Why Self Publish a Children's Book

Red Teddy Bear - Children's Book Self-Publishing

  • According to Publishers Weekly, for the past few years, children’s books have become a strong growth area for publishers, booksellers, and distributors. 
  • Most kids have an insatiable appetite for books. As a result the children’s book industry just keeps getting bigger every year.
  • The children’s book industry is highly competitive, and publishers are swamped with author queries. Only a small fraction of authors get published. It seems like everyone wants to write a children’s book!
  • Self published children’s books have been successful. Written for his two young daughters, The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans eventually landed at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list. Since 1992, the book has been published in 18 languages, sold 8 million copies worldwide, and was made into an Emmy Award winning TV special. Michael Hoeye of Portland, Oregon, first self published Time Stops for No Mouse in 2000. After selling 10,000 copies, the author sold the book and sequel rights to Putnam for a reported $1.8 million.
  • When you self publish a children's book, you have complete editorial and artistic control over your children’s book. You retain all rights to your children’s book. This is not the case if you get published. The publisher will have final say over every aspect of your book’s production.
  • Publishers are looking for predictable children’s books with mass market appeal. If you happen to have a highly targeted subject or your format/style is outside of the box, you will face resistance from mass market publishers to sign on to your idea.
  • You can potentially make more money self publishing than being published. In a traditional publishing arrangement, you are paid an author royalty (roughly 7.5%) on each book sold, based on the retail selling price of your book. You may also have to share your royalty with an illustrator, if your book features illustrations. For example, you would earn $1.50 per book if your children’s book is being sold for $19.95. However, if you self publish, you could earn up to 100% of all profits, depending on your distribution mix.

Before you self publish a children's book, it’s important to inform yourself about the publishing industry, children’s book writing and marketing, and the risks and rewards of children's book self-publishing.

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