What You Need To Know About Self-Publishing

My very first self-published children’s book has been released for the world to see and although I don’t quite have the words to describe the feeling, I’d say it’s a combination of nerves, extreme gratitude, and uncertainty

children's book
My Children’s Book- Purchase Here

The process of self- publishing my children’s book took some time and lots of learning.

If clicked on this post, it is probably because you are curious about my journey or you are in ( or about to start) the process of self-publishing yourself. CONGRATULATIONS! I’m excited for you and to share what I’ve learned.

Here’s What You Need To Know About Self-Publishing a Children’s Book

Note: This is not an exhaustive list and I am most certain that there will be another blog post solely dedicated to the marketing, promoting, and possibly a book signing event.

Getting an EIN

Before you start setting up an account with a print-on-demand company, it’s important to decide if you are going to complete the tax form with your social security number or if you will opt for an EIN.

I personally preferred to go the ein route. It was free and simple. 

The choice really boils down to your preference.

Print on Demand

First, research print on demand companies. 

Then, upload your children’s book to your chosen two or three print on demand companies

I chose KDP and Ingram Spark. For both, you will need a formatted pdf. You will also need to include details about your book, yourself, other contributors like co-authors and illustrators, as well as your release date and whether you will use one of their” free” isbns or your own.

Purchase and use your own ISBN friend.Trust me you want  to keep full ownership and rights to your written work. 

children's book
My Children’s Book Purchase Your Copy Here

Choose Pricing

Be sure to do your research. I started with similar children’s books in my category and I researched all three formats before inputting my final prices.

You want to make a profit, but considering the market and your customers is very important as well. 

Choose a Publishing Date

When choosing a publishing date you really have only two options. The first is to just go for it and the second is to consider upcoming holidays or important dates. 

Personal preference ultimately decides.

 I’d originally chosen a date based on when I thought my illustrator would be done, my ein would be processed and a few other things. It turned out that my date was too far off. So I ended up just pushing publish and I’m glad that I did. 

Send a copy of your book to the Library of Congress

I haven’t done this step just yet, but when I registered with them for a LCCN, it was stated that I would need to send a copy of the book to them so that’s at the top of my to do list. 

I have completed the copyright though and I have to send 2 copies to the LOC through copyright.gov, so I’m thinking just one send for both will do. (I’ll update yall  later)

Order Proofs of Your Children’s Book

You want to put out a quality piece of work. Children’s works are especially important because kids engage with the artwork  before they even consider reading the words on the pages.

So ensuring that the coloring is consistent, the bleed is right, and all of the components added to your book are displayed to your desire is necessary. 

Always order author proofs before opting for your book to go live. Note any errors and email the appropriate party to fix any mistakes ( printer, illustrator, or formatter).

Copyright Your Children’s Book

Register your book with the U.S. copyright office. The fee is 65 bucks and it is fairly straightforward. I used the step by step video guide

The application consists of these tabs 

  • Type of work:Mine was a literary work
  •  Title:Type the title of your book
  • Publication date: type your official publication date, Isbn # and country
  • Contributors: click add me then add yourself as contributor. If more than 1 author click new
  • Claimants:If it is you, select add me. If additional click new and add
  •  Limitation of claim: See linked video and skip
  • Rights & Permissions: I skipped this
  • Correspondent: Your information goes here
  • Mail certificate : Your information goes here
  • Special handling: If you are a first time author, you will not need to fill out the form. Skip and continue to certification
  • Certifications: Certify that you are authorized to certify and continue
  • Review submission: Please take your time here, then choose add to cart

Once you have completed and paid for the application, you are not done. You must submit, within 30 days,  2 copies of the best version of your work to the. You could skip this step, but it is a  layer of protection and was  worth it if you ask me. 

Also, it was recommended that  Mozilla Firefox be used for the application process.

Solicit Reviews

Reviews are very important to the success of any product. For book reviews, you should start your list of reviewers as soon as possible.

In exchange for a review you will need to send a free copy of your book. To cut back on costs you can email the ebook formatted version or you can send a physical copy. 

You also want authentic reviews, so if you know that a person has purchased a copy of your book because they posted and tagged you on social media, ask them to share their review on amazon or on your author site.

Advertise, Advertise, Advertise!

This can be done via:

  1. Paid Ads on Facebook
  2. Instagram Feed and Story Posts
  3. Word of Mouth
  4. Giveaways

A piece of advice, don’t wait until you have the finished files to start doing the work of getting your work out there. While you illustrator, editor or formatter works you should be researching, registering, purchasing ISBNs and reaching out to reviewers.

Happy writing,

Published Children’s Book Author, T.