The obvious skill of being able to communicate in a language that the age group you are targeting, is an evident one. Choosing a topic that the child relates to is all important. In many cases it is also deemed to be imperative to include graphics – again, depending on the child’s age; BUT all children of all ages like to see illustrations.
You need to understand what the children want from reading and what their parent’s want. Keeping the children happy and enjoying the story while enticing their imagination and appealing to their creative spirit is essential. But what is it that will make the parents purchase the book? Parents are also looking for books that will give some educational benefit to the child. It is obvious that new words and ideas are educational in themselves, but parents often want something more constructive – they want a way to measure the success of the book, to the educational value to their children.
Activities included within the text of the book can certainly give your book a uniqueness that will appeal to both kids and parents. Having a glossary of words that may be new or unusual will ensure that children and parents alike fully understand the text and kids will not be constantly asking what a certain word means.
Including quizzes, crossword puzzles, writing and drawing/colouring activities – all add value to the story – for both the children and the parents. Years ago it was very popular to receive a large book full of stories and activities for a Christmas gift. These Annuals were always popular because they gave the child a series of activities to accompany the reading of the stories.
Currently, books are creeping onto the markets that have more activities than stories. But if you can combine the gift of story telling with suitable fun activities, you will appeal to both the kids and their parents and give your writing a better chance of being successful.
With the Internet you can produce e-books with full colour graphics and not be hindered by the production costs (an important factor for the children). This, of course, means that your books can be cheaper than what is available in the retail outlets (something the parents are very conscious of!)
As to how to promote and market your book so that it can make sales – that is a more complicated task. But it is generally agreed on by Internet Marketers that one of the best ways is to write articles and have them published, to establish your credibility as a children’s author. Include in that article a reference box at the end of the article to include a link to your website (or email) where you can offer the book for sale.
The good news is that you already have a head start over others, because you can write and producing an article would be ‘no big deal’. Just make sure that you target the right type of e-zine or newsletter or the correct category in web sites such as this one, to submit your article to – you need to target the customer who has children e.g. Mums.
If you decide to approach your own church or school – consider adding an affiliate programme, whereby the organisation gets a commission (around 50%) in return for promoting your book for you e.g. via a testimonial. Don’t worry about giving good commissions – once you have written your book there is virtually no further cost for you. This is a great way for you to show your community spirit and to further add to your credibility as a caring children’s author. The parents will appreciate your generosity while the children love your book!