Can You Self-Publish a Picture Book?

Can You Self-Publish a Picture Book?

Lots of people want to write picture books. Part of the reason for this may be that they think that the task is easier because picture books are so much shorter than novels, but most of it probably stems from the fact that picture books are children’s first readers, and parents and other adults remember picture books that they loved as well as picture books that they read to their own children or young nieces and nephews. Whatever the motivation, many writers are not sure whether they can self-publish a picture book. The process seems much more complicated than publishing a novel. The fact is that picture books can easily be self-published, but you have to keep a few things in mind. This isn’t an in-depth look at the topic but if you’re looking for more information on how to publish a children’s book Reedsy has a pretty detailed article on the topic.

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Picture Books do not Sell Well on Digital Platforms

The first thing that you should know about picture books is that they do not sell well on digital platforms. One of the reasons is that people prefer a physical book so that they can read it to the children at bedtime. It is pretty difficult at present to read a book with your child on a digital device because you need to both be able to see it easily. Books just make more sense for bedtime reading.

It Can Be Difficult to Format Picture Books for Self-Publication

Picture books can be a nightmare to format, which is why many people avoid self-publishing them altogether. While there are methods for getting them uploaded to digital platforms, the fact is that formatting the text and illustrations within a book for young children often requires an expert – and most people cannot afford this expertise. Reedsy has been working on novel writing software to make that process easier.

Picture Books Can Be Really Hard to Market

Picture books are difficult to market even when they are in physical form from a traditional publisher. One of the things that make them harder to market is the fact that Amazon and other retailers pay you a lower royalty due to the increased size of the book. The more pictures there are, the bigger your book size is and the less money goes to you. In addition, you are not going to be listed in the industry catalogs that libraries and schools buy from. This is where a significant percentage of children’s books are purchased, and getting listed in these catalogs when you are a self-published author is difficult and impossible if you are strictly digital. You will likely need to make sure you hire yourself a good book publicist to help.

Picture Books Are Harder to Write Than People Think

Most people think that writing picture books is easy to do. The truth is, Dr. Seuss was a genius not a two bit poet. It is actually quite difficult to write good children’s books, but many people think that they are good at it and editors have to sift through this pile every year to find the small percentage of authors who actually do have the talent to write children’s books. With self-publishing, and without an editor to guide you, you will have an even more difficult time.

5 Things You Must Include on Your Author Website

5 Things You Must Include on Your Author Website

Your author website is one of the most important tools that you have as a self-published author. It is a place where people come to see who you are and what you are about, as well as to check out what else you have written. When someone really likes your work, one of the things they might do is type your name into Google to find out more about you, and if you have an author website set up and optimized to be in the first spot for your name or pen name, then they will likely visit it first. But what kind of things should you have on your author website? Here are five elements that you absolutely should have.

Information about You

The first thing that you must include on your author website is information about you personally. That is what people are coming there to find out. People want to know things like where you live, how old you are, whether you are married or single, how many children you have and maybe some personal information like your favorite authors and books. Whenever someone thinks of you as a celebrity or someone that they would like to find out more about, you want to make sure that you oblige is much as you can, even if you are a private person.

A List of Your Books

You also want to have a list of your books available on your website, as well as a link with each one that leads directly to the Amazon page for that book so the people can buy them if they want. Having a good, high-quality picture of the book cover that is large enough to see as well as a basic blurb is a great addition to any author website.

An Opt-In Mailing List

You are also going to want to have an area where people can opt in your mailing list. This will allow you to email people whenever you release a new book, and have a list of your readers basically on speed dial so that you can send out news, tell them about specials that you are having or simply announce the release of something new.

Contact information

You are also going to want to have contact information on there. You can just have a contact form if you want, but you do want to leave both readers and other people way to contact you. Suppose a traditional publisher came along and wanted to contact you about a book deal or someone wanted to buy the movie rights to your book for some reason.

An Active Blog

Finally, you want to have an active blog. The reason for an active blog is that it provides more keywords for your website to be indexed for, and posting regular content improves your search engine optimization as well. Plus, the more blog readers you have the more potential sales you have for your books. If you need an author site made, check out this IT Support NYC company.

Reasons You Should Self-Publish

5 Good Reasons for Self-Publishing

If you are considering self-publishing your novel or non-fiction book, you are not alone. Lots of people consider self-publishing to be one of the best ways to get books out there these days. That’s because there are some really compelling reasons to self-publish. Let’s take a look at five of them.

Self-Publishing Means Higher Royalties

You actually get higher royalties when you self-publish; like a lot higher. For example, if you go with a traditional publisher, you could get a royalty between 10-15%. The publisher gets to keep the rest. But you don’t even get to keep that 10% yourself. Besides taxes, many traditional publishers will not even read your manuscript unless it comes from an agent – a practice known as only accepting solicited manuscripts. But self-publishing does not require an agent and your royalties will be a lot higher. For example, as long as your digital book is priced at $2.99 or higher, Amazon will give you a 70% royalty on every sale and only keep 30%. That’s a huge difference.

You Still Have to Promote Yourself

Even if you decide to publish traditionally, you are still going to have to do your own promotion. Publishing houses rarely do promotion these days and they never do it for brand new authors. The most promotion that you might get as a new author is a listing in the Baker & Taylor or Ingram catalogs, which goes to schools, libraries and bookstores. But you will have to do book tours yourself, as well as any other advertising.

People Read Self-Published Fiction

In the past, one of the major disadvantages of self-published fiction is that people wouldn’t read it. That’s because there was very little of it that was worth reading. But self-publishing today has created some major bestsellers, and even some of the biggest authors in the world have self-published work, so people are much more open to the idea of reading self-published fiction.

Self-Published Books Can Look as Good as Traditional Ones

Another advantage to be aware of is that you can make your self-published book just as good as traditional ones. You can get an amazing cover from a professional book cover designer at a fair price these days, and you can use the same formatting for the interior of the book as traditional publishers do. You can even hire an editor to make your book as good as possible before you publish it. Self-published books can be just as high quality as traditionally published books.

Self-Publishing is the Future of Book Publishing and a lot cheaper

You might also not be aware that self-publishing is going to be the way the book publishing is done in the future. For one thing, digital books have basically taken over the reading world. People read books on devices now much more often than they read physical books. Plus, even authors that have been traditionally published for decades are starting to move towards self-publishing because they make more money and have more creative control over the content.


A Couple of Nifty Exercises to Get over Writer’s Block

Exercises to Get over Writer’s Block

Writer’s block can be one of the hardest things to deal with for someone in the middle of a story or novel. When you get caught up in writer’s block, it can cause depression and make you think that all of the work that you put in so far means nothing. It can make you think that you are never going to finish the piece that you are working on. While most writers get over this condition by themselves, there are some exercises that you can do to get over writer’s block more quickly. Let’s take a look at five exercises to help you get over writer’s block.

Write a Different Scene or Chapter

The first trick that you can use to get over writer’s block is to try writing a different scene or chapter in your book or short story. Sometimes, the piece that you are currently working on is what is causing the problem, and if you come back to it later on after you have worked on a different part of the story, you come back with fresh eyes that may allow you to see if there was a problem or how you can continue the scene.

Enter Man with Gun

Raymond Chandler says that if you come across a snag in your fiction then you should have someone enter the room with the gun. Of course, Raymond Chandler writes mystery novels. You may write something completely different, but the principle still stands. If you find that you are stuck in a scene, have something unexpected happened to the characters and see where things go from there.

Get to Know Your Characters Better

Sometimes, writing fiction can be a struggle because you do not know your characters well enough. You may want to do a biography on your characters, or perhaps an interview format, in order to get to know them better and see if that solves your problem.

Work on a Different Project

You can also work on a completely different project instead. If you are having trouble with the story or novel that you are currently working on, then try to work on something else for a little bit. Don’t do it for very long, because you don’t want to lose track of where you are on the original piece. But there is no harm in taking a day or two and working on something different so you can come back to your original project with a new perspective.

Read Something to Inspire You

Finally, read something that inspires you to write. Sometimes this can get you over writer’s block quickly. You can either choose something fiction that you really enjoy and think is amazing, which inspires you to write something just as amazing, or you can read something that one of your favorite authors has written about the process of writing. Sometimes that is all that it takes to get your story kick started and get you back on track.