How To Publish Your Own Children’s Book
Have you ever thought you might enjoy writing your own children’s book someday? Do you often come up with story ideas that you just know would be popular? Or perhaps you finished reading a book to your child one day, closed the cover, and thought to yourself: I could have written that. If so, you might want to consider self-publishing your own children’s book. It’s not as hard as you might think.
In recent years it has become very easy for anyone to self-publish a book thanks to the advent of digital
readers like the Kindle and print on demand publishing. The best part of modern self-publishing is that you can list your book for sale right on Amazon, the largest online retailer in the world, where it can be found by potentially millions of people. With Amazon, your self-published book can be listed right beside of a New York Times best seller. How exciting is that?
The Modern Way To Publish
Self-publishing used to be looked down on by most authors. As recently as a few short years ago, if someone self-published a book, it usually meant that person couldn’t find a literary agent. That’s no longer the case. The times have definitely changed. In fact, there are some authors who actually turn down contracts with big publishing agencies in order to self-publish their stories. Hugh Howey and Amanda Hocking, for example, are two authors who became millionaires from self-publishing their books.
It’s not hard to understand why an author would prefer to self-publish over going with a traditional publisher. You can actually earn more as a self-published author – potentially a lot more. You also retain total control over your book. As a self-published author, you get to call the shots, not someone in an office somewhere that you’ve never even met.
With modern self-publishing, you no longer have to pre-print a lot of 500 (or more) books and then worry about finding buyers for them. These days most self-published books reside on Amazon’s servers in the form of digital files. When someone purchases your book through Kindle, the digital file is transferred to their device. And if they purchase a hard copy of your book, the book is only printed after the order is placed. This type of arrangement is known in the industry as print on demand (POD).
Perhaps the best thing about self-publishing children’s books is that it’s so easy to do. The following are the steps you can take to easily publish your own book.
What Should You Write About?
The first thing you want to do is to come up with a story idea for your book. The best way to do that is to look through the children’s books on Amazon to see what is currently selling well. In other words, you don’t want to try to reinvent the wheel, at least not for your first book. Pull up the best-selling children’s books list on Amazon and see what categories are selling well. You will then write a book in the same category.
For your first book, you might want to consider publishing a book for very young children (think toddlers). The stories in these books are usually very short with a lot of pictures, and you can easily write one in an evening. Books involving animals are always very popular. And books involving toddler issues – like brushing your teeth or sharing your toys – also sell very well.
As an example, you could write a book about a horse who brushes his teeth and call it: “Mikey The Horse Brushes His Teeth.” Toddlers love these types of books. Parents also love them because they help teach their little ones valuable life lessons.
One source of confusion for many aspiring children’s book authors is the issue of images. Where do you get them? Most authors are not illustrators and can’t draw their own. And doesn’t it cost a lot of money to hire a professional? Not anymore.
You may find it hard to believe, but you can purchase high-quality custom-drawn images by professional illustrators for your book for as little as $5 a page. How is this possible? There are many talented illustrators living in nations all around the world where $5 to $10 a page is good money. And thanks to the internet, finding them is now very easy.
The best website to find these affordable illustrators is Fiverr.com. Just do a search on this website for “children book illustrator” and you will have hundreds of affordable illustrators to choose from.
For each image you order, you will have to describe in detail what you want to appear in each scene. You could test one or two illustrators to see if they follow directions well, and then go with the person who does the best job for the rest of your book.
Once you’ve written your book and have received all of the illustrations, you now need to have the book formatted. In other words, it needs to be assembled so that it looks like a finished book. After a book has been formatted, the end result is a file that you upload to Amazon.
There is an art to book formatting, and it’s not something that someone who is new to self-publishing should try to tackle herself. For your first few books, it’s advisable to hire a book formatter to do the job for you.
You will need someone to format it for both Kindle and Create Space (Amazon’s print on demand platform). Most formatters will be able to do both. An internet search for “Kindle formatter” turns up many options. You can also find formatters on Fiverr.com.
Publishing Your Book
After your book has been formatted, the next step is to publish it on Amazon. You will need to create free accounts with both the Kindle and Create Space platforms:
Establishing accounts on these platforms is very easy and only takes a few minutes. Once your account is established, you can then upload your files, fill out your book listings, and then select publish. It really is that easy. After selecting publish, Amazon reviews your book to make sure there are no errors and that it is in compliance with its terms and conditions. This usually takes a few hours, and you will receive an email notification when the process is finished.
That’s it! Your book listing is live, and you should be able to easily find it right on Amazon.com.
Your Own Children’s Book Empire?
Since children’s books are so easy to write and publish (and fun!), you could very easily publish one a week if you really want. You could potentially end up with your own children’s book empire. It’s important to keep in mind that once you publish your book, the hard work is done. Your book can continue earning money for you for many years without any additional effort.
Some people earn full-time incomes from the residual money they make from the sale of their self-published children’s books, and there’s no reason why you can’t be one of them. If you would like more detailed information on self-publishing children’s books, there is a course available that walks you step-by-step through the process.
Cyrus Vanover is the author of the Detroitopia sci-fi saga and Earn A Debt-Free College Degree. He resides in Nashville, Tennessee.