Writing your children’s book wasn’t easy, even if it was a labor of love. Now it’s time to publish and distribute your book. But with so many options out there, how do you know whether to self-publish, print on demand, or partner with a traditional publishing house?
Self-publishing your children’s book allows you to be in control. Once you’ve finished writing the book, you will have to edit it, find and hire an illustrator, and market your new book. This sounds time-consuming, and it is. But the good thing about self-publishing is that you won’t be asked to make changes by a literary agent or publisher—the book is entirely yours.
Finding the best self-publishing service for your children’s book is crucial for your book’s success—and for your success as an independent author. There are many different types of services available for self-publishers, and it’s important to know the pros and cons of each. This knowledge will help you make the best decision for self-publishing your children’s book.
There are many options available to you when you decide to self-publish your children’s book. Some are household names like Amazon, and others you might not know much about yet. But with a little research, you’ll be able to pick the best publishing service for you.
One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make as you research publishing services is whether you want to go with a book retailer or a book aggregator. Here are some key differences between the two:
Simply put, you will receive a higher commission with book retailers, but a bigger audience with book aggregators.
A great option for self-publishers is printing books on demand. On-demand printing is pretty self-explanatory: you upload a digital copy of your book to an online service. When someone purchases your book, the publishing company prints and ships them a copy. You will receive a portion of the sale without having to lift a finger.
When your book is available to print on demand, it can usually be sold as an e-book as well. This added versatility allows for wider book distribution, which in turn can lead to higher book sales. Amazon’s KDP Select has one of the largest market shares in printing on-demand books and e-books, so check out their services and statistics to see if this is a good option for you.
Online self-publishing companies are everywhere. It’s easy to self-publish, but difficult to choose the best vendor and venue. There are a few different types of publishing companies out there, and it’s important to know how to distinguish between them.
For an independent author, self-publishing may be the best option because it allows you to go at your own pace and play by your own rules. A publishing house will aggressively work to make their deadlines and insist that you follow their procedures. Self-publishing allows you to write, edit, format, and design your book so that it’s entirely your work.
And remember: even if you start off self-publishing, you can always partner with a traditional publisher down the road.
You’ve worked hard as a children’s book writer and your work deserves to be seen by millions of people. You’ve decided to self-publish rather than sign on with a traditional publishing company so that you can have complete creative control and keep your costs low. So how do you find the best publishing company for your book?
Choosing the right self-publishing service for your children’s book is key to the book’s success. If you don’t select the right publishing company, your book distribution and sales will suffer. Whether you’ve written a text-heavy story or partnered with an illustrator to create a picture book, it’s crucial to find the best publishing company to meet your needs.
So consider your goals, and write a list of questions:
Once you have your list of questions, talk to some self-publishing companies and see what they have to offer. Be sure to research them online as well—some larger companies like Kindle Direct Publishing have idiosyncrasies specific to their platforms. Knowledge is your key to success!
Self-publishing has largely become an internet-based industry. It’s very easy for consumers to purchase both print books and print-on-demand books online, and relatively easy for independent authors to self-publish online. Because of this, the first thing to consider when evaluating a self-publishing service is their online presence.
The publishing service that’s right for you should pop up toward the top of a web search. They should have strong reviews and an impressive website. If they can’t represent themselves well online, how will they help you publish and sell your book?
Another aspect to consider is exclusivity. Some larger publishing services require that your book is only sold on their platform for a predetermined amount of time. There are pros and cons to exclusivity, so just make sure you’re aware of what’s best for you before you sign on.
Choosing a publishing method for your children’s book is a huge decision. In order to make the best decision, you need to know the difference between the types of publishing services.
On-demand printing service is low risk, low reward. You can order as many or as few print books as you’d like. And consumers across the world can do the same. You can market the book as aggressively as you’d like to boost book sales, and your on-demand printer will stand by and print copies as you need them.
Self-publishing is slightly higher risk with a much higher reward potential. The publishing house will charge you an upfront fee to print however many books you’d like—but there are usually minimum quantities. You can then market and sell your book to your heart’s desire.
Vanity and hybrid publishers are also options available to you. But study these companies closely. Some of them are legitimate publishing services that can really help you boost your book sales and your name as a children’s book author. But others are scams disguised as publishing companies. Be sure to ask plenty of questions to vet any publisher before submitting your book to them.
You finished your children’s book because you were driven and dedicated to reaching your goal. Self-publishing is very similar! You will accomplish great things if you choose the best self-publishing company, and then continually and proactively market your book. When done right, self-publishing and marketing can lead to a longstanding career as a children’s author.
One of the biggest benefits of self-publishing your children’s book is that you are in total control. You make the decisions about the story, illustrations, book cover, marketing, and distribution. All of these aspects of your children’s book lead into how much you can expect to make from it.
If you want to make a lot of money from your self-published book, you’ll need to invest time and money into these aspects. Marketing will be particularly important. Will you purchase advertisements and hold events to promote your book? Or will you go with lower-cost options like social media and blogs? The more money you spend on marketing and advertising, the more money you can expect to make.
You can obtain a more specific idea of financials from self-publishing websites. Many of them have estimate generators that will give you a ballpark figure for printing and publishing your book. They’ll ask the size of your book, number of pages, and whether you want color print. Quantity will also affect the price—there are often price breaks at certain quantities. Your overall profits will depend on what you want to spend versus how much you want to charge for your printed book.
Self-publishing is the do-it-yourself method of book distribution. And the DIY theme can continue throughout your writing career. You’ll have to work hard to establish yourself as a strong published author, and to advance your career. But it’s a very attainable goal!
There are common and inexpensive ways to get your name out there. Post about your children’s book on all of your social media accounts. Create a website all about your book. And ask your family and friends to spread the word to all of their family and friends. These results can be fast and exponential.
And don’t discount the value of a book launch! Book launches are wonderful ways to get in front of your audience and get to know the kids you’re writing for. What do they love? What do they dislike? What timeless themes can you write about to keep this age group engaged for generations to come? The more deeply you know your audience, the easier it will be to direct your next children’s book toward them.
Self-publishing your book provides you complete control over the publishing and marketing decisions. You can either cast a wide net or be very selective about who you market your book to. And with self-publishing, your name will be listed as the publisher. That means that you don’t have to pay royalties to a publishing company or literary agent.
Freedom to make all the decisions is a great aspect of self-publishing. Just be sure to stay on top of it! Publishing and marketing aren’t easy, but if you stay organized and proactively push your book, you will solidify yourself as a successful children’s book author.
As a children’s book author, you know the children’s literature industry. You are in tune with what your target audience wants to read and what illustrations they want to go with your story. Although there are challenges to self-publishing, you can rest assured that the final product will be absolutely yours.
Why can self-publishing a children’s book be difficult?
Self-publishing a book can be difficult. But it’s worth it to ensure that you have total control throughout the creative and publishing processes. When you work with an indie publisher, you make all the decisions. This may seem daunting. And it will be time-consuming. But don’t worry! As long as you stay organized, you can establish a great name for yourself as a successful children’s writer.
Be sure to thoroughly research every publishing house that you’re considering. Determine what your needs and goals are, and keep track of which boxes each publisher checks. And don’t be afraid to ask for help! Your friends and family will be almost as excited as you are to get your book published.
The best way to self-publish your children’s book is to make a list of the necessary tasks and assign target due dates to each one. Some of your tasks might include the following:
Multiple small tasks are much easier to manage than one large task. Break up your to-do list so it’s not overwhelming. And then get to work—the world can’t wait to read your children’s book!
Marketing is a talent. Some people are formally trained, but as a children’s book author using an independent publisher, you might not have access to marketing experts. Some writers choose to hire a literary agent, especially if they’re embarking on a huge project like a book series. But marketing can be DIY, just like writing and publishing your book.
Here’s the only rule to successful independent marketing: be creative! Post about your children’s book on your social media accounts. Write blog articles about your book and send them to any appropriate websites. Ask your family and friends to help you spread the word. Contact local bookstores to see if they’ll allow a book launch. Get out there and get noticed!
You wrote your story. And maybe you hired an illustrator to create amazing artwork for your picture book. The best way to keep the book close to your heart is to self-publish.
You can do amazing things through self-publishing, but don’t feel that you’re alone! Elite Authors is here to help you market your self-published children’s book and make it a success. Ready to get your book noticed? Learn more about our book marketing services here!