How to Write a GREAT Children's Book – Interview with a Bestselling Author – Part 1

most enjoyable things about writing for children for me is some the possibilities the imagination the young just the fact that I suppose children don't have to deal with a lot of the things that adults have to deal with and to pay mortgages that I have to get to work all those sorts of things and a night so I prefer actually being a child I love the child's world I love them imagination that children have they met the make-believe and I guess in a way I just don't want to be an adult so to me being able to be a child and I am a child through my characters that's that's the best part about writing children's books I I suppose I just want to be a child I think the hardest part about writing children's books is that the limitation of the words and so there are restrictions are placed on on writers when we're writing children's books we have to write a story that some as fabulous as any anything that would be written for adults even better but we but we have fewer words that we can use for example say you're writing a picture book ideally a picture book would probably want to be no more than 500 or 700 words and it's very hard to write an absolutely fantastic story in such a small amount of words one of the aspects I consider that makes writing for children difficult is the fact that we have an audience and that has a very short time attention span no offense to children of course but children have so so many things they can do and these things are visual their immediate like computer games movies you know so much technology this iPods there's AI this is why that is why you know there it is so much so much on offer for children nowadays when I was growing up I think we had books yeah we're books but but we didn't have we didn't have the options when I was growing up the have nowadays so we really have to write absolutely fantastic brilliant wonderful exceptional children's books so there's a lot of pressure on trying to compete with all the options children have nowadays my typical day starts with a cup of tea so I download my emails just to make sure there's nothing that no emergencies nothing I have to immediately deal with once I'm happy that my emails are downloaded and I can get on with my writing then I go immediately into my writing that's my that's my routine is to once I start writing is to work till about 1:00 or 2:00 o'clock depends on them sort of how I'm going I tend to stop somewhere between one and two o'clock for a couple of reasons I start to get tired because I've generally I've been working from nine through to one or two o'clock I don't really stop for lunch I stop to eat but I don't stop and rest I have students homework feedback to offer this the students and of course there's that other wonderful thing writers have to do nowadays and that set that you need the promotion so I have to look at you know what can I do about promoting myself I need to get out there and do other things so unfortunately um nowadays writers can't just write but that's that's pretty much a typical day for me if I worked eight hours a day I'm trying to keep up on all the information that's out there on the publishing industry I still couldn't do it so I think we have to sort of realize that while there's a lot of information available there's only so much you can incorporate into your life into your day I subscribe to and Easons I subscribe to websites I'm a member of the Australian Society of authors and the Australian publishers Association so I mean I do have access to the information sometimes it takes me a while to actually get to reading it because there are just so many things to do it's not possible to keep up with everything you have to try and keep up with some and and there's that there's a lot of stuff out there that really isn't necessary and one of the things that Rob and I found is that people if people worry so much about the market or about the writing research or whatever that you can actually stop them from writing if I don't write there's no point me knowing anything about the industry so while I do try and keep up with the industry you need to find a balance and I think that's one of the things you need to find a balance a happy balance and it's taken me a while to find that balance but their balance always needs writing first do you need any special kind of formatting for kindle books yes you do but one of the things I've found is that it's quite easy and it's quite straightforward because Amazon make it easy and straightforward and Amazon want you to to get your books up there on Kindle and to sell them of course because that benefits Amazon so Amazon actually make it as easy for you as possible it's all straightforward you can also upload your Word documents and Amazon will automatically convert them for you to Kindle one of the reasons I actually do it myself is because you have you have absolute control over it then and you can you can make it look a certain way and I prefer to do it myself because it's easy to do rather than allow Amazon to choose the formatting for me but it's up to up to you you can you can get an assaulter formatted for you yes you can upload your own cover to Kindle the covers some I use on my books that are on Amazon Kindle at the moment are all made by the fabulous Rob Parnell he's fabulous at making covers amongst other fabulous things he does the phase involved in having a book on on Amazon Kindle are pretty pretty much the same as Alysha author relationship and you you get a royalty split Amazon will offer you say for example 70% and Amazon will keep 30% and so it's a similar arrangement as you would have with the publisher it is essential nowadays to self market your work see but yes yes it is it is um it is essential nowadays to self market your work publishers over over time have because you gotta remember publishing its business so over time publishers have gone through and cost cost-cutting and they have limited resources and and fortunately for the best selling offers they'll get a lot of the marketing money so it's up to the rest of us to really do as much as we can and we also we need to make ourselves attractive to publishers publishers have get so many submissions now they have so many authors they can deal with so we need to make ourselves attractive to the publishers and also to the to the readers so that's just one of the necessities in life is to be able to market and promote you right now look at these good books you can't live without these books just just an example of marketing okay a bad example but you you

26 thoughts on “How to Write a GREAT Children's Book – Interview with a Bestselling Author – Part 1

  1. Read so many fantastic children s books when I was little…wanted to be a writer when I was in third grade and our teacher read LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE…even though I am old now and had too much to in life to tak the time to write..going to try my hand at it now.

  2. I always have great imagination and I know how to draw ,creating a story is my next goal.

  3. Great interview but having comments flow across the screen is distracting.

  4. Good video but got me wondering, who's talking? No name mentioned.

  5. I'm trying to write a children's book for school in one day, I know it's not a lot of time but I've been really sick and I kinda need help.

  6. this one is the link to the paper back, you try this, the first one was the link to the kindle edition

  7. hi, I'm trying to figure out about the errors my children's story, so far the opinion of a lot one person, outside the family says I need to work on my writing, I would like to know what your opinion of this is also, if you have the time or the chance I would definitely appreciate this, thank you, this is the link to my story from Amazon if you are unable to view it please let me know I'll try to fix it up so that way you can view it

  8. Hi, My name is Chelsea Radojcic and I am a new children's Author. My sister and I
    have created a show that comes out each Monday called Kids Book
    Weekly.  We review other Author's work and help cross promote.  We also
    give a sneak peak and talk about the morals of the story and why parents
    should look into it.  I have subscribed to your channel and was hoping
    you could return the favor.  We are trying to start making connections
    with the YouTube Family!  It would be so appreciated.  Thanks 🙂

  9. Take a look at my book. Like comment. Tell me what you think.

  10. Thanks for the view, Nancy. It's all about practice and persistence. Just keep doing what you're doing and you'll achieve your dreams, I'm sure. 

  11. wow am not sure what to say i am on the verge of finishing a book
    children's book .
    so do you have a some words of encouragement

  12. Thanks for the clarification, catstopper. I love Julia Donaldson's books too! Robyn wrote one called "Sam's Dinosaur Bone" – illegally rewritten by Era Publications as "How to Bury a Bone" – so that may have caused some of the confusion!

  13. Cool video on how to write a childrens book. Thx. Currently reading the new kids series DIARY OF A DINOSAUR. Has anyone else checked it out yet?

  14. YAY! Congrats Robyn, Fabulous advice on writing Children's books … your advice, inspiration & motivation … Karen 🙂

  15. Great interview with some great points, Illl watch the rest of these when I can. As you know the time flies by, I'm trying to promote my next book all by myself, I may get some help from the publisher later on, but I'm laying the ground work.

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