Writing for Children: 3 Tips to Make Your Books More Appealing to the Library and School Markets

Writing for children is a very competitive business. And while most children's authors are available for book signings at libraries, bookstores, and schools, there are a couple of additional things EVERY children's author needs to do in order to make their books more appealing to the library and school markets. After all, teachers and school librarians account for a great percentage of children's book sales. Why not cash in on these ready markets?

Here's how:

1. Before you even write your book, figure out several ways it can tie in to the school curriculum for your intended readership.

2. Teachers and librarians also love to be able to use a tradebook to teach content ACROSS the curriculum. If you write a book about the Civil War, for example, it's pretty obvious how educators can tie the book to the social studies curriculum. But figure out ways they can also use your book to teach other subject areas like science, math, language arts, etc.

3. Create study guides for your books and post them to your website, where teachers and librarions can download them, or offer to provide the guides for teachers or librarians who purchase your book(s). Again, guides that provide activities across the curriculum will be very appealing to teachers and school librarians.  Educators will also expect the suggested activities in your study guides to align with state education standards (common core standards), so go online to your state's Department of Education to get the common core standards for all subjects at all grade levels. Once you look at these standards, you'll get some ideas as to the types of activities you can create for your study guides.

In today's competitive world, children's authors need to do everything they can to widen the appeal of their books. These 3 tips will help you do that.

Suzanne Lieurance is an author, freelance writer, certified professional life coach and writing coach, speaker and workshop presenter. She has written over two dozen published books and hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines, and other publications.

Lieurance helps children's book authors and illustrators get the word out about their books through the author showcase at the National Writing for Children Center.


Magdalena Ball said...

Great advice Suzanne, especially tying the book to the curriculum and creating study guides. Visiting schools and talking to kids really helps get your name out there too. Wish I wrote for children - I'm seriously considering it.

Karen Cioffi said...

Suzanne, these are great writing tips. Most children's authors don't take the school and library markets into consideration when writing their stories. This will help many authors!

Suzanne Lieurance said...

Hi, Magdalena and Karen. There are so many things to consider when writing for the children's book markets. But I love writing for kids! I know you do, too, Karen. And Magdallena, you should give it a try! I'm going a special workshop next month where I'll show writers how to write a children's book in just 14 days. Find out more at www.writebythesea.com - happy writing!

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Great tips Suzanne. The common core standards can apply not only to non-fiction, but are useful for fiction writers.

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