How to Write a Children's Book in 8 Basic Steps

have you ever wondered if it's easier to

write a children's book just because the

book is shorter we're about to find out

in today's video hello everyone my name

is mani Lane I'm an author book cover

designer in the creator of the book

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so I bet something you are wondering why

is Mandy talking about writing a kids

book when all she's written is adult

young adult and nonfiction well I guess

it's a good time to announce that I am

indeed writing a children's book and

this is my way of telling you so I don't

have a title for the children's book yet

and I also haven't finished with the

illustrations or writing it but I

figured I'd share my knowledge on the

progress that I've made so far so later

on this month I will be showing you how

I'm illustrating my books but for now

I'm gonna show you just one illustration

that I've created that will most likely

also be the cover of the book and this

is one of the illustrations so the book

is going to be all about my cat of

course my cat's name is moon also called

mr. moon he's adorable he's got a whole

personality so it felt natural to have a

children's book about him this is more

of a passion project for me I don't plan

on making anything a big out of it I

just thought it would be something fun

to do a new way to practice with my

graphic design skills because yes I'm

illustrating the entire book myself I am

NOT a professional illustrator but I'm

making it work

so with that said I'm gonna go ahead and

tell you guys the 8 steps that you

should follow if you also want to write

a children's book step one is audience

more so who is your audience so kids

books vary a lot depending on who your

audience is so when it comes to

children's books there are a few

different categories that range anywhere

from newborn all the way to young adults

so here are the categories now board

books are your hard books that are for

ages newborn to 3 years old picture

books are ages 2 to 8 early level of

readers are ages 5 to 9 you might have

had these books when you are a kid in

school they're the type of books that

have the grade level right on the book

and it's kind of how teachers place you

in terms of reading level then we have

your first chapter books in there

two different types of first chapter

books and they are grouped into two

different ages ages six to nine or seven

to ten depending on how they're written

then you have middle grade books this is

ages eight to twelve and young adult

which is more or less twelve and up so

before you even start writing you do

want to keep in mind what age group you

are writing to not only for reasons of

say limited vocabulary but also just to

know what type of story will appeal to

that age group

step two is narrative and that's when

you're thinking about how loyal a story

be told the fun part about children's

books is that they can be a little bit

more magical and fun so you don't always

have to have just your regular old

narrative for example sometimes you can

have the story told through the point of

view of an animal step number three is

elements so what other elements are you

going to have in your story even though

a book is short you still need to

include some important things such as

locations other characters and objects

or anything else that appears in your

book just because the book is short

doesn't mean you can skimp out on these

things you still need to make your story

dimensional realistic and have feeling

step number four is theme what is the

theme of your story

aka what lesson are you trying to teach

the kids that are reading this book now

I do have to say kids are smart so you

can't just make the theme outwardly

obvious you want to make sure it's in

there but that that it's subtle step

number five is storyboards so when

you're actually starting to write your

story it may seem like oh it's just a

picture book it's gonna be easy to write

and then once you get into it you

realize okay this is a little more

complex than I thought especially if

you're someone who's used to writing

novels like myself you may think that

you'll be able to just whip out the

whole story in one day which sometimes

you can do but it's gonna require a

little bit more thought in care because

the story is so short so you need to be

more selective about what you write a

good thing to do

is to create a storyboard so for me my

picture book is going to have photos

that I recreate as an illustration and

then of course I have the story that

goes along with those photos so I had an

index card for every single sentence and

then I paired up the index cards or the

scenes with a photo that would go with

that that way I could kind of keep in

mind what photos worked what didn't now

in your case it may be illustrations

which also brings us to the next step

step six is illustrations and sometimes

that does intertwine with step five

which is the storyboard like I was

saying as the person who's going to be

illustrating the book myself and also

knowing that my illustrations were gonna

be based on photos that I had taken of

my cat when he was just a kid that meant

that I need to make sure that everything

paired up nicely so these two steps for

me intertwine but for you they may not

so if you're hiring an illustrator it

will be easiest to actually just

storyboard the whole story yourself and

write down ideas for illustrations and

then handing it off to your illustrator

but if you're someone like me you kind

of need to intertwine these steps to

make sure that you don't waste energy

illustrating something that won't work

anyways as far as illustrations go like

I said I'm doing the illustrations

myself I'm a graphic designer I design

book covers and now I'm trying out doing

digital painting which is a whole nother

ballgame but if you don't have the

artistic ability to create illustrations

yourself there's no shame in hiring

someone to do so because illustrations

can sometimes be the most important part

of a children's book because children

are so visual you need the illustration

to tell the story just as much as the

words do otherwise it won't quite stick

as well or it won't end up being their

favorite children's book you can hire a

freelance illustrator I will let you

guys know I'm not a freelance

illustrator so please don't contact

me asking me to illustrate your

children's book I barely know how to do

it for my own book like I said this is a

passion project but you can find them

online you can find them on freelance

websites one of my favorite resources is

up work so if you're interested in

hiring a professional illustrator there

be sure to check it out which brings us

to step 7 which is beta readers so just

because it's a children's book doesn't

mean you get to skip the beta reader

step now this actually might be just as

important maybe even more important than

your regular fiction book because kids

can tell the truth

really well children have this wonderful

gift of being unfiltered so if you show

them a children's book they will be

brutally honest with you about what they

think in what you may need to improve

you don't have to get real fancy with

your beta readers all you have to do is

find someone with kids that are the

proper age that you're looking to aim

for have them check out the book and ask

them if they liked it if they hate it if

they thought the illustrations were cute

if they thought the story was cute it's

pretty basic but it's a step that you

should still include and last but not

least step number eight is editing and

publishing so this step will vary a lot

depending on what your goals are

I plan on self-publishing my book so I

plan on hiring a children's book editor

I feel like this is very important just

because when you hire a children's book

editor they know the different struggles

that come with writing a children's book

they know what trends are in the

community at that time and they're just

more knowledgeable than a regular book

editor now if you're looking to publish

traditionally your publisher will

provide an editor for you and if you are

looking to publish traditionally then

you have to start down the long road of

finding an agent then having that agent

find you a publishing house and a whole

bunch of other different things like

that I will let you guys know that it

can be very hard to publish a children's

book traditionally just because so many

people want to write a children's book

in the

is very saturated and that really goes

for any book genre these days but even

more so for children's book so just keep

that in mind when you go down your

Publishing journey and also know there

are great resources out there to self

publish your book which I don't probably

be talking about here on this channel so

make sure to subscribe so let me know in

the comments down below what other

videos you want to see on writing and

publishing a children's book like I said

I have a video coming up on how to

illustrate a children's book but if you

have any other requests be sure to let

me know I also want to give a shout-out

to my patron of the week Zara Hoffman

so Zara is the author of a book called

taming the Alpha so taming the Alpha is

about two alpha soulmates who can't get

along even when doing so would solve all

of their problems if you want to learn

more about Zara in her book be sure to

check out her website which will be

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