Benefits of Getting a Children’s Book Illustrated and Published
Have you ever considered publishing a children’s book? Perhaps you’ve dreamed of delighting and inspiring young readers through pictures and words, just as favorite books you read when you were a child delighted and inspired you. There are many benefits of getting a children’s book illustrated and published.
Through books, you can teach, motivate, thrill, or lull a child to sleep. You can help them learn the alphabet or their multiplication tables or show them what kind of animals live in Africa. You can encourage them to cook from easy recipes or guide them to save and invest money. Non-fiction, fiction, silly, serious, or anything in between are options, as long as you consider the age appropriateness. An opera-singing raccoon who happens to be a detective can have the reader roaring with laughter. A girl determined to start a wrestling team at her school and gets met with disapproval can help kids understand the power of perseverance. A boy who loves flowers can teach about the different kinds he grows in his garden. Think about the beautiful illustrations of that flower garden!
Maybe you are a child yourself, and your love of reading has fired up a desire to publish your own works. It would be quite a feeling of accomplishment to see your name in print at such a young age and how proud your family would be. You may even be an adult reader of children’s books who loves the simplicity and innocence of this category, or you enjoy reading them with your kids or grandkids and feel moved to try your hand at publishing one.
A benefit of publishing a children’s book is that they are usually shorter than a book geared toward adult readers. The process may take less time to conceive, write and publish. Not that a children’s book can’t be as intricately plotted as an adult book (for example, middle-grade fantasy), but in general, depending on the type of children’s book and the age range the book is for, they are less complex and time-intensive. A picture book requires few words and relies mainly on the illustrations to tell the story, as opposed to a chapter book for older kids.
Another benefit to getting a children’s book published is that there are so many categories from which to choose, including picture books, early readers, middle-grade books, and books for kids with reading challenges. The spectrum of genres is as vast as books for adult readers: science fiction, how-to books, adventure stories, history, mystery, biography, etc. You can never run out of ideas!
Reading connects us all. A children’s book can bring out other perspectives the reader may not have encountered before. If you don’t see yourself or your family’s experiences represented enough, or at all, you can have a book that shows that representation. Books can also show how alike people are despite different backgrounds and experiences. Parents reading to their young children can have enlightening discussions about the stories, characters, and pictures. Through illustrations, children can see diverse characters, reversed gender roles, and how other cultures navigate their day. An illustration might show a boy who wants to be a chef helping his stay-at-home dad make the family’s breakfast, with the baby sister hanging on the dad’s hip, as the mom tucks her astronaut helmet under her arm before leaving for work at the local space center.
Entertaining, teaching, and bringing joy to kids are enormously gratifying reasons for publishing a children’s book. In addition, the process can be a reflective experience for the author. Your book might be a true-life story or fictionalized version of your childhood or a bygone era, which can bring nostalgic and fond memories that are fun to share. Or, maybe the memories are not so pleasant? Perhaps you grew up under harsh conditions, like poverty, or had a fractured family life. Keeping in mind your book is for children, you can still have a story written that might bring you perspective or closure. Your story may also help a young reader connect with his own challenging circumstances and feel more empowered when they see they are not alone.
You might be sharing experiences about your culture or the neighborhood in which you grew up. Whether the tone is light-hearted or more serious, depending on the age range for which it’s written, you may gain introspection and healing during the process. You will also feel proud and accomplished once the finished product is realized. Whether you pen the entire book yourself and just have it proofed and polished, or have the seed of an idea and work with a writer and illustrator to bring it fully to life, it’s your story, and you claim the happiness and satisfaction of bringing it into existence.
Publishing is hotter than ever, with no shortage of people devouring books in many formats and on different media. Getting a children’s book published and illustrated is not as hard as you may think once you come up with that inspired idea. And like a kid who wants to live on another planet, not even the sky’s the limit.