The Complete Guide to Designing A Children’s Book with Author Services Australia


Designing or creating a children’s book involves quite a few different steps and stages. However, doing everything in the right order can make the whole process run a lot smoother. At Author Services Australia, we have worked with several self-published authors to help make their children’s books come to life. You can check out some of their children’s books on our ASA Books page.

In the following guide on children’s book design, we’ll go through each of the different steps involved as you progress through creating a children’s book. From story and content creation, copy editing, proofreading, sketches, illustrations, formatting/layout, and finally, publishing.

The entire process can look a little overwhelming at the start, but as you progress through each step, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable with the process. If you have been considering writing or self-publishing a children’s book, then please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us directly.


Story Creation | Writing | Designing A Children’s Book

The first step is story creation.

A lot of authors already have a preconceived idea of characters and storylines. This is great! It means that the writing phase will move much faster, but it’s not essential. Even if you only have a very basic idea of characters and storyline, you’d be surprised at what we can work with.

We’ll start by looking at the main characters and how they will evolve through the story. With any illustrated children’s book, you must combine both the text and illustrations to tell the story. However, there’s not often a lot of room on the pages for text, so adding more text can impact your illustrations and vice versa.

We’ll work through several drafts of the story until you’re 100% happy, and then it’s off to editors!


Copy Editing | Proofreading

We have a very experienced children’s book editing team that takes your writing and gives it a professional shine and polish. It’s not unusual to see some changes at this stage of the writing process to help character development, plot, or storyline. That’s why we don’t lock in any of the illustrations until we have locked down the story.

Your first round of copy editing will involve a little back and forth as the story is fully explored. Then, once we reach a point where you are 100% happy, we’ll lock in any changes and get the final proofread done of the manuscript.

The next step in the process is sketches and illustrations! Getting to the most exciting part for some authors.


Sketches | Illustrations

With the text firmly locked in, it’s time to start the illustration process. Our talented illustrators will work on 1-3 sketches at a time, using the manuscript text and our illustration guidance to bring your illustrations to life.

After consultation with the design team, text spots will be chosen on the pages, allowing the illustrators to take advantage of any page space fully. Sketches are completed first for your approval. Once sketches are approved, final linework and colours are added, completing the illustration.

You have several choices with illustration and layout styles, either half-page spreads or full-page spreads. Half-page spreads allow you a lot more room for text, but full-page illustrations stretching across both pages look amazing when done right!

Once the illustration process is complete, it’s off to formatting to have text placed on the pages, front matter including copyrights, title pages, and dedications added. We can also add back matter, including about the author pages, future books, and much more.


Formatting | Layout

During the formatting and layout process, the text is added to illustrations. You’ll have a lot of fun choosing different fonts or trying to decide which font best brings your life to work.

All your illustrations are combined into your book layout. It’s at this stage that we create your cover and title page using an illustration from your book or a custom illustration if you choose this option.Designing a children's book layout

We work on the paperback layout first. Adding all the front matter, illustrations, and back matter together in one book file. Once your paperback draft is approved, it’s time to create your ebook version if that’s something that you’re looking for. Once both versions are approved, you’ll have your files ready to upload, and it’s almost time to publish!


Uploading | Publishing

This is when it’s time for you to do your author duties! However, if you’re finding it a little overwhelming, we can help you with that. During the uploading process, you’ll select your paper type your and trim size. You’ll also need to choose what categories you’re uploading to and put in some keywords you think best relate to your book and will help buyers discover your book.

There are a variety of places you can self-publish a children’s book, including IngramSpark and Amazon KDP.

While Amazon KDP is a great ‘direct to customer‘ market, IngramSpark offers a lot of distribution options. It’s a good idea to consider using both distribution networks to maximize your chances of success. Check out this article on the Best Self-Publishing Platforms to learn more about Amazon KDP and IngramSpark.


What You’ll Need to Do As An Author

As the author, you have several responsibilities. First, you’ll need to obtain some ISBNs for your book. We wrote a detailed article, Do I Need An ISBN for My Book, all about why you need an ISBN and how you can get one.

You’ll also need to choose where you are self-publishing your book. There are several options, but the two most popular are Amazon KDP and Ingram Spark. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, and you can even publish on both platforms. We wrote a detailed blog, The Best Self-Publishing Platforms to Self-Publish Your Book, which takes a deep dive into self-publishing.


Complete Children’s Book Packages | Designing A Children’s Book with Author Services Australia

If you have dreamed of publishing a children’s book, but the process has seemed out of reach, then think again. Designing a children’s book doesn’t just have to be a dream! We have a variety of affordable children’s book packages that we can help tailor to your needs.

Got more questions? We know you do! Don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us directly, and we can explain more about the process and how it works.