I've heard some people claim that writing a children's book has to be easier than writing for adults. There's hardly any words. Children aren't picky and so on. Well I'm a romance author currently working on a children's picture book series and I have to say, that assumption is very wrong. Writing for children is HARD!
Just like with adult books, particularly romance, there are a TON of sub-genres in children's books. Picture books, easy reader books, early chapter books, biographies, science and nature books, young adult books (which have their own mess of sub-genres). Not only do you have to ask who your audience will be but how old they are and what level of reading are you writing for.
Children, especially young children, might not be picky about what they're reading but the children aren't the ones buying the books. Adults are buying FOR the children. Which gives the author just another hurdle to jump through.
And if you're writing for young adults, your job just got a whole lot harder. Pre-teens and teens have more say in the books they read and some are even buying their books themselves. You won't get away with writing that's sub-par.
Now if you're writing picture books you run into a whole new set of problems. Can it compete with other picture books? Can you illustrate and is your artwork good enough? Do you pay money and have someone else illustrate? Do you self-publish? Do you send out queries? Will the agent hate your illustrations? Will they scrap the ones you paid money for and go with someone else?
There are so many obstacles to overcome. Especially if you choose to self-publish. If you go that route, put your story and artwork up against already published and successful books. How does it compare? Can it stand against the traditionally published and professionally illustrated?
For example, my children's books are about zoo animals. I can draw animals fairly well, with pencil, but haven't been able to master any other mediums. I drew some rough sketches for my first book and then shelled out a few hundred dollars for an art program and tablet for my computer with the hope I would be able to modify my sketches with other computer generated mediums. So far they loom ok but the general consensus is that my pencil sketches actually look better. Only problem? You don't see many children's books with no color or only pencil sketches. :/
Now I'm in a funk as to what to do or if I should give in and shell out way more than the few hundred I seemed to have wasted in computer tech for a professional illustrator. I'd like to self-publish so my options are limited, especially financially speaking.
So word to the wise, any of you considering writing for children, it's not as simple as it looks!