Apr 19, 2023
Have a children’s book in you? Ever read a kid’s book and
thought, “I could do better than this!”? Then this episode is one
you should listen to 3x! In this podcast, Laura interviews April
Cox to reveal tips and advice for self-publishing a children’s
book. Step by step children’s book creation!
Laura and April cover a range of topics, including the
importance of having a clear concept, storyboard, and outline
before starting to write, finding the right editor and illustrator,
the benefits of joining a writing group, marketing strategies, and
the role of graphic design and layout in producing a high-quality
Throughout the conversation, you will hear practical advice and
personal anecdotes and experiences in self-publishing to help
with your goals of becoming a children’s book author.
A Few Children’s Book Creation
A Few Children’s Book Creation
- April Cox was inspired to write her first
children’s book when she had grandkids and spent time reading
stories with them.
- Soon, they made up stories of their own.
- April’s passion for the project was driven by a desire to leave
behind some values and virtues as a legacy for her future
generations to read.
- April’s first children’s book creation, written for kids 4-8,
was about her little labradoodle puppy and his journey to
- Fiction books can lead to serendipitous
events or opportunities that can touch, inspire or make a
difference in someone’s life (her book resonated with a mother
whose son is autistic and has a hard time with fine motor
- Writing your children’s
book is very doable, but make sure you are aware of
what different ages of kids you are writing for
- Laura wrote her first children’s book (called Duck Buddies)
using a Google Sheet to keep track of the syllables on each line to
ensure the rhyming was correct
- Write using the tool that makes you the most comfortable
- Aprile Cox created a self-publishing program that includes
checklists, budget spreadsheets, and templates
- Pen names can be useful for authors who write in multiple
genres, to keep their names and audiences separate.
- Using a pen name is a personal preference and some authors
prefer to keep their personal information out of the public
- Authors can promote their work on social media, but it can be
tricky when trying to promote a pen name
- Editing a kid’s book is important to turn
a good story into a great story, especially if it has rhyming
- Bobby Hinman (email@example.com) is recommended
as a great editor for children’s books who specializes in
- Illustrating a children’s book is a very
important part of the creation process
- Provide notes to the illustrator from the beginning to end of
- Before selecting an illustrator, send sample requests to three
- Paying $50 for a full-color image is common
- It’s important to assess the illustrator’s communication style
and ability to take direction
- Investing in quality illustrations for a 32-page children’s
book can cost around $3,000, with $1,000 being the minimum for
- Make sure to have a clear agreement in place with any
illustrator you hire to avoid future misunderstandings or
- There are resources available for authors to learn how to
create illustrations themselves, but April recommends having a
trusted coach or mentor provide honest feedback and help improve
the quality of the work
- A client of Laura’s wrote a chapter
book with black and white illustrations for each chapter
to keep the cost of children’s book creation low
- Marketing is an important piece of the
children’s book creation puzzle
- Getting the community involved in the illustration selection
process can be a great marketing opportunity
- Building an email list and social media following is important
for children’s book authors (social media platforms can change
their algorithms or even ban authors, whereas an email list is
under their control)
- Including a free bonus or read in exchange for an email address
is a good way for authors to build their mailing list, which is
their number one asset
- Teachers guides, children’s activity books, and coloring and
activity books are great bonus items that can entice readers to
join an author’s mailing list
- Publishing your children’s book should
start with Amazon
- It is important to have the appropriate keywords and categories
for your book on Amazon, including some less competitive categories
to increase visibility
- High-quality covers, book blurbs, and descriptions are
important for selling books, regardless of how much money is spent
- Paid ads can help getting more sales and
audience members for your kids’ book
- Amazon ads are preferred for most books, but there are some
books that are better suited for Facebook or TikTok ads depending
on the audience
- It’s important to go where the audience is, for example, if a
book is perfect for crochet lovers, ads on Pinterest would be
better than Amazon ads.
- There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for advertising, and
it’s a matter of trial and error to see what works.
- Amazon brand ads are really good and perform well.
- Video ads perform well, but you need an advantage account or a
vendor account to run them.
- It’s important to monitor and dial in your ads each week, stop
keywords that are spending money but not converting and foster ones
that are working well.
- Searching through Amazon search terms will help to learn what
is working and what needs to expand.
- It can take two to three months to dial in ads and get them
- Publishing on IngramSpark is
recommended as a second step since Amazon ads can also drive sales
for hardcover children’s books.
Full shownotes for this episode and the video version of
Laura and April's
conversation about Children's Book Creation.