Sunday, October 18, 2009

How to Write Books For Toddlers

By Lisa Brunel

Usually the term toddler is applied to one and two year old children. The toddler stage is very important in a child's life. It is the time between infancy and childhood when a child learns and grows in many ways. Everything that happens to the toddler is meaningful. Therefore books for toddlers should be written with meaningful insight into learning and enjoyment. Learn how to write books for toddlers and young children the right way from the beginning and you'll be on your way to success in no time!

If your interests lye with writing stories for toddlers and young children, there are a few things you should know before getting started. Toddlers go through many changes at this stage of life. This can give you an advantage when your writing for this age group. Parents and caregivers are always on the lookout for that great book to help their toddler with transitions. Potty training, having a new baby, divorce and moving house are good examples of transition books for toddlers. I'm sure we have all been through a transition in our lives and have a special way of dealing with it. What about a story that could of helped you at a certain time? Use your idea's and experiences when writing about transitions. Put a funny twist on the story. Toddlers and young children will find it funny, turning everyday experiences into a joke, it may drive caregivers crazy for awhile but at least you can get the job done!

Typical books for toddlers consist of simple stories and educational themes like ABC's, colors, numbers, shapes etc. Many toddlers enjoy reading picture books with mum and dad and grandma and grandpa. Especially if started at a young age, its nice bonding time. Although, be aware that toddlers will more often than not have someone reading with them, so your story will need to flow when read out loud.

Here are the 5 top tips to follow when writing books for toddlers.

1. Use language that is simple and easy to understand. Some books for toddlers and young children will have very limited word counts.

2. Keep the story cheerful. Toddlers are a bit too small for to much drama, they are sensitive so keep the story light hearted, fresh and fun.

3. Create characters that toddlers will identify and relate to. A good idea for books designed for the younger audience is to create a hero type character and make them a child. Children like to see children do well! Builds a healthy sense of self esteem.

4. Keep to the point of the story and keep it short. Always think about the attention span of toddlers and young children, it's very short. Try to keep the story moving.

5. Always finish with a happy and satisfying ending. Always finish books for toddlers and young children in a nice way. You want to leave them feeling safe and secure with intention to go back and read it again.

These 5 success tips to writing books for toddlers are a guideline, you should always do your research according to what your publisher is looking for when producing books for this age group. Whatever type of book you choose to write for toddlers, don't let the age group fool you! Your story will still have to follow a process.

If you are interested in how to write books for toddlers and young children, go to Get the support you need to successfully complete and publish your children's book.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

First Three Steps to Write a Book

By Terri Rains

Writing a book can be an intimidating process, especially for a first-time author. Before you delve any further into the project, take a few preliminary steps to write a book.

Step #1: Figure Out What You are Going to Write About

This may seem like an obvious preliminary course of action, but it is important to pinpoint specifically what it is you are going to write about.

You will want to write about a topic you enjoy. If the medical profession bores you, it is probably best to stray from the subject. Writing anything - especially a process as involved as a book - should be an experience you enjoy.

Step #2: Look Around at the Competition

If you were going to write a book on gardening, it would be wise to scan bookstores, libraries and look around online to see what has been written on this broad topic. Perhaps there is a particular subtopic that has not been written about extensively. If there are many books devoted to growing tomatoes and cucumbers, but few uncover the wonders of cultivating parsley and onions in your backyard, this could be a niche.

While books of all genres sprout up constantly, there is always a need to write new ones, especially on the nonfiction side, because new information and discoveries are always emerging.

Step #3: Map Out Your Book

Before you get bogged down with the nitty gritty details, it would be helpful to sit down and write about specific topics you would like to uncover in your book. It does not have to be set in stone, but creating a list of tentative chapters could be a helpful exercise. Determine how narrow or broad the scope of your book is going to be.

If your book is going to recount the history of Wisconsin, how far back do you want to go? When the region was first settled? Or when it was admitted into the union and formed as a state? Or perhaps you want to start at a specific point in history, such as 1900? Determining the answer to this question is an important step.

While pounding out a literary work can give any author anxiety - particularly a first-timer - zooming in and taking a few preliminary steps to write a book can be an invaluable method of easing the process.

If you're interested in steps to write a book, Profitable Storytelling is a fantastic site!

And for an incredible source of motivation, you really need to look at Blind Mentor. You'll be really glad you did!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Urging Children to Embrace Their Individual Diversity

Don Winn’s “The Tortoise and the Hairpiece” from Yorkshire Publishing, is a delightful children’s book celebrating diversity and individuality.

“The Tortoise and the Hairpiece” is told from the perspective of Jake, a young tortoise who is traveling a road of self discovery. All too aware of his lack of hair, Jake wants more than anything to fit in with other animals. With help from the Buzzard, he gets in more and more trouble as he tries to change himself. Ultimately, the wise Owl intervenes and Jake learns a powerful lesson about accepting himself for who he is.

Included at the end of the book are eight questions that parents can utilize to stimulate conversations about the issues that are raised in this delightful book.

Examples include:

· In what ways do you feel different?

· What did you learn from this story?

· Why do you think Jake was unhappy?

· What made Jake realize that being different is good?

Don Winn delivers an outstanding narrative, with a lesson that children of all ages can embrace and share with others. A poet for over ten years, Winn brings his excellent writing skills and personal experience to his work. Motivated by his desire to celebrate each reader’s distinctiveness, Winn delivers an outstanding teaching tool to parents and educators alike.

Drawing from his observations and personal challenges, Winn reminds readers that we all face obstacles and difficulties. Winn’s universal message teaches acceptance, personal fulfillment, and understanding to children growing up in a world of differences. With discussion questions at the end of the book, the author seeks to open dialogue with parents, teachers, and children in order to discuss these challenges. Inspired by a number of well known poets and authors, Winn looks forward to the release of more children’s book in the near future.

To learn more about “The Tortoise and the Hairpiece”

and Cardboard Box Adventures visit:

For Media Inquiries:

Yorkshire Publishing

Ryan Sheehan


Monday, October 5, 2009

Five Tricks For Writing More Productively

By Meggin McIntosh

Have you ever thought about writing - planned to write - but somehow just weren't getting to it? Sometimes it takes a little trick or two (and some wisdom) to get moving on our writing projects. Here are five tricks that you may find useful (as I have):

1. Write early or write late. One is not better than the other in general, but one is likely to be preferable for you. Figure that out, then target and protect that time for your writing. Very early or very late work quite well for many people because others are still asleep and you are less likely to be interrupted and/or there are fewer requests for your presence at other meetings or events.

2. Schedule writing time like an appointment. If you have a hair appointment, an eye doctor's appointment, or an appointment for meeting with your child's teacher, you show up. If you consider your writing to be as important as getting your hair cut, your eyes checked, and/or conferring with your daughter's teacher, then set it up as an appointment - and then show up. You can't get your eyes examined if you don't show up for your appointment and you won't get your writing done if you don't show up.

3. Create deadlines. Setting up your own deadlines is a mental trick that works for some brains and not for others. Having a real deadline, however, actually does the 'trick' in many cases. Obviously, if you are writing for a journal with a deadline, writing a grant proposal you intend to submit by the deadline (duh, why else would you be writing it?!), revising your final manuscript to send to your book publisher to meet the editing/printing deadline, and the like, then you have real deadlines that are already established. Other times, you have to create your own 'real' deadlines. Here are some ways to do so:

a. Announce the availability of a product on which you won't be able to deliver if you don't get your writing completed.

b. Schedule an appointment to show your writing to someone who may be able to represent you, publish your work, or make an introduction on your behalf to someone else who would be interested in your work.

c. Meet regularly with other writers who hold you accountable for getting your writing done (because you also do the same for them).

4. Close the door - both literally and figuratively. Heavens knows we can self interrupt when we are supposed to be writing. However, being interrupted by others just when we're making great progress on a piece is frustrating and aggravating. By literally closing the door - and even putting up a sign, you cut out walk-by traffic, drop-in visitors, and others who would divert you from your focus. By 'figuratively' closing the door, you mentally shut out other thoughts, tasks, and diversions. Your mind is powerful and you can use that power to block out distractions - even from yourself.

5. Clear your mind/get in the zone. Related to the previous trick, you can go through a clearing exercise as you begin to write, particularly if you have set aside a significant amount of time to write and/or if you must be hyper-focused in order to accomplish your writing goals. For me, my current ritual involves 1) going to the restroom and drinking a large glass of water; 2) shutting down all electronic distractors, e.g., MS Outlook, telephone ringer; 3) putting all materials that are not pertinent to the current writing project away; 4) wiping off my work area with a wipe, and 5) making sure I have any materials that are necessary for my current writing project at my fingertips. This whole routine takes no more than 5 minutes and is worth every second because it signals my brain that we are about to get ultra-focused and productive with our writing.

Now, stop reading these, put one into practice and start writing...

Hey, we're all in this together, right? If you would like to get inspiration, direction, and structure for your writing, join us for the upcoming tele-workshop & coaching event, "30 Articles in Just 30 Days." Here's where you can learn all the scoop:


You will see what others who have participated in previous events have to say. Check it out!

(c) 2009 by Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D., "The Ph.D. of Productivity"(tm). Through her company, Emphasis on Excellence, Inc., Meggin McIntosh works with bright people who want to be more productive so that they can consistently keep their emphasis on excellence.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Book Nuts and Bolts

Many first time writers have no idea what parts a book should have in it. I will dedicate this post to giving you the list with brief descriptions based on the Chicago Manual of Style. For much more detail try a free trial at

Your book may not need all of these nuts and bolts, but here is the entire list in order as they would appear in your book if you used them all:

Front Matter: parts of the book that come before the text

Half Title: a page with just the title on it

Title page: a presentation of the full title of the book, subtitle, name of author, and publisher

Copyright page: the CMS has 21 entries about this page, but the basics are the copyright information and publisher information

Dedication: I love you, mom!

Epigraph: a quote at the beginning of the book. You may also put one at the beginning of each chapter and at the end of the book.

Table of Contents: I think you all know what this is.

List of Illustrations and List of Tables: You should only consider this if you have a large quantity of illustrations or tables.

Foreword: Many spell this incorrectly. This is a statement by someone other than the author. I recommend someone of prominence in the genre or subject matter of your book.

Preface: why you are writing this book

Acknowledgments: self-explanatory

Introduction: This may be written by the author or another person and is normally about the book. i.e. Its origin

Text: This is your argument (non-fiction) or story (fiction).
Parts: Usually numbered and contain two or more chapters each

Chapters: divisions of the book with titles, preferably short and descriptive

Subheads: divisions within long chapters

Epilogues, Afterwords, and Conclusions: these nuts and bolts are an opportunity for the author to make a final statement about the story or subject presented

Backmatter: all the stuff after the text

Appendixes: may include content not absolutely necessary, but supportive for clarification on argument or story

Chronology: a chronological list of events pertinent to the argument or story

Endnotes: these would be the notes from each chapter

Glossary: contains foreign word or unfamiliar terms

Bibliography or reference list: this is self-explanatory

List of contributors: this is usually only used in the case of many contributors

Index: You know what this is.

Colophon: the description of how and by whom the book was designed and produced

If you need any help with editing, design, printing advice, or marketing, contact us for a free consultation:

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