Publishing your first illustrated book for children is a fun adventure and with no exclusions, novice authors want to know the process. We covered all the steps you’ll need to take in the previous blog and announced that we plan to carefully unwrap the steps for you in the following blog posts. So let’s start with the first two. Taking your first steps is the most important part of that adventure.
Writing it down & setting a budget
Getting your story written down is the logical first step that any author has to take. But there are a few guidelines. First and foremost, your story has to have continuity, to have a clear beginning, a middle, and an end. What’s also very important is to have your facts checked, because both parents and kids are smart and have easy access to information. For example, there were reactions in the Facebook groups with people warning authors to be careful when animals are in question. So you should know that a monkey isn’t an ape or vice versa, that snakes are venomous, not poisonous, that koalas live in Australia, not Austria, etc. There are a lot of people who work with animals in shelters or zoos and who’d like to educate children so being precise and checking your facts can be very beneficial for you. And this is just one group of people. So research is really important, that’s why you need to take some time to examine all of your ABCs.
After writing it down, you need to imagine your book. What do you want it to look like? This is maybe the most important because your budget will have to be set based on your vision. That requires thorough publishing research. For example, if the route is self-publishing via Amazon KDP or any other printing company, the budget is set based on the author's style preference and financial capabilities. If the route is through a publishing house, for which the publishing house has to decide if they are going to choose the book, then the publishing house decides on a budget and most commonly, the illustrator. We’ll cover this in more detail for you in the following blog posts.
Editing your story
This is also a very important step. You need to find an editor. This is the person who will proofread, edit, add, or take out some words or phrases that burden the text. Keep in mind that this is someone who has edited a lot of pages and knows how to help you present your story in the best possible light. That’s why it’s critical that you trust this person. Furthermore, when you start trusting them, there’s the possibility of continuing your cooperation for a long time. So, how do you look for an editor? Really simple. Just Google them, open their websites/social media, look for their testimonials and simply choose the one whose work is the closest to your style. And the rest, as they say, will be history.
Wrapping things up
You did it! You took the first steps in becoming a world-renown children’s book author. Before we move on, it’s critically important to invest the maximum amount of time and effort in them to have a sound basis for your written word. Choosing your visual style is the next step. You’ll get to know how you pick the best partner for this in the next blog, where we talk about spending some time to look at a few portfolios, ask a few published authors for their experience with the illustrator they’ve worked with and the important steps you need to take to make this adventure as pleasant as possible.