When I was six, my mom started teaching me how to write. She taught me about the importance of a good first sentence, and how to use an outline so that my ideas flowed smoothly from one paragraph to another.
But most important: she taught me that children’s books are always better when they’re written in a friendly tone. Even though you might have heard that kids’ books should be written like textbooks or encyclopedias, my mom believed otherwise.
Her motto was “write like you talk,” which explains why every sentence in her books sounded like someone had just sat down next to me on the couch and told me their life story over some hot cocoa (and maybe some Oreos).
|1. Craft relatable stories that resonate with young minds.|
|2. Simplify complex concepts using age-appropriate language.|
|3. Engage readers with interactive elements and visuals.|
|4. Choose topics that align with children’s interests.|
|5. Weave educational content into entertaining narratives.|
|6. Reflect diversity and inclusivity in your storytelling.|
|7. Incorporate relatable anecdotes and real-life examples.|
|8. Encourage exploration and curiosity through your writing.|
|9. Use humor to keep young readers engaged and entertained.|
|10. Create a captivating opening that hooks the readers.|
|11. Offer opportunities for hands-on learning and activities.|
|12. Keep sentences concise and avoid complex jargon.|
|13. Test your content with your target audience for feedback.|
|14. Focus on clear organization and logical flow.|
|15. Edit and revise rigorously for clarity and coherence.|
|16. Conclude with a memorable and impactful ending.|
Make Sure You’re Familiar With The Publishing Process
One of the best things you can do to help your writing process is to make sure that you are familiar with the publishing process. The publishing process is the set of steps and methods used by publishers to manufacture and distribute books.
To publish a book, first, an author writes their manuscript, which is then submitted to an editor at a publishing company who edits it and makes suggestions for improvement. Next, designers create cover art and interior layout.
In addition, if there are any illustrations within the text of your book (such as photographs or drawings), these will be created at this time as well. Finally, once everything has been edited, designed, and illustrated, and assuming all goes smoothly—your book will be put into production!
Crafting captivating stories is just the beginning. Explore our guide on 11 Ways to Write a Book That Sells to discover strategies that can turn your children’s nonfiction book into a compelling masterpiece.
You should revise your manuscript as many times as needed. If you’re writing a nonfiction picture book, then it’s best to revise after you have a draft. If you’re writing a nonfiction chapter book, then it’s best to revise after you have the first draft. And if you’re writing a nonfiction novel, then it’s best to revise after you have a second draft and so on until your story is perfect!
Be Brutally Honest
You can’t sugarcoat the truth, and you should be honest about your mistakes. Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know everything, and don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know everything yet.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a writer of children’s nonfiction books, it’s that readers love honesty. They want writers who can tell them the truth and help them figure out life for themselves, not ones who just tell them what they want to hear all the time (even if those things are nice).
Staying honest gives readers an anchor in your book; it lets them know where they stand with each other and with themselves. And it teaches kids how important honesty is in their lives an essential lesson for everyone!
Don’t Overdo The Cute
This is a tricky one to explain, but I’ll try. It’s easy to go overboard in the cute department when writing a book for kids so much so that it can ruin your story. What do I mean by that?
One example: “The little snail was as fast as a racehorse.” In this sentence alone, we have three metaphors (the little snail, racehorse), an adverb (as), and an adjective (“fast”) repeated twice.
Not only does this sound repetitive and boring if read aloud, but it makes me wonder why you didn’t just say “The snail was very speedy.” That way you get to keep your simile intact while saving yourself some space!
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Show Kids That You Can Make Mistakes Too
Some of us are naturally shy, so we tend to put on a mask that hides our imperfections. But being honest and showing kids that you are human can help them relate to what you have to say.
You don’t have to pretend that you never make mistakes or always know the right answer, because kids will see through it and think their own experiences are invalidated by your “perfection.” Instead, use those moments as teaching opportunities for both yourself and your readers.
For example: If a reader asks about how many steps there are on the staircase at her school, instead of saying “I don’t know,” consider using this as an opportunity to teach her something new about herself (and maybe even learn something new about yourself).
Ask questions like “Do I remember how many steps there were when I went up?” and then try counting them on your next visit (if possible). Or if someone asks which food smells better than peanut butter jelly sandwiches.
Get A Picture Of Your Subject From At Least Three Angles
Your subject must be represented in a variety of ways. You want to show off their personality, and what better way than to capture them doing something they love? Consider how many different angles you can get of them and if you’ve got more than three, great! But even if you only have one or two photos, it’s better than nothing at all.
Here Are Some Tips For Getting The Right Angle
If possible, ask someone else if they’d like to take some pictures of your subject with their cell phone camera from different angles. That way you can use those photos as starting points for creating illustrations!
If no one is available for this task (or if time is short), try rotating around on your chair while sitting at your desk; this will create an interesting perspective either because it looks like someone else took the photo or simply because it makes people look smaller than usual!
If neither of these options works out for whatever reason… just do what we did: make sure everything looks good from above before moving on with our lives (or writing).
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Choose An Interesting Topic Or Event To Write About
The most important question to ask yourself when you are choosing a topic is this: “What am I interested in?”
You may be thinking, “But don’t I need to write about something that interests my audience?” Yes and no. Let me explain.
The second most important question to ask yourself is: “How relevant is this topic right now?” You can choose any topic you want as long as it interests YOU (and keeps YOU interested). But if the reason why it interests YOU does not have anything to do with the present day, then it won’t hold anyone’s interest for more than five minutes. For example, let’s take dinosaurs. Dinosaurs were cool when we were little kids because they were huge monsters that scared us silly!
However, today there are no longer any real dinosaurs around so our fascination has died down considerably unless someone creates an artificially intelligent one like in Jurassic Park (which is another story altogether).
So what about choosing a historical event or person from history? Well…the same thing applies here too! If no one cares about what happened during WWI anymore because there are no longer any wars being fought today between countries on Earth, then who cares how many people died during WWI?!
And even if there were still ongoing battles happening today between countries around our planet right now…why would anyone care how many people died during those wars since they aren’t here anymore either?!
So unless you’re writing nonfiction books specifically geared towards educators teaching social studies classes (in which case all bets are off), then avoid choosing topics like these two examples above at all costs!
Navigate the world of non-fiction writing with confidence. Explore our comprehensive resource: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Non-Fiction Books and unlock the secrets to creating impactful content for young readers.
Leave Plenty Of Room For Editing, Especially For Fiction Books
The most important part of writing a book is editing it. The second most important part is publishing it. And so on, with marketing and sales following in importance. It’s not that you can’t do these things without great editing, or that you want to skip publishing because you don’t want to spend money on printing costs, but still: editing is where the real work gets done!
Challenge conventions and spark creativity in your writing journey. Our article on An Unconventional Approach to Writing Your Book shares unique insights that could revolutionize how you approach your children’s nonfiction book.
And that’s it! Writing children’s nonfiction books can be a rewarding experience, but if you’re nervous about getting started or need some inspiration, these tips should help.
Remember: don’t overdo the cute and remember that mistakes are a normal part of learning. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an expert author who knows how to engage kids with their writing style. Good luck!
Here are some additional resources to help you enhance your knowledge of writing children’s nonfiction books:
39 Tips for Writing Children’s Books: Explore a comprehensive collection of tips to refine your approach to crafting engaging children’s books.
Writing Nonfiction Books for Kids: Delve into strategies specifically tailored to writing nonfiction books for young readers, ensuring your content captures their curiosity.
How to Write a Children’s Book: Learn from seasoned advice on developing captivating narratives that resonate with young audiences.
How can I effectively engage children with nonfiction content?
Creating relatable and visually appealing content can grab children’s attention. Incorporate vivid imagery and interactive elements to make the material engaging and memorable.
What are some key elements to consider when writing nonfiction books for kids?
When crafting nonfiction books for children, it’s crucial to simplify complex concepts, use age-appropriate language, and include interactive elements to encourage learning through exploration.
How do I strike a balance between educational value and entertainment in my children’s nonfiction book?
Achieving this balance involves weaving educational content seamlessly into an engaging narrative. Incorporate fun facts, anecdotes, and relatable examples to keep young readers both informed and entertained.
How can I choose topics that resonate with young readers?
Select topics that align with children’s interests, curiosities, and experiences. Consider their developmental stage and explore subjects that spark their imagination and encourage exploration.
What’s the significance of considering diversity and inclusivity in children’s nonfiction books?
Diverse representation is essential in children’s literature. Reflecting various cultures, backgrounds, and experiences helps children develop empathy, understanding, and a broader worldview.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.