The Self-Publishing Insider

Publishing a children's book can be fun if you avoid these pitfalls

The Pitfalls of Publishing a Children’s Book

When it comes to publishing a children’s book, it pays to be smart. The process can be rewarding, but it also may include some difficulties you may not have considered. Avoiding these pitfalls can save you a lot of time, frustration and money, making your path easier to navigate.

Not knowing your “who”

The biggest mistake aspiring children’s book authors make is to start writing without having their target audience in mind. Because children’s books vary greatly across many factors, including the use of illustrations, the number of words used and the overall vocabulary and content, it helps to zero in on your book’s target age group first. This will help you make some very important decisions and ensure your book is tailored specifically for the audience you are trying to reach.

Creating original content for your children’s book

It seems obvious that you shouldn’t copy existing ideas, movies, books, or cartoons and claim them as your own. However, with so many great ideas out there already and all the various sources of inspiration we encounter every day, it may not be as easy as it sounds to develop a fresh story idea or create truly original characters. But if you want to avoid costly headaches (and potential lawsuits), it’s best to not imitate art too closely and come up with your own unique stories and characters.

Finding the right illustrator

Working with an illustrator is probably one of the most exciting parts of the process, because this is where your characters come to life for the first time. This step is also one of the most time-consuming and costly, so it’s important to get it right.

Finding the right illustrator consists of much more than hiring your artistic friend to help you out. Your illustrator should be experienced enough to create compelling artwork that enhances and supports your story and attracts the kids (and adults) in your target audience, without completely giving away your story.

Illustrating for children’s books can be challenging, especially when you want full-page designs as part of your layout. Your illustrator should be able to create illustrations that properly fit the layout and format of your book and provide the right file type you need for printing or distribution—all on time and within budget.

Publishing your children’s book

There are so many potential pitfalls here, especially if you are new to the children’s book publishing world. As a new author, it can be challenging to determine whether it’s best to go hardback, paperback or both. And finding the right publisher for you can also be challenging. Beware of vanity presses that may sound like a good choice at first because you can get published without having to find an agent or sell your story to a big-name publisher.

You may end up paying much more in the end by being required to buy a bunch of printed copies of your book, which you are then stuck with trying to figure out how to store, ship and distribute. They may also take royalties on top of the fees you have already paid.
With Publish Pros, you’ll get the individualized attention, guidance, and editing and design assistance you need to successfully self-publish your book. No obligations, no hassles and no headaches required! Unlike the cookie-cutter solutions most print-on-demand self-publishing companies offer, we provide custom solutions tailored to your specific needs. Let’s talk!