1. Find an Illustrator
Finding the right illustrator is an important part of the process. The success of your children’s book will depend on the quality of the story and the illustrations. The illustrator's style should be very close to what you are looking for. It is worth taking the time to find the best 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 working with a local illustrator is more important, 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 combination of styles. Review their portfolio and pick a style is right for your book.
2. Important 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 images?
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 and print on demand?
6. What are the licensing terms IE. can you use the artwork for marketing?
7. How long will it take to complete each page/illustration?
8. What are the payment terms? You should always ask to pay for 1 page first. Treat this as a test page, so you can get a good idea of the style and process.
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 4-5 weeks to complete a children's book when working with a full-time illustrator. The style and background complexity can also affect the timeline. A standard illustrated page can take 1 or 2 days, whereas a realistic illustration can take much longer. Revisions can also push out the timeline.
3. Find a Book Editor
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.
4. Find a Printer
At this point you should have a finished children's book ready for printing and publishing. This will normally be a high-resolution PDF file with the inside pages and a seperate file with the front and back covers. Finding a local printer is easy using Google Search. I would recommend choosing a printer with good reviews. You can ask for a quote based on the quantity required and paper stock. The printer will give you the specifications, bleed and crop requirements. Your illustrator may need to tweak the artwork based on the printers specifications.