Considering trying to self-publish a children’s book? The Complete Guide to Children’s Books for Australian Authors!
For many people, self-publishing a children’s book is either a passion project or they’re looking to make money as an author. Whatever way you look at creating a children’s book or self-publishing a kid’s book in Australia can be a lot of fun.
There are various children’s books that you can focus on, including simply illustrated picture books, board books, and chapter books for early readers. Ultimately what type of children’s book you choose to publish will be entirely up to you and your budget.
In the following guide, we’ll focus on the steps that you need to follow to make creating and self-publishing your children’s book a little easier. Each author has their own way of doing things, but this is the way that we’ve found works best for us.
You can check out some of our self-published children’s books here.
Self-Publishing A Children’s Book 101 – Steps to Follow
Writing The Story – Editing – Proofing
The first part of the process is coming up with a story idea and then writing the story. Trying to find unique ideas that haven’t already been done a thousand times isn’t always easy, but it’s not impossible either, and just because it’s been done before doesn’t mean that yours won’t be better.
Once you have an idea for your story, it’s time to get some words down. With children’s picture books, it’s important to remember that you’re working with limited space and words. Unless you want a fifty-page children’s book, try to limit it to between 1000 and 2000 words. Most children’s books are about 24 pages. If your story is going to need a lot more, consider writing an early chapter reader.
When you have the story written, you’ll need to get it professionally edited and proofread. It’s definitely worth the small investment. You’ll also want to break your text up into corresponding pages at this point in the process.
Children’s Book Illustrations – The Text Layout
Pick which text will go on each page, and then try to come up with ideas for illustrations. You’ll need to know your layout size and style so that your illustrator can create illustrations that fit your layout. You’ll need to choose a layout size but remember that different platforms, such as Amazon and Ingram Spark, don’t allow all layout sizes.
Creating a storyboard to give to your illustrator will give them a good idea of the illustrations and show them how much space they need to allow for text to be placed on the page.
You have two options with illustrations; either full spreads, which cover both pages when opened like a book, or half-page illustrations that only cover one page. Full-spread illustrations look amazing, but you also need to allow space for text. Half-page illustrations give you a full page for your text.
Your formatter will place the text on top of the illustrations, so if you speak with your formatter and illustrator at the same time, you’ll be able to make the entire process much smoother for everyone involved!
Children’s Book Formatting and Layout
Once you have your story edited and proofread, your illustrations are ready; it’s time to put it all together in the children’s book formatting process. Your children’s book formatter combines everything to create your print paperback, hardcover, and ebook files. They will place text on your illustrations and ensure that everything is in the correct format for your publisher or printer.
Now would be a great time to organize your ISBN. If you have settled on the title, get your ISBN organized so that your ISBN can be placed into your book file by your formatter.
Learn more about ISBNs for Australian self-published authors.
At this stage, if you have worked with your illustrator and formatter, you’re going to have an exceptionally smooth and hassle-free experience. If you haven’t, then you could be in for a little bit of hard work.
While some illustrators are fantastic at creating illustrations, not all of them understand what’s required regarding layout and allowing space for text when it comes to creating illustrations for children’s books. There’s nothing worse than having to chop illustrations up to fit your text or, even worse, having to go back and have them redone because they don’t fit your book or text.
When considering hiring a children’s book illustrator, please ensure that they are familiar with the specific bleed, trim size, and gutter requirements of children’s book illustrations.
Uploading and Self-Publishing Your Children’s Book
As part of the formatting process, you’ll need to choose where you plan on self-publishing your children’s book. There are various platforms to choose from, including Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), IngramSpark Publishing, Smashwords, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, and many more. Some websites, such as IngramSpark Publishing, will allow you to upload one file type and will push your book to multiple platforms for you. Others, like Amazon KDP, are specifically just for Amazon KDP.
Each of the different platforms has its pros and cons, and you can read more about choosing a self-publishing platform here.
We can also assist you with self-publishing children’s books uploading to platforms such as Amazon KDP and IngramSpark Publishing if you require it.
Self-Publishing A Children’s Book 101 – Conclusion
There you go! The basic steps that you’ll need for self-publishing a children’s book. Obviously, no two books are the same, and different authors will adjust the steps to suit their writing and self-publishing style.
While creating a children’s book can be a little more expensive for illustrations, the final result is often well worth the expenditure. As children’s book authors ourselves, we have extensive knowledge of the children’s book genre and are happy to assist you by guiding you through the self-publishing process.
If you need any assistance with children’s book illustrations, ghostwriting, or children’s book formatting, then please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us directly. Our friendly and professional team will be happy to assist you.