Quick Tips for Writers…

Here’s a list of resources and ideas that you can implement on your journey to perfecting your craft, publishing and networking.

  1. Read newsletters- Read any newsletter you can get your hands on, they offer a wealth of information in terms of new info and updates on publishers. Two examples of great newsletters are Children’s Writer and Children’s Book Insider.
  2. Read Guidelines-Never send anything to anyone without reading the specified guidelines…otherwise, you’re just wasting your time and your manuscript could end up in the recycle bin.
  3. Visit Bookstores-Check out current issues magazines in your genre and ask about what’s new in store. Find out what kids and adults are buying. Spend some time studying what the bestsellers are and why.
  4. Use the Internet-There is SO much valuable information available to writers on the internet! Visit blogs, social networking, e-mail other writers and sign up for writing groups on-line. This will keep you on the pulse of the writing world and you’ll be able to do some self promotion as well.
  5. Attend a Writing Workshop/Conference-These are SO FUN! I’ve been to a few over the past couple of months and have met some great people who are really talented. Workshops and conferences offer a chance to connect with other writers and to have your work critiqued. It is invaluable in terms of gaining insight into what’s working and what’s not in your current manuscript. Plus, you never know who can help you and who you can help in terms of networking.
  6. Network-Get yourself together with as many like minded people and great things will happen. You could meet the right contact who know the perfect illustrator for your book, or perhaps you’ll meet someone who can offer editing services, or you might just meet a publisher or agent that can take your book all the way to the top!

Most of all, enjoy being an author; It’s one of the greatest freedoms in the world to be able to tell your story in your own way.

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Network! You never know who you’ll meet…

All About Books for Kids…Part 1

So what makes kid’s books kid’s books? Well for one thing they’re not for adults;) Books for kids are shorter, they are relevant to their interests and the book is portrayed through the child’s eyes in the way that they see the world. Kids grow quickly but luckily there is always a market for them. Let’s start with the different types:

  • Board Books-“Chewables” is essentially what they’re called. They usually have one word per page and that are the lines of, “Dog,” “Cat,” etc. These books don’t have a lot for a writer to do and are really based on illustrations.
  • Picture Books- 32 pages, 4 of them blank, first page is for a single illustration, 13 double illustrations and then a single illustration on the last page. These books typically start with the writer and then the publisher picks the illustrator.
  • Easy Reader- Teaches the child to read with around 23 words that are very repetitious. These books have the 3 R’s-Rhyme, Rhythm and Repetition! Children will be reading these books, not adults so keep the words easy and the syntax simple!
  • Chapter Books-Ah! Finally we get into the big little kids;) Grades 1-3, these kids are usually learning to read or already know how, but are not experienced. This type of book needs to be fairly simple and short. It is around 6,000 words total and consists of 10 chapters at 600 words each. All of the chapters need to be ACTION PACKED, with cliff hangers and NO BACK STORY! Leave out excessive description, leave out complexity and leave out too many characters. You need a VERY strong narrator. Leave Mom and Dad out of this and let the character be the hero of the story. Kids at this age are searching for independence and make sure you write things that they care about!

Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of All About Books for Kids!

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