Image of AI-created child editing on computer. Pretty weird, but it's supposed to show a children's book illustrator. Don't know that it quite works, but hey - AI's not perfect.

A lot of people think it’s easy to write a picture book or early reader. If you’ve written either, you know that’s not true. Sure, there are fewer words, but because of that, every word counts. To make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck, you need a children’s book editor.

Prefer to do it on your own? Good for you! Here are some tips to get you started.

Tips to Improve Your Children’s Book

To do the work of a children’s book editor, you’ll need to start with the basics. Here are a few to get you started.

Count Syllables

If your book rhymes, count the syllables in every line. Every line doesn’t need the same number of syllables. However, there should be some rhyme (pun intended!) or reason to your syllable counts.

In the event your syllable count is all over the map, do some adjusting. Cut words, add words, and do whatever it takes to bring your syllable count where it belongs. This can be exhausting, but it’s what children’s book editors do!

Pro Tip: Save yourself some desk tapping with an online Syllable Counter.

Use Fun Words

With so few words in your book, you have to make every one count! Avoid ho-hum words that come to mind immediately. Dig deep to use fun words that will keep kids engaged.

Of course, you shouldn’t let fun words slow you down on your initial draft. Just get your ideas on paper. Then, when you put on your children’s book editor hat, find words that spice up your story.

Watch Repetition

Sometimes, repeating the same word multiple times in a book is helpful. It helps young readers read your book on their own. However, repeating the same word can be a sign of laziness or a lack of professionalism. So, be careful!

As your own children’s book editor, determine whether repetition has a purpose or if you just couldn’t think of other words. Whatever your answer, make adjustments to better meet your book’s goals.

Consider Visuals

Unlike novels and nonfiction books, children’s books rely on pictures. Because of that, a good children’s book editor always has illustrations in mind.

As you work on your book, think about the visual for every page. Stanzas, sections, and pages without strong visuals should be removed. If you’re absolutely set on a section and can’t come up with a good illustration idea, send your manuscript to a friend. Ask what your friend visualizes for the page. If your friend can’t think of anything, scrap the page. Your book will be better for it.

Children’s Book Editor, at Your Service

Does the thought of being your own critic make you cringe? Let me do the work. I’ve written, edited, and published many children’s books, and I would love to help make your book its best. To hire me as your children’s book editor, order my Children’s Edits package.