Self-publishing children’s book is one great strategy to have streams of passive income. However, once all things have been done to make the book a success, it takes a few maintenance procedures to keep that income coming just the way you want it.
Children’s book is one common target because of their high demand and precise but short manuscripts. Unfortunately, however, when you attempt to self-publish a children’s book for the first time without proper planning, this would result in a waste of effort, worse, no income stream for you, and you feel less fulfilled.
So, I’ll be giving you the appropriate guide; here are the ways to self-publish children’s books;
You can check my blog on how to set up Amazon KDP account if you have not set your KDP account.
7 Steps to Writing and Publishing Children’s Book
a. Do you know the market?
You need to know the audience. Knowing your audience is significant in this regard and more essential when it’s being sold. Now, the first thing an editor desires to know is, Is it the kind of book they can sell? So knowing your book’s target audience will surely help you demonstrate your understanding to your audience. And this is something most editors wish to collaborate on—they don’t accept anything that comes their way.
Here are some of the age ranges for children’s books;
- Picture books: This for those under six years old—1000 words
- Primary or early readers: above six years old—2000-5000 words
- Chapter books: 7-9 years old, 5000 to 10,000 words
- Middle Grade: 9=12 years old—above 30,000 words
- Young adults: 12-18 years old—above 50,000 words
You’ll need high-resolution images to digitize and transfer to your computer. If you do have large illustrations, all you have to do is access a larger format scanner. You can do this by calling on places around you or on the internet, those known to make high-resolution scanning more professional.
Now, after calling the various places and found the best price for the service, you bring in your illustrations and thumb drive for the images.
You can check my blog post on the best websites to download royalty free images.
If you’re writing, do ask yourself this question, does it need to be perfectly edited? Well, the answer is, it needs to be close enough for perfection. And various grammatical standards have to be followed, but I advise following the MLA style (Modern Language Association). You can study this thing cover to cover to get a good grasp on all the grammatical best practices.
Now, if you submit a child’s story or self-publish a children’s book for publishing and it’s littered with grammatical mistakes, a professional could see them before they’ve even started reading on your piece; and this might mean they discard your story not even looking forward in giving it a fair chance. One of the software you can use for your children’s book proofreading is Grammarly. You can check out my detailed Grammarly plagiarism checker review
So, this is another one of those things that seek time and patience from you—don’t rush it anyway. And for the kid’s book, I’ll discourage you from paying any professional editor, only if you are convinced beyond all doubts that you’re bad at grammar. This is because these books are short and have less room for mistakes of any kind.
d. Children’s book agent
If you wish to take the traditional publishing route to self-publish your children’s book, you must secure an agent. There is numerous agent online who are willing to give you a chance, and they are known to accept queries and submissions. So, if you’ve got no idea where to begin, all you have to do is search online, and I’m sure you pretty much get a hand to support you in this.
Now, here are some of the things you’ll have to know about agents. An agent’s job is to sell your book to a given publisher and negotiate the best deal on your behalf. Suppose there’s much potential for your book to become popular. In that case, they’ll likely handle your television and all forms of merchandising rights as well.
For the query agents, they serve a query letter for the children’s manuscript. That includes a picture book—this is no different from any other kind of fiction query letter. This is simply a ‘querying’ letter and is said to send the message of whether an agent is interested or not in representing you.
Ideally, it’s a one-page note with some elevator pitch that sells you and your book. It should explain;
- What makes this book unique?
- Why you and the agent are suited for each other?
- Where your books stand in the self-publishing children’s market
If you want to make a good impression as a newbie in the game of publishing. Then you’ll have to stand out by doing something crazy, for example, filling the query letter envelope with wowing stuff to show something spectacular about your book.
Here are some of the tips in writing that top-notch query letter;
You’ll have to know when your book fits into their list: Now, if the agent already has a few catchy picture books on their list, for example, a cute bear licking honey, do mention how your cute bear licking honey will sit alongside them. But if they don’t have a cute bear licking honey,’ then say how your book can add much depth to the list.
Only seek to submit to agents who handle kid’s authors: Various authors don’t research before querying an agent. So, please, it is advisable not to waste your time contacting agents known to handle adult books or titles.
e. ISBN and Barcode
The ISBN is a long number paired with a barcode and is found in all books you purchase at the book store. You can read more on how to get your ISBN here. And it stands for International Standard Book Number.
For some publishers and all other services, they might offer to get your ISBN for you. But I recommend getting your ISBN and barcodes so that it becomes yours permanently.
You, as the author, should essentially take part in the marketing of your work. So I’ll like to tell you the marketing techniques that are pretty unique to children’s books.
This is important in this regard. Parents are known to look for reviews when purchasing books for their kids than when they are simply doing it themselves. They want to see what other parents think and how much their kids enjoyed your literary piece. Nothing excluding the subject matter, is the subject matter suitable for their own kids? These are some of the things they wish to know.
And just the same way with a romance novel or thriller, when your picture book is without reviews of any sort, then it is surely bound to struggle or to sell in the bookstore.
Search for a community:
All online platforms are necessary at this time. And that’s because these days, most parents of young kids are Millennials. So, such groups tend to search the internet for almost anything that they want.
You can search through Facebook for communities of your choice, like the book groups or groups that might be wholly concerned with the topic of your book. Now, if you’ve written a picture book about unicorns, then you can bet there’s a Facebook group of people or people with kids who love unicorns or ponies.
Do share pictures of your book on Twitter and Instagram using essential hashtags. You can check my post on amazing ways of marketing a book
Most schools are known to welcome visits from authors, and in fact, some schools set aside an annual budget for it. So, why not get in touch with the administrator or the librarian and ask the things you can do for them? And if you are visiting the school for free, you can use that to sell a few copies.
Influencers are necessary:
I believe you know the term influencer, and this is most commonly used to describe Instagram or YouTube personalities who are known to be paid by brands to market products.
And it isn’t a bad idea to reach out to any of these people whose interests are in consonance with your book. And do remember that an influencer can come in various forms.
This is done for protection. So, no one dares copy or print your book without your consent. You can copyright all forms of literary pieces, whether it is movies, books, etc., and it’s easy to copyright your book now, all you have to do is search copyright sites online, and do what you need to do.
The procedures are, fill out a form online, pay the required fee, and the copyright office will send a certificate that will surely list all of the information necessary for your book. Then keep it for yourself for records.
Now, if your first self-published children’s book isn’t good enough in the market, I do advise that you don’t get discouraged in any way. Building a name and brand recognition of any type takes time. And for most successful self-publishing children’s book authors, they didn’t start with one hit, and it isn’t a guarantee that you can either.
One technique I do use to succeed in this self-publishing world is, using my imagination to create circumstances that work for me, and 99.9 percent of the time, it does work for me! You can try it too, and I’m not being delusional—it works for me. Good luck!