If you’re interested in writing for children, but not sure where to start, I’m sharing what you should do/consider before you even put pen to paper. I’ll update this post as more things come to mind.
- Do you want to self-publish or traditionally publish? This is something you should ask yourself first before embarking on your writing and publishing journey. I happened to self-publish all my books, so I can speak to the advantages of it. If you’re looking to learn more about the traditional publishing route, I recommend you listen to Episode 328 of the Side Hustle Pro podcast: How Janae Marks Went From Side Hustler To Full Time Best Selling Children’s Author to hear her perspective. Either way, it comes down to your personal goals for your brand and business.
- Join professional networks/organizations/associations. The organizations below are great for relevant information, resources, and people in different stages of their writing and publishing career. Consider becoming a member of your local chapter and attend the events they host. It might be time to spruce up your LinkedIn profile so you can start effectively networking with like-minded individuals in the industry.
Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators (SCBWI)
Children’s Book Insider
Children’s Media Association
And here are the associations and conferences to look into, as great books are often adapted and showcased in other mediums:
Women in Toys (WIT)
Women in Animation (WIA)
- Stay abreast of what’s going on in the industry. If the organization has a social media group, join it. If they have a newsletter, subscribe to it. If they’re on social media, follow them. You want to stay in the know of the current climate. I’d also recommend checking out Write for Kids KidLit Social interviews, where the host interviews top kidlit authors, editors, agents, and publishing professionals. Watch the replays here (and yours truly was a guest a couple years ago…check out that episode here).
- Figure out the story you want to tell and what’s missing in the literary world. You can start by going to your local library, bookstore, and book festivals to see what’s in the market and how you can add your voice to the conversation.
- Determine who your ideal reader is. This is the biggest mistake I see aspiring and even current authors make. You won’t be able to sell effectively if you don’t know who you’re writing for. I created a masterclass that walks you through how to identify your ideal reader. You can learn more about it here.
For published kidlit authors - What other tips and resources have helped you when you were first starting out? Comment below!