How to pick the best self-publishing route

So, you’ve written a children’s book but what now?

How do you decide which service to publish with?

I think it really depends on your target audience. More than cost and convenience needs to be considered. Where do you want to market your book? What age is your book for? Will it sell better in e-format or hardback? Do you want to see it in libraries or schools? What size will it be? Those are just a few.

A great side-by-side comparison for picture books print on demand costs and convenience is addressed in the following post. What Print on Demand service is best for your self-published picture book? By Dayen Sislen

Her post explains the costs and services of three print-on-demand routes you can take.  . For my easy reader I went with just Createspace, but for my two picture books, I used Ingram Sparks and Createspace.

Have you published a picture book? Which did you use?

Do you only publish e-books? Why?

If you’ve written and published a children’s book, click on the contact me button and let me know all about your book. I’d love to share with my readers.

Watch this for more info about writing a  kids books.

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You might want to avoid these subjects like the plague.

In addition to my novel in process, I have another kid book in the works.

In the following video, Darcy Pattison tells us 17 topics to avoid and WHY.  Let’s face it, some ideas have been done to death. Which makes me wonder if some of these topics might apply to adult fiction too. Hmm.

So, writer beware, proceed with caution.

17 topics to avoid unless you’ve found a new and unique twist.

  1. The first day of school
  2. Clean your room
  3. Tooth Fairy
  4. Halloween & Christmas
  5. I want a pet
  6. Dealing with a disability
  7. Hello, my name is…
  8. Grandma & Grandpa
  9. New baby
  10. Barnyard stories
  11. Bedtime stories
  12. Personal hygiene
  13. Monsters & acting un-monster like
  14. Going green
  15. I love you books
  16. I’m bored
  17. Baby bird learns to fly

 

What did you think? Do you agree?

Is there another topic you think has been overdone? Do tell.

Could some of these topics be overdone in adult fiction too?

Are you writing a book for kids or YA?

Did you learn anything new?

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What you need to know about writing a children’s book?

Wow! Two years have passed.

Yes, it was two years ago this April, I finished the final touches on my first pre-school picture book.

Writing and publishing a picture book was a big learning curve.

Took me a year to finish this tiny 32-page book. Whew!

Maybe you have an idea for a children’s book, but like so many, you’ve put off starting because a picture book is a bit different from writing an adult story.

Let me speed you along toward your goal.

I’ve put together a list of 8 things I learned the hard way about writing a picture book.

  1. Buy a good PDF program. Yes, some people use MS Word but, trust me, it’s not worth the headaches. I finally settled on  Nitro Pro 10 Page Plus. It’s cheaper than Adobe and easy to use.
  2. Writers write and editors edit. Use an editor that understands children’s books. Yes, even small 32-page picture books need an editor. I found a great one by just asking around. LinkedIn and Facebook Groups are great resources. I found a wonderful editor, Margaret Welwood.
  3. Unless you can really draw, I can’t, find a good illustrator. Ask around. See #2.
  4. Decide on the size of your book. Go to the bookstore and library, look at other books for similar to your book. Me, I went with 8.5 x 8.5. Not too big or not too small for little hands.
  5. Download a photo editing program, I used Paint.NET, to help size the illustrations. Adobe will work too.
  6. Purchase an ISBN. That will help your books get into libraries.Who doesn’t want that, right? You can use the same number for IngramSpark and Amazon publishing.
  7. Use the cover templates provided by IngramSpark and Amazon or whichever publisher you decide. Each template is different.
  8. Order proof copies before you finalize and publish. Hard lesson.

My tips don’t apply to an ebook. No, this post is about producing a print picture book.

Me Let's Discuss - Jeanswriting.comDo you want to write a picture book?

Have you written one already? Do share your tips.

Did I answer some of your questions?

 

Want more? Click and read…

A Story Board

Free Picture Book Thumbnail Templates for Writers and Illustrators

Picture Book Dummy, Picture Book Construction: Know Your Layout

Picture book layout templates

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Do you want to know how long to make a story?

Size matters.

Some say write until your done, but as with all things, there is a rule of thumb. And knowing where the goal-line is may be helpful.

Want to know the answer?

I do agree we should write until finished, however, goals and guidelines are helpful. And as usual, successful writers/bloggers come to the rescue. With the help of friends, you can take the guesswork out of the numbers. 

 

Flash Fiction?

Generally, unless restricted by rules of a publication or contest, the word count for Flash Fiction is under 1,000. If submitting to a specific publication be sure and check their requirements.

A Drabble?

A Drabble is exactly 100 words, not including the title. Writing 100 words is not as easy as you might think. Takes practice. Give it a try.

Short story?

A short story length generally falls somewhere between 1,500 and 4,000 words. As with flash fiction, if submitting to a specific publication, check their rules.

Novelette, Novela?

In our fast-paced world, the Novelette and Novela are becoming very popular.  A Novelette is usually between 7,000 and 20,000. The Novela word count is between 20,000 -40,000.

Novel or Epic?

Novels vary between 40,000 – 110,000 depending on genre. Writing an epic is a big challenge. These tombs are over 110,000. Whew!

Here are my own cheat sheets.

Feel free to copy and paste them into your computer.

Robin Woods breaks down the word count further into genres. Be sure and read her post…

WORD COUNT 101: NOVEL? NOVELLA? NOVELETTE?

 

Christine Frazier breaks down the books into chapters and chapter count. This information can be really helpful in keeping your book consistent. Know where and how to break a chapter is important. Unless there is a compelling reason, you wouldn’t want your book to give the reader whiplash with one chapter 1000 words and the next one 4,500. Christine breaks down a few popular novels for us.

Playing the Numbers: Basic Word Counts by 

 

As with all rules, some are made to be broken. But, I find having guidelines and goals make me a better writer. What about you?

Want to read more about correct word counts keep reading. Here are more great posts on the subject.

Novel and Short Story Word Counts | WritersDigest.com 

What is the Perfect Length of Short Stories? 

How to Write a Drabble

Was this information helpful?

Do you think guidelines are useful?

Leave me a comment and tell me what you think.

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