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How to Publish a Children’s Book in 2024

As an aspiring author, there is nothing more fulfilling than seeing your children’s book come to life. Whether it’s a whimsical adventure or a heartwarming tale, publishing your work allows you to share your creativity with young readers around the world. If you are writing a children’s book, you may be eager to have your work published. In the publishing industry, the commonly publishing method we see have two: self-publishing and traditional publishing. Read on to learn how to successfully publish your own children’s book.

What Is Self-Publishing Children’s book and Its Advantages

Self-publishing has revolutionized the world of book publishing, allowing authors to take control of the entire process. Instead of relying on a traditional publishing house, self-publishing empowers authors to become their own publishers. This method offers several advantages, making it an attractive option for many aspiring children’s book authors.

One of the key advantages of self-publishing is creative control. When you self-publish, you have the final say in every aspect of your book, from the story itself to the illustrations and cover design. This level of control ensures that your vision is fully realized, and the end product reflects your unique style and voice.

Additionally, self-publishing allows for faster publication. Traditional publishing can be a lengthy process, involving finding an agent, pitching to publishers, and waiting for acceptance. In contrast, self-publishing enables you to bypass these steps and bring your book to market at your own pace. This is especially beneficial for authors eager to share their work with the world without unnecessary delays.

Another advantage of self-publishing is the potential for higher royalties. Traditional publishing often involves signing a contract with a publishing house that will take a percentage of the book’s sales. With self-publishing, you retain more control over the pricing and distribution of your book, allowing you to potentially earn a higher percentage of the profits.

Steps of Self-Publishing Children’s Book

While self-publishing offers countless opportunities, it’s essential to understand the steps involved in bringing your children’s book to life independently. By following these steps diligently, you can ensure a smooth and successful self-publishing journey.

1. Understand the risks. 

Although some form of publishing is relatively cheaper, but successfully self-publish a children’s book is not cheaper. That’s because you need to touch your reader, so to speak, an actual published paper book-most kids do not reply on e-reader to read the book everyday. Also, the competition in children’s book market is very fierce. So even if you successfully publish a book, the profit is very low.

2. Hire professional illustrators (if needed).

Children’s books often rely heavily on illustrations to captivate young readers. If you are not an illustrator yourself, consider hiring a professional illustrator who can bring your story to life visually. Research and choose an illustrator whose style aligns with your vision for the book. Collaborate closely with the illustrator, providing clear guidelines and feedback throughout the process.

3. Choose a publishing platform.

With your manuscript and illustrations ready, it’s time to select a publishing platform. There are numerous self-publishing platforms available, each with its own set of features and services. Research and compare platforms based on factors such as pricing, distribution reach, and ease of use. Popular options include Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Apple Books, and Smashwords.

4. Choose a service.

Traditional small-scale self-publishing is usually the optimal choice for publishing children’s books, because having a paper book is the key for promoting. Self-publishing charges you fee to print a certain quantity of books. Typically 50 to hundreds of books, and then directly printing and mailing to you. Besides, you can also choose print on demand service, which print a copy of children’s book every time it is sold and charges on a per book fee. These are easier to find online.Look around, compare prices, and find one you like with packaging features. Color books are very high, Be prepared to spend more than usual to print color books. If want cheaper, printing black and white picture books.

5. Collect funds.

Now you had selected a printing service, you need to find way to pay for these printing books. Even if you choose print-on-demand, also need to print for your own less than 20 copies, to display to bookstore and other customer. Start by consult your friend and family donate some funds, and use your savings to make up the rest. After printing, give them a copy in return for their generosity. Other popular options include raising money for a project or Or crowdfunding or working a part-time job a few days a week.

6. Printing and promoting. 

When you paying the fee for publishers, they will mail some books to you, it is time to start promoting. Start from local private bookstore, display your book to owner, consult them if you can sell on his/her shelf and you give them a commission in return. Also go to consult large bookstore, but don’t expect to always get a positive response. Besides, provide reading service in the bookstore you selling your book, this is a good way for you and your owner to solicit business. So most owner agree to sell your book also should be agree to provide reading service.

Once you have negotiated with the bookstore, go talk to the person in charge of the library. Donate a copy of your book to each branch and ask the library director if there is a way for you to host a reading at your local branch. You can consider school, especially primary schools are a great way to get your book into contact with local children, but you can not simply plug in and read your book to class. Ask the library officer to donate a copy of your book, and talk to school administrators about the possibility of hosting a reading. If they don’t agree,don’t force.

If selling books online, please make sure to build a small-scale website or blog page to promote your book. Anyone who have interest can buy from it easily. Before buying, this also provide a good way for parents to know you and your book.

What Is the Traditional Children’s Book Publishing Way and Its Advantages

While self-publishing offers many benefits, traditional publishing remains a viable option for authors seeking wider distribution and recognition. Traditional publishing involves partnering with a publishing house that takes care of various aspects of the publishing process, from editing to distribution. Understanding the advantages and steps involved in traditional publishing can help you make an informed decision about the best path for your children’s book.

One of the primary advantages of traditional publishing is the access to professional editing and guidance. When working with a traditional publisher, you benefit from their expertise in editing and refining your manuscript. This collaborative process ensures that your story reaches its full potential and resonates with young readers.

Another advantage of traditional publishing is wider distribution. Established publishing houses have established networks and relationships with bookstores and libraries. Increasing the chances of your book reaching a broader audience. Traditional publishers also have the resources and experience to secure translations, foreign rights, and potentially even film or television adaptations.

Traditional publishing also offers a level of prestige and validation. Being accepted by a reputable publishing house can lend credibility to your work, making it more appealing to readers, booksellers, and the media. This can open doors for future publishing opportunities and increase your chances of success as an author.

Steps of Traditional Way Publishing Children’s Book

Traditional publishing follows a more structured and selective process. Understanding the steps involved can help you navigate this path with confidence and increase your chances of securing a publishing deal for your children’s book.

1. Decide if hire a agent. 

You already have a draft, so the logical next step is to submit it to a publisher. But unlucky, without recommendations from literary agents, most publishers don’t read your book one eye. For a commission based on your earnings (usually 15%), the agent will review your draft, recommend it to publishers, and negotiate a payment contract. If you have not publish any book, you are not easy to find a premium agent to cooperate with you. In this industry, there are many poor scammer agent, so you must be cautious, only cooperate with agents from reliably recommended agent.

2. Finding a publisher.

If you decide don’t hire any agent, you need to find a publisher who willing to accept unrecommended children’s book manuscripts. Most publishers even don’t read the manuscripts that does not meet their program guidelines. If you can’t find the message you need, send a email to the publishers, consult them for their plan guidelines. Then finding the children’s books which content and authors are similar to yours, pay attention to which publisher published their books. They will have more possibility to read your manuscripts.

3. Submitting your manuscript. 

Submit to each agent or publisher according to their specific guidelines. Follow the formatting requirements in the guide accurately. Pay attention to agent and publisher feedback within 3 months of submission. If you have not receive any reply, you may be won’t get a reply. Unless you are a professional illustrator, do not send out your illustrations. Publishers will select their illustrations to prevent potential copyright issues.

4. Persevering and never give up. 

Please keep printing your manuscripts and sending out. Repeat, repeat, and repeat. Most authors always get rejected more than 50 times before publishing their first book. Rejection is not a wake-up call; it is a normal part of the submission process. Eventually, either someone signs a contract with you, or you can no longer find anyone to submit it to. Don’t stop before you achieving these both points.

When someone want to sign contract with you, please do research first, to confirm this contract is fair. If you have agent, he/she will do this step for you. Or you can consider to hire a expert one or two hours, and let him discuss this contract with you, to see if it is worth signing. If you had rejected more than hundreds of times, agent do not interested at all, it might be time to move on. You can join in community writing workshops, or read a book on how to write great children’s stories. You may find 1 or 2 mistakes in your book that are keeping your book from getting the attention it deserves.

5. Work with the publishing house. 

Once a publishing contract is signed, you will work closely with the publishing house throughout the editing, design, and marketing processes. Collaborate with the editing team to refine your manuscript, provide feedback on cover and interior design, and actively participate in the marketing efforts to maximize the book’s success.

Tips: 

If an editor asks you to revise your manuscript, put your ego aside and follow their advice. Then send it back and ask them to tell you what they thought after reading it.

Write with care. Don’t write children’s books just to make money – most children’s books don’t make a lot of money, and besides, this shows in the finished product. Let your book be a labor of love, be willing to revise and rewrite it, and it will eventually be published.

Conclusion

Publishing your children’s book is an exciting endeavor that requires careful consideration of the available options. Whether you choose self-publishing or traditional publishing, each method has its advantages and unique steps to follow. Self-publishing empowers you with creative control, faster publication, and potentially higher royalties. On the other hand, traditional publishing offers professional guidance, wider distribution, and validation. By understanding the steps involved in each approach, you can confidently embark on the publishing journey and bring your cherished children’s book to life. So, go forth, unleash your creativity, and let your story inspire and delight young readers around the world.

Start your children’s book printing today and bring your children’s book to life!

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