Have a finished children’s story you’re ready to publish? Download our free publishing checklist to help you get started with your publishing journey.
As a writer, publishing can feel like a big process! After all, you’re going from an idea to finished book in less than a year. So what does the publishing process look like for a children’s book? Here’s the complete breakdown for you in just 10 easy steps.
How to Publish a Children’s Book in 10 Easy Steps:
If you’re planning to publish a children’s book yourself, you might feel overwhelmed by the publishing process. How are you supposed to transform your Word Doc into a children’s book? What does that even look like?
No need to fear. We’ve broken out the process into 10 easy steps for you to follow.
1 – Choose Your Printer and Decide Your Book Size/Type
Before you can get started with the publishing process, you have to know what kind of book you’re creating. If you don’t know this, then you won’t be able to give your illustrator the correct information and might have to pay to redo the files. 😬
To avoid this, choose a printer you want to use and review their book types and size requirements. Then note their print specifications to send to an illustrator.
2 – Edit Your Story and Paginate it for an Illustrator
Another thing to do before you choose an illustrator is to have your story completely edited and ready to go. If not, it can also result in an added cost from needing to redo the art after they’ve already started because the story has changed. 😬
To avoid this, hire an editor to copyedit and paginate your story into the pages that you want it to be broken up in, then find an illustrator. (If you need help with your copyedit, we can help you! Here’s the link.)
3 – Find an Illustrator
Then it’s time to finally hire your illustrator! Finally. This is when your book starts to come together and begin to really feel like a real book. (Something our authors say is their favorite part of the publishing process!)
If you need help finding an illustrator, check out Fiverr for a large selection of freelancers for any budget.
4 – Create the Sketches
Once you’ve hired your illustrator, the next step is to create the sketches. This is a crucial part before you color, because this is where changes can be made. Feel free to give them as detailed of illustrator notes on your initial draft to help guide them with what you envision the interior sketches will look like.
Then be sure to thoroughly review them for any notes. And send your notes in a clear, bulleted format so you don’t have to go back and forth too much with your illustrator.
5 – Color and Finalize the Illustrations
Once the sketches are approved, the next step is to color them for print! (Exciting times in the publishing process for sure.) At this time, if you haven’t decided on a book designer, now’s your time. Your illustrator can put the text onto your book, you can do it, or another person can help.
Just make sure it’s clear who’s responsible for doing that before you completely finalize the illustrations.
6 – Purchase Your ISBN and Barcode
If you’re creating a printed book, you have to have a barcode in the bottom righthand corner on the backcover. And you’ll also need an ISBN for each format of your book. (So if you’re creating both a hardcover and an eBook, you’ll need 2 ISBNs.)
Depending on your printer, they might provide you with the ISBNs and Barcodes that you need. But if you need to purchase them, you can do so through Bowker.
7 – Proof the Story and Send for Book Design
Now that you have everything that’s needed to finalize your book, it’s time to send it to the designer. (Whether that’s your illustrator or someone else.) Just be sure to give your book one final read-through and make sure you’ve included your:
- Copyright information
- Author bio
Then get ready to proof your final files!
8 – Create the Final PDF Print Files
Before you send your book to the printer, you’ll want to review your final files with the designer. This your chance in the publishing process to catch any spelling, grammar, or formatting errors that you want changed before your book is finalized. So be sure to review them thoroughly or hire a copyeditor to help!
9 – Upload Your Files to Print
When they’re approved, it’s officially time to upload them to your printer! (Hooray!!) All that effort and time you’ve been waiting for, at last it’s here. Be sure to follow your printer’s publishing guidelines to make sure you don’t have to redo the files before you hit publish.
We also suggest getting a proof of your book whenever you’re using a new printer. That way you know what everyone else will receive and can make changes before the rest of the world gets them.
10 – Hit Publish and Celebrate
Once you’ve done all of that, you’ve reached the final step in the publishing process. It’s time to hit publish! Then go celebrate all your hard work with your family and friends at a launch party. You’ve earned it.
That’s it! The complete publishing process broken down into 10 easy steps for you. If you’d like help to make the publishing process easier, apply to work with us here. We’d love to help you make your publishing dreams a reality!
Share the 10 publishing process steps with your writing friends today!
For more publishing help, check out these other articles to help you: