From Idea to Bookshelf: An Introduction to Children’s Books and Publishing

Written By Garry  |  Childrens Books  |  0 Comments

Ready to enter the world of children's books?

Did you know that there are many different types of children's books out there?

Picture books are illustrated books for very young children with simple text. 

Board books are similar, but made out of thicker, more durable materials for young children to handle. 

Easy readers are simple books for children just starting to read on their own. 

Chapter books are longer, more complex stories for children who can read independently. 

Middle grade novels are for children between the ages of 8 and 12, and young adult novels are for teenagers.

But How Do These Books Get From the Author's Mind to the Bookshelf?

There are a few different ways to publish children's books.

One way is traditional publishing. This is when an author submits their manuscript to a publisher, and the publisher decides if they want to publish it. If they do, they take care of editing, design, printing and distribution of the book.

Another way is self-publishing. This is when the author takes care of all the publishing tasks, like editing, design, printing and distribution. This can be done through online platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing or Ingramspark.

There's also hybrid publishing, which is a mix of traditional and self-publishing, where the author works with a company that offers self-publishing services but also has a distribution network, marketing and other traditional services.

Subsidy publishing is when an author pays a publisher to handle some or all of the publishing process.

And finally, vanity publishing is when an author pays a publisher to produce a book, but the publisher does not offer editing or marketing services, and the author has little control over the final product.

Some Famous Examples of the Different Types of Children's Books

Picture Books

  • "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak
  • "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle
  • "Corduroy" by Don Freeman
  • "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss
  • "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown

Board Books

  • "Pat the Bunny" by Dorothy Kunhardt
  • "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein
  • "The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss
  • "The Very Best of Friends" by Margaret Wild
  • "The Going-To-Bed Book" by Sandra Boynton

Easy Readers

  • "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back" by Dr. Seuss
  • "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss
  • "The Cat in the Hat Beginner Book Dictionary" by P.D. Eastman
  • "The Berenstain Bears: Trouble with Money" by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • "Frog and Toad Are Friends" by Arnold Lobel

Chapter Books

  • "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White
  • "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • "Little House on the Prairie" by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • "The Boxcar Children" by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling

Middle Grade Novels

  • "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis
  • "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White
  • "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • "The Giver" by Lois Lowry
  • "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein

Young Adult Novels

  • "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins
  • "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer
  • "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling
  • "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green
  • "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

Most of the books on the list above were published through traditional publishing. 

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" is an interesting case, as it was initially rejected by 12 publishers before it was finally accepted by Bloomsbury, a small publisher.

On the other hand, "The Giving Tree" and "Where the Sidewalk Ends" were published by Harper Collins, which is a traditional publisher.

It's important to note that these examples are some of the best sellers, but it doesn't mean that there aren't other great and successful books for each category that were self-published or hybrid published.

The list of best sellers can vary depending on the time and location, so be sure to keep an eye on these best sellers listing for inspiration!

What Does It Cost to Publish a Children's Book?

It depends on the method of publishing chosen and the specific needs of the book.

Editing, illustrations, design and formatting, printing and distribution, and marketing are all costs that need to be considered.

Keep in mind that children's books may require additional costs such as illustrations, which can be quite costly.

The costs for self-publishing a children's book may be higher than self-publishing an adult book as the illustration and formatting are more demanding.

Traditional publishing can also have additional costs if the publisher decides to invest in illustrators, editors etc.

Again the key point to remember when looking at how much it's going to cost to publish your children's book is the cost of publishing a children's book can vary widely and depends on a number of factors...

Including the method of publishing chosen, the specific needs of the book, and the location.

However, it's possible to give a rough estimate of the costs associated with publishing a children's book.

  • Editing: The cost of hiring an editor can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the length and complexity of the book.
  • Illustration: The cost of hiring an illustrator can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the style and number of illustrations required.
  • Design and Formatting: The cost of designing and formatting the book, including the cover and interior layout, can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
  • Printing: The cost of printing the book can vary depending on the number of copies printed, the type of paper used, and the size of the book. A typical cost for a print run of 1,000 copies of a full-color, hardcover children's book would be around $5,000 to $10,000.
  • Distribution: The cost of distributing the book, including shipping and handling, can vary depending on the method of distribution chosen.
  • Marketing: The cost of promoting and marketing the book can vary depending on the methods used, such as social media ads, book signings, etc.

Keep in mind that these are rough estimates and the final cost of publishing a children's book will depend on the specific needs of the book and the method of publishing chosen.

Also, the cost can vary depending on the location and the publisher.

Always keep in mind, that you have to remember that these costs can vary widely, and the final cost of publishing a children's book will depend on the specific needs of the book and the method of publishing chosen.

Now you know a little bit more about the different types of children's books and how they're published, it's my hope that you'll continue to explore the world of children's books...

And the world of self-publishing and what is possible!