Tips to Get a Children’s Book Self-Published

Did you ever read a kid’s book and say, “I could write one of those?” Well, I did too. I mean I had lots of experience reading plenty of them to my kids. I know the kind of book I liked, and the ones that really engaged the kids (and me, too). I had a goofy idea and whipped out some limericks bing bang, and I’m done. Easy like that.

Well, not really. And not even close. There’s so much more to it, and if you don’t have the art skills to illustrate an entire book, you’ll be spending some serious money.

I think even more attention needs to be given to the editing of a kids’ book, especially if you have rhyme. I think of all the Dr. Seuss books I read and how some of them are still rattling around in my head. If one line doesn’t flow even slightly I think a parent will be turned off from reading the book. So that’s why I had my quality assurance team member (aka Laurie my wife) take a look. She has an analytical mind and she actually had fun re-structuring the lines I made to flow with a certain meter.

Tip #1: Read it out loud and make sure rhymes flow easily. Better yet, skip the rhyming or patterns and just focus on the flow. I am in the middle of another kid’s book and this one doesn’t have a rhyme pattern. It is easier.

So, when I first looked at someone illustrating my book, I thought, “This might be only a couple hundred dollars, right?”

Wrong.

Think thousands, if you expect 24 pages with two-page illustrations. And a cover. Who has that kind of money? Unless you can market your self-published book like a boss (and I haven’t figured that out yet…) then you’ll have a hard time making all that money back.

Two things that helped me were finding a quality but well-priced Illustrator and running a Kickstarter or some other fund-raising project.

Tip #2: Use Upwork to find an artist that works for you!

Upwork.com is a place where you can find all sorts of Freelancers from all over the world ready to do all sorts of work. You can preview their portfolios, see their recommendations, and see how much they charge. It’s a very cool site. Upwork of course takes a cut off the amount you hire someone for.

I scanned through 15 or so potential artists and sent out the hire message. I got back people very interested in taking on the job and I had to sort through and find who was the best fit for me.

Tip #3: Run fundraiser to support your project.

Kickstarter and GoFundMe are the top ones I know of, and there are others I did not research yet. I chose Kickstarter since I was familiar with it. Make sure to look at a project that is similar to yours… to see what to do, and what not to do! I spent too long thinking about reward tiers and then I changed them all and, well, I wish I could start it over!

A good Kickstarter can spread the word about your book, get people to pre-order, and help fund the costs behind self-publishing. I’ll tell you when the next three weeks are over if I actually get the money, though! Interested in what my campaign looks like? Here’s the link to Books are for Reading, Not Eating!’s Kickstarter.

Of course, once you get this far and have the files for your book you have to put them together into a paperback and/or eBook. I chose Amazon KDP to self-publish though since I have some experience with them already with other books.

Here’s my fantasy books on Amazon from The Soulkind Series.

You can hire someone to format your images/files, but why not save money where you can? After spinning around for a bit trying to get help on KDP’s help forum, I found the video I was looking for on Youtube to help.

Tip 4: Use someone’s experience for formatting a book/eBook!

Here’s a video that really helped me.

So helpful, with sizes of images, PDFs, RGB vs CYMK… confused? She can help!

There are other tips for helping with getting a kids’ book published, but these are some of the most useful things I discovered along the way. Let me know if you have ideas that helped you, or if you have questions for me!

One Reply to “Tips to Get a Children’s Book Self-Published”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *