Can I Get Two Books Out of One Idea?

Can I Get Two Books Out of One Idea?

Can I Get Two Books Out of One Idea?

Posted on 04/23/2013 Evan Swensen

Of course you can get two books out of one idea. If our young author Heather Johnson can think up a variety of trans-media ways to get her stories out into the world, you yourself can learn how to make two books out of one.

Let’s take a look at your most recent book—perhaps it’s a memoir of your years as a baker that you have written for adults. There are some photographs. Your readers enjoy this, and it sells well.

So let’s say you strip the text down to the most elemental points of your story, somewhere between 800 and 1000 words. You storyboard and plan out 28-32 illustrated pages. Now you have a children’s picture book that tells a true story, your story, to an entirely new group of readers.

That’s how you get two books out of one idea. And that’s how you can reach out and double your number of readers.

Making two books out of one idea also doubles your possible book readings and events. Everyone enjoys having a real-live author visit schools and classrooms, and read to kids. The more often children are read to, the likelier it is that they will learn to love books, and will end up learning to read.

It’s a win-win for everybody.

And don’t worry about doing the illustrations if you’re not an artist. That’s never been a requirement for a children’s book manuscript. On the other hand, one of our authors, Becky Clement, illustrates her children’s books with her great photographs. Another author, Shawn Rogers, created her illustrations by using construction paper on simple watercolor backgrounds.

If your photographic skills and crafts skills aren’t up to the needs of this second book from one of your ideas, I know some good artists and illustrators, so that detail can be worked out.

I look forward to seeing you create a second book from one of your existing books. It will be fun.

Keep in touch,

Evan Swensen, Publisher
Publication Consultants
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