SPS 153: Writing A Children’s Book For Your Kids- How To Do It & Why You Should with Josiah Fogle

Posted on Apr 20, 2022

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Josiah Fogle is a father and resource specialist at Self-Publishing School. He is passionate about his faith and his boys, and publishing. He talked with over 4000 potential authors, realized that children’s books were selling, and saw an opportunity to combine his passions. His father passed away from cancer before his sons were born. Josiah realized that this would be a perfect opportunity to share his father’s wisdom with his sons while creating a legacy for his father. 

He published Small, But Wise: Stories With Grandpa, David’s Mighty Men: Stories With Grandpa, and A Prayer Guide For Kids: Prayers With Grandpa (Stories with Grandpa) in three years. This episode is perfect because we learn about Josiah’s book publishing journey and his frontline stories of talking with over 4000 aspiring authors. He shares that his series came together after the first book. We also learn about vulnerability and the scariest part of publishing. 

Josiah shares tips on working with and finding an illustrator for children’s books. We also contrast some of the differences between writing a book for adults and managing the production of a children’s book. We talk about marketing techniques and how publishing makes you an author. Josiah shares some fond stories about the emotional KPI created from his books. We also dive into what he’s learned from over 4000 aspiring authors, such as challenges, desirable traits like being coachable, and his best advice!

Show Highlights

  • [04:03] Josiah’s first book came from sharing his Dad’s legacy and some of his stories. He then had the system for his other two books. 
  • [05:45] Writing a book as a legacy is so cool. Writing a book can be scary. The hardest part is giving your rough draft to your editor and being vulnerable. Don’t let fear of vulnerability hold you back.
  • [08:50] The books are targeted towards the preschool elementary school age. They are around 32 pages. 
  • [10:33] Josiah created three children’s books in less than a year. He created a mind map and idea dump. Then he started writing a draft and finding an illustrator. He had a professional formatter. 
  • [12:23] Find your illustrator before you create your piece or as soon as the story is written down. This relationship is so important.
  • [13:58] There are Facebook groups with illustrators. You can also look at Colleges and books you like.
  • [16:05] Being a children’s author requires the production to be managed. You write less, but you need illustrations. 
  • [18:39] Talking at schools, giving books away, and building for the long term has been part of the marketing strategy. Once you write your books, you are an author.
  • [19:52] Emotional KPI. It was emotional to see Josiah’s Mom, reading this book to the kids. 
  • [23:24] Josiah has had over 4000 calls with aspiring authors. Sometimes, he’s the first person they have ever talked about their book with. 
  • [24:19] The number one challenge these authors face is not knowing what the process is. He helps people take the best next step with genuine recommendations. Imposter syndrome is also an issue. Procrastination is also an issue. 
  • [28:02] Being coachable is a desirable trait with aspiring authors. Have the desire to learn and do the work.
  • [30:32] The best advice Josiah can give is to take action and get it done!
  • [31:33] Don’t be afraid to take the leap and make that call. Josiah wants to help. Move from inspiration to implementation.
  • [34:18] Start with Book 1, David’s Mighty Men.

Links and Resources

Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Self-Publishing School may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.
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