I was talking with my wife recently about how our kids (Bear is 3 & Boo is 5) walk around our house mimicking the way we read to them. They have their baby dolls wrapped up in a stroller and they like to sit in front of them with their favorite precious stories and read. It dawned on me – We should write a children’s book! Then, when they read to their dolls, they are reinforcing out loud the same messages we are preaching to them daily as parents. Maybe we could even make the NY Times Bestsellers list!

The whole “publishing” aspect was the hardest part to sell to my wife. Until I thought of Picaboo and the pictures I could use can be real, versus trying to draw kid friendly Hungry Caterpillars or Flat Stanley’s. And I started thinking, I could write the next great children’s book! Let the creativity sauce begin.

Here is what I learned:

1. Write the story first: It will give you a grounding platform to make the rest of the process easier. I started with knowing the messages I was trying to get across and using language that the girls use in a house. Including “isms” that are unique to our babies made it so much more personal and allowed them to own it once they read it.

2. Collect the photos: This took me the longest because I am such a ham. I used a mix of personal and stock photos that matched every line and was personal to experiences that both of my children share. For inexpensive photos check out iStock or Dreamstime.

3. Drag and drop: Picaboo is by far the easiest and most user-friendly way to make a photo book. I really like the way that you can borrow from their background library (over 20K strong!) and how you design the look you wish to have using their page layouts or making your own. It is actually quite obvious that I learned as I went because as you move through the book the pages and stories get better.

4. Order up! So many options and decent prices. I have already been asked by the grandparents if they can have a copy. The great part about “cloud booking” (yes, you heard it from me first) is that it can be reprinted if my house was to burn down.

The entire process took me approximately 2 hours from idea to ordering.

My proudest achievement here is that I now have a physical anchor to help my wife out while I’m away on business. I am making sure that this first book is only read out loud when daddy is not here. We will be able to create traditions and reference points to our growing girls as to why daddy must travel and why we value family time together. On the more selfish dad side, I can also brag that now I am a self published author! Click image to read entire book. 

Want to see more books made for kids? Check out Micah’s ABC BookJoshua Makes The TeamTurning Kids Art Into A BookLittle Brown BearSweet Adelina or Anabelle’s ABCs.

Inspired? Write your own children’s book. Start Here.