How to Self Publish a Children's Book

By Robin Hewitt

  • Overview

    Have you written a children's book and want to publish it for friends, family and perhaps profit? If so, you may already know there's a vast array of choices in the self-publishing industry. Narrow down your options and choices to make this process less confusing so you can begin sharing your creation with others.
    • Step 1

      Decide who you want to read your book so you know how many copies you'll need. If it's just for your own personal enjoyment, make a list of people you'll be giving it to. Most publishing companies set their prices on the number of copies you order, so it's important to quantify your book goals. If you plan to sell the book, make a conservative estimate on the number of copies you hope to sell in the first year.
    • Step 2

      Compile a list of things you have vs. things you'll need. For instance, if you've done illustrations, list how many you will include in the book, as this will add to the final page count. If you need cover design, add it to the list of things needed.

    • Step 3

      Research several "Print on Demand" companies to visualize the finished product. Do you want a spiral bound book or hardcover? Will it be full color or black and white? These and other things will affect the bottom line. A full-color hardcover book with in-house designs can cost twice the price of a paperback with author-supplied designs. It also pays to go with a well-established company such as Amazon's Booksurge, Lulu or Publish America to avoid a company that will give shoddy service and workmanship.
    • Step 4

      Consider what the publishing company offers as far as marketing. Some will have a package that includes listing on nationwide online companies such as Amazon. Most chain-store book sellers won't stock a book unless it is carried by the major distributors; if you're not sure, you can call your local store and ask the manager.
    • Step 5

      Choose your publisher and organize your files according to its download protocol. While many accept files in Microsoft Word, others will want them in Rich Text Format. Make sure you know its turnaround time so you can begin announcing your children's book arrival.
    • Step 6

      Pay your publisher and download your files. Make sure you get a confirmation email that tells you it received the files in good order so you can mark the calendar and begin the countdown of your new book's birth.
    • Skill: Moderately Challenging
    • Tip: Bookstores, distributors and writer's conferences don't give self-published writers the same credence as traditionally published authors, so don't be surprised if you're snubbed by professionals.
    • Warning:
    • Don't get ripped off; make sure the company you choose is reputable. If the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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