As a teen, I can remember mailing my books of poetry to big publishing companies and getting declined letter after letter. Back then, as a naïve kid I had no idea those letters would fuel my fire to start my own publishing company 20 years later.
Although life happened time and time again, I never gave up on the idea of me being a published author. In fact, for decades it was the only title in life that I truly strived for. Now, I saw it a little bit different than it showed up. In my mind, Oprah would be calling me about the life changing personal development book that I planned to write and we'd have a cup of tea on her couch. It made perfect sense to me. In fact, Tyler Perry would join the conversation because naturally he'd want me to write a movie script for him. It only made sense, right? Unfortunately, Oprah never called and Tyler seems to be doing just fine without my script. So, where does that leave me one might ask? Well, good question. It left me singing the typical starving artist song with the twist of also being a mom, wife, track & field and cross-country coach and employee. Definitely not the life I had planned all those years ago.
But, something incredible happened, my family inspired me to write (you can probably guess this part), a children's book. Let me be the first to say, I never thought in a million years I'd be known as the lady who writes and publishes children's books. Yet, it's true and I love it! In fact, I am a little bit obsessed with offering diverse, inclusive, honest and conversation starting books into a lacking market. When I read that in 2018 only 10% of children's books had little brown faces in them, my heart broke for my own kids plus for families and student's world wide. It's the 21st century for goodness sake. With that being said, the possibilities are endless for those wanting to join my personal mission to flood the market with more diverse and even disability inclusion books.
Here are five reasons to get started:
Books bring children joy! What kid doesn't want a bedtime story or ten?
Children's books are a great way to address social & emotional issues within homes and schools. You could write a book that serves as a much-needed resource or tool.
Picture books are a great way to boost a child's reading confidence. I have taught and raised a struggling reader and sometimes they simply need a book that offers simple text and colorful illustrations, to make them feel accomplished in that moment.
Who says children's books are only for children? Let's be honest. Adults read kid's books too. Think back to your favorite books as a kid and how the message is still relevant today. Some of my favorites even now are Rainbow Fish, The Giving Tree and The Kissing Hand.
Writing a children's book could leave your footprint in the world that inspires the next rising author. "If they can see it, then they can be it."
Well, what are you waiting for? It's time to get started on inspiring communities of children.
Audrey O. Hinds