In Chapter 3 in Writing Bestselling Children’s Books Gordy highlights the necessity of knowing the age-group you are writing for. These can be broken down into:
- Picture Books
- Beginners Readers
- Young Fiction
- Older and Teen / YA Fiction
Best way to figure out what age group you are writing for, is to visit your local bookshop that has a decent amount of kids’ books on display or a large library with the same. Where does your story fit into? Find books on the shelves that are similar in type to what you have in mind – check them out. Maybe, if you have the chance, speak to kids (if they can speak) and ask them what they like about these books that they read. Importantly, check with librarians too – these gatekeepers are an untapped source of amazing knowledge. I just laughed re-reading this, thinking how wrong this advice can go – encouraging people to stalk others in bookshops and libraries – hopefully this will never backfire on me! Just be sensible, okay?
If you know your age group you are aiming for, things fall in place:
- length of book
- difficulty of plot
All of the above will no doubt be dealt with in other chapters of Writing Bestselling Children’s Books! But for now, I’m off to start my day.