Creating a children’s book can be a very rewarding experience. As with any book, an author can choose a publishing company or can self-publish to get their book printed and distributed. Of these two choices, self-publishing is often the quickest, easiest and most satisfying option. Not only do you get to keep more of the proceeds but you have more control over what your book looks like and where it’s distributed. In addition, getting a publishing company to take your book can be extremely difficult as they receive thousands of manuscripts each year but choose very few to publish under their imprint.
When self-publishing a children’s book there are several steps that must be completed:
- Choose a page layout and composition software program to create your manuscript. Microsoft Word is a very popular choice for millions of authors around the globe. Adobe InDesign & Quark Express are more sophisticated programs but also are much more expensive to purchase and more difficult to learn to use.
- Edit your manuscript. It is recommended that authors hire a professional editor for their final draft or pay a local college student (preferably one who is majoring in English!) to review the manuscript. This option brings a fresh pair of eyes to the work. Also, check to be sure that the words and sentence structures are appropriate for your targeted age group. You don’t want to use too many large and complicated words or phrases for younger children or talk down to older children.
- Find an illustrator or graphic designer. Take the time to look through several designer portfolios until you find a style you like. Create a written agreement with your designer that documents the deliverables and timetable. If you are having a hard time finding a designer who can meet your needs, seek suggestions from your local high school or junior college art and design instructors.
- Develop your page layout. Font, page size, and graphics all play a critical role in the way your book is perceived. They also vary significantly by age group. We recommend visiting your favorite bookstore and going to the section that features books of the type you plan to publish. Find one or two that you feel are similar to what you’d like yours to look and feel like and buy them. Take them home and carefully go through the books and see how they have handled the above issues. There’s nothing like a real life example to help you finalize your print ready file.
- Work with your designer to create graphics that attract readers to your book and tell your story. Creating your cover design is an extremely important step in the process. A great cover makes that all important first impression that causes people to pick up your book and look inside. The first page should mention the title as the author’s name. It should be created with images that hint at the book’s content and will grab the attention of potential customers. The back cover usually offers a summary of the book and/or brief background on the author. Consider laminating your cover. This will make in more durable, moisture resistant and your color images brighter and sharper.
- Get an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) so you can safe-guard your hard work and sell your book in a retail setting. The ISBN needs to be converted to a barcode that allows retail outlets to scan the book purchase at cash register checkout. Get the ISBN through R.R. Bowker at www.isbn.org, the exclusive source for the ISBN numbers. Then register the number through Bowker’s Books-In-Print by signing up for BowkerLink, a free online tool for uploading book information (price, page count, etc). This is the main directory used by libraries and bookstores when they want to order a book for a customer.
Self-publishing your children’s book can be very rewarding, however there are several steps you need to focus on to make your vision into a reality. Keep these tips as a handy reference so you can breeze right through the process!
CMYK Graphix offers the printing and binding services to help you self-publish your children’s book. And, CMYK Graphix will not only help you self-publish your book, they can provide the business cards, brochures, and flyers that will help you promote your book. For more information about self-publishing your children’s book, contact the experts at CMYKGraphix.com by calling them at 1-800-698-2071, or by emailing them today.