SELF PUBLISHING CHILDREN’S BOOKS | how to publish your own books

SELF PUBLISHING CHILDREN’S BOOKS | how to publish your own books


Howdy old bean, it’s Jules here. Have you had a fabulous
children’s story idea that you want to get out to a quadzillion
potential readers? Then keep watching. I make videos and drawing, planning and
publishing every Friday in the hope that my decades of knowledge might help
someone out there. I write and illustrate children’s picture books and have sold
thousands across the world, and I know that there are lots of people out there
who want to do the same thing because I meet you in my day to day life,
quite often in very unusual circumstances. I’ve put together today, a
little guide as to how to get your book from being that idea is buzzing around
in your head to something that people are actually going to read. There are seven key points, so you don’t need to lose the will to live over this it’s not
going to go on forever and ever. But here’s a little tip; it’s all about the
quality of what you do. If you produce something that’s say, got loads of
punctuation mistakes in it, it’s got pretty rubbish front cover and it’s
printed on really shabby paper, then chances are no one’s really going to want
to buy it. But if you produce something that you’ve done to the best of your
ability, then you’re much more likely to get noticed. There are two key strands to
publishing a book; there is the creative side and there is the business side, so
unless you want someone to handle all of those aspects of publishing a book,
you’re going to have to get to grips with both of these things. There are some pretty hefty pros
at publishing your own book. Firstly you have complete creative
freedom – that means you can write about whatever you want to write about, without
running the risk of anybody else asking you to change your plot line or your
character names or something else that’s really integral, that you think is really
important to your story. Secondly, you have a 100% ownership
of the rights of your book this means that nobody else is allowed to do anything
with any aspects of your book without your knowledge and without your approval. Thirdly you have a greater % of the royalties;
that means typically with printed books you could get up to 70% of the royalties
rather than the 5% that you get with traditional publishing and again up to
70% instead of the 25% with ebooks. That equates to quite a lot of wonga. If you’ve decided to indie publish then you can either do all yourself or you can
employ people to assist with certain elements of it. I usually pay someone to
proofread or sometimes edit my books but as I did my degree in illustration I’m
lucky enough to be able to do that bit myself. You can also get a designer to
help you with a cover as well as formatting the interior of the book. The process. Let’s start with the first thing that you need to do. You need to have an
idea and you need to write your first draft. Depending on the age range and the genre this might be fully text, it might be
text with some pictures, or it might be more image with a little bit of text
like in picture books for example. I will leave a link in the description box
below that gives you a little bit more information about this. Number 2: editing.
This can be anything from rewriting your first draft or you might be on your
third, fourth or even tenth or it could be just proofreading
for the final time before you sent print. This is the part that often takes the
longest if you have mostly text in your book. Try to self-edit as much as
possible because proof readers and editors charge by the hour so that just
brings the cost down a little bit for you. Get your friends and family to have
a look too they might spot something. You can often go what I think of as ‘word
blind’, when you write something you swear blind you’ve written that particular
thing but then someone points out, NOPE you’ve written something completely
different. It might be just one word, it could be a phrase but it’s one of those
things that somebody else might be able to spot that you can’t; and there’s a
very good example of this that I have been put through myself when I was
writing Royal Fleas I was on a really tight deadline and I had one tiny typo, a
bit of a rookie error really, and I had to pulp all of those printed
books that I produced because I couldn’t bear sending out with those two
letters in the wrong place. Very annoying and a bit costly. Number three: design and
formatting. You need to make this a pleasant experience for your reader and
that means your design and your formatting need to be good. If you want
some advice on covers then check out this video
but other than having a cover that is going to entice people to pick up your
book in the first place, you need your interior to be fan-bleedin-tastic. The line
justification that means whether it’s centered or to the left or to the right
that needs to be right your point size needs to be right you don’t it too small
or too big and you don’t want any hanging widows or orphans and that means
when you’ve got a line or a word that is separated from the main paragraph that
it belongs to, perhaps it’s gone to the next page for
example. That’s not a very nice reading experience for somebody. Remember if
you’ve get this right then your reader won’t even notice but if you get it
wrong they certainly will and they might even put your book down and not bother
reading it. Number four is the publishing itself. Indie publish either as a printed
book or an e-book or preferably both. Print on demand or POD means that you
can upload your manuscript to a service like KDP and they will print a copy when
somebody orders it. So this typically means someone will look on Amazon see
your book order it then KDP who are affiliated, well they’re part of Amazon,
they will print the book and send it directly out to your customer without it
even passing through your hands at all and this has pros and cons. Alternatively, you can have your book
printed by somebody, a printer perhaps locally,
perhaps the other side of the world but you get a bunch of physical copies of
your books. This is good if you want to go to
literary festivals or arts and crafts markets, you can sell it in book shops, on
your website and keep it home if you want to give to family members or people
in your community. For me I do both. I purchase my own ISBNs so that I
can sell anywhere I want to and then I quite often I make a second
edition of that book, and then sell it on Amazon so that they
can print on demand for me. If you want further details then check out the link
in the description box below which goes into much more detail about all the nuts
and bolts of how to get this done. You can also publish as an e-book but if you
are publishing a picture book then I refer you to my previous sentence of
looking at that description box below because there are some sort of ninja
tips that I give about being able to do that really successfully. Number five is
writing your blurb. What is blurb? It’s that thing on the back cover; it’s
the equivalent of an elevator pitch. Imagine that you have got 20 seconds to
tell somebody about your book, what is the most important thing that you need
to tell them? You also need to have an author page. Now I am going to make a video
about both of these things in the new year so subscribe and ding that bell next door to the subscribe button so that I
can notify you when that video comes out. Five b; picking your keywords and having a
subtitle. If you are definitely publishing through KDP and amazon you
have the option to have a subtitle. Now, this is really useful and it’s a great
way to define your book and get it into the metadata. Let’s say for example, you
are writing an exciting time travelling story but your title is the The Elsa-May
Chronicles. The title doesn’t really tell us anything but if you had a
subtitle that says ‘a time-traveling adventure’ then that metadata will tell
somebody who’s either searching for time-traveling books, for your age range,
or adventure books, for your age range, then that will pop up on the feed.
You do need to have those words the ‘time-traveling adventure’ somewhere on
the front cover but it doesn’t have to be central and massive, it can
just be a diagonal across the top. You do have to have that otherwise
Amazon will get a little bit sniffy about it. And I’ll be making a video on keywords
and titles in 2020. Number six; marketing. The first rule of marketing is know who your target audience is. You should know
the age range, you should know the sort of person that’s going to be reading
your book and you should know the sort of person he’s going to be buying your
book. With children’s books it’s quite different from adult books because it’s
not necessarily the child who will be parting with the cash, particularly for
the younger age groups. You will need to know how to produce a press release and
guess what yep I’m going to be doing a video on that next year. In the meantime
you can check out my press release guide which is in the description below and
you can send your press release out to local newspapers, relevant magazines, your
local radio or TV station if you have one, you can also announce your launch on
social media you can tell your friends about it you can tell your workmates
about it; get it on your email list if you have one – and you really ought to
have an email list – and you can make a little video for YouTube or Instagram. Number seven; how much is this gonna cost me? Well it’s a little bit like saying
how long is a piece of string because it depends what you put into it,
but let’s imagine that you are doing this on a pretty tight budget. Here’s the
maths. It’s your time, plus purchasing of any ISBNs, plus employing
someone to do your editing plus any printed books that you want to
buy. With print on demand there is no upfront printing cost, but you might
still need to pay for an editor or a designer and the same with ebooks as
well. Here’s an example; let’s not count your time for the moment let’s just
count the physical cost of things. In the UK 10-isbns currently costs £164,
so that’s £16.40 each, one ISBN is £16.40. Editing costs- let’s say up to sixty pounds then you’ve got the cost of printing. For 100
copies for a smallish book 32 pages let’s call it £360 and that
together all adds up to £436.40. Divide that by a hundred and
one copy is going to cost you £4.36. If your retail price £6,
then you have made £1.64 per copy and by the time
you’ve sold a hundred copies which probably won’t take you that long, you’ve
made £164. If you are doing a print on demand or an e-book then you just
need to take into account really your time and editing costs that sort of
thing and then to sit back and watch the royalties roll in. In my experience
though picture books in particular are quite difficult to sell as print on
demand as people like to see them in the flesh they like to look through them
feel them and it’s much more of a sort of sensory experience prior to the
purchase, but that’s just my experience at the moment. So there is my quick guide
to indie publishing a children’s book. If you’re interested in giving it a go, then
check out my program which I’ve linked in the description box below which looks
at all of these things in much more detail including any decisions that you
need to make before you even lift up a pencil or pen; that’s things like page
sizes, layouts, formatting and lots more besides the actual elements of making up
a picture. The introduction is free to look at so don’t want to over and have a
gander. If there are any other elements of how to make a picture book that you
would like to me to cover in another video then please drop me a comment
below and I will add it to my ever-growing list of subjects that I
need to talk to you about. I’ll leave the link for my website as well if you want
to have a look at my books and see how I do things. That’s it for now I am off to
eat an entire box of gluten-free mince pies all by myself. Well, it is nearly Christmas.
Don’t forget to join me for next week’s December bullet journal setup. I’ll see
you then. Nanu, Nanu!

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