Monday, February 28, 2022

Writers: The TikTok Market 101

Thistletoe Q. Packrat puppet & Friend

My main social media concentration lately on promoting my books has been a chosen few: Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. I wouldn’t have considered TikTok except that an author in my NM-SCBWI chapter—Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators—created ten videos, each in a different place in her house, and is in the process of posting them on TikTok.

I had been operating on the assumption that TikTok viewers weren’t my market—just young kids fooling around. Wrong! My friend the enterprising author told me that TikTok attracts viewers of all ages. According to Brian Dean’s Jan. 5, 2022 article (among others), TikTok has 1 billion active monthly global users. Out of 4.48 billion active social media users, 22.32% use TikTok on a regular basis. How many Americans use TikTok? Dean: “eMarketer estimates suggest that TikTok has 73.7 million monthly active users in the U.S.”

I decided to jump in.

How Does TikTok Work?

First, I needed to understand what TikTok is and learn how it works. Basically, “TikTok is a social app used to create and share videos.” (Maggie Tillman, “Pocket-lint” article, Aug. 9, 2021) TikTok users can film videos of themselves doing any number of things, such as in our case, creating a 15-30 second introduction to our books. For more information, Tillman’s article offers a good rundown of the “how-to” of creating a video, or go to the TikTok site, open an account, and explore your options. 

TikTok Influencers

There is a way to narrow down your audience by locating them on TikTok “influencers.” Oh my. Since I write books for young children, my basic market, mainly moms, is in the 20-49 age range. According to Dean’s article, that accounts for over 50% of TikTok viewers. In the U.S., female users outnumber males 2:1.

TikTok Influencers, therefore, bear considerable exploration. More information on TikTok Influencers can be found by studying information provided by Neal Schaffer.

How to Get Started

At Staples, I purchased a Halo-Light Pro kit for about $50. The kit includes a 10” LED ring light, and a tripod, phone mount and microphone, with a flexible stand that extends to 5 ft. The ring light has 12-Watt output, 10 brightness levels, and 3 light modes: white, natural, and warm. My reasoning for this choice is to ease into the market. Later, more sophisticated equipment might be necessary.

So far, I’ve practiced creating videos with my kit. I’m glad I took the time to do this before “air time.” There were a few things to learn about myself. I wrote a simple script on a 3x5 card for each book and held the book up while talking. Yikes! I found that I wasn’t smiling the whole time. Smiling made my presentation lighter and more fun to watch. I have this bad habit of looking up to the right and to the left at different times if I’m thinking about what to say next! Good to know!

Where to hold the book turned out to be the biggest challenge. Should I hold it in front of my face while telling what the book is about? No. Hold it to the side. Fine, but care needed to be taken to show the entire page, not just part of it.

One of my 30-second (timed on my phone) scripts goes something like this:

"Hi, my name is Linda Wilson. I write books for young children. I’d like to introduce you to my picture book, Tall Boots.

Tall Boots is about a young girl who loves to ride horses, but she has to wear her old red galoshes for riding lessons. Her dream is to wear tall, shiny black boots: real riding boots. How does she earn her tall boots? Find out by scrolling to “Books” on Amazon and writing in Tall Boots by Linda Wilson. See you there!"

What else Can You Do with Your Ring-Light Kit?

Another way I’m putting my ring-light kit to use is by creating videos of puppet shows. The Moriarity school system, about 40 minutes from Albuquerque where I live, requested interested authors from my SCBWI chapter to read our books on Google Meets. The schools were celebrating the recent 2022 World Read-Aloud Day, on February 2nd. We would be assigned a class. I practiced the puppet play for my picture book, A Packrat’s Holiday: Thistletoe’s Gift, using puppets, props, and the book. Alas, a snowstorm that day closed the Moriarity schools. Not to worry. I now have prepared materials to present this puppet play and other puppet plays on videos with my ring-light kit and in person to schools and libraries. The practice was a big help.

The biggest surprise is how much fun I’m having! I think the effort to create videos will be worth it, not only for TikTok of course, but for my website and all other social media.

Many of you reading this post are most likely experts at what I’m just now discovering. If you have tips to share about TikTok and creating videos, please leave a comment. We at Writers on the Move would love to hear from you.

Sources: 

https://support.tiktok.com/en/getting-started/creating-an-account 

https://backlinko.com/tiktok-users, “TikTok User Statics (2022),” by Brian Dean.

https://www.pocket-lint.com/apps/news/146960-what-is-tiktok-the-musical-ly-successor-explained




Linda Wilson writes stories for young children. Visit Linda at https://www.lindawilsonauthor.com. Sign up for Linda’s quarterly giveaways. Choose your prize! 

Find Linda’s books at https://www.amazon.com/author/lindawilsonchildrensauthor.

Connect with Linda: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

Tweetable: @LinWilsonauthor




Friday, February 25, 2022

Blogging for Business: Six Tips to Help You Start (and Keep) Blogging on a Regular Basis

by Suzanne Lieurance


By now, everyone knows the power of blogging for business.


Yet, many entrepreneurs and other business professionals have trouble blogging on a regular basis.


Does this sound like you?


To develop a readership for your blog, you need to post at least 3 to 5 times a week.


People won't want to come back to your blog regularly if they can't expect to find new content there all the time.



Here are six tips to help you keep up with your blog and post on a regular basis:

1.      Decide from the start WHO you want to attract to your blog.  

            That is, decide who you want your readers to be. 

  The reason this will help you post regularly to your blog is because you'll always       

  have it clear in your mind WHO you are writing for. 

  And that will make it easier to focus on the content you need for your blog.

2.      Decide from the start HOW you will serve your intended readers. 

            Many beginning bloggers set up a blog with no real purpose or intended readership 

            in mind.

            It's no wonder they find blogging difficult or they just don't keep up with it.

 Their blog posts tend to be rambles, or daily accounts of their business activities, 

 which don't serve readers in any way (unless these accounts are particularly 

 humorous, or also offer something for the reader to consider regarding his or her 

 own life).

Develop a purpose for your blog.

What will you post each day that will be of use to your intended readers?

3.      Develop a regular weekly schedule for posting.

            It's much easier to keep up with your blog if you decide right away that you will 

            post only 3 days a week, for example, and those 3 days will be Mondays, 

           Wednesdays, and Fridays.

           You won't have to feel guilty the other 4 days of the week when you aren't blogging   

            either.

4.     Develop categories for your regular blog posts.

           If you know you're going to post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, set up 

           categories for each of those days.

           For example, you might blog about new products or special offers on Mondays.

           On Wednesdays you could post tips that would be of interest to the people who use 

           your types of products and/or services.

           On Fridays you could post answers to questions you receive from customers or   

           clients.

5.      Plan ahead whenever possible.

            Once you have established a regular blogging schedule and developed categories 

            for your posts, you'll find it easier to plan ahead.

            You can even enter your articles ahead of time and have them scheduled to post on 

             the days you want.

             When you do this, it makes it much easier to keep up with your blog as well as 

              your other business activities.

              You can post your articles to your blog over the weekend, then not have to worry 

               about blogging again until the next weekend.

6.      You don't have to write every single post for your blog yourself.

             Your blog should be a resource to serve your readers.

   However, that doesn't mean you need to write every bit of the material posted at 

    your blog yourself.

    As long as you provide helpful, accurate information, your readers won't care who 

    wrote that information.

    So, try to feature the work of guest bloggers periodically.

    Invite another business professional who writes about your topic of interest to 

    supply a post for your blog

    If this person can post a link to his/her site within the post, he/she will probably 

    be more than happy to provide you with content for a day.

Try these tips and see if they don't help you keep up with your blog on a regular basis!


And, for more writing tips, be sure to visit writebythesea.com and get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge

Once you're a subscriber, you'll also have access to a Private Resource Library for Writers.

Suzanne Lieurance is the author of over 40 published books, a freelance writer, and a writing coach. 

 

 

 

Monday, February 21, 2022

Do You Know Your Competition?


By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin 

Over decades, Ive reviewed thousands of book submissions (no exaggeration). Many proposals are missing the competition section. Its common for them to write, This topic is unique and has no competition. When editors and agents see such a statement, many of them will stop reading and reject the project. Others will roll their eyes in a look that says, Not again.

When someone says there is no competition, they are not considering the larger sense of the book market. Every book has competition in the marketplace. It's the responsibility of the writer to understand and describe that competition in their book proposal. It is not the responsibility of your editor or literary agent to create this competition but the authors responsibility who should intimately know their topic and area of expertise.

I often encourage authors to visualize their book inside a brick and mortar bookstore. Which section does your book appear? What other books are in tht section? Those books are your competition and competitive titles. In this section, you list the titles with a brief description and tell how your book is different. I encourage you to carefully select your words because you are not slamming or downplaying those other books. Instead you are emphasizing how your book is different.

Publishers need this information throughout the internal process within publishing houses. For one publisher, when they complete their internal paperwork to secure a book contract for an author, they are required to list the ISBNs of competitive titles.

Some of you are familiar with Book Proposals That Sell. In the final pages of this book, I include a sample of one of my book proposals which sold for a six-figure advance. This proposal is exactly what was submitted to the various publishers. The missing ingredient in my proposal (despite its success) is the lack of specific competitive titles. I wrote that proposal almost twenty years ago and in today's market it would need to have those competitive titles before it would go out into the marketplace. Hopefully Ive learned (and continue to learn) a few things about book proposal creation over the last few years.

When I started as an acquisitions editor, the president of the company (no longer there) sat down and went through the various topic areas where I would be acquiring books. One of these areas was parenting books. I raised a question about this area since within several miles of our offices was a major marketing force in this area of parenting called Focus on the FamilyOh yes, Terry, we will continue to publish parenting books, he said with passion. Marriages continue to fall apart in record numbers and children are leaving the church in droves. With my marching orders, I continued to acquire parenting books but silently I wondered whether a book can solve those two explicit issues about the family.

Each week Publishers Weekly tackles a different area of the market. Sometimes they cover parenting books which is highly competitive with loads of successful titles in print. The article gives a rundown of several forthcoming parenting books. Heres what is interesting to me (and hopefully for you): Notice the sub-categories for each title in the article: publisher, first printing, target audience, author's credentials, why the book is needed, and what distinguishes it from the competition. The final four categories are what every author needs to include in their book proposal when it is submitted to a literary agent or an editor.

The actual language for the competition section is tricky. The author needs to point out the competition and how their book takes a different slant on the subject or deeper or some improvement--without slamming the competitive title. Why? Because the publisher of that competitive title may be the perfect location for your book. You dont want to offend that publisher with how you've written about their title. Like many aspects of the publishing world, when you write your competition section, it calls for education, understanding and some sense of diplomacy because the relationship will often be the distinction.

Every author needs to create a proposal for their book--even if you self-publish because this document is your business plan for your book and has important elements for every author to understand and convene to their readers.

Do you include the my book is unique in your proposal or do you include a competition section? Let me know in the comments below.


W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing
He has written for over 50 magazines and more than 60 books with traditional publishers.  His latest book for writers is  Book Proposals That $ell (the revised edition) released to online and brick and mortar bookstores. 
Jim Cox, Editor-in-Chief at Midwest Book Review wrote, If you only have time to read one how to guide to getting published, whether it be traditional publishing or self-publishing, Book Proposals That Sell is that one DIY instructional book. You can get a free Book Proposal Checklist on the site. He lives in Colorado and has over 190,000 twitter followers

Tweetable:


Thursday, February 17, 2022

Basics & Strong Writing


 Basics Make Strong Writing by Deborah Lyn Stanley

Writing as close as we can to the way we speak, tends to lead to lively, engaging and powerful sentences. Once that’s down, we revise and polish our composition.
I find the following list of revision tips helpful.

1.    Keep the focus, the theme of the piece consistent throughout,
2.    Sentence structure is a subject—a noun or pronoun, and a predicate/verb that explains what the subject is doing,
3.    Use nouns rather than adjectives (nouns: people, places & things—the info readers want.) Remove over used adjectives such as very,
4.    Verbs are where the action is—choose strong ones and avoid adverbs that diminish the strength of the sentence.
5.    Write shorter sentences for clarity; yet long enough to express the point—rather than long ones. Then vary sentence length within the piece.
6.    Write in a professional manner but make it personal to convey the message. Also, be specific, avoiding general statements which can be less useful.
7.     Choose common words that keep the flow, rather than fancy ones that slow the pace.

Sentences build paragraphs; utilize sentence emphasis. Here are tips to consider:
1.    Sentences close with emphasis through punctuation, the period, a pause. It’s the strongest point of emphasis.
2.    Lead a sentence with a strong statement, not a preliminary intro to launch it: in order to…
3.    Not every sentence needs emphasis. Some must be subordinate, use clauses effectively for this. Although, when, if, and because are useful for subordinate clauses.
4.    Grammar checkers don’t approve BUT, sentence fragments are instrumental in making a point. (Got it? Enough said?)
5.    Your topic has a coherent flow, now consider ending with the thought you intend to develop next.

Build Stronger Writing 
Enrich Your Everyday Practice


Helpful Tools:
Melissa Donovan’s 10 Core Practices for Better Writing
https://www.writingforward.com/books/10-core-practices-for-better-writing
Mastering the Craft of Writing by Stephen Wilbers
https://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Craft-Writing-Clarity-Emphasis

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Lyn-Stanley/
And at  https://books2read.com/b/valuestories



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Sunday, February 13, 2022

Ghostwriting

 


By Mindy Lawrence
 
Many celebrities use ghostwriters to pen their biographies because they either don’t have time to do it themselves or don’t feel comfortable writing. Although the person needs his or her story out, they can’t do it themselves for some reason. This also goes for businesses that want to brand a product or service. Their solution is to hire a ghostwriter.
 
Here are the top five reason why writers use a ghostwriter.
•         Ghostwriters saves time.
•         Ghostwriters help build brand awareness quicker.
•         Ghostwriters are professional writers.
•         Ghostwriters know SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
•         Ghostwritten content Is authentic content.
 
Top ghostwriters make a good living. However, It’s not an easy line of work to break into. If you want to do this type of work, these are the areas where you need to have experience.
 
•         Become a good freelance writer.
•         Write your own book.
•         Create a network through your freelance work
•         See if old clients need work written
•         Join sites that have listings for ghostwriters
•         Work on your skills in collaboration with others
•         Maintain a good relationship with your clients
 
 
Informative Links:
 
How to Become a Ghostwriter. MasterClass staff
https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-become-a-ghostwriter#how-to-become-a-ghostwriter
 

What is a Ghostwriter?
https://www.freelancewriting.com/ghostwriting/what-is-a-ghostwriter/
 
Ghostwriting 101:Tips from Bloggers Who’ve Done It
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/ghostwriting-tips
 
What is Ghostwriting – And What Does it Mean Today?
https://gothamghostwriters.com/what-is-ghostwriting-and-what-does-it-mean-today/
 
Top 5 Reasons you Should Hire a Ghostwriter to Write your Content, Ron Lieback
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/why-hire-a-ghostwriter/253219/#close
 
SEO For Beginners
https://nanos.ai/seo-for-beginners-a-guide-to-optimizing-your-website/
 
Ghostwriting Pros and Cons, Angelica Kate
https://www.authorangelicakate.com/2021/07/21/ghostwriting-pros-and-cons/
 

Mindy Lawrence is a writer, ghost blogger, and artist based in Farmington, Missouri. She worked for the State of Missouri for over 24 years and moved to Farmington in 2020.

She proofread the Sharing with Writers newsletter by Carolyn Howard-Johnson and wrote “An Itty-Bitty Column on Writing” there for ten years. She has been published in Writers' Digest magazine and interviewed by NPR’s All Things Considered.






Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Featured Productivity Tool: To-Do Lists Are Your Friend



As a writer, you are constantly juggling multiple projects at various stages of development. Between your client projects, possible a day job, and your own work (writing, speaking, marketing), how on earth do you keep track of everything? Simply, To-Do Lists.

Keeping a list of tasks and action items is essential for productivity. When you write down the things you need to do and keep them in a central location, you don’t need to spend brainpower trying to remember everything. It’s a huge time saver. 

What's On Your Lists?


The trick with lists is to throw anything and everything on them. This includes meetings, assignments, and deadlines, as well as professional tasks and personal errands. 

I divide my list into my projects (writing, speaking, spec articles), client work (tasks, meetings, assignments), biz dev (networking, calls) and freelancing. I also keep a list of planned weekly blog and social media posts, website updates, and outreach tasks (pitches and follow-ups), upcoming events, and personal projects. 

I know what you're thing ... that's a lot of stuff. That's the point. When you get  everything out of your head, you are in a better position to divide and conquer.

Where to Keep your Lists 


Paper Lists: Keep a dedicated notebook only for your ToDos. At the start of every week, write your master list. Then, as each day passes, add any other items and check things off as you do them. And if you do something that’s not on the list, add it and check it off so you get that burst of satisfaction. The reason I say check things off, rather than cross them out, is that way you can track your accomplishments throughout the week. 

Digital Lists: Use the same concept as the paper lists. Just use a dedicated word-processing document - or Google doc - rather than a central notebook. I like the simplicity of this method, although you can also use an online task management tool such as Trello. 

Calendar Lists: This is the method I use. Every week (on Sunday night) I make an appointment in my electronic (Google) calendar with my ToDo list for the week, which includes a section for ongoing tasks. Throughout the week, as I set appointments or get new assignments, I add them to the list. Also, instead of deleting completed tasks, I write DONE in all caps as I accomplish them. At the end of the week I copy the list and paste it into next week’s appointment. Then I delete the DONEs, and add any new items for the week. 

Final Thoughts 


ToDo lists are great. They are a tremendous tool to keep you organized and on track with your projects and deadlines. Just remember one thing. Lists only work if you read them. 

* * * 
For more inspiration and motivation, follow @TheDEBMethod on Twitter and Linkedin for your #Start2022Now Goal of the day! 

* * *

How do you use lists? Do you do paper, digital, or hybrid? Please share in the comments.

* * *

Debra Eckerling is the award-winning author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A writer, editor, and project catalyst, Deb works with entrepreneurs, executives, and creatives to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging and Purple Pencil Adventures; founder of Write On Online; Vice President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women's National Book Association; host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat, #GoalChatLive on Facebook and LinkedIn, and The DEB Show podcast. She speaks on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Saturday, February 5, 2022

Learning to Love What Amazon Can Do for Authors

 


How Authors Can Use Public Relations Principles to Work with Amazon

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning
HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for Writers


I get ideas about stuff to talk about in unexpected places. I assume that is not unique to my writing experience, but today something popped up in Facebook Memories feature I just couldn't resist passing along to my blogger friends. I think the major lesson to me (and from me! Ha!)  is that we can love to hate Amazon and other entities all we want, but it's more useful to our writing careers--both successes and enjoyment of them--if we don't listen to all the rumors of entities in the publishing world and find out for ourselves. In this case it is Amazon, but I constantly run into experiences even after decades of writing experience in several different disciplines (journalism, PR, marketing, blogging, and publishing in a variety of genres, etc.) that nudge me away from all the griping we hear on the web and elsewhere and onto doing what the basics of good marketing departments at great universities tell us to do. That is, make friends, network, and explore new possibilities.
 
Sooo, I had heard from several fairly reliable sources that Amazon wouldn't remove old editions of a book from their sales pages but decided to try one more time using the email feature at their Author Central to reach someone to ask for help. Here is my experience as posted on Facebook way back then--in probably about 2011.
 
"I just had the nicest telephone conversation with Amazon's Author Central. I had worked for two years trying to get the old edition of my The Frugal Book Promoter removed from Amazon via e-mail (I thought it would make it easier if they had all the ISBNs, etc in writing! Silly me! And, I admit to hating confrontation and avoiding it like the plague! )
 
"So the conversation goes like this:
 
"ME: "I understand I can't have the first edition of my The Frugal Book Promoter removed from Amazon even though it's outdated—by about a decade—but that I can add a new widget to that page to direct my readers to the new one."
 
"DANA THE WONDERFUL (At Amazon!):  "I'd be happy to do that for you."
 
"ME: Some chitchat including thank yous as she works. Then some magic words! "Too bad we can't just hide the old edition and get all 128 of the old reviews transferred to the multi award-winning second edition!" (Were "multi award-winning" the magic words?"
 
"DANA THE WONDERFUL: "Oh, we can do that!" Typing noises. "It may take 72 hours for that to happen but it's done."
 
"ME: "Really?"
 
"DANA THE WONDERFUL: "Really."
 
"ME: Happy Dance. Huge Thank yous.
 
"Note: It obviously is worth the time waiting for a real person on the Author Connect (Author Central)  hotline!  Wish I had a recording of the conversation for you!"
 
Here's a disclaimer.  This is 2022,  NOT 2011. Amazon changes policies all the time as needed (or as they think are needed--I have seen them change back again). So if you are having this particular problem, try my method. But the real point of this post is to try it no matter what it is you want or need. In the past, I have had them...
 
1. Add several widgets to point to several of my books that were published in later editions.


2. To move reviews from earlier editions to later editions.


3. To remove early editions of e-books from Amazon completely. (I didn’t have any luck with getting them to remove outdated but paper books, presumably because removing paper books interferes with their second market (used books) feature.


4. To fix or update metadata.


5. To get blatantly biased reviews removed. Amazon doesn't like this either and is working mightily to avoid it. There are all kinds of scammy approaches to reviews. In fact, I wrote a big, fat how-to book on reviews that includes a case study of sorts on the topic of Amazon vs. Scammy reviews. We don't like to believe it, but there are actually fellow writers out there with an agenda and somehow believe that dissing their competition's books will be good for their own. It is the third in my multi award-winning #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers,  How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically at  https://bit.ly/GreatBkReviews.


6. It seems they have recently changed a wonderful feature they had where #authors and #publishers could add all kinds of helpful information to their buy page—everything from professional reviews to notes from the author. I told you they change all the time, but keep checking. Better still, keep asking. You might even run into my "Dana the Wonderful!"
 
 
MORE ABOUT TODAY’S GUEST BLOGGER

 

Howard-Johnson is the multi award-wining author of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She is also a marketing consultant, editor, and author of the multi award-winning #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers including the multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter, now offered by Modern History Press in its third edition. Carolyn's latest is in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers is How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. She has two booklets in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series, both in their second editions from Modern History Press. Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers and The Great First Impression Book Proposal are career boosters in mini doses and both make ideal thank you gifts for authors. The Frugal Editor, now in its second edition, is the winningest book in the series. Carolyn also has three frugal books for retailers including one she encourages authors to read because it helps them convince retailers to host their workshops, presentations, and signings. It is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques http://bit.ly/RetailersGuide). In addition to this blog, Karen Cioffi’s WritersOnTheMove, Carolyn helps writers extend the exposure of their favorite reviews at TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com. She also blogs at all things editing--grammar, formatting and more--at The Frugal, Smart, and Tuned-In Editor (http://TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com). Learn more and follow for news on her new releases direct from Amazon: http://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile.

 


 

Thursday, February 3, 2022

5 Common Themes in Children’s Writing

 

Contributed by Karen Cioffi, Children's Ghostwriter

I have children’s ghostwriting clients from all over the world and below is what I’ve noticed.

Keep in mind that these clients can be doctors, therapists, dentists, teachers, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and business owners.

I’ve even had adult children as clients who wanted to turn their father’s story, that he used to tell them as children, into a book.

The one thing all these people have in common is they want to share something.

These people want to share their story, their idea, or their experience.

Usually it’s to share it with the world, but once in a while it’s more personal and they just want to share it with their family and friends.

Another common thread among these people is they’re passionate about sharing their story.

They all have a need to get their story out there.

I can be juggling six or seven clients a month and what I’ve noticed is that there are a few themes that keep repeating themselves.

5 Common Themes in Children’s Writing

1. Be yourself.

A lot of adults want children to know that it’s okay to be themselves. Uniqueness and individuality is a big thing now.

- Children don’t have to pretend to be someone they’re not.
- They don’t have to follow others just to fit in.
- Being unique isn’t something to be feared.

2. Bullying

This is another strong theme. Adults want children to know they have options and help if they’re being bullied.

- Children who are being bullied are not alone.
- They need to seek help if they feel overwhelmed by the bullying or if they can’t handle it.
- They shouldn’t put up with any form of bullying.

3. Diversity

Adults want children to know they’re a part of a big world. One that has all types of people in it. And to be a good citizen of the world means to accept everyone as they are.

- Children should be kind to everyone.
- They should try to understand people who are different than they are.
- They should show tolerance toward others.
- Under the exterior, we’re all the same.

4. Friendship

Adults want children to learn the importance of friendship.

- Children should be a good friend to have good friends.
- They should learn how to make friends.
- They should appreciate their friends.

5. Being a good person

This is one of the oldies. Adults want children to know what being good means. They want to show children what the consequences can be if they aren’t.

This theme can cover anything from being mean, to lying, to stealing, to cheating, to not sharing, to …

Think Peter and the Wolf.

Then you have the person who simply wants to entertain children or give them a glimpse into what their life was like growing up.

There are also the professionals who want to help children through stories.

Others may have a passion about a subject and want to kindle that passion in children.

Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to have their story written.

And, of those who want to be author of their own children's book, many don’t have the necessary writing skills or time to write. These are the ones who are willing to invest in their dream of becoming a published author.

About the Author



Karen Cioffi
is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and coach with clients worldwide. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move, and an author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

Karen’s children’s books include Walking Through Walls and The Case of the Stranded Bear. She also has a DIY book, How to Write Children’s Fiction Books. You can check them out at: https://karencioffiwritingforchildren.com/karens-books/. If you need help with your children’s story, visit: https://karencioffiwritingforchildren.com
 

 

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