Have you been holding back from writing that children’s book because you weren’t sure what category you want to write in or even which direction to take? Following are some very helpful tips to assist you in your writing goal and your decision to write that children’s manuscript.
Generally speaking, and depending on your target audience, your publisher may place your book in one of the two main readership categories for children’s books. These category and readership definitions may help you decide and refine your manuscript.
Readership One: Books in this readership category are meant to be read to the child.
1. The Picture Book: Also termed ‘concept book’; this type is filled mostly with illustrations and very little text, if any. Alphabet and Counting concepts dominate this category and are geared towards the preschool child up to the kindergarten age group.
2. The Picture Story Book: This type has many illustrations and has more text than a picture book; the distinction is that this picture story book has a story plot. The general age group for this type of book is kindergarten through 3rd grade.
3. The Board Book: This is a very short picture book manufactured on very thick paper stock or cardboard like stock. This type has no story line or concept, and is ideal for making into a series. The age range for this type is Infant to age 2.
Readership Two: Books in this readership are meant to be read by the readers themselves.
1. The Easy Reader: For beginning readers, this type has more text than illustrations. This type of book may be divided into a few short stories and is geared for the 1st and 2nd grade readers.
2. The Chapter Book: The Chapter Book is like a short illustrated novel and is divided into several chapters. Illustrations are sparse and just enough to keep the reader interested. The age range for this kind of book is the 2nd and 3rd grade reader.
3. The Young Non-Fiction Book: For the young non-fiction reader, this one is filled with factual illustrations and not too much text. Insects, Plants, Animals, and Technology dominate this type of book. The young non-fiction is formatted in Picture Book style.
4. The Middle Grade Book: This book may be done in an array of genres. The middle grade book gives you many options to write about, it may be fiction, non-fiction, and even a short novel. This type of book is geared for the 4th through 6th grade student.
5. The Young Adult Book: The young adult book also has an array of options to write in, these include fiction, non-fiction, novel, and the short romance novel. The target audience for this type of book is the 7th grade student and the higher grades.
When you are ready to start targeting your readership audience, you will want to check into your publisher’s guidelines for manuscript lengths as these will vary on your type of book. These general guidelines are meant to help you refine your decision, your manuscript, and your writing goals for writing your children’s book.
So go ahead, no more holding back. Have fun and enjoy the process of writing YOUR children’s book.