Have you ever had an idea you knew would just be perfect for a story? Or had a dream to create and sell your own book? Well, if you have then you are in the right place because in this post I am going to share with you how I managed to create a children’s book and how simple it is to create yours too. If you’re thinking that you don’t want to create a children’s book, but maybe a different style there is a helpful website I mention that can layout any book from photo-book, editorial, Ebook, ect. Keep reading (or don’t) if you want to know the inspiration behind my story and how after all the work, I self-published it.
When I was in the 8th grade our class got assigned a project to create a children’s book. Individually we had to write and illustrate the story. Unlike most people in my class, I was super excited about this opportunity because writing and creating was much more appealing to me than writing an essay or taking a test. My book wasn’t a master piece, partly because I can’t draw and the pages were held together with string, but it did spark a dream to continue to keep writing and one day try again at a children’s book.
I was 15 at the time, and it has taken me five years to actually do it–mainly because I was too busy or never knew how to. Ideas would pop in to my head and I’d write them into my iPhone notes for safe keeping (which I highly suggest you do whenever you get an idea, you never know when you’ll need one) but I never felt inspired enough by any of them to create a whole story, until one day I was scrolling through my notes and found one I had written called ‘The Wishing Tree’. I read the ideas I jotted down about it and instantly knew this was the one I wanted to write about. Below is just a few ideas of how I jotted them down.
So, once I had the idea how do you write a children’s book with no experience, no illustrator and no book agent? Well the answer is simple really–Google. Okay, well it’s a bit more complicated than that but it’s a great start to finding tools, information and examples of story structures. More and more these days we have so many fantastic apps, websites and videos that can teach us how to do things. It’s just a matter of taking the time to do the research and figuring it out.
But before you can think of the illustrations, the most important thing to do is lock in the story. Once I got the story done and edited, that is when I had to find an illustrator. If you have the advantage of being able to draw yourself than that is a bonus! Luckily around the time I was finalising the story I found my partner, Marjorie Thomas. I discovered her talent when I was acting in her short film and a prop was one of her drawings. I was so impressed, and her style was just what I had envisioned from the Pinterest mood board I had already been creating along the way. Turns out illustrating a children’s book was one of her dreams too, and it became a perfect match. Finding an illustrator that captures your visions and embodies the style of the story is so important because it is essentially what really brings your story to life. Kids will be able to see your characters and the words play out in front of them.
Piecing it together
It is also important to note that all of this did not happen over night. It will take time for all the elements to finally merge together to bind the book into a finished product. Throughout the time I was putting mine together I learned which tools worked best for me and how I was going to get the hand drawn illustrations uploaded. Personally, I love classic hand-drawn and coloured pictures over all the digitally animated ones, so I decided to colour each page myself before uploading. I used a software from Blurb to format my book and finally see all the pieces come together.
You can sell directly on the platform or order books in bulk. If you are new to creating books or want to self-publish I highly recommend using them because of how simple and easy it is to design any style of book you want. This is was my first project, but it was not my last. Be sure to check out my other post regarding my newest Ebook and paper back for Awakened Minds. (Both can be purchased on the Books tab)
Wrapping it up
Like anything, starting something new is a learning process. You’ll find what works best for you and what doesn’t. By no means is my children’s book a top selling hit at Waterstones, but maybe my next one could be with using the knowledge I know now on how to do it. Be patient, creative, and if anything just enjoy! You never know where your imagination could take you(: And if you do create something, be sure to share with me.
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Keep dreaming big!
Double J Creative x