How to Self-Publish a Children's Book in 5 Steps
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!! Creating a book alone is a huge accomplishment and I’m so excited that you’ve gotten to the next part of the process - sharing your book with the world! It can definitely feel daunting at first, but breaking down the steps into actionable tasks is how I was able to fight the overwhelm and make it to the other side. It’s completely possible, even if you don’t know the first thing about publishing. Just take it one step at a time!
This post is for those who have fully completed their book. If you’re still in the midst of finishing and need some help getting to this point, check out my Step-by-Step-Guide to Writing and Illustrating a Children’s Book here.
I’ll begin with the 2 ways you can go about publishing in simple terms:
Mainstream Publishing - where a publishing company takes your story and pretty much does all the printing and selling for you. This is a great way to get your book out to a lot of people at once but you sometimes have less control over the story in the end and it can sometimes take much longer to get your story out into the world.
Self Publishing – where you find a place to print your books and then sell them yourself. It’s more work to get your book out into stores, but it’s a great way to get your book out there affordably and quickly and anyone can do it. You can always start with self-publishing and move into mainstream publishing later on.
This was a big part of my research process in the beginning and I’m sure it’s something you’ve thought about too! Mainstream vs. Self Publishing, which is better?! Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no one answer to this, it just DEPENDS. It depends on your book, your audience, your existing platform (or lack thereof), your desired timeline, and it will depend on your publisher or printer that you find in the end.
Reasons I chose to do Self-Publishing:
Timeline: I had already written and illustrated my book and was ready to get my book out there and preferred doing it immediately rather than waiting for someone else to accept it. All I had to do was go store to store with my sample book and see if they’d like to order : )
Distribution needs: Both of my books are about the town I live in so the people buying this book would mainly be locals or visitors. This means that they would mainly be selling locally and I would not need it widely distributed. Working with stores personally has been such an added benefit to my business and an organic way to building relationships with local businesses!