Writing Picture Books vs. Chapter Books for Children

Picture Books vs. Chapter Books

Many writers face a dilemma when it comes to writing for children. They know that they want to write kid’s books but they are not sure whether they want to write picture books for very young children or chapter books for older children. There are several things that you need to keep in mind if you are faced with that dilemma. Mostly, it comes down to understanding the differences between these two types of kid’s books and deciding what you can write. Let’s look at some of the things that you need to bear in mind.

What Exactly Are Picture Books?

First, let’s define exactly what picture books are. Picture books are sort of divided into two different categories. The first are what are called board books. Board books are thick and made out of heavy cardboard due to the propensity of their targeted readers to drool on them or throw them around the room. Board books are targeted towards kids aged 3 to 5. Picture books can be paperback and are targeted towards kids aged 5 to 7.

What Exactly Are Chapter Books?

Chapter books, on the other hand, are books without pictures. They are so named because they are divided into chapters unlike books for younger children. A category of books called first readers may fall into this category as well; although they do not usually include chapters; but chapter books usually means middle grade novels and sometimes young adult novels.

Determine Which Types of Books You Can Write

Understanding which type of book you can write successfully is an important first step. One of the things that people believe that is simply false is that writing books for very young children is quite easy and anyone can do it. Many people start off on that path because it only takes a few hundred words to come up with a children’s book. The truth is, writing a book for children requires just as much skill and work is writing a book for teens or young adults.

Understand the Difficulty in Marketing & Self-Publishing for Very Young Children

You should also know that marketing books for very young children and self-publishing them can be very challenging. For one thing, whatever you include pictures in a book it is going to reduce your royalties in digital format. That’s because adding the pictures results in a lot more bandwidth being used to transfer the book to Kindle or other e-reader devices when they are purchased. In addition, it can be very difficult to market these types of books as a self-publishing author because the industry catalogs where they would normally be listed for purchase by libraries and schools may not be available.

Keep in Mind That You Can Try Both

You should also keep in mind that you can try both middle grade writing and writing for very young children and see which one you are better at in which you prefer. The important thing is that you try both.

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