While it may be pretty tempting to consider writing a children’s picture book, thinking that they’re easier than a full-fledged novel; however, you may not be correct. Why? Because:
- It requires the same storytelling elements
- Well drawn illustrations and characters
- An intriguing plot
All of this but in a smaller space. Way more challenging than a novel, right? But don’t worry, because we have put together this guide to help you in writing the best-seller children’s picture book.
10 Tips For Writing A Children's Picture Book
Are you an aspiring kid’s picture book writer? Writing a picture book may seem like a daunting task, but it's actually not as difficult as you might think! Here are ten easy steps to get you started to write a children's picture book in 2022:
1. Brainstorm Picture Books Ideas
If you want to write a children's picture book, the first step is to brainstorm ideas. This is the most vital part of the process, and it can be the hardest.
This can be done by thinking of topics that interest you or looking for inspiration in your everyday life. Once you have a few ideas, try to develop a unique angle that will make your book stand out from the rest.
Another excellent approach to look for ideas for your kid’s picture book is to go through other children's picture books. Not only will this help you get a feel for what's already out there, but it can also give you some great ideas for your own story.
When reading, pay attention to the illustrations and what role they play in the broader story. This will give you a solid idea of what works and what doesn't.
If you're struggling to come up with an idea, try thinking about your own childhood or what your kids or grandkids are interested in. Chances are, there's a narrative waiting to be told right there!
2. Identify Your Readers
It’s time to identify your readers after selecting the idea. When you're creating a picture book, it's important to consider who your target readership is.
Who are you aiming for:
- School-aged children?
Each age group has different developmental milestones and interests. Bear in mind who you're writing for when you're planning your story.
If you're not sure who your target readership is, think about what age group you would feel comfortable reading the book aloud to. That's usually a good indicator of the appropriate age range for your book.
For a picture book, the ideal reading age is 4 to 6 years of age, and the perfect length remains 400-600 words. You can check out a few examples to get inspiration, like Madeline, and The Polar Express.
Once you've got a handle on who your target readers are, you can start thinking about what kind of story will resonate with them. What sort of characters and setting will they be able to relate to?
3. Choose A Catchy Title
A catchy title is something that will make kids want to read your book. Following are a few tips to assist you in choosing a title for your next or first children’s picture book:
a. Kind of Story
Think about what type of story you want to tell. Is it a funny story? A serious story? A rhyming story? Story titles can be character-based, too, like Olivia or Fancy Nancy.
b. Short and Easy to Remember
Make sure the title is easy to remember and recall and is short. You want kids to be able to tell their friends about your book, so make sure the title is something they can easily remember. For example, Green, Blackout, or Ninja!
Try to make the title unique. There are numerous children's picture books available, so you want yours to stand out. For example, Wolfie the Bunny. You must be thinking too, how can a wolf be a bunny? That’s precisely what evokes curiosity in the minds of kids.
d. Sells the Story
The title must give an idea about what the story is. For example, ‘Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast.’ This title clearly indicates that this story is about a weird family, a pancake and a French toast. Totally selling the story.
4. Categorize Chapter
Once you've got a few ideas, a good catchy title, and know your readers, it's time to start fleshing out chapters. The best method to do this is by writing down everything that comes to your mind related to your story.
You can do this by using colors, numbers, or even shapes. For instance, if your story is about a princess, you could number the chapters with crowns. If you have a story about animals, you could use different colored paw prints.
This will help you keep track of your ideas and ensure that each chapter flows smoothly into the next. Making it more convenient for your illustrator to understand each scene.
Don’t worry if you can’t think of all the chapters right away. Start with a few and add more as you go. Writing a children’s picture book can be an exciting adventure – so have fun with it!
5. Engage Reader With Picture Book Characters
It's time to start fleshing out your characters. Writing a children's picture book character is one of the most critical aspects of engaging young readers. By making your character somebody that children can relate to, you are more likely to have a book that will be popular with kids.
One way to ensure this is by writing children's picture book characters that are relatable to the child reader. This is possible through several approaches, likes:
- Making them the same age as the child reader
- Giving them similar interests as the child reader
- Having them solve problems that the child reader might face in their own life
By writing children's picture book characters that children can relate to, you will be more likely to have a book that kids will want to read.
6. Different Tones For Children's Picture Books
One of the most crucial elements of writing a children’s picture book is choosing the right tone. The tone of your book will create the story's mood and atmosphere. It is essential to select a tone that is suitable to the reading age you are targeting.
For example, if you are writing picture books for toddlers, you will want to use a more playful and light-hearted tone. If you are writing picture books for elementary school children, you might want to use a more serious or educational tone.
Ultimately, the decision rests in your hands regarding what kind of tone you want to use for your book. Here are some different tones you could use for your children’s picture book:
- Playful and light-hearted
- Serious and educational
While there may be different writing tones, you must be familiar with the best tone resonating with your audience.
7. Best Tone For Children's Picture Book
To choose the best tone for your children’s picture book, it is crucial to first understand what a tone is. The tone refers to the setting of your book. What sort of an atmosphere do you wish to create? And how do you wish for your readers to react?
For some books, one tone isn’t enough. You might have to incorporate two different tones, to better portray the setting and message of your story. Regardless of whatever tone you choose, make sure it is consistent throughout the story.
This will help create a cohesive overall feel for the book. Once you have selected the tone you wish to use for your book, it is time to start structuring and drafting your kids’ picture book.
8. Use Short Sentence Structures
When you are writing for children, it is important to keep your sentence structures short and simple. This will assist them in understanding what you are trying to communicate to them and follow along with the story.
Try to avoid using long, complicated sentences. Instead, use shorter ones that are easier for kids to read and comprehend. Doing this will make your kid’s picture book more fascinating for the kids to read.
Here are a few tips to help you write better short sentences for your children’s picture book:
- Start with a simple subject and verb. For example, “The boy ran.”
- Keep your sentence length under 20 words. If it is longer than that, break it up into smaller sentences.
- Use an active voice whenever possible. Your sentences will be more compact and understandable as a result of this. For example, instead of saying, “The ball was thrown by the boy,” you could say, “The boy threw the ball.”
- Use strong verbs to add interest and excitement to your sentence. For instance, you could say “The dog barked” instead of “The dog made a noise.”
- Use specific and concrete nouns and adjectives. This will help paint a clearer picture in the reader’s mind. For example, instead of saying, “There was a big animal outside,” you could say, “A gorilla was outside.”
By following these tips, you can write better short sentences for your children’s picture book that will be easy for them to understand and enjoy. Writing in short sentence structures is an important skill to master if you want to write successful picture books for kids.
So, start practicing today and see how it can improve your writing!
9. Proofread Your Picture Book
You have finally finished your children’s picture book manuscript, and you are ready to send it off to be published. However, prior to doing so, it is crucial to proofread your work. Here are a few tips on how to proofread your picture book:
- Read your manuscript aloud. This will assist you in catching any mistakes missed while reading it silently.
- Request somebody else to read it to you aloud. This will aid in catching any mistakes that they may hear and you failed to catch yourself.
- Read your manuscript backward. This will help you catch any spelling errors that you may have made.
- Print out a copy of your manuscript and use a pencil or highlighter to mark any errors that you find.
- Check for spelling mistakes with a spell checker.
Use a grammar checker to eradicate any grammar errors.
You can ensure that your picture book is error-free by simply following the tips mentioned above. But there is still one last step before publishing; it's time to start thinking about illustrations. If you're not an artist yourself, you'll have to discover someone who can enable you to pour your vision onto the paper.
10. Use Best Quality Pictures
When it comes to children’s picture books, the illustrations are just as important as the story. Many individuals would disagree with you that the illustrations are more crucial! After all, it is the pictures that will really bring your story to life and capture the attention of young readers.
That’s why using high-resolution pictures in your children’s picture book is so critical. If you’re not an artist yourself, you’ll need to find someone who can create beautiful illustrations that will complement your story.
So don’t skimp on the pictures – make sure to use the best quality illustrations that you can find! By doing so, you’ll ensure that your picture book is one that young readers will remember for years to come.
Once you have the illustrations completed, it's time to put everything together and create your final kids’ picture book ready for publishing. There are two routes to book publishing, the traditional and the self-publishing route; you can read more about them over here.
FAQs On Writing A Children's Picture Book
While the tips above may suffice in helping you write a children’s picture book, we’ve thrown in a few FAQs to further clarify any confusion.
1. How To Illustrate Your Children's Book?
Writing a picture book is a unique challenge- one that comes with its own set of rules and guidelines. But don't let that discourage you! With a little bit of planning and creativity, anyone can write and illustrate a children's book.
Here are a few tips to remember while writing and illustrating your own children's book:
- The story should be simple. Focus on one main plot point and build the story around that.
- Keep the text short. Picture books are meant to be enjoyed by young readers, who may not have the attention span for a longer story.
- The illustrations should be clear and concise. They should add to the story but not overwhelm the text.
You're ready to start writing and illustrating your own children's book if you keep these principles in mind. Just try to have a good time while doing it – after all, that's what picture books are all about.
2. How To Create A Dummy Picture Book?
The answer isn't as difficult as you would believe. Creating a dummy children's picture book is very similar to writing any other type of book. But what is a dummy book? A dummy book is a prototype of your actual kids’ picture book.
It’s your entire children’s picture book in a sketch, including a few illustrations. Make one by following these steps:
- Perfect your storyline
- Gather references
- Sketch out characters and other visuals
- Create a storyboard
These steps will help you create a dummy kids’ picture book, so it’s easier for you to see your ideas visually and even know if they’re workable or not.
3. How To Sell Your Picture Book?
Selling a picture book can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be done! Here are some FAQs that will assist you in getting started:
- What are some tips for selling my kids' picture books?
There are a few things to keep in mind when selling your kids' picture book: marketing, price point, and distribution.
- How do I market my picture book?
- What is the most reasonable price for my picture book?
- How do I distribute my picture book?
There are a few ways to market your picture book. You can start by creating a website or blog to showcase your work, as well as using social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also submit your work to online directories and review sites.
The best price point for your picture book will depend on a few factors, such as the length of the book, the quality of the illustrations, and the subject matter. An excellent general rule is to price your book at $0.99-$12.99.
There are a few ways to distribute your picture book. You can sell it through online retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or you can sell it directly through your own website. You can also submit it to publishers for consideration.
Selling a picture book can be a great way to get your work out there and make some extra money. You can do it with a little bit of effort! Good luck!
You should be fine if you keep these suggestions in mind and are on your way to selling your very own picture book! Good luck!
Congratulations! You've now written a children's picture book! Writing a children’s picture book is no easy feat, but, in the end, it's well worth it. These ten simple steps will help you write a great children's picture book in 2022.
So, don’t wait any further, and brainstorm your ideas today! Your book might end up being the next bestseller. Oh, and if you don’t feel like writing a children’s picture book or writing in general isn’t your cup of tea, we can help you out too. Contact us for more information!