Author Blog Series: Learn From The Best When Starting Your Career

In my last blog post I announced I’d be doing a blog series geared specifically to my fellow new authors. In the series, I will be sharing some of my successes, struggles, and advice on important topics such as selling on Amazon, and choosing a publishing platform. In the first part of my series I wanted to share some good advice that I have found super helpful: learn from the best when starting your career. 

Anytime you start a new venture, glean as much as you can from what other people in your desired field are doing. Since I am authoring a children’s book, I’ve been researching what my favorite children’s book authors are doing and I am trying to replicate it!

Many authors immediately came to mind when I thought about who might be the best to learn from: Mo Willems (Elephant and Piggie, Knuffle Bunny), Jane O’Connor (Fancy Nancy), Victoria Kann (Pinkalicious), Sandra Boynton (The Belly Button Book, Moo Baa La La La), Carmela Coyle (Do Princesses Where Hiking Boots?)… I could go on for days.

learn from the best

To learn from the best, you have to deconstruct what these authors did well, what made their books popular/likable and patterns within the story. The more you read the books (as for me, I’ve read most of the aforementioned books about 2,000 times. Each. Not kidding.), the more the “skeleton” of the story comes out.

Mo Willems books are funny, quirky, quick reads. Even though the Elephant and Piggie books are about 64 pages a piece … you can get through them really quickly. They also say things to engage adults too. In the book, “I’m A Frog,”Gerald asks Piggie if “Even grown-up people” pretend” and Piggie gives the reader a smirk and answers, “All the time.”

Jane O’Connor’s books are about a spunky girl who likes to make the world just a little bit fancier! And Victoria Kann’s books are about girls who love pink. The illustrations are fantastic! You can see the intricate work and how she uses mixed media to bring her characters to life!

Carmela Coyle’s books asks the important questions … like Do Princesses Where Hiking Boots? Do Super Heroes Carry Teddy Bears? Do Princesses Make Happy Campers? (I haven’t gotten my hands on that last title and I’m totally curious! I HATED camping growing up, so this princess would say No, Princesses do NOT make happy campers. 🙂 )

I’ve also spent time researching their online presence, their publishing houses and any other information I can get my hands on! In order to learn from the best, you have to stalk like the best. Fortunately, that’s my strong suit! Ha ha! But really, research is KEY to navigating the windy road to publishing.

If you’ve begun writing a book, or several books, what authors are you modeling yourself after? It’s always great to learn about authors who are doing it well!

Next blog in the series will be about my Amazon Selling Struggles. I’m going to attempt to turn these next topics into video blogs so you can get to know me better! Stay tuned!