How to Write FOR KIDS! Feat. Kat Sperling Books

what's up my fellow small business

supporters I'm Savi and today I'm doing

a collab with my fellow author Tube

friend Kat Sperling hi everyone I'm Kat

from the channel cats burning books and

thanks for having me on your channel

Saffy I'm really excited to be here


the reason we're doing this collab is

that we both write for children I know

there are some other author tubers who

write for children although the majority

seems to be novelists I write novels too

but my children's books the forever home

print series has definitely been the

thing that I've solved the most uh so

since we both write for kids we figured

we would ask each other some questions

about the process of writing for

children and that type of thing

so today cat has some questions for me

to answer about my process of writing

children's books I also have questions

to ask cat which are going to be on her

channel so please be sure to check out

cats channel linked in the description

below go on over to her channel and

check out the interview that I do with

her over there to hear about her process

writing kids books as well my first

question is why do you write for kids do

you think it's weird to write for

children if you don't have any and I was

also wondering if you have gotten any

negative responses so far and also if

you think that your answer would be

different if you wear a man that's a

really interesting question like that's

a great question it has a lot to think

about I guess I get away with it because

I don't have kids but I'm a dog mom like

I have a dog which I know isn't the same

as being a parent to a human child but I

write books about dogs so it's a rating

books about actual kids I'm like the dog

lady so I think that might help a little

bit I have tried writing books about

human children as well but haven't ever

sold or gotten them published or

anything maybe in the future so far no

one has judged me for writing for kids

when I don't have kids and that's maybe

because I teach kids I teach kids

creative writing workshop so I do work

with kids so people know that like I'm

aware of how kids are I don't know if it

would be different if I were a man

because I don't really know how it is

right now I don't have sounds weird I

just like I guess not that aware of what

people think of the fact that I write

books for kids without having kids like

I don't know if people approve of it or

dislike it or if they just don't even

notice like I really don't know so it's

kind of hard to say but thankfully

I really haven't had a problem with that

which I'm grateful for do you fear that

you have any advantages or disadvantages

compared to children's book authors who

do have kids yes and no overall I feel

like I don't have a disadvantage in this

benefit like I also read a lot of kids

books so even though I'm an adult like I

read kids books all the time so I still

know the same tone like I feel like

that's the thing if you have kids you're

reading them a lot of that time story so

you probably have an understanding of

what kids books are like but I also have

a lot understanding because I read a lot

of them and I'm friends with a lot of

kids book authors and I go to kids book

critique groups and that kind of thing I

would say an advantage that I have is

that I have more time to work on the

drafting and the production and running

a business that has kids books because I

don't have kids so kids I feel like take

up like 90% of your time once you have

one you suddenly have no time left to do

anything else and when you have a

business you also have no time left to

do anything else I don't know how people

who run their own business and have kids

do it like you guys are the real heroes

out here but I think the fact that I

don't have kids

gives me a lot more time to devote to

developing the stories and that kind of

thing so that might be an advantage

disadvantage would be I guess I'm not

like immediately connected to as many

child communities like if you're a

parent you're probably like have your

whole kid's day care community or your

kids preschool community or like

whatever communities surround you

there's like parent groups and that kind

of thing so I don't have like a built-in

kid audience I have to go and seek them

out and find them generally through

doing school visits and doing festivals

and that kind of thing so I get to meet

a lot of kids and I get to meet a lot of

readers and their parents but I would

say that would be a disadvantage is that

I don't have such like a pool of readers

right there but I don't know maybe if I

did have kids I wouldn't have that

either I don't know since I've never had

kids I don't know how to say that do you

work with better readers who are

children and if so where do you find

them that's interesting

no I don't have kid beta readers but I

do have parent beta readers and I think

that's interesting I've never I don't

know about the ethics of using a kid as

a beta reader

how could you even do that I mean I

guess you could have like a casual thing

where you like just read the story to a

kid and see if they liked it which like

I've probably done that to an extent but

for the most part I have parent beta

readers so I find a lot of my critique

group friends and my author Tube friends

and friends I have who are book bloggers

who also have kids and I'll often have

them read a draft of the book before it

releases or I'll give them an arc to

review and that kind of thing I like to

hear a perspective from parents and

those parents will usually read the book

to their kids so in that sense I guess I

do kind of have kid beta readers in the

sense that the parents read them to the

kids and generally in their review

they'll be like my kid thought this

about the book so like yeah I have kid

beta readers a little bit in that sense

but I don't like seek out like where can

I find kids to read this book because I

feel like when you're looking for the

concept of beta readers it's easier to

communicate with another adult who goes

through the writing process and similar

things like that so my beta readers are

usually adults but I also do try to have

parents read them to know it like this

book would resonate well with their kid

is a story that they like to read them

what's your number one tip for aspiring

kids books writers don't think it's

gonna be easy I guess that's a weird tip

but like I think a lot of people going

to writing for kids noticing that it's

short and then thinking oh it must be

easy you have to go through a lot of

drafts you have to change a lot of

things you have to storyboard at least

from my perspective I have to storyboard

so I think just go into it knowing that

there's gonna be a lot more to the

process than you expect at least for me

like a big thing was cutting out words

so when you write a novel obviously if

you have a couple extraneous words I

don't be like typos I mean extraneous

words like you used quickly you used and

then usually like a couple times an

extravert that's fine but like in a kids

book every word counts because like you

want your book to be tight you want it

to be under a thousand words usually in

like the 500s range so you need every

word to count you need to advance the

plot without any extraneous words at all

I like to figure out what can be told

visually in the pictures instead of on

the page in the words so a lot of time


any description you have to cut anything

that isn't completely necessary for

either the tone that the story is going

for or for the plot of the story itself

so that can be kind of difficult

especially doing self evaluation and

saying like oh how do I know what's

necessary for the plot and what isn't I

feel like it's all necessary because

1,200 words like what do I do and

there's no hard and fast word count

rules but just know that that's gonna be

a part of the process and it'll require

a lot of writing and reflection and

revision and then reflecting on it again

and revising it again and taking it to

your critique group and revising it

again and all that so you write young

adult as well correct and I've often

seen children's books and why a being

grouped together as kid late' so I was

wondering what the main differences are

in your opinion this kind of goes with

what I was saying in the last question

the biggest difference is definitely in

a novel you're trying to go for you know

vivid descriptions delving deep into

what the characters thinking and feeling

and all of that in a picture book you

really have to balance the words to the

images so if there's something that

would be told better visually you have

to know when you need to back off as an

author and that can be really hard

because you're like oh but I want to

describe this so again that kind of

depends on your publishing path too

because if you're like going through an

agent and a big publisher who's

assigning you an illustrator you might

not get to work with them so you might

have to just like let the words speak

for themselves

without knowing exactly what the

pictures are gonna look like so that can

be really hard like with me I started my

own business so I run the business I

even illustrate some of my own books so

for me it's easier to be like okay I

know I don't have to say this because I

can just illustrate that or I can tell

the illustrator to put that in there

that depends on your process but I'd say

that's definitely the hardest part is

balancing the visuals to the text and

knowing what goes where and that's also

the biggest difference from writing by a

similar sense of humor in my kids books

and my y-a books obviously in a kids

book I'm not gonna swear I'm not gonna

make jokes that aren't appropriate for

them but I realized that my weird sense

of humor tends to be the same so I can

transfer a lot of those skills those are

my questions for today thank you so much

for answering them

savvy and to everyone else thank you for

watching bye I really hope you guys

enjoyed this video

these remember to leave a like if you

enjoyed it I hope you guys like my

t-shirt this is a picture of a wriggly

the dog that I Illustrated in the book

just to me Wrigley which is part of my

forever home Friends series our stuffed

animal line just recently released on

August 11th 2019 so that is so exciting

those are now available on forever home

friends I linked in the description

below don't forget to check it out we've

also got these t-shirts available there

so if you like this t-shirt that's where

you can get it thank you guys so much

for watching I hope you enjoyed this

please let me know in the comments below

what you guys think about this process

do any of you guys write kids books what

are your best tips are writing kids

books or what do you like when you're

reading a kids book what are your

thoughts on all of that let me know in

the comments below thank you so much for

watching I will see you guys again soon

and in the meantime don't forget to

support small businesses happy writing