The Self-Publishing Insider

When publishing a children's book, use these tips from the experts at Publish Pros.

4 Things to Know Before Publishing a Children’s Book

You wrote a children’s book, and now you’re ready to publish. The children’s book market is worth $2.6 billion and has grown by over 15% over the past 5 years. You might feel overwhelmed with how to compete in such a large, lucrative market, so see below for four things to know before publishing a children’s book.

Traditional publishing versus self-publishing a children’s book

Traditional publishing involves submitting a proposal to a publishing company, then waiting to hear if they want to publish your book. If they do, they are then in charge of hiring people to illustrate, edit, proofread, and print your book. You don’t need to pay anything up front for these services. While this may sound like a good deal, it’s important to know that the publisher will then own the rights to your book. It is no longer your property, and you don’t get to decide what to do with it anymore. You also only get a portion of each sale, typically 5%-15%.

Self-publishing, on the other hand, leaves total control of your book in your hands. While this often means you have to hire an illustrator and editor on your own, you can also hire a company like Publish Pros to handle the publishing process for you. You can then choose whether you want your book to be published in e-format, print, or both. You also get 100% of the royalties from book sales.

Illustrations are incredibly important

When publishing a children’s book, the illustrations are arguably just as important as the writing, so finding an experienced illustrator to bring your vision to life is a must. Look through other children’s books for illustration styles you like, then plan on having the same style for the book cover and inside illustrations. If you are writing a children’s book series, pick an illustration style and use it for every book in the series.

Be aware that printing books with color and illustrations costs more than books with just text. The “sweet spot” for page count when self-publishing is between 24 and 30; this allows enough pages for Amazon to publish without the cost of printing a color book inhibiting your earnings or making the book too costly for people to purchase.

You still need an editor for children’s books

While you might be thinking about cutting self-publishing costs by not hiring an editor, this is not the best choice. Children’s books still need an editor to check for clarity, content, grammar, and punctuation. This ensures the book is in the best, most-readable format before going to print. There is nothing worse than printing a book only to discover a spelling error afterwards.

Some editors can also help with rhyming and cadence issues. If you’re doing a children’s picture book that rhymes, be sure to ask if this is a service they offer before hiring them. Many editors also offer developmental editing or a manuscript assessment, which means they will review your manuscript and let you know if there is anything missing in your storyline.

Get reviews to boost your sales

With so many authors publishing children’s books per year, making your book stand out can feel impossible. But it all comes down to marketing. One of the most important ways to market your book is to increase your positive reviews. On Amazon, the more positive reviews your book has the more likely it will be promoted by Amazon, which will increase your sales.

Do book readings and signings at local libraries, then ask those who purchase your book to leave a review with photos of the book to show they actually own it. Be sure the reviews are coming from legitimate sources, not scammers who offer to leave a review for a certain cost without reading your book. Amazon has become wise to fake reviews and may remove them.

If you have written a children’s book and have decided on self-publishing, let Publish  Pros help you every step of the way! Contact us and schedule a free call to discuss next steps.