I don’t know the exact statistic or if there is an accurate one, but from what I read, around 80% of people want to write a book.
Well, I’m not sure if that many want to actually write a book, but around that many want to be the author of a book.
So, what’s the allure?
Why do YOU want to write a book?
Based on my clients, the main reason they want to write a book is to bring a story to children.
Whether it’s about an historical event, a childhood incident, a disability, a locale, or other specific event, they all want to share it with a child.
There are others who want to help a child deal with difficulties they may encounter growing up. Others want to enlighten a child, spark a child’s imagination, or just give them a fun read.
There are also some authors who have less than altruistic motives. I’ve had a couple of clients who wanted a book that would become a Disney movie or one that would become a best seller.
I obviously had to explain to those clients that there are no guarantees on a book’s success.
I’ve also had clients who used a children’s book as part of their marketing strategy for a business endeavor.
While there’s no right or wrong reason to want to write a book, there are some facts that you should be aware of when thinking of writing a children’s book or any book for that matter.
1. If you’re looking to become rich by writing a children’s book, don’t hold your breath.
If you’re traditionally publishing and publish with a large company you may get a $2000 – $8000 advance. But that’s split with the illustrator if you have a picture book.
That advance needs to be paid off before you get any additional money in the form of royalties.
This means your book must generate enough sales for the publishing house to get their advance back.
Unfortunately, a lot of books go out of print after 5000 or 10,000 copies. Usually, the advance is never met.
If you publish with a small publisher, you won’t get an advance.
If you self-publish, most authors don’t make back their publishing expenses.
The reason for this is the majority of authors need help with editing, formatting, and uploading to an aggregator (IngramSpark) and/or retailer (Amazon).
Feeling overwhelmed, they end up investing in a service that will do it for them.
If you’ve written a picture book of even a chapter book, you’ll have the additional cost of illustrations.
Then there’s the book cover.
In addition to all this, for either publishing path, if you use a ghostwriter, that’s another fee.
2. You want to become famous. Again, don’t hold your breath.
A Publisher’s Weekly article notes that 1.68 million books were self-published in 2018. That includes ebooks and print books.
And, each year the numbers rise.
The chances of becoming famous by publishing a children’s book are slim.
The competition is stiff.
Now, this is not to say it can’t happen.
There’s always time and chance … some authors do make it.
My philosophy is nothing ventured, nothing gained. But, please don’t bet the farm on it.
So, which category do you fall under?
It’s important to know why you want to write a book. Knowing and writing your reasons why will help you realize that dream.
Get started writing your children’s story today.
If you’ve been thinking about writing a children’s book (with help), now might be a good time.
Just email me at kcioffiventrice@gmail or give me a call at 347—834—6700 to discuss your project.