In this post I will name what I believe to be the 7 best self publishing options for children's books. Use the information below as a guide as each book is different and requires a unique service and business plan. There are many different self publishing options but it is important to understand the differences before getting started.
(1) Print on Demand Publishers
Print on demand are companies that print and distribute the books once ordered and paid for by the customer. This means as a self publisher you have no set up costs as you don’t have to pay anything. This is great for someone just getting started as you can get the project up and running asap. With these services come a few risks. These companies print your job with hundreds of others at the same time meaning they don’t specifically set the printers to your job. This could result in slight discrepancies in the consistency of the printing. Most of which will not be noticeable to customers as they only see one book at a time. However if you order one box of books in January and then six months later get another box they may vary in colour slightly. The risk is small but it’s something to be aware of.
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(2) Online Printing Companies
There are wide ranges of online print companies who can print anything from business cards to novels. These services are usually very cheap and can be a great option for self publishing as with such a low cost per item it allows you to make a large profit on each book. These services get cheaper per item the larger the quantity. So you would want to start with at least 500 books. The risk with these is the same as option (1) as they are printing your job with many other jobs there is no guarantee for colour matching.
(3) Local Print Shop
Another option is to use your local print shop/company. This is usually a bit more expensive however it has great advantages. By dealing with your printer face to face they can show you examples of stock and product options. They can create consistent colour matching every time. This is a great option if you have no experience dealing with printers and publishers. They will be only too happy to hold your hand through the process and they are able to make sure you get your desired result.
Creating an eBook is as each as creating a .Pdf from a word document. You can either use ePub format or .Pdf format. This is completely free and allows you to distribute you book online through thousands of avenues. This is a great way of testing your book to make sure it is worth creating print versions.
(5) iPad app
A great new way to publish you children’s book is as an iPad application on iTunes. This is the latest avenue for children's books so there is a great need for new exciting products. The problem is this is not the easiest format to create. In order to create an exciting iPad app you need an experienced coder to create interactive elements. If you know someone with these skills or have the money to pay for them then go for it!
iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store
(6) Audio book
An audio book is a great way to publish your children's book. There are many great tools online including translators to assist you with this process. The great thing is like the eBook you can be selling it online and make your story available to the world very easily. You won’t need illustrations with this method which will save you a bit of money.
Another great way to get your book out there is through YouTube. Create a slideshow like movie or a basic animation and publish it to you tube. This is a great medium for children who are learning to read as you can have the written words being followed by the narrator allowing the child to try and read a long.
I invite you to comment on this post with other great ways of publishing a children's book.