The Self-Publishing Insider

How much does it cost to publish a children's book? Find out here from the self-publishing experts at Publish Pros

How Much Does It Cost to Publish a Children’s Book?

Writing and publishing a children’s book is a great way to express your creativity and leave a legacy for your kids and grandkids. The overall cost to self-publish a children’s book depends on many factors, but it is definitely affordable.

Finding the right illustrator for your children’s book

In the children’s book market, illustrations are key. The cost to hire an illustrator varies based on their expertise and skill set and the types of mediums they use. It will also depend on what types of illustrations you want. Because illustrations will play such a large role in your kids’ book, it’s important not to settle on a certain artist or style because it will be cheaper. Be sure the artist is able to deliver the quality work you are looking for and that you have permission to use them for commercial purposes, which is what you will be doing when you start to sell your book.

You might pay less upfront by asking a friend to illustrate your book, but in the long run, you may end up with more headaches because the illustrations aren’t exactly what you want or your friend is not delivering the illustrations on time or in the correct format. You may need to pay more to hire another illustrator to correct issues or provide images in the same style for additional books if you’re writing a series.

Formatting your children’s book

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) allows self-publishing authors to format their books themselves for free. So if you decide to do it yourself, formatting won’t cost you anything. However, laying out children’s books can be a bit more challenging because of the illustrations, so it’s often best to work with someone who has experience in interior layout to get the best result.

Hiring an editor

Don’t be tempted to skimp on editing, thinking that your kids’ book is all about the pictures. Remember, parents, grandparents, teachers and other adults will be reading your book to the children in their lives, and they aren’t going to want to read stories that include grammatical errors or uneven stanzas of rhyme.

Just like illustrators, average costs for editors depend on their experience as well as what level of editing you want done on your book. Experienced children’s book editors usually provide different types of editing in one package, as well as valuable insight on other aspects of your book, which offers even more bang for your buck.

Printing and distribution

The nice thing about self-publishing through a print-on-demand (POD) outlet like Amazon KDP or Ingram Spark is you do not have to pay to have a large batch of books printed all at once. Buyers can simply order your book and it is printed and sent right to them. These companies do keep a portion of the sale price as a royalty and to cover the cost of printing.

Be aware that a vanity press will probably not charge you royalties on your book sales like a POD seller will, but they will also require you to pay for a large quantity of books to be printed, which you will then have to store, market, and ship yourself.

Marketing a children’s book

Speaking of marketing, there are many free marketing options, such as posting on social media and doing in-person events. You may also want to consider adding some paid promotions, like Amazon or Facebook ads, to effectively reach a wider audience. Hiring a publicist may seem more costly at first, but their connections and experience in marketing books will likely result in higher sales.

Getting help covering the cost to publish a children’s book

Do your friends and family know you’re writing a children’s book? If so, they may want to help you get it published. Crowdfunding is a great way to defray the cost of publishing any book. There are several sites that offer secure crowdfunding options that allow your future readers and current fans to contribute.

Keep creating!

Whether you’re just getting started or you’re a pro, we hope this helps you understand the cost of self-publishing a children’s book. And if the thought of managing all of this seems confusing or overwhelming, relax. We’re here to help! Contact Publish Pros today and see how we can help you illustrate, edit, and produce your children’s book.