Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tips for Children's Writers by Jo Linsdell

Please welcome children's author, Jo Linsdell as she stops by for a visit today at Write What Inspires You during her virtual book tour of Out and About at the Zoo. Today Ms. Linsdell is sharing her writing tips for children's writers. Being a list person myself I always appreciate bullet proof tips for easy reference later on. 

Tips for Children's Writers

By Jo Linsdell

Writing a children's book may, at first, seem like an easy task but it's not. The skill of being able to tell a captivating story in such a limited number of words, the ability to combine the written story with the visual story, creating a simple text that flows smoothly... There's a lot more to children's writing than a lot of people think.

Here's a few tips:

1. Book format. A standard children's book is 32 pages long. As the actual text usually begins at around page 5 to 7 (after title page, copyright page, etc...) this leaves you 25 to 28 pages to tell your story.

2. Balance. There needs to be a balance between text and illustrations. The text needs to be divided up evenly with fairly equal amounts of text on each page. The text must also match the illustrations.

3. Planning. Draw up a plan of the 32 pages so you can see how the layout of your book will be. This will help you divide the text and give you ideas the placing of illustrations.

4. Word choice. The text of a children's book is limited so every word counts. There is little room for visual description but most of that is done with the illustrations anyway.

5. Read it aloud. Children's books are meant to be read aloud. Read to an audience or record yourself reading the text so you can check for flow.

About the author: Jo Linsdell is the author and illustrator of the rhyming children's picture book OUT AND ABOUT AT THE ZOO. Find out more about her at

Jo, it was a pleasure hosting you during your virtual book tour. Best wishes for your continued success!

Best wishes,

Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval Recipient and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist


  1. Great tips!

    Out And About At The Zoo looks like it will be a fun book for kids to read. The smiling animals look so friendly.

    1. Thanks Susanne.

      I have two sons. One is 4 years old and the other is 9 months. I wanted to create a book that would appeal to both of them.

  2. Thank you for hosting me here today Donna.

    I'd love to hear from any one else if they have some tips of their own too :)

  3. Jo,

    It's a pleasure to host you today. Hope your virtual book tour is going well!

    My tip... I visit book stores and libraries often and observe children during their selection process and their attention span during readings. I then make note of the book when it's a hit and I study it.

    All the best,

    1. Great idea! Getting inside our target markets heads is so important.

  4. Thanks, Jo and Donna,
    Out and About at the Zoo sounds like a fun book for kids of all ages. My daughter is 17 and she still loves the zoo, all zoos! Terrific story idea. I love "read alouds." The reader can be all the characters in the stories in their different voices and personalities. Blessings to all children's book writers.

    1. Thanks Penelope. I have to confess I had almost as much fun as my son did at the zoo. I could sit and watch the monkey's all day long!


Thank for you taking the time out to visit with me and to learn about my writing career.

Please be sure to leave your blog address so I can reciprocate.

I look forward to visiting you too.