Children’s authors are finding themselves with new and exciting possibilities in the growing eBook industry. Children’s books lend themselves particularly well to the eBook format because of their interactive nature and fun possibilities, and they can be a great way for a freelance writer to break out of a rut and move away from standard copy.
Interactive children’s books were first introduced decades ago with pop-up books, which featured exciting textures and fun sounds. Now many parents are loading children’s eBooks into their Kindles, iPads, tablet PCs, and even smartphones. Freelance writers with an interest in children’s authoring should strongly consider getting involved in this growing marketplace as an alternative to traditional copywriting services.
Entertaining with Electronics
Children’s electronic books can be programmed in many ways that give a child more accessibility to the content. Language learning books have proven extremely popular because children can select words to have them read to them or see pictures that relate to the word. Even small tasks like quizzes can be programmed into an electronic book to allow children to test their new knowledge. Children’s eBooks don’t have to be educational, either; story books that feature animation and sounds can be extremely entertaining while teaching children valuable lessons. Children’s authors can even write scary stories that shock and surprise!
Ways to Inspire
The eBook format allows the author to be very inventive with their creative process, which in turn inspires children to be more curious and inventive. Children can perform specific tasks to reveal the next passages of the story, such as shaking the screen to clear sand off of fossils in a paleontology book or rubbing a pencil across a virtual piece of paper to reveal a hidden note in a detective story. The possibilities are endless and allow for extremely engaging storytelling that was not possible before. Authors can also decide how much of the book will be interactive versus how much will be traditional, and this gives the writer a lot of flexibility.
Working with Visual Media
Many writers may find that their artistic style is more Picasso than Rembrandt. Publishing a children’s eBook can be a challenging project for a freelance writer because it requires either the development of art skills or close collaboration with an artist. Technical knowledge can also be useful, but not necessary since there are many software suites available to help authors craft interactive books with an easy-to-use point-and-click interface. For authors who wish to create their own art, there are also many open source software suites for the creation of vibrant but simple tableaus.
Taking the Final Step
Self-publishing is usually a very easy process. Once the author has developed their book and exported it to a standard format, they can simply upload it to an online eBook marketplace. The marketplace takes care of the rest. One thing interactive book writers do need to be aware of is the lack of direct translation to a paper format. Many eBook marketplaces also allow paper publishing, which an interactive eBook cannot always take advantage of—but eBooks that do become popular still have the option of approaching a paper publisher separately because most online marketplaces do not require exclusivity.
Children’s eBooks are only one of many new opportunities opened up by the new self-publishing possibilities. Many types of interactive nonfiction are also flourishing, which include recipe books and language books. More traditional authors will be happy to know that the staple genres of romance novels and thrillers are also consistently selling well through eBook marketplaces. Those who are skilled in copywriting services can be used to push nonfiction books through the pipeline quickly and there are many niche markets available for nonfiction writers.
Jenna I is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.