If you’re an author looking to self-publish your book or you’re a person on planning stages this is just the place for you. Mastering the art of writing a book is self-sufficiently a great way to glimpse out of our busy and monotonous lifestyle. Other than that if you’re interested in the other end of how self-published books make their way into the market especially children’s books this is the right article to begin your journey!
If you’re here, that means you’ve already decided that you’re going to exercise full control on publishing your book, printing it, and being in charge of the timeline. However, anyone who is trying to self-publish a book on their own has many questions at first. Let’s delve into those step-by-step!
1. Editing the Book to Perfection
The first and foremost step to publish any book is to ensure it has flawless content. A book with imperfect content with many errors in it challenges the author’s quality of work and credibility. So to enhance your manuscript and have it combed to perfection you could follow these steps:
- Hire a proofreader
These people would not be able to help you assess the minds of your target audience however they would provide value able insight for your content. You could inculcate their advice as you please and they could also help identify any grammatical or factual error you might have accidentally made.
- Working with a professional editor
Professional editors are skilled personnel that have training and experience in molding your manuscripts. They will help you identify your errors and advise you on know how to correct them. It is also an investment in your writing future since you will learn from a qualified editor and hone your skills based on their criticism, which you can then apply to your next book.
- Revising your own work
This is an effective way to enhance your work, improve its clarity and overall performance with the audience. It gives you an opportunity to review your work with a critical eye. Despite the temptation to just publish your work as-is, spending the time to edit it can greatly improve the proficiency of your book.
2. Adding Alive Illustrations
Illustrations are the backbone of any children’s book. A book without good and interactive illustrations or without any illustrations at all undoubtedly loses its target audience. Children are more prone to being attracted to artistic characters and funny cartoons than simple text. It is imperative that you add adequate designs in your book to attract the said audience. To do this, you need to follow a few steps:
- Narrow down your illustrations
Firstly, you need to decide what to work on. Visualizing your narrative: that involves choosing what characters are going to be portrayed in the book. After selecting and organizing the artwork, the second step that comes into publishing your book is:
- Hiring an Illustrator
While thinking about how much self-publishing costs, one of the factors you should not forget to include is the cost of an illustrator. These are people you’ll hire to materialize the visuals you have in mind and create a cover page that will be the most prominent feature of your book.
We all know that most children today dislike reading. They prefer to spend time playing games on their gadgets because they find the vibrant user interfaces to be much more appealing than reading a book. However, a book illustrator can influence a child’s perception of books and make a children’s book illustration more engaging for them.
- The Book Cover is the most important
“You’re familiar with the proverb, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”?”
On Amazon, where your book cover serves as the front face of your offering, it doesn’t really apply. Your work could flourish greatly if you get it right. You can choose from a variety of book cover styles and iterations provided by each designer. You’ll spend more money with more iterations.
Your chosen book format will also affect the final prices. Designing print book covers is a little more challenging than designing eBook covers.
After editing, formatting and illustrating your book. You’re three steps closer to self-publishing your book on Amazon or any other platform you prefer. It is time to decide whether you would only like to present the book digitally or print in a hard form as well.
Other questions apart from the mode you will self-publish your book in are:
Should you print on demand or in bulk? Which printing company and distribution channels should you use? How will you select your ISBN?
- Paperback vs. e-Book
E-Books have established themselves as a pillar of the publishing sector during the past few years. But contrary to expectations, the rise of e-books has not resulted in the death of printed books.
The Association of American Publishers reports that e-book sales in the United States decreased marginally to $983 million in 2019 from the previous year. After several years of double-digit decreases in e-book sales, the growth rate was lower.
The market is still dominated by hardcover and paperback books, with sales of $3 billion and $2.5 billion, respectively, in 2019.
- Many readers adore the feel of print books as a physical objects. You can feel the paper, turn the pages, and hold it.
- The quality of illustrations on paper is typically better than what even the most expensive e-readers can replicate.
- E-books allow for customization of font and size.
- Thousands of books can be stored on a single e-reader.
If you have the budget for both, you can print in both formats print and e-book. However, it is to be kept in mind that both will have different ISBN numbers.
- Print-on-demand vs. Print off-set
You must choose your printing method before you will self-publish a children’s book. A print-on-demand service or an offset book printer can both be used to print children’s books. On-demand book printing is available through businesses like Amazon KDP. However, the printing quality is poorer and there is less up-front expense.
Offset book printing necessitates upfront payment for books as well as the storage and distribution of a minimum of 500 copies, but the print quality and profit margin are superior. Investigate the differences between print-on-demand and offset printing before making your choice.
- Print on Demand
Amazon’s print-on-demand (POD) service is a fantastic choice for authors, especially if you don’t know how many copies your book will sell.
Amazon Print on Demand allows authors to sell their books without having to worry about managing inventory or whether they should buy boxes of copies. To help you determine whether POD is a good option for you, it’s crucial to discuss the specifics of POD.
- Easy to handle for self-published writers
- Opportunity to avail free ISBN with your paperback sale (in Amazon)
- Can be made available in paperback and hardcover
- Can be ready within 48 hours
- Books printed digitally are more expensive per unit than books printed offset.
- For books that will sell in large quantities, digital printing is not effective.
- The quality and format flexibility of digital printing are inferior to those of offset printing.
In self-publishing, while knowing about the POD method you might be astonished to learn that most books in this nation are still printed using offset lithography, even if print-on-demand has made the process easier than ever.
That’s because it is the most effective way to produce a lot of books, and it is unquestionably the most economical for big print runs. Additionally, a considerably higher-quality final product is ensured. The best authors for offset printing are those who:
- Inventory is required for occasions like book signings
- Through public speaking or trade events, market books
- They raised money for their project using websites like Amazon
Which Publishing Company to Choose and Why?
Amazon is a popular option among the many self-publishing businesses that may print and distribute books for independent authors. It is indisputable that Amazon gives a large audience significant exposure.
Furthermore, its publishing section, Kindle Direct Publishing, invites anyone to publish their own book, whatever of their level of competence. Create a KDP account, upload your book, complete the product details, and click “Publish” to publish your book on Amazon.
As a self-publishing author, you can get an ISBN number for your book by paying for it from an ISBN agency or for free from other publishers and distributors, like Draft2Digit. It is important to note that ISBN number for each version of your title (e.g. print or eBook).
If you’re simply publishing digitally on Amazon you don’t need an ISBN number. Therefore, why would anybody ever pay for an ISBN?
Aha! Here’s the catch: if you apply for an ISBN number through one of the aggregators we named above, industry rules prevent you from expanding outside of that company’s retail channels, however if you purchase an ISBN straight away, you are free to do so.
To illustrate what we mean, let’s say you decide to expand your reach through Draft2Digital while still selling your book on Amazon (a standalone platform).
- Book Marketing
Whether you are a self-published author or a traditional one, Marketing plays an important role in the sale of your book. You shouldn’t be worried about the initial investment that will go in marketing your novel as it will heed long-term benefits that will be worth it. You could explore many avenues to market your book, and the key here is to get started as early as possible. There are a few steps you could take to help market your book:
- Create a social media platform
Send your book to social media influencers. Ask them about promoting your book on social media or any other platform they may have. Just keep in mind that 90% of people won’t reply and/or might refuse. However, the tenth one might be the deciding factor! Prepare to send them copies of the book.
- Build an author website
This will serve as a great place for potential readers to feel connected to you and is a crucial step forward for self-published authors. Creating a host domain might add to the cost of self-publishing your book; however, fret not, as this will benefit your future work as well
Many people have mixed opinions on marketing using Amazon However, most people concur that it’s a fantastic outlet for selling your books. It’s critical to have your own books listed there as well as this is where the majority of readers look to purchase books.
A great way to do this is to create an Amazon author page, Through Author Central. Readers can click your name under a book on Amazon to visit your author profile and find out more about you.
- Visit schools and hold book reads
If children see you and your book in person they are more likely to read it. Make your reading as enchanting as possible so all the people listening to you would definitely want to read the book for themselves.
- Get Book Awards
This is a great way to attract your readers. A book with great awards are prone to attract more potential readers so go out there and look for particular awards.
It is important to know that book awards are not restricted to traditionally published authors; self-published authors can also avail them.
5. Copyright Registration
To prevent your self-published work from being stolen copyright registration is a must. A book’s “Best Edition” must be submitted to the copyright office. This is the last printed or digital copy of the finished book or manuscript. Keep in mind that actual words, not concepts, are protected by copyright.
In order to prevent having to re-register in the future, register a book that is as close to being finished as possible.