You’ve written an amazing children’s book and you just know that you need to share it with the world. Now what? How on earth do you place your brilliant children’s book into the hands of children? A daunting task … one might think, but with technology today it truly can be a feasible and enjoyable process. There are several different routes in order to make this happen.
One option is to submit through a traditional publisher (Wikipedia list here) and wait to see if your book is accepted. If it is, congratulations! While not impossible, it is very difficult to catch the eye of a publisher. The wonderful news is they will take on the production part of your book: the layout, illustration, design, printing and distribution. Some authors may want to be involved in this part of the process and depending on the publisher you may play a big role. My best advice to you is to do your research—similar to job hunting—you want to find the publishing company that is going to be a good fit for your style and preferences.
Another option, that is becoming increasingly popular, is self publishing. As a self publisher you will be responsible for the layout, illustration, design and printing of your piece. The good news is that you don’t need to wait for a publisher to endorse your book. If you want to be in control of the distribution there are websites like blurb.com that can produce your book. Another option—my personal preference—is to use Amazon’s Createspace.com. Createspace literally allows you to complete your book and make it available to millions of potential readers without having to print a single copy.
Spend the time to find an editor, a designer, an illustrator, someone to help you market the book—these pieces are very important for the success of your project. You may already know of an illustrator whom you love—for me it’s illustrators such as Beatrix Potter, James Herriot, or Maurice Sendak. Looking at their work helps inspire my own illustrations. You may have your own childhood favorites. Looking at what inspires you will help you to direct your illustrator or designer. Knowing your preferences will allow you to be confident in your decision making. In the end the more time you invest in your project the better your results.
A plan is necessary in order to accomplish your goals during the process