How To Publish A Children’s Book on Amazon

A step-by-step guide on how to publish a children’s book on Amazon, and whether it’s worth it.

Hands holding children's book called The Boy Who Loved Food

I am both a traditionally published author and self-published author and I mostly publish adult books. However, I have a deep love for children’s book (and even more so now that I have a little one myself.

This week I published my book, The Boy Who Loved Food, on Amazon and I thought I’d share my process and experience with you.

First, why Amazon?

Amazon is not the best place to go if you want beautiful hardcover books with glossy interiors. It’s what I wanted, but it’s not what I ultimately decided to do. Here’s the thing, if you’re self-publishing, and looking at print on demand, you’re limited with children’s books. In order to get exactly what I wanted, my best choice would’ve been to have the books printed myself, and to sell them directly through my own website. There are two big problems with this:

1. It would cost me too much to print and I would have to set my price too high.

2. I would have to sit with a lot of stock — something I have done in the past and now always try to avoid.

I looked at other POD platforms, too, but in the end I chose to use Amazon for it’s ease of use, and because it’s Print on Demand services meant my book could be sold at a low price while still allowing me to make a profit.

I decided to try it out and see how it looks.

The process:

1. I wrote the story. I kept it short and funny, because that’s the style my three year old loves most.

2. I did my own illustrations. I’m all about keeping costs to a minimal when it comes to my work. I know my illustrations are simple but when it comes to children’s books, that’s often the best. If you’re not an illustrator, make sure you choose a style that’s right for the story, and something you would be proud to publish.

3. I put the text and illustrations together in Procreate, and I saved the interior as a PDF. I made sure everything was set to the size I wanted to print at (I chose the popular 8.5 x 8.5 size).

4. I created my cover in Procreate, but set it to the right size with the correct margins in Adobe InDesign. Amazon has a wonderful cover template and size guide to use based on the size of your book and number of pages.

5. I then published everything on Amazon, making sure to launch the preview before publishing to make sure there were no errors in the cover or the interior pages. I added all the details of my book, and hit publish.

The proof

I ordered an author copy the moment it was ready. When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised. There were some issues, but overall I was happy.

1. The cover is gorgeous — it’s shiny and glossy and professional.

2. The inside isn’t as great as I would like as you do not have the option to have glossy inside pages on Amazon (yet!). It does, unfortunately, make the book a little less professional than I would like.

My final thought

I gave the book to my son, and he immediately asked me to read it. Then he asked me to read it again. Then he insisted we show his granny, and asked her to read it, too. He loved it. And, of course, he’s only three, so he’s not too bothered about the imperfections.

Would I prefer a beautiful hardcover book with glossy interior pages? Of course I would. But will kids still love the book despite this — I think they will.

And right now, I would rather spend as little money as I can in order to make as much profit as I can.

Maybe one day I’ll get a huge publishing deal with a big children’s publishing house. Or maybe I’m finally figuring out that I can do this all on my own.

And if all that happens is I created a book my son loves… how lucky I am!

If you’d like to check out the book — here are some of the links:

US: The Boy Who Loved Food

Australia: The Boy Who Loved Food

UK: The Boy Who Loved Food

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