Can You Really Make Six Figures Self-Publishing Children's Books? The Answer Might Surprise You

Can You Really Make Six Figures Self-Publishing Children's Books? The Answer Might Surprise You
5 min read

Embarking on the journey to generate revenue through self-publishing children's books, let's investigate alternatives to prevalent approaches like Kickstarter campaigns. We'll scrutinize the case of an author who successfully self-published an exceptional book titled "Nefertiti: The Spidernaut," released on October 16, 2011.

In 2010, the author stumbled upon a captivating radio interview with Astronaut Sunita Williams, who recounted her experience with Nefertiti, a jumping spider aboard the International Space Station. The story of Nefertiti's adaptation to microgravity sparked curiosity, raising the question of How To Self Publish a Children's Book that would capture this thrilling saga. What, prompted the author to select the self-publishing pathway for this distinctive literary work?

A Great Help Towards Publishing A Series

Venturing into the world of self-publishing children's literature, an essential aspect to consider is the creation of a series. The author behind "Nefertiti: The Spidernaut" chose this route due to their pre-existing, successful animal biography picture book series. By publishing in a series, self-publishers can maintain their audience and increase the likelihood of readers enjoying subsequent books.

To ensure accessibility, the author opted to publish "Nefertiti: The Spidernaut" in various formats, including hardcover, paperback, ebook, and audiobook. Utilizing print-on-demand services, the author offered customers a choice of preferred formats while maintaining similar profit margins.

In terms of distribution, the author aimed for wide-reaching availability and eschewed exclusive agreements. This allowed readers to access the books in their preferred format at their customary shopping destinations.

Moreover, the author sought reviews for their work, facing the inherent risks and potential discrimination against Self-Published Books. Despite receiving a scathing review from the School Library Journal for "Nefertiti: The Spidernaut," the author remained steadfast in their journey to understand how to self publish a children's book successfully, recognizing that the conversation was far from over.

Living and Thriving on Opinions

Publishers' fates often hinge upon their opinions. Even seasoned professionals in the children's book industry cannot predict which titles will succeed or fail. As one editor put it, "In this business, you live or die by your opinion."

In the case of "Nefertiti: The Spidernaut," the author believed in the book's merit, ultimately earning it a 2017 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book title. Had it been traditionally published, it may have been overlooked or not submitted for the award. The author's dedication to their work led to its recognition.

Networking for Special Sales Opportunities

The NSTA accolade opened doors for the author at the Arkansas Reading Association convention, where they met Emily Morgan and Karen Ansberry, creators of Picture Perfect Science workbooks. As a result, "Nefertiti" and another book, "Burn: Michael Faraday's Candle," were included in the next volume of Picture Perfect Science STEM Lessons, Grades 3-5.

This inclusion led to the NSTA creating a book bundle featuring recommended titles, generating thousands of orders for "Burn" and "Nefertiti." For self-publishers, special orders like these can significantly boost income. Such opportunities often arise from networking or proactive searching, which is an essential skill for those exploring how to self publish a children's book.

Understanding the Sales Process

To succeed in self-publishing, it's crucial to grasp the basic business aspects, from purchase orders to invoices. Traditional publishers have dedicated departments for special sales, but self-publishers must learn these processes independently. Investigating and mastering these aspects will bolster the chances of success in the self-publishing arena.

Paths to Special Sales Opportunities

"Little Passports," a subscription box service for children's books, discovered "Nefertiti: The Spidernaut" when expanding their offerings to include STEM-focused boxes. They requested a trim size adjustment and co-branding with their logo, which the self-publisher happily accommodated. This collaboration resulted in tens of thousands of copies sold and a healthy profit.

Think Like a Publisher

To achieve success in self-publishing, it's vital to think like a publisher rather than solely as an author. While school visits and direct sales can be lucrative, they don't scale well due to time constraints. Instead, partnering with wholesalers like "Little Passports" can lead to higher sales volumes without exhausting the author's time.

Exploring International Sales

When pondering how to self publish a children's book, considering international sales is crucial. Although the "Another Extraordinary Animal" series hasn't yet secured translation deals, the author's "Moments in Science" series has been successful, with deals in China and Korea. Pursuing global opportunities can expand an author's reach and income.

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Clara H. Laffey 2
Joined: 11 months ago
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