How to Write a Children's Chapter BookWhat is the best way to write a children's chapter book?
Writing early readers and chapterbooks
It is Mary who asks how to write early reading and chapter book on the blog: I' ve got a PB script I want to turn into a chapter book. I' ve realized that I haven't seen many operatives list chapterbooks as their interest. I will extend this issue to another little debated audience, the early readership.
Usually I don't speak about early writers or chapterbooks on the blogs because I don't really advocate them, and many of my mates do. There are not many operatives, as Mary has noted, who hang out their shingles and ask to see early reading or chapter book entries.
An early readership is the first" chapter" story a child can have. They are very brief in length (max. 1,500 words), but are divided into sections or labels that give the impression of a book with genuine sections. The early readership has a smaller format, some of the sizes or slightly larger than a pocketbook novel, and can range from about 32 to 60 pages.
They are smaller in type and show spots in colour or monochrome instead of full colour, like a book. A few early examples: NON Exactly THE SAME by Grace Lin (Little, Brown, 2010), the HarperCollins I Can Reader and the Random House Step Into Publishing series.
They are usually found on spin frames in the children's section of your regional independant bookshop. You will see that early learners have rigorous rules for terminology and phrase structures and are rated so that students can improve their literacy and climb a leader to read more independently.
If you think you have a good early reading concept, it must match a publisher's existing vocabulary/phrase/word number policies very well. Chapters are for more impartial readership, bridging the gap between storybooks and early and mid-range people. There are bookshops that describe these as for children 9-12, but I would say the readership is usually 6-8.
As your audiences develop their literacy further, you have more leeway in your lexicon and phrasing, history and temper. Newer chapterbooks are easier, but for older chapterbooks you can be quite demanding. The bleed format is similar to that of paperbacks, and completed volumes usually range from 100 to 160 pages, with continuous monochrome dot-images.
Several of my favourite chapterbbooks include Sarah Pennypacker's Cllementine and Marla Frazee's IVY AND BEAN episodes, the IVY AND BEAN episodes, by Anne Barrows and Sophie Blackall of Chronicle in Chronicle and the funny GERONIMO STYLTON and the A STYLTON episodes by Scholastic (in full color!). And if you are interested in chapterbacks at all, just have a look.
Well, the why I don't speak much about them is that early readership and chapterbooks are a really hard one now. Authors are lucky to do I Can Reads or Stepp Into Reading as a commissioned work for the major publishing houses, but authors and editors have not had much of a successful start recently with their pitched works and the introduction of an early set of readings or chapterbooks.
When you look at an early book or even a chapter book, you will see that its thorns are minute. If you' re struggling with DORA THE EXPLORER, the #798 Early Readers and 30 of his close associates, for room on early readers' or chapterbook bookshelves, your little back will not be noticed.
Why, then, do publishing houses not give new authors a serial? Now, a novice author is untried and you won't have much selling strength yet. And frankly, early reading and chapter-book publishing are not profitable for them. They have very low points: about $3. 99 to $6. 99, unless, of course, they are released in hard cover.
The majority are released on inexpensive hardcopy, roughly the same standard as a bulk mail order pocketbook (which you would find in the grocer' cash register). Why should a home be spending a great deal of cash and launch a new range from a first-time author if they won't really benefit from it?
Cynically, yes, but this part of the industry is very cyclical at the moment. Whilst early Readers and chapterbooks are a downside right now, they are not an outright-doors. But if you want to enter this book markets, you need to be very knowledgeable with the languages, terminology, sentence structures, literacy and all the other stringent rules that apply to these titles.
I think for my own budget it would be much simpler to make a début as a picture-book author in this notion. That says a great deal, because even storybooks don't sell like hot cakes. I' m not looking at early reader or chapter book entries, of course someone has the next Clamentine person.
One of my customers is working on a possible way for this business (the only way I would really be touching it now), and so I've been doing a great deal of research lately. Those fiddly little ledgers are certainly in my head, but I don't suggest that they are on yours.
It' not just about storybooks and children's stories. Also I offer editing service for spring readers and chapterbook authors.