What To Expect When Self Publishing A Children’s Book

There are many talented children’s book authors out there, but getting published in a competitive children’s book market can be a tough feat. Many children’s book authors opt to self-publish instead, and self-publishing can be a very successful venture, but there are a few things all self-publishing children’s book authors should expect.

1) It’s Important To Find An Experienced Children’s Book Illustrator
If you do not have illustrations for your book, and you’re looking for an outside picture book artist to bring your story to life- look for an artist with a full portfolio. Children’s book illustrators who have worked with other authors in the past will typically have a lot of knowledge of the image quality needed for self-published work. They will be able to bring your story to life just the way you imagined, and in just the form needed to be appropriately printed on paper. Finding a children’s book illustrator who is aware of the picture quality needed from their work will save you hassle in the long run. You’ll have the pictures you need, in the form you need them, for your book to look perfect.

2) Work Closely With Your Editor, Publisher, and artist
Everyone involved in the inner workings of your book wants to see your self-published children’s book succeed. By working closely with all of the people who are making your book a reality, you’re creating a support system and a marketing team for yourself. Having a quality editor proofread your work will prevent grammatical errors that could give you a negative wrap. Find a publisher who you’re comfortable with and can work closely to will help give you the tools you need to get your book on the market efficiently. And having a children’s book illustrator who believes in the image of your book will ensure that your details are perfectly pictured for your readers.

3) Self-Marketing Is 90% of Self Publishing
It is your job to market yourself. When you’re a self-published author, YOU are the one required to make sure the world knows about your book. Be prepared to put in a lot of hours advertising your book. Once again- having a good support team behind you can make this happen. Giving adequate credit to the children’s book illustrator will help you promote your work to their followers as well. Printing out book marks, attending book signings, and creating social media accounts for your self-published children’s book can truly make it a success.

4) Do Your Research
Don’t delve in spontaneously to any part of the self-published children’s book process. Take your time finding a publisher that you enjoy and that offers the quality you’re looking for. Find an editor who has a lot of experience and can help make your children’s book even better. And look for a children’s book illustrator who’s art is the style you’d want in your story.

5) Sales Start Slow
There are very few self-published children’s books that get put on the market and are instantaneously bringing in the doh. It’s important to realize that patience is key in self-published children’s book success. Expect to do a lot of waiting and working and promoting before you see a lot of income coming in. You have to grow the tree before you can pick the apples. And the same goes for self-published children’s books. You have to grow your audience before you can start making an income.

Self-Publishing a children’s book is very rewarding and well-worth the work you put into it. Knowing that a piece of your imagination is being read by children all over the world is inspirational. There are always a few things to expect when going into a knew venture, but the work is worth the rewards in the end, when you get to see your book sitting on the shelf of your local book store.

3 Responses

  1. Christy B.

    “You have to grow the tree before you can pick the apples.”

    What a great quote! That’s the hard part to remember. It’s tempting to think that the hard work is done when the writing is done, but apparently that’s the easy part! The marketing is a job unto itself–90% of the job, as you say. Unfortunately, sometimes we creative types aren’t the best business people. But, as you say, the rewards are well worth the effort! Here’s to picking those apples!

  2. Ann Abbitz

    Another great blog. And I cannot stress enough to market your book well! Even though I’m just a recent college grad, I have been out there marketing myself and my illustrator for a while now. And, I do agree with Christy B. when she states, “Unfortunately, sometimes we creative types aren’t the best business people.”…..but luckily, I have business majors in my family! 🙂 It makes this a lot easier, and saves me some money. (Always a good thing!)

  3. Angela Naomi

    “It’s important to realize that patience is key in self-published children’s book success.” <— Message! Patience truly is a virtue. Nothing happens over night and it takes a lot of work to get a book off the ground. You've listed realistic expectations. If writers understand this before they get started, I believe the journey will be a lot smoother. Great advice that all authors can use.


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