For my first children’s book, I really wanted to get the publishing done, knowing the out-of-pocket costs would be higher, and get it into people’s libraries and classrooms. Since the resources I read before making this decision indicated it can take years, yes years, to get an acceptance from a publisher not to mention all of the submissions and potential rejections along the way, self-publishing seemed to be the best fit for my book. In both options, the author is expected to do the marketing of the book so that part of the equation is a wash. I chose not to put all of my books in one backpack, so to speak, so did not go with Amazon’s® self-publishing option. You might wish to do this. Check it out thoroughly so you are well-informed of what you are agreeing to and how you will be paid for copies sold through their platform.
After I had all of the editor’s suggestions updated in the manuscript, I contacted a graphic designer with experience in designing children’s book covers, illustration and page layouts, fonts, page bleeds and other specifics that would create a printer-ready version of my book. Fortunately, he was recommended to me by my business coaches and it was a good fit. Be choosy as this relationship is one that needs work well!
While my graphics guy was working on his part of the process, I got busy and requested quotes for printing costs of a two cover, 44-page, full color, full bleed, perfect bound book with spine, and the copy quantity from local printers as well as large printing companies in the U.S. I like to keep my business local but having a point of comparison was valuable to me. Keeping things local helps save on shipping costs, too. I ran the numbers on all the quotes I received and chose the three that were most economical. I then read reviews and spoke with individuals who had books printed by each company on my list. This helped me choose the final printer. Request a proof be sent to you! Even after all of the times I and several others looked at the text and images, I found typographical errors and one paragraph that was simply in the wrong place on the page! Another unfortunate finding in the proof was the illustrations were much too dark. My illustrator and graphics guy reworked the images and resubmitted them to the printer. The new proof was quantumly improved, thank goodness.
None of this means a thing if you don’t write the first sentence!
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