View Full Version : Self Publishing Picture Books

Sarah Renee Crane
04-01-2012, 03:54 AM
Hi everyone!

First of all I would like to say how privileged I feel to have found this website and all of the wonderful writers in this forum. :)

I have enjoyed reading all the amazing conversations and stories here.

However, I haven't been able to find anyone who has self published a picture book like I have.

I am thinking that maybe most picture books really don't do too well with online sales and maybe that is why no one is talking about selling them.

My original business plan was to sell children's clothing but in the process I wrote and illustrated a picture book. Now I am planning to sell copies of my book as well as organic clothing (with my characters printed on them) on my website. I also have free coloring pages and other resources available for teachers and parents.

I'm hoping that I will be able to gradually build a client base and then continue to create products that appeal to the same people.

I was just wondering if there was anyone else out there taking this approach and if so do you have any advice?

Sarah Renee Crane
04-01-2012, 05:22 AM
For anyone else trying to self publish a picture book...

I self published my book through createspace.com. First I created a document in Microsoft Word and put together the interior. Then I imported that file into Adobe Acrobat and converted it to a pdf file. If you try to upload the straight .docx file to createspace it can mess up the placement of your graphics.

I created the cover of my book in Adobe Illustrator but you might be able to use Word for that too. The trick to creating the cover is that the dimensions have to include not only the front and the back but also the spine as well. The size of the spine depends on how many pages are in your book. Go to https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/CoverPDF.jsp to get the exact dimensions.

After creating your cover you also have to import it into Adobe Acrobat and convert it to a pdf file before uploading it.

My book is 36 pages, full color, 8 1/2 by 11 inches and it only costs about $3.68 to buy each copy.

04-02-2012, 07:54 PM

I'm planning to publish a children's picture book this fall, in much the same way on Amazon through CreateSpace.
I hope I have a realistic goal in terms of sales. I'm working with an illustration partner. We set a goal of 500 books over the next 12 months.

I'm glad you posted. Are you brave or foolish enough to share more about the sales numbers you have had? And would you share what your marketing efforts have been and what you felt was either a waste of time or worth the time?


Sarah Renee Crane
04-03-2012, 12:27 AM

I just published my book a few weeks ago and I am still having issues getting my website online. I transferred my domain name from godaddy.com to volusion.com where I am planning to have my online store.

My book is available on amazon.com but I haven't put any marketing plans into effect yet because I really want to market my website and not just my book. This is because I am planning to have other products for sale as well.

I have been reading all of the excellent posts on this forum and I have created something of a marketing plan. However, I am a long ways from being a professional at marketing. All I can tell you are my ideas of what I am planning to try.

I think the best advice I have found is that it's important to get your book reviewed by other people. Which I plan to do in the near future.

I'm going to call local bookstores and ask them if they are interested in ordering copies of my book.

I'm going to write a press release and send it to (yet to be determined) media outlets.

I'm working on creating a kindle version of my book.

I am also planning to create a facebook page for my business.

The other thing I am doing for marketing is I created free resources on my website for teachers and parents and I'm hoping to get people to visit my website for these freebies and hopefully get them to buy my book. :)

Good luck with your book! I would love to hear more about it some time. :)

04-03-2012, 01:09 AM
Well, I am sort of publishing a children's picture book. In all honesty, it isn't something I am doing seriously. It is part of a project that I am doing with a friend and her classroom. We are all making picture books. The teachers are selling through Createspace. The kids are making simple binded ones to be sold to other kids in the school. All proceeds of the book will be going to the American Diabetes Association. My mother died from complications to diabetes. My friend's mother and two children in the school all have diabetes. So, we are doing this as sort of a fundraiser.

I am horrible at drawing, so my book will be terrible. LOL! Some of the kids can draw better than me. I am still looking forward to doing it just for the cause, but it will definitely be my one and only children's book. Trust me. My drawings are that bad.

It should be out next week. Just waiting to approve my copy.

04-03-2012, 05:37 AM
Yes, I've been working on some of the same types of things.

My facebook writer's page is here:


It's been a bit slow getting started but I'm hoping things will pick up once the book comes out.
I've found a few blogs that do self pubbed children's book reviews. It takes looking for them, then you usually have to contact them for the mailing address but they are out there.
I'm polishing and editing the press releases for the local papers.
And I've arranged a couple of interviews on our very local cable channel.

This week's challenge has been Mailchimp.com , which comes highly recommended and makes me feel a little technically challenged(I get there it just takes me longer). If you not already using a mailing list service, you should check it out. It's free until you get into big numbers.

It's nice to meet others and learn from each other's experiences. I hope you'll keep posting.