Self-Publishing Children's Books

The first step to self-publishing children's books starts with a good story line. Besides that critical piece, you need to plan just like you would for the success of any business.

Most children's books fail in the marketplace because the author did not follow simple strategies. Here are some tips that will help make self-publishing children's books profitable for you:

  • Study successful children's books
  • Avoid seasonal topics that sell only during parts of the year (i.e., Christmas or other holiday-related books)
  • Make your topic perpetually current by not setting your theme in a particular era
  • Write as if you are the child who will be reading your book
  • If feasible, include ethnic characters to give your book diversity and widespread appeal
  • Create fun, bouncy, and inventive (and easy to pronounce) names for your characters
  • Avoid cliche' character names that play on words
  • Choose real-life issues children face (for example, bullies, homework, strangers, or peer pressure)
  • Avoid intense trauma such as deadly illness or serious pain
  • Make sure your hero solves the issue by the end of the book
  • Know the hopes, dislikes, and fears of your target age group when writing
  • Create conflict among your characters and make them struggle to work it out
  • Make the central character the same age as your target reader
  • Write to the senses by using words that evoke mental images of sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch
  • Offer subtle morals, versus direct ones, that are demonstrated through a clever, unique plot
  • Don't illustrate your own book unless you are a professional adept at children's art
  • Use words that are age-appropriate and easy to pronounce
  • Don't hold back writing out all your ideas; you can cut later
  • Write different endings to your story, choose the best one, then go back and rewrite as needed
  • Build your story in four phases: 1) calm; 2) conflict; 3) climax; 4) resolution
  • Have a professional children's book editor edit your book and hire a proofreader to catch last-minute errors
  • Be willing to accept criticism and to make changes
  • Keep writing every day even if you don't have your story completely worked out yet
  • Be entertaining, fun, dynamic, and inventive by intentionally thinking outside of the box
  • End your story happily or conclude it with a cliffhanger so that you can write a sequel or series of books

Next Step

Self-publishing children's books can be great fun-not to mention profitable! Successfully selling children's books, however, requires a flexible mindset and willingness to make changes. If you would like a professional opinion about your book, check out our children's book evaluation. It may be the most important information you will ever receive about your book.

An evaluation is imperative for any author serious about self-publishing children's books. It also is suitable for authors who have already published their books but lack sales and wonder why. Our evaluation is the same type of evaluation performed at large publishing houses to determine the marketability of a submitted manuscript being considered for publication.

Do you have any questions? Contact us for a FREE 30-minute phone consultation.

Free Consultation


"The quality of the execution every step of the way, from concept to market, is consistently of the highest calibre. Rick truly understands how this business works, knows what his target consumer wants, and delivers at an exceptional level."

Rich Freese, President
National Book Network

"Over the past 15 years, I have watched Rick Perry publish outstanding books which garnered his authors glowing reviews in the media and national exposure on television and radio stations. His attention to detail is second to none and the quality of the books he creates speaks for itself. I highly recommend his self-publishing services."

Richard Cohn
Publisher of "The Secret"
Beyond Words Publishing

"Rick Perry has a complete understanding of the book publishing process from the scheduling requirements editing, design, and production to warehousing, fulfillment and marketing. His knowledge can save clients costly mistakes and wasted time as well as helping avoid pitfalls in the rapidly changing book publishing world."

Douglas Pfeiffer
President Emeritus
Publisher's Association of the West