Monday, 12 August 2013

Writing a Story Book for Children

Several months ago I decided I would channel my energies and spare time into finally writing a series of books for children. The idea had been kicking around in my head for a while, spurred on by friends. The main barrier was finding the right angle... and suddenly it came to me.

It required a significant amount of research and planning. My first task was to find a good quality research book which, I eventually did only to find it was out of print. Fortunately you can find most things on the internet these days and it didn't take me long to find a copy of the book at a very reasonable price. The Ebay shop I contacted have a warehouse full of books and so were unable to give me specific details of the condition of the book over and above their initial categorisation of it being in good condition.  One of my bug bears with books is when people either make notes in the margins, or fold over corners to mark their place.

I was really pleased to see that the book was in excellent condition. It was ex-library stock and still had its plastic dust cover on. Although it was only published in 2004, it had already been withdrawn by the library, so I can only assume it wasn't in high demand, but it was perfect for my research.

Having planned the book, sorted the timeline, got my characters and researched the setting, I sat down and began. The first few chapters flowed relatively easily and before I knew it I had 12,000 words 'on paper', (well, actually on the laptop and backed up on two separate memory sticks).

Then a positive little gem dropped into my inbox, a Groupon offer from these people. http://www.writestorybooksforchildren.com/

I had a good read around their website and decided I would be a fool not to take advantage at the offer price of £12. 

10 days later, I have completed all 12 modules. One very rewarding thing about the course was that it actually confirmed that what I had already done was exactly the right approach. I now have so much new information about creating stories and getting a book into the market, and I am now the proud owner of a Certificate of Completion with a pass rate of 92%.

So, feeling totally charged up and full of ideas it's back to the writing. On the information given, I have a further 12 to 14 chapters to write and by the time I type 'The End' I should have approximately 35,000 words under my belt.

It's always nice to find a deal that turns out to be a little gem.

Now, back to work...

9 comments:

Spanish Owner said...

Wow, clever you! Bit of a difference to writing blogs! It is great when you find something you thoroughly enjoy. Good luck, Jacqui.

Jacqui said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jacqui said...

Hi SO. nice to hear from you. Hope you are both keeping well.

Spanish Owner said...

Both well, thanks. Hope you both are too. Spending a total of six months annually in Guardamar del Segura these days. We are in Somerset currently but going back to Guardamar 29th August for three months. Sad news for you ... Julia Sinclair who had KC Cavalier spaniels too died in Spain when we were there last trip. She had driven over with the two dogs she had left after the older two had died. She was cremated in Spain then taken to the UK by Golden Leaves funeral service. At the time Julia was being cremated we joined some of her friends at the apartment above hers for a get together & a bbq hosted by her neighbours. The dogs were transported back to friends in the UK a few days later. It is a long story, she thought she was fine after having a mitral valve replaced months before & was looking forward to moving out to Spain after having a few trips of three months a trip but seems Papworth had put in the wrong size which caused blood to leak out.

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Wow! That's fantastic and very exciting.

I've actually wrote a children's book as well. It's not published but maybe one day, I'll get around to hiring an illustrator and then perhaps venture a go at self-publishing.

Good luck. I look forward to seeing you in print!

Thomas said...

Excuse me writing to you but I have just seen your testimonial here: http://www.writestorybooksforchildren.com/testimonials/

Could you please tell me whether the course included video tutorials, audio tutorials or was it all text based?

Also how did they motivate you as online can be somewhat lonely? Did you receive regular emails encouraging you?


Many thanks

Jacqui B said...

Hi Thomas, thank you for dropping by.

The writing course for children is split into a number of modules, each of which contains written content. There is no audio or video. I found each module took me approx 2-4 hours to read through before taking the online test.
I didn't receive any emails from them although when I raised some queries they were very quick to reply.

There is a chat wall where you can chat with other students. I found the course very interesting, easy to follow, and easy to read so motivation to continue with it was never an issue for me. You have to pass the test for a module before you get access to the next module.

I hope this helps and if you have any other questions please drop me a message.

I have now bought the self-publishing on Kindle course, as yet I have not started it, but that is video based and you can access all modules from the start.

Thomas said...

That's very interesting. Please tell me about the Kindle course - is that groupon?

Many thanks

Jacqui B said...

Hi Thomas, no it wasn't a Groupon offer, it was emailed to me after I completed the writing children's story course. Check out the details here http://www.writestorybooksforchildren.com/how-to-self-publish-childrens-books-on-kindle-launch-price/