By Bemmygail

Bemmygail is an award-winning illustrator and animator. She produces creative projects targeted for children, and the general audience.

Self Publishing Children’s Books Part 2

Preparation

If you’ve been my follower for a year, you would surely know my previous blog related to self-publishing. Click Here to Read the Previous Blog.

This blog is an updated article about how to self-publish your very own book. I’d love to share what I know about this here, includes even non-fiction or fiction novels too. I’ll include all information necessary and helpful for you to get going with your exciting book plan!

Why Should You Publish Your Book?

  • It’s like an artwork that you can leave for the next generation.
  • Just like an artwork, any one of the 7 billion people on earth might be interested or relate to your story. You can touch lives and influence people.
  • It’s a product you can sell to earn money.
  • It’s like a memoir of your past, a beautiful reminder of your ancestors perhaps.
  • If it turns into a big hit, you’re like investing a forever project.
  • You’ll get royalties, and you will always be remembered.
  • Your book is like your descendant.

Story and Writing

Now that you have your book idea ready, you can start writing it. Write as many details as you can. I get easily hungry when I’m writing my story, or even make a script for a film because I have to imagine everything and make them original. You can hire a technical writer if you want. There are writers that would love to write your story, you just have to give them an idea. But of course, make sure to protect your idea at all times, make proper contract documents to be sure no one will steal your idea from you. In any case, it would always be better to write your own story. Imagining things should be fun, so forget how difficult it is and simply write and have fun!

Once you’ve finished writing, hire someone to proofread it. If it’s a novel, you should have someone proofread it, edit everything and make sure it’s professional. If it’s for a children’s book, it’ll be fine not to hire an editor, you can ask anyone, like a friend, who’s good with writing to just proofread it for you.

Illustration

If you can illustrate your own book, it would be so much better! But if you can’t, you can always hire someone. I offer illustration services, you might want to check it out. Click Here. Illustration of the book is one of the most important parts of this project, aside from the main story of course. Both the story and illustration should be perfect. If you only have a strong story, but your illustration is never at it’s highest, then it’s difficult to find people who can get interested in your book. Illustration has to be super attractive even in just one glance, and illustration is what usually draws kids to read it. Set aside a budget for illustration. Usually, it’s the highest budget for an entire children’s book project – the illustration.  But of course, if you use paid advertising and marketing, that will make a difference.

Anyway, just make sure you hire the best person for your book illustration. Not all cheap illustrations are good, well, you get what you pay for in most cases. Remember, you don’t just pay the actual illustration, but also the customer service, good communication and especially good understanding of your book project.

Cover Design

One of the most important parts of the book is the cover. Whether you’re writing a fiction novel or a children’s book, the cover has to be excellent. It has to create interest to readers and has to be striking. I also offer cover designs for your book, starting at only $50, and $95 including commercial license and 3d image for preview which you can use to market the book later. Order directly here with straightforward pricing.  Cover design for a book requires the title, author and illustrator, and the blurb at the back. It also requires designs for the front, spine and back cover. Make sure you have these in mind before hiring someone to do the cover for you.

Format

Book format may be simple to think about, but do you have the tools to easily create them? I personally think it’s easy because I always do it, I format my own books and the books of my clients. But as I read from many forums, so many people desperately need the right formatter because it’s just not as easy as I thought for others. Not everyone has the luxury to be a techie, so here I am offering this service as well. Click here to order. So basically formatting is preparing your book as a digital copy, with proper layout and file format, ready to be uploaded on publishing sites. You’ll need to make sure the book will not have errors when uploaded. It has to have the titles and page numbers right. If you wish to make the book available for kindle, or epub format, it’s a bit tricky but doable, you should also because it’ll be convenient for readers. If you are not sure about this, better hire someone to do it. It would be a wise decision to hire the expert. 🙂

Sell

If your files and file formats are ready, you should be able to upload it online. There are two ways I know, to publish your book, traditional or self-publishing. Traditional is the best in many ways because you just have to submit it, and publishing company will be the one to print it, sell and advertise, with you the author just sitting back and relaxing in your home waiting for your book royalties. But, also, traditional publishing has a rigid process and requires a long time and lots of efforts, and also money. Some authors like J.K. Rowling, they have to knock on every publishing company to have their manuscript read, that most of the time their manuscript will just stay on the table without anybody noticing it. If you want to go this route, you will have to find a traditional publisher you like, here are the top 15 popular ones:

Rank 2017 Rank 2016 Publishing Group or Division Parent Company Parent Country 2016 Revenue (in $M) 2015 Revenue (in $M)
1 1 Pearson Pearson PLC UK $5,617 $6,625
2 3 RELX Group Reed Elsevier PLC & Reed Elsevier NV UK/NL/US $4,864 $5,209
3 2 ThomsonReuters The Woodbridge Company Canada $4,819 $5,776
4 not listed Bertelsmann Bertelsmann AG Germany $3,697 $5,259
5 4 Wolters Kluwer Wolters Kluwer NL $3,384 $4,592
6 8 Hachette Livre Lagardère France $2,390 $2,407
7 10 Grupo Planeta Grupo Planeta Spain $1,889 $1,809
8 9 McGraw-Hill Education Apollo Global Management US $1,757 $1,835
9 11 Wiley Wiley US $1,727 $1,822
10 15 Springer Nature Springer Nature Germany $1,715 $1,605
11 14 Scholastic Scholastic US $1,673 $1,636
12 12 HarperCollins News Corp. US $1,646 $1,667
13 13 Cengage Learning Holdings II Apax and Omers Capital Partners US/Canada $1,631 $1,633
14 16 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company US/Cayman Islands $1,373 $1,416
15 19 Holtzbrinck Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck Germany $1,226 $1,231

Source Article

Once you find a publishing company that you liked, check on their websites and find “submission” pages where it lists the requirements for you to provide in order for you to submit your book to them for review. Some publishing houses will respond for months before they can give you feedback about your book. So better submit to as many publishers as you can. But if your book is accepted, life will be easier. The publishing company will be the one to print and advertise your book for you, and you’ll just receive your royalty. Some publishers will even want to sponsor you to write some more books! That would be a dream for every author.

Now if you want to go to self-publishing companies, it’s easier and quicker, because it’s like a direct selling of your book from your hands to display center.  You just have to prepare your formatted pdf files, create accounts from these self-publishing websites, and upload the book.  The book will then be available for readers to purchase in either digital or physical copies.

Here are a list of popular self-publishing sites:

  1. Lulu
  2. Blurb
  3. Scribd
  4. Createspace
  5. Smashwords
  6. IUniverse
  7. Kobo
  8. Kindle Direct Publishing

Source Article

I personally have used Lulu, blurb, CreateSpace, and kindle direct publishing. These are all free, you just have to pay for the proof copy. But really, you have the option not to order proof copies. I haven’t ordered mine yet, but the books are already available on display. These websites also offer global retail network which means that they will distribute your book to all available bookstores or libraries anywhere around the world. Isn’t that nice? Although there is no assurance that someone will really buy your book, unless it has super amazing visuals maybe, really high-quality content, and the right exposure, people will surely buy it.

Advertise

As I said earlier, even though your book is out there, self-published online, available for readers to buy, there is no assurance that you’ll immediately get buyers for your book unless your book is accepted to traditional publishers, you don’t have to think about this part of the process. Self-publishing sites don’t offer free advertising and marketing of your book, it’s self-service, you have to do it on your own.

Advertising nowadays is very accessible to anyone as long as you know the internet. Advertising can be done through word of mouth, paid to advertise using facebook, twitter, or even Amazon.  For only $5 you can start advertising your book on Facebook, you just have to creatively make your facebook promotion so that it’ll be effective. It has to have good results, so you have to target the right audience or market.

You can create a video promotion, or an animated video trailer perhaps. I offer animation services here as well. At a very high quality, affordable price of 2d animation, you can have a video for your book! Click here to learn more. The book can be an animated video from the characters or figures of your illustrated book, it can also be a book trailer, showing images of the book in motion, adding some text and awesome music, or a 3d book preview being featured on the video would also work! I’d love to help you use your imagination.

There are also other ways to advertise and promote your book, but these processes below require you to be really serious about this because you have to go out.

  • Use all your social media accounts and share it with all your family and friends.
  • Offer your ebook for free in a limited time, to gain reviews or feedback.
  • Make an event or social gathering and feature your book
  • Book signing and book reading event
  • Post blogs about your book, process, the backstory etc.
  • Guest in blog interviews, or even shows
  • Reply to book forums
  • Be active to social media groups about books

Social engagement is necessary to promote your book. You also have to be sincere in your posts and replies. It’s a huge work and requires you to be diligent because it takes time to increase your following.

Once everything is done, then have a break and enjoy your book for yourself for a moment. Read it for little kids. Also, the best step is to find another idea that you can turn into a book, or maybe turn your book into a movie! We’ll talk these things in my next blog soon.

If you have more ideas about publishing your own book, leave your comments below.

Credits to original source of featured image: LINK

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