Books for children and young adults are among the hottest selling titles right now, and there are a variety of reasons people want to write books for children. Some writers have a particular lesson or story they want to share with kids. Others simply love children and want to write for them. And then there are those writers who are just children at heart and connect best with a younger audience. Whatever your reasons for wanting to write for children, you can write and publish a children’s book. Here’s how:

1. Learn about the market and your audience.

Writing for children is not the same as writing for adults, and there are different types of children’s books: picture books, easy readers, middle grade novels and young adult novels. Each of these different audiences expect different things from a book. To help you better understand the craft of writing for children, take a class or pick up a few books on the topic. It is also helpful to study your audience. Watch the shows they are interested in. Listen to the music that is popular. Go to a public place and observe how they interact with people. If you want to create believable characters, you need to understand your audience.

2. Figure out your goals.

Once you have a good understanding of the market and your audience, decide what you want to write. What is your mission as a children’s author? What do you want to tell your audience? This is the time to start generating story ideas and creating characters. You can use your own childhood, current events and your imagination to inspire your writing.

3. Write and Rewrite.

Once you know what you want to write, you have to actually put the words on paper. This is often the most difficult part for many writers, but don’t get discouraged. Simply make an effort to consistently work on your story, and remember that a first draft is not a finished product; it doesn’t need to be perfect. Don’t be afraid to rewrite your story several times. Writing for children is not easy, and it can take several attempts to find just the right words.

4. Start the publishing process.

Self publishing is a great option for children’s book authors because it provides complete control over the project. For instance, authors who publish with traditional publishing firms typically have no say in the illustrations that accompany their story. Since the pictures can make or break a children’s book, it is important that the author’s vision is considered during this process. Many self publishing companies offer a variety of illustration services and various publishing packages to accommodate your needs.

I’d love to know, why do you want to write for children?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.