digital self publishing

Kids Love Stories, So Why Not Encourage Them to Publish?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

My four-year-old is already a demanding editor.

By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-chief

digital self publishingIn today’s feature story Dave Weich considers the upside of encouraging children to self-publish their own works. Yes, some adults feel that it’s a bad idea? Why? Well, because writing is hard. I also suspect that it’s a question of “nutritional content.” After all, if you left your ten-year-old in charge of family dinners, you’d be eating pizza and burgers every night.

But the fact of the matter is, if you teach someone how to do things, they might just surprise you. Empowerment does a great many things for people. Take the aforementioned meals. If your child learns from an early age how to prepare a few simple meals, they’re more likely to begin expanding their range quite quickly (you can only make so many pizzas and burgers before you get bored). Not only that, the better informed they are about food, nutrition and cooking early on, the more likely they are to develop healthier eating habits later in life.

Is it really any different with reading and writing? Nope.

Each night my young daughter wants my wife and I to tell her a story before she goes to sleep (this, after we read her four books — since, as she points out, she’s four years old). As time has passed, she’s grown a little bored by our original stories and she tells us what she wants in the stories, down to the characters (her pets, friends and teachers), settings (Russia, for some unknown reason, is a current favorite locale), and even plot. She’s only four and already she’s a demanding editor.

Were I at some point in the future to help create a fully-fledged story with her, would it be so wrong if I were to help her “publish” it? Not at all, I think. It would bring delight to her, me, and our family, she’d learn something about what her Daddy does for a living and, who knows, she might even turn out to be a writer or a publisher in the future.

(Truth is, I’m holding out for astronaut. And I’m decidedly not letter her shoot herself into space…yet.)

Let us know what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

Edward Nawotka is the Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. A former foreign correspondent, he has covered the book business exclusively since 2000, serving as daily news editor for Publishers Weekly and columnist for Bloomberg News.