Guest Post: Starting Your Children’s Book

By Author Ellwyn Autumn

person reading a book
Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

Getting Started

So, you want to write and self-publish a children’s book? Good for you! You’re just itching to transcribe your idea to the page. But there’s one obstacle, you don’t know where to start. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

First things first, write your idea whichever way is most comfortable for you: a list, a word web, notes. It doesn’t matter, just get it out before you forget.

I suggest going to the source after you’ve written it down. What does that mean? Read children’s books. Go to the library and check out a few. Take notes on what you like and dislike about the books.

You might also want to look at my article ‘4 Elements Good Picture Books Need’.

Many people think creating a children’s book is easy. Let me tell you from experience, it isn’t. It’s fun, it’s fulfilling, but easy is not a word I’d use to explain the process.

Finding Support & Inspiration

You should also join a writer’s group and ask them to critique your story. The fresh insight you’ll gain from the feedback is extremely beneficial. There are also Facebook groups dedicated to authors where you can ask questions about the publishing/marketing process.

Here’s a list of a few I joined.

Think Beyond The Book

Happy Children’s Rhyming Books

Book Promotion Library

You should also join Facebook groups that cater to your niche. For example, I wrote a Christmas novel, so I joined a couple Christmas groups.

person holding white ceramci be happy painted mug
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Editing & Proofreading

If you require an expert editor/proofreader, I highly recommend Maya Jansen-Gruber at Through The Looking Glass. She’s amazing!

Buy a good old-fashioned notebook and keep track of everything pertaining to your story: dates, contacts, extension activities, expenses, potential illustrators, whatever you need for your process.

Illustration

Find an illustrator. My go to site for this is Fiverr.com. Do be careful though, I’ve noticed a few accounts guilty of plagiarism. Freelancer.com and Facebook groups are alternative options.

Formatting

Have your book professionally formatted. After I illustrate my book, I ask Ron Melanson to format it for publication. He’s a whiz and can format books for KDP, Ingramspark, Smashwords, etc. I honestly can’t say enough about him.

Also, my host, Robin, does eBook formatting and book cover animations. You can check out her services page.

Questions?

If you have questions you can contact me, Ellwyn Autumn. I’ll do what I can to help you on your writing journey. Happy Writing, Everybody!


Author Ellwyn Autumn is an American author/blogger/ghostwriter and a certified teacher with a Master’s Degree in Education. She writes children’s picture books, middle-grade novels, and Young Adult fiction. Ellwyn’s first self-published novel, Chris Kringle’s Cops The First Mission, was a finalist in the 2016 Reader’s Favorite International Book Contest. Her Kamyla Chung picture book series addresses difficult issues facing young children. Kamyla Chung and the Classroom Bully is on Jedlie’s Certified Great Reads List and earned Story Monster Approval. Check out her books on Amazon.


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