Is your child is a gifted writer? Do you plan on letting that gift go to waste? Please don't!
In this post, I will be answering the common question, "Can a child write a book and get it published?".
This post will include helpful tips and guides on how you can help your child to;
- Write a great book.
- Improve their existing book and writing skills.
- Teach you the many ways you can get that book published and on the shelves.
Many Children have done it already, and many are still doing it, so why should your child be the exception.
Can A Child Write A Book And Get It Published?
A child can write a book and get it published. The important thing to remember is getting it published is the main thing. Not writing a best-seller. Yet in saying that, if writing a best seller is their eventual goal... if anybody can, your child can do it, too!
How Can I Help My Child Write & Publish Their Book?
Here are some steps and helpful guidelines I think are necessary if you want to help your child get their book published:
Challenge how serious your child is.
By setting daily, weekly or monthly challenges, you can determine if your child is serious about writing the book. These challenges will also help you to evaluate your child's writing level and style. Keep in mind, at this stage, it is important not to start criticizing any writing mistakes. You are just checking how invested they are in the idea, the illustrating (if they are going to illustrate it themselves), the research (if the book requires that) and the writing itself.
If so you can move on to the next step.
Draw Up A Plan.
Having a plan is essential to everyone. Whether you are an adult writing a book or helping a child writing their first book, this step will ensure that you are not just writing. Ask the child if they know how the book will end and work with that in creating the plots and chapters. You also need to plan the child's task for that week and set goals that the child needs to challenge themselves to accomplish.
A pat on the back never hurt anyone
Everyone likes getting rewards for a job well done, even adults too, so why should a child be an exception? For every completed phase of the project, try to reward the child. You can adopt a private rewards system or a public one so that the child will know what they are getting after each milestone is complete.
Use a story planner
You can use story planning books to help your child structure their story, plot and characters. There are also digital/online story planning platforms, such as Plot Factory that streamline this process. These tools can help to keep your child on track and build out their story a lot quicker than starting on a blank canvas.
Grow a feedback group
A small feedback group will be essential in the child writing journey. You need to show the work to a group of people you trust. While you need to show people you trust, you also do not want people that will lie to you or be afraid to tell you how they really feel. This can be a group of family members, family friends, and this group can be formed online via platforms like Facebook.
Outsource to professionals
In the book writing business, you need to know that there are some tasks you may need to outsource to professionals; you can’t always do it all yourself. Some of these professionals are book editors, book cover designers, formatting experts, and illustration artists. These professionals need to be aware of what the book is about. There should also be constant communication between you, the child and them.
While criticism is acceptable, since we are dealing with a child, keeping it to the barest minimum is always right. It is easy to discourage a child when they are continually being condemned openly. If it’s the group that continues backlashing on the child writing, you can make the child stay away from the group page for a while.
Form a Book Launch team
The book launch team should consist of people who are generally interested in marketing the book before the actual launch date. Remember, we talked about creating a feedback group in step four. Some members of the book launch team can be from this group since they have been following the project from the start.
How to Get My Child's Book Completed & Published?
When I talk about cost in this section, I am referring time, money and factors you will need to consider to get your child's book published. This part will comprise of 3 sections:
- Fine Tuning the writing
- Ways to get the book published
- Websites where children can create books
1) Fine Tune The Writing
Put some space between you and the book.
Stay away from the book for a week; this will give you enough time to catch up with other vital things like the book cover design and the query letter. After the one week break, you and the child will be able to see important features that you must have been missing.
Make sure your book flows
After checking for every possible error, you need to make sure that the book flows, ensure that characters have their roles are well defined, and make sure the discussions between the characters relate to the theme of that chapter.
Get somebody else to read the book
Find a fresh pair of eyes that has not seen the book to take out time to read the book, this person will be able offer suggestions and edits, as the person will see things from a different angle.
2) Ways to get the book published
Start with a single copy
Creating a single copy of the book is affordable, and you might not need to get a professional publisher involved. Find someone that knows how to use the latest book editing software e.g Blurb.
Enter Writing Competitions
Believe it or not, writing competitions is one sure way to get your child's book out there. Book publishers host many of these competitions, and, most of the time, they post the winning articles or write-ups. When entering into a writing competition, ensure the child enters a contest that fits their genre of writing.
Submitting your book online will also work. Many online sites are more than ready to publish a child writing over the internet; you only need to type what you are looking for into the search bar.
Submitting a piece of your book to a magazine or journal
This piece could be a single chapter; make sure it is a chapter that will get the reader's attention. Also, submit to magazines that are major in the genre of the book your child is writing
There are so many successful self-published children books out there; your child can be one of them too. There are also online platforms that give children the chance to self-publish their works, but many of them require an annual membership fee of about $30.
3) Websites where children can create books
Before committing to the publishing journey. Have your child try out some of these story writing platforms for children. They are designed for children but, of course, for safety reasons, an adult should be there to supervise children when they use them(and the internet in general).
Here are a few sites that give children the freedom to create their books at very little to no cost:
On storyjumper.com, children can create their books and also read books written by other children. This site offers children the opportunity to become published authors. Other features available on Story jumper include bringing these characters to life by giving color, expressions, and clothes to these characters or adding audio to these books. Lastly, on story jumper, children can choose to print out their books for a fair price and get it delivered to them.
Little Bird Tales
A child can upload their existing drawings or draw on the site using the site's art pad to create their own stories on this website. A child can also use the audio feature to create stories. Littlebirdtales.com also has an IOS app, and anyone can read the books on this site. However, if you choose to download any of these books, you will have to pay a fee.
The story bird website promises to make your child a better writer through its art inspired creative platform. Story bird boasts about 30 million stories from several professional, amateur, and children writers worldwide.
Storybird.com also offers challenges that your child can participate in to brush their writing skills depending on their grade level in school.
These challenges could be:
- Basic writing challenges
- Creative writing challenges
- Thematic compositions
- Children's songs etc.
To conclude, you should also know that there is a legal procedure you will need to take to ensure that copyright laws protect your child work. Since your child is still a minor, you will need to seek a legal practitioner's services and advice.
There are laws that regulate business dealings by and with a minor. You will also need to scan through the child's work to ensure that the child has also not included copyrighted material in his writing. If there is any, make sure it is removed or seek the owner's permission; if not, the child will be violating copyright laws.