I’m reading the Magic Treehouse books to my 5-year-old. If you’ve never picked them up, they’re pretty good for kids who are beginning to be OK with books that focus on words, not pictures. The vocabulary is within reach for a beginning reader, but the stories are exciting enough for kids who are being read to. My 3-year-old will listen for a bit, and will look at the pictures (there’s roughly one a chapter) but then leaves to go play Legos. My 5-year-old, on the other hand, has gotten pretty into them. And, of course, like many children’s books, they’re a series. We’ve been moving through, book by book, exploring dinosaurs, knights, ninjas, the Ice Age, etc. I’m remembering that the fun part of a series — and oh, did I read a lot of them as a kid — is getting to know the characters and knowing that you’ll like the next book because you liked the last one.
The series I’m working on is not nearly that exciting, but it is a series nonetheless. Following the somewhat surprising sales of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast this summer, my publisher and I decided to do a 3-part series. I recently turned in WTMSPD on the Weekend, which will be followed by WTMSPD at Work. All are being released, first, as ebooks (they’re about 10,000 words apiece), with the weekend one coming out in January, and the workday one coming out in April. The three will be bundled and sold as a paperback sometime in fall of 2013.
It’s been a new and fairly pleasurable experience as a writer to start a project not entirely from scratch. I know the format of the two previous ebooks I’ve turned in, and now I’m starting the third knowing roughly how I want it to look. It’s making me think I want to work on a fiction series at some point. I like coming back to ideas.
But anyway, as I’m writing about how people spend their workdays effectively, I welcome stories and tips. What makes a workday successful? How should you try to structure it? What matters and what doesn’t? If you have ideas for how to promote the weekend ebook in January, I welcome those, too.
And finally, a better discussion question: what’s your favorite kids’ book series? Which ones have your kids read?