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How to Publish a Picture Book: The Complete Process

My new picture book, PIRATES STUCK AT “C”, just set sail last month! It’s very exciting to get to hold my book for the first time. 😃 But how did I publish a picture book?

Watch this short video as I breakdown the complete publishing process of a picture book for you.

How to Publish a Picture Book: The Complete Process Breakdown

PIRATES STUCK AT “C” is published by my own publishing house, BiblioKid Publishing. Which means I was in control of the whole publishing process for my book. Here are the steps I took to publish a picture book:

1 – Have an approved manuscript.

You can’t have a book without a story! It took me 30 drafts to get the story right, but once I had an approved version, I was able to move forward. (Picture books have very few words so it’s important to make every word count! Don’t be afraid of editing your own story multiple times to get it right.)

Kidlit Writer's Starter Kit | Your guide to help you write a children's book

2 – Find the illustrator.

I’m not an author-illustrator, which means I needed someone else to draw the images for the book for me. If you’re working with a publishing house, they will find the illustrator for you. However, if you’re creating your own book, then you’ll need to find an illustrator that fits the story.

3 – Approve the cover design & dummy layout.

After the illustrator has had time to play with the story, it’s time to approve the layout so they can begin to finalize the art. One of the first things we want finalized is the cover so the marketing team has time to promote the book while the rest of the final artwork is being completed.

4 – Book marketing begins.

Even before the book is finalized, the marketing team has started to promote it. This normally starts with cover reveals and sneak peeks, and eventually branches into interviews and press releases.

No matter if you’re publishing your book yourself or working with a publisher, you’re most likely going to need to help market your book. Here’s a really helpful guide to help you if you aren’t sure where to start.

5 – The book is finalized.

Pirates Stuck at "C" | How to Publish a Picture Book Process
The final copy of Pirates Stuck at “C”. 🤣

Once the illustrator has finished all the artwork, then the text is arranged on the pages. This is also when pages like the copyright, dedication, and about the author/illustrator are decided. It’s the time to lay everything out perfectly so you can officially publish your picture book.

6 – It’s sent to the printers.

This was a BIG learning curve for me. We went through many digital files and multiple hardcover samples to make sure everything was exactly the way we wanted them. But once the files are approved, it’s time to publish.

7 – Launch the book!

The book launch requires a lot of planning. You need to decide when, where, and how you want to do things. Just remember to have fun and celebrate!! Your book just came out. 🎉


That’s the whole publishing process for a picture book! (Approved manuscript, find an illustrator, decide on a cover/layout, start marketing, finalize the book, send it to the printers, and launch it.) Hope this helps with your own publishing journey!

And for more publishing tips, check out these articles:

How to Publish a Picture Book | Complete Publishing Process Breakdown

How to Publish a Picture Book

Download the free children's book template

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