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Wednesday 17 December 2014

The Best Way to Motivate Kids to Write (and the Steps I used to get my kids book published)

Minecraft Adventures The Life of Steve Book Trailer

What is the best way to get children to write? It is to write their own book, have it published and make money from it! This is the perfect motivating combination for children to write.

Children often agonise over writing a whole book but when they know that it will be published and they can earn money from it - well then sit back and watch them write!

My children were very excited to write their own Minecraft book when they knew that it will be published and they can earn money from it. You can preview their book here:
Minecraft Adventures The Life of Steve Book
After they'd written their book I had them make a book trailer for it. You can watch it above.

Here are the steps for children to write, publish and earn from their book:

1. Write the book in MS Word. 
Do not format except use basic fonts like Times Roman in size 12. Left align the text. If it's a novel then indent paragraphs. Formating is very important as when you publish it on Amazon Kindle, it will convert it into an ebook.

2. Draw pictures to accompany the story.
If there are any pictures then create them. My children used Paint and Photoshop. Your children could draw or paint them freehand then scan or take a photo using the iphone and upload.

3. Edit the story.
A part of the writing process is to edit the writing so have your children reread and edit, checking for spelling, grammar, clarity of expression etc. After they have edited it then you will need to edit it as well because sometimes they will miss something or the story doesn't flow because they have left some bit of information out. This was what I did. After my children finished, I went through  and read it. Some parts I didn't quite understand as I am not a Minecraft fan, so I made sure that it could be understood by anyone reading it. Also if the book is badly written then no one will buy!

4. Make the book cover.
Design a book cover. They could do this part separating or when uploading to Kindle as Kindle will have a book cover creator that you could use.

5. Create a Kindle account.
Go to and create an account. I created an account for myself and put my children's book under my account.

6. Upload the book.
Fill in all the details of the book, upload it and the cover (or create it). It will allow you to preview what the book will look like on a Kindle reader or app. I recommend that you preview it to see that your formatting sits well in a kindle. If not then go to the original copy and change a feww things until it looks right then upload again and preview again until it's perfect. People will return and get a refund if they can't read it properly on their Kindle.

7. Market the book.
Tell friends, family, social media (Facebook, Instagram etc) all about the book. Try to get some reviews for the book. The more you market the more people will know and maybe buy.

8. Watch the money grow.
Ok, unless it's a bestseller then the earnings will be slow but my children get excited whenever someone buys or borrow their book. It gets them to write and that's good enough for me. It also acts as an incentive for them to write a better book next time.

If you like this idea and want to learn more then I will be making a video to show you exactly how to do it (insha Allah when I have time). In the meantime, just email me and when the video is reading I will email and let you know.

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