Write From Home

Home  Busy Freelancer  Bookstore 

2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006: Named one of the 101 best Web sites for writers by Writers Digest Magazine.

Selected by Bella Life Books as one of the top ten lists for writers in the "10 Top 10 Lists for Writers."



Boost Your Income by Writing for Trade Magazines!

(
This site best viewed using Internet Explorer at 1024 x 768 resolution.)

 

 



About Write From Home

Contributing Writers & Columnists

Reprint Policy

Privacy Policy

Write From Home
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com

Write4Kids.com

Turn Personal Struggles Into Books For Children
by Laura Backes, Write4Kids.com—The Children's Writing SuperSite

Suppose you've just gone through a divorce and lost custody of your kids. Or a loved one has recently died of cancer. Or you struggled in school as a child because you have dyslexia.

Many writers turn difficult periods in their lives into books for children, hoping to help young readers through similar painful experiences. Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating and selling books based on real-life events:

Remember that you're writing a children's book, not a personal essay intended to purge your soul from a painful memory. Children want to read about how they feel. Many writers create a child character and tell the story through that character's eyes. Don't write in first person if the "I" is you, the adult author. Instead of explaining how bad you feel that your kids no longer live with you, show how a five-year-old character feels about only getting to see Daddy every other weekend.

Books for younger children (up to age eight) centering around a personal crisis are generally most effective if the author uses a fictional vehicle for imparting the information. If you want to stick closer to nonfiction, make sure the book focuses on the child in the center of the event, and is told in a narrative format with a beginning, middle and end. Older children can handle more traditional self-help books, with each chapter concentrating on a specific aspect of the problem. However, interspersing the advice with personal anecdotes from other children who have gone through the same thing will make the information more appealing and relevant to the readers.

Targeting appropriate publishers with these manuscripts is important. Look in the subject index of Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market under "Self Help" and "Special Needs" for publishers. Peruse the children's nonfiction section of a large bookstore, and read reviews in Publisher's Weekly, School Library Journal and Horn Book (trade magazines found in most libraries) to see which publishers do similar types of books. Always send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the children's editorial department asking for writer's guidelines before submitting your manuscript. You can also look at books written for parents to help their children cope with an illness, loss or divorce, and query the publisher asking if they'd like to publish a children's book on the same topic.

Though many mainstream publishers are interested in books that deal with special issues, some topics have too narrow an audience for a large house to market the book successfully. In this case, many authors have elected to self-publish. If you get several personal rejection letters from editors who praise the book but say the audience isn't broad enough, you might consider publishing it yourself. But self-publishing should be approached cautiously; color illustrations are essential for picture books, making them very expensive to produce. And you must be prepared to devote at least a year of your life to selling and distributing your book. Most self-published books are sold primarily through direct mail. Can you purchase mailing lists of parents with children who could benefit from your book? Stories on adoption, specific childhood illnesses, or those that might fit in a pediatrician's waiting room or hospital gift shop are examples of books with a very targeted audience. Dan Poynter's The Self-Publishing Manual (Para Publishing) and The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Tom and Marilyn Ross (Writer's Digest Books) are two good resources to check out before making the commitment to self-publish.


About the Author:

Laura Backes is the publisher of Children's Book Insider, the Newsletter for Children's Writers, and co-founder of the Children's Authors Bootcamp seminars. For more information about writing children's books, including free articles, market tips, insider secrets and much more, visit Children's Book Insider's home on the Web at http://write4kids.com

Copyright 2001, Children's Book Insider, LLC
 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Free Mini E-Course Download PDF
Writing For Profit: Break Into Magazines
by Cheryl Wright


 

 


Article Library

Off the Page

Life of a Writer Mom

Dabbling for Dollars

Interviews with Authors & Writers

Copywriting, Marketing, PR & General Business

The Writing Trade

 

 

 

 

Writing For Children

Writing With Children

Taxes & Freelancers              
           
Great Magazines For Writers

magazine cover



 

Subscribe to
Writer's Digest magazine!
 

magazine cover
Subscribe to The Writer magazine  


New to freelance writing?

Read this informative article.

Read Glossary of Writing Terms

Authors Area

Agents & Publishers

Book Marketing

Publications

(Electronic & Print)

 

Resources

Associations & Organizations

Job Boards & Guideline Databases

Research & Reference
 

Links

Author &

Writer Web Sites

Writing Sites



Copyright © 2001-2013 Kim Wilson/Kim Wilson Creative Services.