Writing for an age group


I am a novice writer of children's books. I apologize for not being more articulate. I am worried that I need to know for what age group the book is intended.

Do I need to find out what the publisher's guidelines are and then write my book accordingly? Could I end up with many versions of the same book because it is being written with many ages in mind?

I know that my books would suit 5-10 year olds based on the vocabulary I have seen in books of those ages. Or do I just write away and let the publisher sort that (the intended age/age group) all out?

Comments for Writing for an age group

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Age guidelines
by: Steve B. (webmaster)

Joanna, hi. Thanks for posing your question!

I think maybe you're putting the cart before the horse. I don't think you're at all inarticulate, but I do believe you're a novice writer, and as such you're probably getting ahead of yourself. Getting published the first time out is quite the longshot - especially these days - and what you probably want to focus on at this point is simply telling the story as best you can, rather than writing for a particular age group.

Your story may have the most brilliant premise of the year, but as a novice the challenge is in doing justice to that premise. Don't muddy the waters by over-thinking who your audience is.

(Once you have a story, then you can think about rewriting it in a particular direction.)

May I suggest thinking of finding a writing group at this point rather than a publisher?

One thing you're definitely doing correctly is reading. Keep doing so as you write, and do it with a critical eye.

I like to suggest to writers who are studying a market that they read every good book twice: once for pure enjoyment, and once to learn. Keep doing that and I suspect you'll be able to answer your own questions in no time.

Good luck!

Perspective drawings gone wrong
by: Anonymous

Best wishes....Steve has given you splendid advice (as he always does.)

I have a completely unrelated issue. On your letter to BCB an ad comes up for "Find a book publisher" with an orange book that has the words "Your Book" on them.

I am fascinated that I see so many graphic drawings in the last few years, both online and inside packages when I buy appliances, kitchen cupboards, or furniture, showing how to assemble the product, where the perspective is wrong.

Vanishing points should merge to the distance, not in front of the product. Take this orange book for instance. If you take two rulers (or straight edges) and place them on either side of this book, the lines converge in front of the book. They should converge behind the book.

There must be a few classical artists (Mategna and Tiepolo) turning in their graves.

Sorry for being pedantic!

Ads on site
by: Steve B. (webmaster)

Jeremy (I'll bet!), the ads on the site are placed there by Google; I just create space for them. What Google chooses to place there is based on both page content and Google's perception of your interests. It could be they think you have a distorted perspective! ;-)

by: Steve B. (webmaster)

thank you.

I suggest talking to teachers; who knows age groups better???
by: Ronda

I have found it very helpful to talk to teachers about the reading level for my books. Get copies of spelling tests for 5 to 10 year olds. You may be amazed how fast the reading levels change. I spent the afternoon with 3 second grade classes and they asked me how to spell "absolutely" and "appreciate." They each had a word book, and if it was a new word, they wrote it in their book. I was amazed at each student's set of words.

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