Monday, March 21, 2011

Mentor Monday--It Ain't All Picture Books

If you're new to children's writing and someone asks, "What do you write?" You probably say, "Picture books."

I hate to wake you to reality, but do you know how difficult it is to write a picture book and then try to sell it in today's economy?

What other writing for children have you done? You ask, "Other writing?" Yes. Besides picture books there's
beginning readers
early chapter books
chapter books
young adult books
commercially licensed, character books
nonfiction books (in picture book, beginning reader, chapter book, etc. formats)
books for the school and library market (usually written and sold in sets)
web content
interactive/video game story lines
instructional materials
testing materials
activity and puzzle books
joke and riddle books
travel guides
religious books
promotional materials for children groups and organizations
pamphlets such as those you pick up at the doctor's office that teach kids about healthy eating
I guess I should stop here.

There's so much more to explore in the field of writing for children. You may have to work in multiple genres before you can even get your big toe in the door.

Don't pin all your hopes on selling a picture book. Get busy writing, get some credits, and then, one day when you least expect it, the economic crisis will pass and there will be brighter days ahead for children's picture book writers.


1 comment:

Mur said...

Good point, Diane.

If memory serves me correctly, every one of the Write Sisters sold from the "something else" list before ever signing a book contract. We got to see our names on a by-line, made a little $, and started to feel like "real" writers.