If you have a story that you want to share, self-publishing is probably the best route for you. Here at ShieldCrest, we help authors get their stories out there, whether you have a laugh-out-loud children’s picture book about a gherkin or a mystery for older teens, we just love a good story. Read on to see how to self publish a children’s book.
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Understanding the Children’s Book Market
It is crucial to pitch your children’s book to the right age group and be very clear who you are writing for. The children’s book market includes a vast range of types and styles of books, from the very first books for babies, through to young adult fiction, which can deal with complex and emotional themes. Before you begin the self-publishing process, you must be very clear about the age category that your book is targeting. When you brief a book cover designer, or an illustrator, one of the first things that they will ask is what age range are you targeting? The children’s book market is broken down as follows:
- 0 -3 years – Board books
- 4 – 8 years – Picture books
- 5 – 8 years – Early readers
- 6 – 10 years – Chapter books
- 8 – 12 years – Middle Grade fiction
- 12+ years – Young Adult
Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing
Self-publishing has increased dramatically in popularity over the years, due to the many benefits it brings to authors and the public. Traditional publishing houses are less likely to take a chance on a new author, or a quirky idea, as they are very much focused on the profit of their books by working with authors who already have a following. Self-publishing has enabled a great range of books to be published, and given many excellent authors a chance to show their skills. If you self-publish your children’s book you will need to invest the money in it, but you retain far more control, and profit from the sales, than you would with a traditional publishing deal.
Prepare a Children’s Book Manuscript
Always make sure your manuscript is ready before you submit it to a publishing house. Check and re-check the spelling and grammar. Ask a trusted friend to read it and give you honest feedback, or why not read it to a child? Children tend to be excellent critics and will tell you what they really think! They may spot holes in the plot, or tell you which characters appeal to them, which can help to develop your story.
Ensure The Publisher Has a Professional Book Designer, if Not Hire One
Whilst we know that it is the story inside the book that will capture people, you need an excellent book cover design to draw them in. The book cover needs to be reflective of the story, summoning up the essence, and conveying the sense of what lies within. A good children’s book designer is a worthwhile investment for your children’s book.
Ensure The Publisher Has a Professional Book Illustrator if Not Hire One
Children’s books can have a whole range of illustrations, from early picture books, where the bulk of the story is told visually, to small pen and ink sketches in a teen’s book to touch on an element of the plot. A professional book illustrator will read your story, and create a range of drawings that capture and express the tone, style, and essence of the story. You may have a strong idea in your head of what you want your characters to look like, so it can be worth taking a look through illustrators’ portfolios to see if their style correlates with your ideas.
Children’s Book Design
The layout, the font, the print size, the white space, and the illustration placement, are all essential features of a well-designed children’s book. A good designer will help to make your children’s book a page-turning delight.
Secure Book Identifiers
Having an ISBN is crucial for your book. You will have a different ISBN for a print or digital version of your book. The ISBN helps to identify, track and sell your book. When you work with the team at ShieldCrest, we will ensure that your children’s book has the correct ISBN in place.
Once you are happy with the final design of the book, then it goes to print. This is where your story is transformed into a physical item that you can proudly hold in your hand. There are different strategies regarding printing, but when you work with ShieldCrest, we will discuss the printing options with you. Books are printed either in print runs, or print-on-demand. Print-on-demand usually has a higher cost per book, but is a very efficient way to produce the right amount of books. Determining the size of print runs can be a tricky process. The type and quality of the paper is also an important consideration as it is paramount to ensure the illustrations are perfectly presented.
Children’s Books Marketing And Promotion
So, you have written your children’s book, edited it, and chosen pictures and designs to bring your world to life, but now you have to sell it. When you work with ShieldCrest, you can take advantage of our self-publishing deals, which can include marketing as part of the package. This will give you access to our experienced and professional marketing department. As an author, you can also market yourself. From social media to local bookshop signings, there are a whole range of marketing activities that you can carry out for book promotion.
Distribution is an often overlooked element of publishing, but one that is crucial to your children’s book’s success. Our experienced distribution department ensures that your book can be sent out across the country, reacting to demand, and ensuring that your book is available when people want to buy it. If you are self-publishing your book, be very careful about which services are included in your self-publishing deal. You could find yourself with a sitting room full of your books, and no idea about how to distribute them. If you are selling your children’s books directly, you will need to factor in the postage and packing costs.
Looking For a Publishing Company?
We love stories, all types of stories, from the very first picture books, that open the journey to reading for our young children, to young adult books, that we know are loved by adults as well. We love stories, and we love to share these stories. If you want to share your story, we can help. Our children’s book publishing service can give you a complete package to take your ideas, words, and characters and transform them into an attention-grabbing brought-to-life children’s book. From design to distribution, when you work with the ShieldCrest team, you will be supported along the path to becoming a published author, so why not contact us today?