Updated: May 22
Hey there, aspiring children's book creators! So, you're ready to embark on a magical adventure into the world of children's literature? Fantastic!
But hold on a sec—how do you find that perfect idea that will have young readers begging for more? You’ve always wanted to write a picture book but you just can’t think of anything to write about.
In this blog post, we're going to dive into the wonderful realm of children's book ideas and uncover some steps to help you discover your very own storytelling goldmine.
Spark Your Children's Book Ideas
The hardest part that I’ve come across with writing, in general, is finding your spark. Many new or aspiring writers don’t understand how seasoned authors can take a falling leaf from a tree and turn it into a whimsical adventure in the forest. Or how in the middle of shopping at the grocery store they spot a rotten tomato and a few months later, they release a book of the same rotten tomato getting made fun of on the farm.
I’m going to tell you the same secret that I tell my students: not everyone has that ability. But does that mean you can’t be an author? ABSOLUTELY NOT. You don’t need to find a story in every place you go.
You just need to find your spark.
Why do you want to be an author? Do you have a lesson that you feel needs to be taught? Or a message that you want to portray? Or maybe even a silly cute cat that you think will bring joy to others?
No one can tell you your WHY. Your spark—as cliche as it sounds—can only come from you. If you’re writing just because you think it’s an easy way to make money, I feel the need to inform you...it’s not.
But the good news is that there are some things you can do to ignite that spark.
Strategies to generate children's book ideas:
⭐️ Reflect on your own experiences
Think about your childhood memories, interests, and experiences. Consider what stories or lessons from your own life could resonate with children.
⭐️ Read children's books
Immerse yourself in children's literature. Personally, I love to stop by Barnes & Noble or my local library and read, read, read.
Read a wide variety of children's books from different genres and subjects. This will help you understand what has already been done and inspire you with new ideas or fresh perspectives.
⭐️ Look for gaps or niches
Explore areas of children's literature that may be underrepresented or where there is a need for fresh ideas. Think about specific topics that have yet to be explored fully.
⭐️ Let your imagination roam
Try some free writing exercises or start with some generic writing prompts. Allow your mind to wander and explore different concepts, characters, and settings. Don't be afraid to think outside the box and let your creativity flow.
⭐️ Research market trends
Stay up to date with current trends in children's literature. Consider what topics or genres are currently popular and think about how you can put your unique spin on them.
⭐️ Start with a single idea
Start with a simple idea and develop it further. Ask yourself questions about the characters, plot, setting, and overall message of the story. Expand on the initial idea and see where it takes you.
⭐️ Write, revise, and repeat
Start writing a story and let it evolve through the writing process. Don't worry about perfection in the first draft. Revise, edit, and refine your work until you are satisfied with the final product.
What it comes down to...
You CAN make writing books your career. You CAN be successful.
But writing solely for money isn’t a spark. It’s not a WHY. It’s easy for readers to spot the difference between authors writing to get rich and writing with meaning.
Can’t pinpoint your spark? You just KNOW you want to be an author?
That’s okay too.
It’ll come to you, maybe not today but it will. Until then ask yourself: what does this next generation of children need to hear from me?
Need more guidance? Join the Profitable Picture Books program:
Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliate links to products we enjoy using ourselves. Should you choose to use these links, At Home Author may earn affiliate commissions at no additional cost to you.