Most parents are proud when their son or daughter writes a story. But some parents are now going a step further and using self-publishing tools to get their children’s work ‘out there’ to readers. The result is a wave of self-published books written by children, leading to speculation that child authors could become hugely popular in 2012.
The idea of children writing books isn’t exactly new. The likes of Barbara Newhall Follett were doing it almost a century ago. But what was once a rare phenomenon is now becoming increasingly common. Take the example of Minnesota’s Ben Heckmann, a 14-year-old whose Velvet Black: The Incredible Tale of Four Rock Stars has already spawned a sequel, or 2050: A Space Novel by 12-year-old Shiloh Ennis and Sam Chang.
It’s easy for people to dismiss the idea of children publishing books as a gimmick. After all, a child author is a good sell for some easy publicity. But how long will it be before one of these kids is acclaimed as the Next Great Author? The world has long been a sucker for books written by people who we think shouldn’t write books. But is it wise for a child’s books to be published like this? Or is there some value to giving them time to practice and enjoy writing for private pleasure before their work is unleashed onto the world?