away. Entertaining children’s stories are wonderful, but they must also have a problem that can be solved to keep kids interested enough to read the book over and over again.
- Use Repetition: If you’ve been around children lately, you’ve probably noticed that kids love repeating fun phrases over and over. Almost to a fault! Using repetition in a story will make it easier for kids to follow along, even if they haven’t learned to read yet.
- Stay Short and Sweet: A top children’s book will be short, compelling, and concise, making it likely to become a hit that kids will want to read again and again. If a book is too long or too complicated, a young child is likely to lose interest immediately.
- Get Kids Involved: By using noises in the story or asking for kids to make gestures as a part of the plot, it will keep kids engaged and interested. Try to incorporate creative calls-to-action, where you ask the reader to make a funny sound, shout, or whisper to become a part of the story.
- Use Simple Illustrations: If you’ve written a children’s book manuscript, then you may not be responsible for illustrations if you submit it to a publishing company. But if you have also done the illustrations for your book, make sure that they are simple, bright, and attractive for a young reader. If a picture is too complicated or abstract, then once again, a child is likely to lose interest.
You can use the above tips as a helpful checklist to make sure that your children’s book is ready for publishing. From there, it’s time to start putting yourself out there and get prepared for rejection. Rejection is a given for any author seeking publication, and even more so if you’re competing in the booming children’s book industry.
The best word of advice? Continue to believe in your story, don’t give up, and you’ll see a reward for all your hard work!
Bethany Ramos is a freelance writer who has a contract to publish her children’s book Lions Can’t Eat Spaghetti with 4RV Publishing. She also co-owns her own e-commerce website, The Coffee Bump.