In this episode the Prepared Idiot concludes the three part series in publishing your own children’s picture book. In the first two parts of the series we did research for our book to decide what we are passionate about and what we can actually sell. We all also decided on the format of our book. But most of all Rich discovered that if you are going to publish straight to the Kindle you might as well self publish to a paper copy of the book. The cost is not that much more to create and you get a finished product to distribute.
A major topic of this episode is illustration of your book. There are four options you can choose from. In order from cheapest to most expensive:
Do it yourself
Obviously this is the cheapest because you provide all the labor. The up side to this is you keep creative control and don’t spend a lot of money to create your book. The down side is if you’re like me, getting consistent looking art from page to page is very difficult.
Check out Fiverr.com
This is a web site that provides thousands of online services starting at just $5.00! The benefit of using a site like this is that it is a fairly cheap and fast way to hire a talented person to edit and illustrate for you. BUT! You have you be picky here as there is a lot of crap on this site so you have to be careful. With a little digging you can find quality professional work. Expect for 5-45 bucks per illustration. You can see a sample that I had made form fiverr to the right.
Go to a local college
There are many art students at your local college that would love to make a couple extra bucks. The best part is that the school will usually display the student’s work for you. So you can get an idea of there ability and style before you pay them for a sample. The downside can be you are working with a student and they can be flaky sometimes. Think about yourself back when you were in school.
Hire a professional illustrator
This is obvious. It is the more expensive route but you will get completed, polished, and ready to go art. The downside is that it will cost you for the years of experience that they have acquired. If you can afford it you might consider it the way to go.
We also talked about how to put your words and art together and then how to get them out to the world. For the independent author Rich talked about two different services. The first service is Createspace.com. It is the most affordable where you can spend $200-$1000 dollars to get your book on Amazon.com. This is very DIY but it is a cheaper way to go. The Second choice is Lulu.com a more pricy choice but they can do almost all the work for you. Expect to spend $1000-$4000 with them depending how much you want them to handle for you.
Now you have all of this done and your book is in print. Now it is up to you to get the word out and sell some copies. In many ways this is the hardest part of being an independent author. But that is another episode all together!