Once upon a time, a child publishing an actual, tangible book, with the ability to be distributed worldwide, available in bookshops and on library shelves, right next to books from authors like Dr Seuss or Julia Donaldson, was nothing but a fairytale.
Now the pool of child-authors is growing, and fast!
Many of these skilled youngsters are successfully publishing their books on major platforms such as Amazon, through Amazon's self-publishing network, KDP. Or through Ingram Spark, and generating monthly revenues while having access to worldwide distribution.
Anaya Willabus holds the title of the youngest chapter book author in US history.
These books have brought her much success and have earned her best-seller rank on multiple occasions.
Children are much more creative, smarter, and capable than we sometimes give them credit for. So, them publishing their own book isn't as much of a big deal as we make it out to be. A child can publish an outstanding book under parent's supervision.
If your child wants to be an author, what are the necessary skills and tips for writing a book? In this post, you will learn about everything from developing writing skills to publishing a book on Amazon KDP as a child's author.
For your ease the post is divided into three parts, so we will break them one by one. They are written as action points for your child to improve their writing skills.
1) How to develop Writing Skills in Your Child
Dedication and hard work are the key skills required to write the best book. Please don't underestimate the potential of your child, but provide him with innovative ways of writing a book. You can use the following methods to develop writing skills in your child:
Read books as much as you can
- Reading books is the best way to find a great idea for writing your book.
- Books introduce a vast world of imagination with much creative thinking. Try to develop the habit of reading in your children so that they may get an idea of what they can write and what kind of books they like.
- If your child gets inspired by a story, then ask them some questions like the beginning, main character, actions, conflicts, and lessons. Give proper time to your child to read books and then ask them to answer the questions or write something new and exciting.
Explore family and surroundings for Imagination
- Great ideas sometimes come from little things. Your child is a learner, and is continuously learning everything from his or her surroundings; increase your child's exposure to the world to boost the natural learning process.
- Tell your child stories of your family and childhood. They might just end up writing a fiction book inspired by your story. They could easily change the names and places.
- A historical event, a person, or a good function can give your child some idea to write. Give confidence to your child to make them comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas with you.
Take Inspiration from Anything You Like
- Creativity and inspiration will directly lead your child to be a better writer. This can come from anywhere! Expose your child to a diverse and vast world of imagination including magazines, newspapers, and holiday newsletters.
- By connecting to a magazine or picture book, your child will be able to think about what is happening in the story and what is the purpose of writing.
- To help your child to become a good writer, do more than providing them with a blank or white sheet of paper. Offer a helping hand and give suggestions and advice to improve their writing skills.
2) How to write a book
Once your child has developed their writing skills, urge and suggest that they convert their ideas and thoughts into a new story. Your child may be too young to write an entire book alone, it is your responsibility to help, guide and improve their writing. Your child can write a good book by following these steps.
Write The First Draft or Outline (Actionable Steps For Your Child)
The easy way to write a book is to have an outline of your story.
- Start writing with an introduction, main character, events, actions, and important points. Organize the idea by formatting it with the sequence of actions, and you can write bullet points or use planners and mind maps to organise your thoughts.
- From the outline, you can quickly write a draft of your book. Then expand and improve the idea or main points to complete chapters and scenes. Help your child to keep track of all the changes and ensure every scene and action is organized.
I also have a free story planner pdf that you can download to mind map and plan your characters and story.
Add Visuals and Interesting Dialogues (Actionable Steps For Your Child)
- Make your story seem original and inspiring, with a lot of interesting dialogue and activity.
- Try not to make exchanges sound too formal; write something new and interesting to keep your readers engaged by providing them with real, natural conversation.
- You can use your favorite book characters and actions as a template to understand what your readers will like. It is also important to try to show more actions and happenings with pictures to maintain the interest of the reader.
- Being more descriptive and not having to explain everything in detail will have great benefits on the flow of the your story, also. You should focus on describing the settings and important things, and avoid writing too much flat or formal text.
Editing and illustrating the book
- The last step in writing a book is to edit and polish it or illustrate the content. Go through it with your child and revise the book again and again to remove mistakes. I have mentioned many times before, a free tool called Grammarly which will help detect spelling errors and other grammatical mistakes.
- Supervise your child while editing the book to maintain consistency and flow in reading. An easy way to edit a book is to print it on paper and then revise and read it aloud to mark the mistakes that you can’t see in the computer draft.
- Read the sentences carefully, fix and change everything that seems to be unusual and unimportant.
- Finally, it is time to illustrate the book. Your child can do this by themselves or hire an illustrator.
3) Publishing The book on KDP
Now, the best part of the book writing is to self-publish on Amazon KDP to generate revenue. Sounds interesting!
Yes, it is.
Sign In to KDP
Sign in to your KDP account or create a new one by providing all the information ranging from royalty selection to tax information. Select your age, grade range, and suitable category for your book. For more detailed information on creating your KDP account, you can check the Amazon KDP website or follow the steps I have outlined in my free course.
Prepare Your Book
Before publishing the book on KDP, prepare it to stand and compete with the best-seller authors.
Here Amazon provides free tools and techniques to nail and polish the content and format of the book. You can use these free tools for your book:
- Kindle Kid’s Books Creator You can use it to illustrate your child's books on tablets, laptops, and smartphones.
- Kindle Create Format the book by using Kindle Create with a lot of available professionally designed themes.
- Cover Creator Design and customize eye catchy cover design for your eBook or paperback by the cover creator.
- Kindle Previewer It shows how your book will look to the reader after publishing with improvements in the layout.
- Proof Copies You can order proof copies of your paperback to remove mistakes before publishing on KDP. (But I tend not to do this.)
Amazon KDP provides the option to choose the royalty option for your book. You can choose royalty according to your choice.
For eBook, there are two different options
- 35% royalty It applies to books priced below $2.99 and above $9.99.
- 70% royalty It applies to books priced between $2.99 and $9.99.
70% royalty option applies to books sold in specific countries.
For Paperbacks, the royalty option is fixed, 60% for your list price without subtracting the printing costs.
Your child can be a good author by following the formulae of "try, try again, and practice". Indulge in your children the qualities of great authors by making them great readers. With my free course, you can go through the process with them and hone their writing skills before ultimately, self-publishing on Amazon KDP.