I don't write children's books, but my friend Raymond Bean does. He's the author of the popular Sweet Farts series, so I asked him to share his thoughts on the genre. Here's what he had to say:
I teach 4th grade by day and write children's books by night. I spend my days helping young readers sift through the book baskets and find the gems they'll want to read. Reading, writing, and sharing with my target audience has taught me a ton about the likes and dislikes of young readers.
Obviously, just like writing for adults, there's not a one-size-fits-all formula for kids. Taste in books varies wildly. I aim for the reluctant reader - the kids who read a few pages of a book, put it back, and repeat. They have a hard time finding a book they're willing to read to completion. They're finicky, set in their ways, and (in many cases) avoid reading like the plague. Of course, not all young readers are reluctant; in fact, most aren't. But if you aim for them, the eager readers should be a cinch!
If you have kids, check out Raymond's Books!
Writing for kids is a blast. Relax, have fun, and trust your instincts. Here are three tips:
I don't use illustrations in my novels, but Raymond's second two points are right on the money for writers of all genres, not just children's book authors. To learn more about his books, visit www.raymondbean.com.
Maria Murnane is the best-selling author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.
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