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Getting Books Into The Hands Of Children

By Karen Emma Hall.

KidLiterature

We can all remember the time when we first got hooked into a book as a child; where the magic began. We may still have that book or still remember the warm feeling it gave us or the memories it evoked when recalling it back to mind. It is like the first album we bought; never to be forgotten. We also must remember the books we loved but can’t for the life of us remember what the title was or who the author was. We just liked the story and still search for it from time to time through Google/Goodreads.

That was how I began on the road to the kid literature community. Through searching for children’s books and wondering how hard it may be for children to find the many wonderful books out there that don’t even make it to a bookstore. Kid Literature Authors come together only last year to bring you a magic treasure trove of children’s lit (lit as in literature)! From bonny picture books to captivating and enchanting stories that children will want to read again and again.

Being able to read and write is the most basic foundation of knowledge that propels us as children into a world ready to be discovered. With literacy comes a quality of life that can take us to the far ends of the earth without even leaving our own room. You can go anywhere in your imagination, and having a book at your fingertips literally is an accomplishment in itself; you have the universe in your hands.

So fulfilling a simple, basic need in primary school, teaching children to read, is like giving them the world. Then, there is the difference between teaching them to read and showing them how to enjoy a book. This is better adapted first in the very early years as babies on your lap with a book to look through; the wonderful world of picture books that start the whole process off.

Picture books are the key to introducing more of the world to them. They can travel to the moon; another planet; another country! They can meet creatures and people they may never have known about – they can meet imaginary animals who can speak and other magical things! Picture books give them an appetite to eventually pick up more advanced books for themselves.

Once they get to the age of 7, 8 and up, they may want to read to themselves. If you have a decent enough reader who is reluctant to pick up a book or finds it a chore, give them the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid then later the Dork Diaries and Jacqueline Wilson’s books. They will find fun, laughter and enjoyment. Then you can introduce them to more in-depth books like Harry Potter, to name but one highly-acclaimed series in the kids section of the local book store.

For many parents, it is all too easy to give children an iPad or mobile phone with the many games it holds so it keeps them quiet till bedtime. Remember, it’s your job as an adult to help your child enjoy reading. Try to make going to the bookstore or library a treat! Go on their birthdays, Christmas, Easter or on weekends. Why not even take them on your own birthday? Just as important, it’s a great idea to let them see you picking and reading your own books. When your children bring books home from school, if you show pleasure when looking through the book, then they will pick that up. As parents and caretakers, these are the basic and very important things we can do for our children.

I started Kid Literature soon after I worked out how to use Twitter. I wrote children’s stories over the course of a year and read them in classrooms as a nursery nurse and teachers assistant. When I got online, I realized how hard it was for children to actually find our books! At present, it seems like the people we want to read our books online have a hard time finding us. What’s more, children can’t purchase our books with a debit card and sometimes they have to rely on their parents or caretakers to download free e-books.

I didn’t even know what to search for initially when it came to finding books and like everyone else, I had to research many topics related to promoting and marketing books, including the best key words to use, and many other tips along the way. Because the majority of the time our books are not placed in the middle of ‘book of the week’ shelf, this is a challenge.

Most indie authors need to be committed and write for enjoyment and satisfaction. Promoting your book on your own is hard work. You have to know the market and invest time and patience in trying new ways to reach out to your audience.  If you find promoting your book a burden then unfortunately it isn’t even the slush pile for you. You will most probably give it up as a bad job before long, so you have to at least enjoy writing, always knowing that anything else is a bonus.

I did not set out to do Kid Literature; it was after finding other kidlit authors on Twitter initially we all had a passion for literature and letting everyone know the importance of showing children the enjoyment of reading. We started out as a little Twitter group; I organized a community and website for Kid Literature to bring authors some moral support, lift the spirits, show an interest, and offer each other advice, tips and feedback.

Our goal is to get our lovely stories, illustrations, and idea’s into the hands of the children we want reading them. We want to sprinkle the magic about a bit. Hopefully, some of it will land into the children’s laps; to enchant, inspire, to make someone want to say “Read it again!” We want our magic to stay with the little ones, and we need to get through to the parents, grandparents, teachers, and caretakers first.

 


Karen-Emma-Hall

About the author

Karen Emma Hall is an illustrator, author and promoter of children’s literature from the Northeast of England. She founded the successful online community Kid Literature Authors in 2014. Kids Literature Authors is a hub for children’s authors and artists around the world to promote literacy and children’s books of all kinds.

 

To connect with Karen Emma Hall and Kid Literature Authors please visit them at links below.

Kid Literature on Facebook

 

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