1. Find an Illustrator
Finding the right illustrator is an important part of the process. The illustration style should be a good fit for your book. It is worth taking the time to find the right illustrator for your children's book. If you are looking for the lowest price, you can sign-up with a freelance website who have illustrators from every part of the world. If you are looking for a local illustrator, search for “Illustrators in Australia”. What you should look for is a style that is a good match for your children's book. An experienced illustrator can have more than one style or a combination of styles. Review their portfolio and pick an illustrator who is approachable, easily contactable and has the right illustration style for your book.
2. Questions to Ask
Once you have found an illustrator, you will need to get a quote and check what is included. Some important questions to ask:
1. Will the illustrator be providing the complete book (layout, text and artwork) or only the illustrations?
2. How many revisions are included?
3. Is there a separate cost for the front cover?
4. What self-publishing platforms are included IE. Amazon, IngramSpark, Apple Books etc.
5. What formats are included: e-book, paperback, hardcover?
6. What are the licensing terms? IE. can you use the artwork for sales and marketing?
7. How long will it take to complete the book?
8. What are the payment terms?
Designing a children's book is an exciting journey and can take some time to get the artwork, text and layout perfect. It will normally take 5-6 weeks to complete a children's book when working with a full-time illustrator. The style and background complexity can also affect the timeline.
3. Book Editing
Getting your friends and family to proof-read your children's book is a great way to save money. If you don't have anyone who can help, you can always look for a professional book editor. A book editor will review your manuscript, edit drafts and help to perfect the manuscript. You can find a book editor by searching on Google: “Book Editor Sydney”, “Book Editor Melbourne” etc.
Having your book professionally printed is a very rewarding part of the process. The illustrator will provide a high-resolution PDF file/s with the inside pages and a separate file with the front and back covers. Search for a local printer with good reviews. You can ask for a quote based on the quantity required. The printer will give you the specifications, bleed and crop requirements. Your illustrator may need to tweak the artwork based on these specifications.
Here are some self-publishing platforms to consider. Always read the reviews before selecting a book publisher.
✔ Amazon KDP: Amazon dominates 80% of the e-book market worldwide.
✔ Barnes & Noble: Barnes & Noble are the world’s largest bookseller.
✔ IngramSpark: Offer print-on-demand copies and distribute to all major retailers.