How To Become A Childrens Book Author
A children’s book author writes books and short novels that cater to young minds. You will be using your storytelling prowess to create stories that will stimulate their imagination and widen their knowledge. Most of the time, the stories you make are meant to teach important lessons and universal truths that children need to learn.
This field is not easy to break into because of the intense competition involved. You need to have great ideas and know how to write them in an engaging manner if you want to get the attention of literary agents and publishers. Of course, you can also take the self-publishing route but you won’t have the backing of a large publisher to help market your work. The good side about self-publishing is that you get to control your work and won’t have to split a major portion of your earnings with the publisher. You’ll have to do most of the advertising on your own which will be an added load on your part.
Having excellent command of the English language is necessary for you to succeed as a children’s book author. However, it’s not the only skill requirement. You need to know how to string your words together in such a manner that will engage and interest your readers. You need to have a lot of creativity and imagination to be able to sustain their interest in the stories you make and drive home the lessons you want them to learn, if there are any. If you are going to be self-employed the way most children’s book authors are, you need to be persistent and determined. You’ll have to show to your agents, publishers and readers that you have what it takes to produce quality work within a given schedule.
Why Become A Childrens Book Author
Not everyone can become an author of children’s books. However, for those who have an affinity with the written word and want to enable children to experience the characters, events and places that exist only in their imagination, no other career can be more satisfying. Another reason to become a children’s book author is the fulfillment that can be derived in knowing that the story they have made will get imprinted in the minds of young people and that the positive lessons they will derive from it will help mold them to become better persons. It’s a vocation that gives you the opportunity to influence a wide variety of children through each story you write. Nothing could be more meaningful for a writer.
Childrens Book Author Work Environment
In 2012, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that around two-thirds of writers and authors, including children’s book authors, were self-employed. As such, this means that they have the flexibility to choose when and where they want to work. However, they still have to see to keep their deadlines in mind so that they know how much to devote to a particular project and be ready with the manuscript on that date.
Children’s books authors can work anywhere for as long as they have a computer. When they are not typing their stories, they may travel to meet with clients or publishers or do some research for their next story. Children’s book authors need to build a name for themselves in the niche before they can be established. For the neophyte, this means long hours of committed work so that they can produce books on a regular basis that will be patronized by children.
Childrens Book Author Salary
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not gather salary data specifically for children’s book authors. However, it lumps this career together with writers and authors. In May 2013, the Occupational Employment and Wages report of the agency revealed that writers and authors received a mean annual wage of $69,250. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators said that if an author and illustrator are able to come up with a picture book that is 32 pages long, both of them can share an advance of anywhere from $8,000 to $12,000. The higher percentage of the advance goes to the children’s book illustrator. However, the entire amount for the advance can go to the author if the book written does not require any illustrations.
Childrens Book Author Career Outlook
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that from 2012 to 2022, the employment outlook of writers and authors is only projected to grow 3 percent, a rate that is slower than the average for most occupations. However, this may not necessarily be reflective of the employment rate of children’s book authors inasmuch as the agency has not gathered specific data on this profession alone. It is worth noting that there are many avenues for writers to self-publish their work so this should encourage a lot of aspiring authors to write and publish their children’s books even if they have not been accepted by publishing firms.
Childrens Book Author Degree
Salaried writers generally hold bachelor’s degrees. While there is no such requirement for those who want to become professional authors of children’s books, a bachelor’s degree in English, communications or journalism will help the aspiring author hone his writing and grammar skills. They can also get valuable training as an author by constantly joining and becoming a part of school publications and newspapers. After earning your bachelor’s degree, he as the option to pursue further studies by taking up a master of arts in children’s literature program. Doing so will help further hone your knowledge about this profession.
In addition to classes, children’s book authors can join a support group or professional industry associations that will help develop their craft while at the same time keeping them up to date on the latest trends in children’s storytelling. These activities will help you improve your craft as an author of children’s books.