The best thing to do if you write for kids is to self-publish your book. Self-publishing is becoming more and more popular because it is easier to get and has a faster turnaround than traditional publishing.
Understand the process of self-publishing
You can’t get 100% good things. Self-publishing is a lot of work, but it can be worth it in the long run. Before you decide on a publishing path, it’s always a good idea to know what you’re getting into.
You are in charge of everything you make and do.
You don’t have to follow industry rules (e.g. typical 32-page picture books)
The ability to write and post quickly
In order to get a book deal, you don’t need someone who’s in charge.
It is very likely that you will have to pay for the editing, illustrations, printing, distributing, and marketing.
It’s important to look for trustworthy tools and professionals, and to avoid scams at all costs.
You won’t be able to use the power of a publisher to make your book launch better.
If you think this all makes sense and you’re ready to get on the Self-Publishing Express, then let’s go to the next stop on this line.
Identify your target audience in the children’s book market
Doing this before you write your children’s book would be ideal. It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new story idea. In the process of researching the market, you figure out who your target audience is, what they like, and how they act. This can help you improve your book and make it more popular.
Make sure your research is up to par before you move on with your project. Check your own favorite childhood stories if you haven’t done much else.
Do you write for kids?
As soon as you start categorizing your book, you’ll be able to do all of the other things that come after that, from editing to designing to marketing. During the process of making and promoting your book, don’t go too far outside the rules of your niche.
The main types of children’s literature are shown in the table below.
The fact that children’s books are shorter than books for adults doesn’t mean that they’re cheaper to make. A single picture book can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 to make, but they usually don’t go over $6,000. Each author’s situation will change how much money they have to spend on editing their work. For example, a more polished manuscript will cost less to edit. For that reason, we’re a little wary of giving estimates when each case is so different.
There are many factors that go into the cost of self-publishing a children’s book. If we had to give a ballpark figure, we’d say that you should expect to spend at least $5,000 on the project, and likely more.
Edit your manuscript for young readers
As with any other kind of book, you need to have your manuscript checked by someone else. Developmental and copy editing are the two types of editing that are most important at this point. What should you ask yourself as you go through this process?
Do you have a clear story that young people enjoy?
Are the characters well-known and have distinct voices?
Is the language too complicated or too simple for the people you want to reach?
Revising your own work, at least at first, is important! Perhaps this free course on how to self-edit could be of help to you, but I don’t know. It’s also time to get some outside help with your book.
The best way to work with an editor is to hire one.
As an indie author who writes children’s books with short texts, you might be tempted to do all of the editing yourself to save money. However, because these stories are so short, the editing rates are often very cheap. This is because these stories are so short. More importantly, the ideas that editors have can make your book better.
Keep reading Roald Dahl’s story until you decide. It didn’t stop there. Even in the last half of the work he did, he worked closely with his editor so he could write for young people. Stephen Roxburgh helped Dahl make major changes to the manuscripts of The BFG, The Witches, and Matilda. Roxburgh worked on everything from major plot points to whether Dahl should write about “candy” or “sweets.” As long as this famous author got help from an editor, so will you.
During your search for a children’s book editor, it’s important to know what you want and what you need, as well as where to look.
Get in touch with some beta readers and ask them to help you with your project.
Beta readers, even if they aren’t experts in publishing, can give you a good idea of how your story might be seen by people. Unless you want to write for a small group, like your family or class, they won’t be able to represent your whole target audience. However, they do help you get to know your readers better.
Have a group of kids and their parents or caregivers as your test group. The younger readers can tell you how much fun the story is, and the adults can tell you about your themes and other more complicated parts of your story.
Hire an illustrator
Once you’ve got the words down, the most exciting part of the story starts: picturing the story!
The best children’s books have lively illustrations, but books like Middle Grade and Young Adult don’t need them. However, every book needs a good cover at the very least, and for younger picture books, illustrations are a must. A lot of times when people ask how to self-publish a children’s book with their own money, the answer is that they need to work with an illustrator.
The 10-second quiz below can help you figure out how much an illustrator might cost you. It’s based on real data, so it should give you a good idea of how much it might cost.
To get a more in-depth look at how to choose an artist for your story, read on to see how to find a picture book illustrator.
Create illustrations that complement your words
Though the story is important, a good book also makes it fun to read. This is especially true when it comes to children’s books. As easy as it is to make a PowerPoint presentation, this isn’t how you keep kids interested in what you’re reading.
In fact, every part of your book layout design (also known as typesetting), from the margin size to the font, will be very important for grabbing young readers’ attention. Keep your eyes on the prize!
Putting text-based titles in order
If you’re writing a Middle Grade or YA book, this can be easy. With book formatting tools like the Reedsy Book Editor, you can make a perfect book interior that can be turned into an ebook or a PDF file that you can print.
If you want to change the font or make the chapter headings more fun, this standard format may not be enough. In order to do that, you’d have to hire a professional.
Designing picture books
If you’re working with a lot of pictures, like in a picture book for kids, things will get more complicated. Amazon has tried to make things easier by introducing a tool called the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator, but it doesn’t guarantee that the books will look good. Finally, if you want to make a unique and appealing picture book or chapter book for kids, you’d still need some design skills.
These resources will help you better understand the many different parts of interior book design, so you can make your book look its best. Dig in and find out about it for yourself, but we strongly recommend working with a professional to make sure the book is high-quality and fun to read.
Typesetting is the process of putting together the text. In this guide, we’ll show you how to make the inside of your book look good
In this lesson, we’re going to learn about typography and how to do it right.
List of book sizes:
Make sure your book is ready to be printed by having an editor look over it. Such an expert can do a very detailed proofread of the text and presentation of your book, which will let you know if it’s ready to be published or not.
Self-publish your children’s book on online retailers
Congratulations! You’re done with your book. It’s now time to decide how you’ll share this beautiful book with the rest of the world.
Yes, I want to read print books. When should you print? Which printing company should you use and how should you get it to people? You need to know your ISBN number. So, let’s go over each one.
Ebook vs. print: Which is better?
Researchers, teachers, and parents are always debating whether or not ebooks help kids learn to read. Books are easier to buy, carry, and interact with when they are in an electronic form (thanks to audio excerpts or animated images). For an author, it gives them the chance to reach more people for less money.
On the other hand, ebooks mean more screen time for kids, they can be more distracting, and studies have shown that kids remember more information when they read print books. People who grew up reading physical children’s books may not be used to seeing a book that isn’t in print.
However, there are some types of children’s books that might be good for e-book distribution. Digital books that schools can use to help kids learn languages are more convenient to use and store. YA books for older kids, who are more likely to own an e-reader, are also good for ebooks.
Print and e-books can be made if there is a market for both. (But keep in mind that the two formats will have different ISBNs. You can read more about that here.)
Printing on demand vs. printing on paper
Next, how will your book be made? A self-published author can choose between POD and offset printing services, but more companies offer the POD service. But we’ve made a table to help you figure out which type of printing is best for you. It shows the pros and cons of both types of printing.
Introduce your story to children around the world
Whether or not we’ve gone off the main question of how to self-publish a children’s book in this step isn’t important. We aren’t. Marketing is an important part of publishing even if you go the traditional route, but even more so if you do it all yourself!
It’s important to be a good author and to show that you’re friendly behind your stories. Children and parents will be able to tell how you connect with them because of that.
This is not an easy job. There is a 10-day course on how to market a children’s book that you can take for free through Reedsy. Eevi Jones, a best-selling author, put it together. It talks about everything from getting book reviews to using social media, and it’s not something you should forget about.