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Proven: The Most Effective Strategy To Publish Your Children’s Book

Take the first step to writing your children’s book story. Get your copy of the children’s book template here to help you get started.

You’ve done it. After toiling with your idea, you finally have a children’s book that you’re brave enough to want to publish. YAY! 🎉 Now what? How do you actually publish a children’s book?

Below, we’re going to cover your publishing options as a children’s book author, as well as, the most effective strategy to help you publish for each. Read through the options to help you decide which will work best for you! Let’s get started.

How New Children’s Book Writers can get their Book Published:

First off, I want to congratulate you on having a complete children’s book. That’s a HUGE deal! And it’s an even bigger deal that you’re brave enough to want to do something about it. ❤️

Now, you just need to know how to get started. Below is the complete strategy you need to take in order to publish your children’s book. (I’ve also included links to other articles to help you dive deeper.) Check it out. 👇

1 – Determine Your Goals.

This is a step that a lot of writers skip, but it’s the KEY to knowing where to publish your children’s book. This industry is competitive and it can be really disheartening as you get started if you’re not careful.

Before you choose how you want to start, really think about what you want to accomplish with your book. Ask yourself:

  • Why do you want to publish a children’s book?
  • What’s the most important parts of your book that you’re not willing to compromise?
  • What would you like to do once you have a children’s book out?

Depending how you answer those questions will help you as you move on to step #2.

Get the children's book template here

2 – Choose the Right Publishing Path:

The most well-known way to publish your children’s book is with a publisher. However, what you might not know, is that’s not your only option. Here are the 3 options you have for children’s book publishing:

#1 – Pursue a Traditional Contract

This may be the one that came to your mind first. Maybe you thought, “I’ll send it to a publisher, they’ll fall in love, and publish my book.” Which is a great thought!

However, what you may not have considered, is that this is the MOST competitive and common option for children’s book writers. Which means you’re going to face a lot of rejection and need to spend a lot of time querying before you get a publishing contract. (The average saying in the industry is 5-10 years.)

Knowing that this can be hard on a lot of writers’ self-esteem, so I want you to know that it IS possible to work with a publisher. You just have to believe in your story and not give up.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, check out these articles to get started:
Query Letter Template

#2 – Self-Publish Your Book Yourself

The next most common publishing path is to do it all yourself. This is an awesome option if you really have a specific book in mind and aren’t willing to compromise on it, want to publish your book faster, and are willing to put in the work.

However, it can be really intimidating for a lot of children’s book writers, especially due to cost and marketing. Although, you can publish a children’s book for less than $500 if needed, sometimes it can cost as much as $8,000 or more, depending on your goals. 😳 (I know! That can be a scary number.) If this is something you’re interested in, I really recommend you read the articles below to learn more and help ease your worries.

Key articles to start with if you’d like to self-publish a children’s book:

#3 – Work with a Hybrid Publisher

This is probably the least known option of the 3 because it’s relatively new. Hybrid publishing means combining the other two options into one by helping you like a traditional publisher while giving you control like a self-publisher.

The only difference is that this option has a costly, initial investment. (It’s because you have to pay for the illustrations/book printing upfront, which isn’t cheap.) However, due to the assistance with distribution and marketing, you should be able to recoup your investment and then some.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out BiblioKid Publishing — a hybrid publishing company that helps children’s book writers bring their books to life!

Children's Book Publisher's List

3 – Write Your Winning Hook

No matter what option you choose, you need to have a hook that will set your book apart. Your hook will be the pitch you’ll use to attract either publishers or parents to your book and make them want to read it. (So don’t rush this step!)

To get started brainstorming your hook, list out important keys to your story’s plot, theme, or message. Then put them together in the most compelling sentence that creates a sense of intrigue. If you need assistance, you could always try a pitch formula such as: {Title of Story} is about {Main Character} who must {action they take} in order to {achieve their goal}.

Get the children's book template here

4 – Make Sure Your Story’s Ready

Whether or not you plan on trying to publish your book with a publisher, it still needs to be a polished piece that’s ready for publication. Before you submit or try to publish your story yourself, you need to make sure it’s absolutely ready to publish into a children’s book.

The best way to do this is to have it reviewed by either your critique group or a professional. (If you’d like to book a critique with me, you can do so here.) If it’s an approved story, then you’ll need to set it up in proper format and make sure you have the proper genre to pitch it to your readers.

Use these articles to help you finalize your story before you move forward in the publishing process:

5 – Take Your First Step

Alright, you’ve officially reached the end! Now that you know it’s time to publish your children’s book, it’s time to take your first step. Here’s what you need to do depending on what type of publishing path you’re interested in:

#1 – Pursue a Traditional Contract

If you’re going to publish with a traditional publisher, you need to get a contract. You can do that 2 ways – with an agent or a small press. The kicker is you can only choose one to query first. (If you’d like to know the pros & cons to a larger publishing house vs. a smaller one, read this article.)

The way you connect with one of these people is through a letter known as a query. A query is your way of introducing yourself and your story to a potential agent or editor. It needs to be short, professional, and include your intriguing hook. (It will probably take a lot of these before you get a yes, and that’s okay! Don’t give up on your story.)

Manuscript Checklist_Publishing Children's Books
If you need help with these steps, read these articles to help you out:

#2 – Self-Publish Your Book Yourself

If you’ve decided to publish your children’s book yourself, then you get to skip the querying process but you still have a list of work to get started. Knowing that you have a well-written story, the next thing to do is to get an illustrator to help you finish telling the story. (After all, the art is just as important as the words!)

Then you need to choose a printer, decide when the book’s coming out, and plan your launch. All very exciting stuff! And remember – just because it’s called self-publishing, doesn’t mean you have to publish a book all by yourself. Feel free to hire contractors to help you with every step along the way.

Here are a few articles to help you out:
Kidlit Publishing Toolkit_How to Publish a Children's Book

#3 – Work with a Hybrid Publisher

Like a traditional publisher, you’ll need to submit to a hybrid. But before you send them your story, make sure you understand what to expect working with the hybrid of your choosing. You’ll want to look for things like:

  • Story requirements – does the book have to be finished or do they help with editing and illustrations?
  • Distribution – how do they get your book into stores and do they offer any help with the distribution such as a sales team?
  • Marketing – sometimes this step is extra, but it’s important to know if you’re going to get any help launching or selling your book.

Before accepting an offer with a hybrid publisher, make sure to schedule a call to discuss what to expect as an author with the company. If you’d like to work with BiblioKid Publishing, you can submit to them here.

Good luck on your quest to help you publish your first children’s book! It’s a very exciting time. 😃 Can’t wait for you to finally bring your first book across the finish line and finally be able to share your story all over the world!

Start Your Journey to Publish Your First Children’s Book Today!

How to get started writing a children's book free webinar

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  1. I already have my book written and have the full manuscript. I have it copyrighted and i have an ISBN. So now i just need the help to get it out there but i need to make it affordable for the parents. I have one copy that was done for me at Office depot just so i have it all together but that was too expensive to make multiple copies.

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