How To Write My Own Picture Book
You have a story in your head and one day you are going to write it. But what stops you? The same things that stop a lot of people, but mostly centre around not knowing how.
- How do I write my own book?
- How much does it cost to write a book?
- How can I write a book for free?
- How can a beginner write a book?
My first book was a short story which I wrote for a children’s’ magazine. The publisher created fabulous artwork and I made the princely sum of £15 which I donated to a local charity. Every picture book is a short story. My advice on how to write a book is to keep it simple and to start small. Start with a picture book. The reason for that is that it’s one of the quickest books to create. It will also help you to learn a lot of the fundamentals of book creation.
Can I create my own book for free?
Whilst you can spend a small fortune on a ‘self-published’ version of your story, you can also do it for free. Here I outline 3 simple steps to get your story done:-
Use a Book Template
You can create your own quite easily in a word document and it won’t take much time. Pick a book off the shelf that you all love and copy how that’s laid out. Save this as a ‘Master’ template which you can use again and again. My advice is to keep it simple, follow what works already. Most really successful picture books are laid out in a similar way and lead the reader, easily through the story. Just replace their words, their artwork with your own.
Pictures and Illustrations
These can all be created by you or if you are involving the children in the book creation, you can ask them to draw the artwork. If you prefer to have a more professional ‘look’ to your story, ask around to see if you have anyone in the family who is ‘good at drawing’ and ask them if they’d like to do the illustrations for you. You can also pay someone to draw the illustrations for you but be prepared to pay as pricing can vary massively, depending on their skill, experience and credibility in the market place. (The more well known will be more expensive). There’s more on working with artists in my upcoming blog in February.
You can print off your own book and staple it together, using one of the illustrations that you’ve created and use a higher quality card for the cover. Your child’s school might be supportive of the project, if they are involved in the story and so might be willing to help with the printing of the book. They might also be interested in promoting it and holding an ‘Author’ event where you can read the story to all of the children and sell copies.
We all know that one story which children have asked us to repeat again, again and again. And amazingly, they never seem to get bored with it. There’s always something in the story that the children remember and illustrations that they instantly pick out when the book is re-opened. Think about how your story, the characters and the adventures that they had, did the same for the children in your life. Once your story is turned into a book, it will be something that they can keep, read again and again and who knows, one day read it to their own children too. It’s your story and your legacy.