What, me rant? Well, I never. Until now.
The other day I got an email for a free webinar training to write books for kids. The subject line made me wonder who thinks kid’s books are dumb. The email was going to tell me,"why writing a "dumb" kids book is a smart move." Wow! I am not a famous children’s author, (I have had only one middle grade novel published and I have sold work to Highlights for Children.) but I was somewhat offended by this choice of words. Yes, it got my attention and I looked inside.
I’ve spent years learning the craft of writing children’s books. I took a course from the Institute of Children’s Literature. I’ve driven four hours (one way), and paid to attend children’s conferences. I buy books on the craft of writing, and I buy books written for children to study. Had I missed something? Do I just have to write a “dumb” book? I personally do not think that is a smart move.
The body of the email had a couple of things to say about writing books for kids. I didn’t know that, according to the author, “Kids book are easy to write. Since most children's books are for kids who are just learning to read, the writing is actually very simple and easy to do. Children's books tend to be more about the illustration and art than anything else.”
He goes on to say, “In other words as a writer a kids book means you can let your "hair down" as a writer and just explore the fun and silly side of being an author.”
Okay, I know I didn’t have to open the email, and I didn’t even have to sign up to receive them in the first place. I will admit that I did sign in and listen for a bit, but I got sidetracked with my own writing while the presenter rambled in the background. I didn’t hear much of interest to me.
I’m not opposed to self publishing, as long as it is done well and as professionally as a traditionally publisher would, but I will never be convinced that to make it as a children’s author all I have to do is write a dumb book. And no, writing for kids who are learning to read is not simple and easy to do. It can take years to write five hundred words.
Where’s that unsubscribe link?