How to Self-Publish a Children’s Book in the UK


Are you an aspiring children’s book author looking for a way to get your work into the hands of young readers? If so, self-publishing could be the route for you. Although the traditional publishing industry may seem like the go-to option for many, self-publishing offers a wealth of benefits, including creative control, faster publication timelines, and higher royalties. In this article, we’ll explore the key steps involved in self-publishing a children’s book in the UK, from developing your idea to editing and proofreading your final manuscript.

Understanding the Self-Publishing Process

Self-publishing is a fascinating way for authors to take control of their work and bring their book to market. It is a process that involves numerous tasks, including manuscript development, book design, printing, marketing, and distribution. As a self-publisher, you are responsible for completing all of these tasks yourself or hiring professionals to help with the process.

Manuscript development is the first step in the self-publishing process. This involves writing, editing, and proofreading your book to ensure it is of the highest quality. It is crucial to have a well-written manuscript that is free of errors, as this will impact the success of your book.

The next step is book design. This involves choosing the font, layout, and cover design for your book. The cover design is especially important, as it is the first thing readers will see. It should be eye-catching and relevant to your book’s content.

Printing is another critical step in the self-publishing process. You can choose to print your book on demand or print a certain number of copies upfront. Printing on demand is a cost-effective option, as you only print books as they are ordered. However, printing a certain number of copies upfront can be beneficial if you plan to sell your book at events or in stores.

Benefits of Self-Publishing

One of the biggest benefits of self-publishing is creative control. You are free to make decisions on all aspects of your book, from the storyline and characters to the cover design and marketing. Additionally, self-publishing allows you to bypass traditional publishing gatekeepers and get your book into the hands of readers faster. Finally, self-published authors typically receive higher royalties than those who publish traditionally, as they are not sharing profits with a publishing company.

Another benefit of self-publishing is the ability to create a personal connection with your readers. Self-published authors can interact with their readers on social media, through email, or at book events. This can lead to a loyal fan base and increased book sales.

Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing

While traditional publishing has its benefits, such as established distribution channels and access to professional editing services, it may not be the right fit for all authors. For instance, traditional publishers may not accept manuscripts from unknown authors or may not align with an author’s creative vision. Self-publishing allows authors to take control of their work, publish their book on their own terms, and reap all the benefits that come with it.

However, self-publishing is not without its challenges. It can be a time-consuming and costly process, and authors must be prepared to handle all aspects of the publishing process. Additionally, self-published books may not have the same level of credibility as traditionally published books.

Key Steps in the Self-Publishing Journey

When it comes to self-publishing, there are several key steps to follow to ensure your book’s success. In addition to manuscript development, book design, and printing, marketing and distribution are crucial components of the process.

Marketing involves promoting your book to potential readers through social media, book reviews, and book events. It is essential to have a marketing plan in place to ensure your book reaches its target audience.

Distribution is another critical component of the self-publishing process. You can choose to distribute your book through online retailers such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or sell it on your website or at events. It is important to have a distribution plan in place to ensure your book is available to readers.

In conclusion, self-publishing is a viable option for authors who want to take control of their work and bring their book to market. While it can be a challenging process, the benefits of creative control and higher royalties make it a worthwhile endeavor. By following the key steps in the self-publishing journey, authors can successfully publish their book and connect with readers.

Developing Your Children’s Book Idea

Writing a children’s book can be a rewarding and exciting experience. It allows you to share your creativity and imagination with young readers and inspire them to explore the world around them. However, creating a successful children’s book requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a lot of hard work. In this article, we will explore the key steps involved in developing your children’s book idea.

Identifying Your Target Audience

Before you start writing your children’s book, it’s important to identify your target audience. Who are you writing for? What age range are you targeting? What is their reading level? What are their interests? Understanding your audience is crucial in tailoring your book’s content, style, and tone to meet their needs. For example, if you’re writing for younger children, you may want to use simpler language and include more colorful illustrations. If you’re writing for older children, you may want to include more complex themes and characters.

Choosing a Theme or Topic

Once you’ve identified your target audience, it’s time to choose a theme or topic that will resonate with them. This could be anything from a story about a magical forest to a non-fiction book about science or history. When choosing a topic, it’s important to consider your own interests and passions, as well as what will keep your readers engaged and interested. Researching current trends and popular themes in children’s literature can also be helpful.

Creating Memorable Characters

Characters are the heart of any good children’s book. Spend time developing your main character’s personality, background, and motivation. Consider what makes them unique and relatable to your target audience. You may also want to add supporting characters that will complement your protagonist and add depth to your story. Think about how your characters will interact with each other and how they will drive the plot forward.

Writing an Engaging Story

The final step in developing your children’s book is writing an engaging story. This involves creating a compelling plotline that will keep your readers turning the pages. Incorporate conflict, tension, and emotion to make your story truly memorable. Consider using descriptive language to paint a vivid picture in your reader’s mind. Use dialogue to bring your characters to life and show their personalities. You may also want to include a moral or lesson that your readers can take away from the story.

By following these key steps, you can develop a successful children’s book that will captivate and inspire young readers. Remember to stay true to your own voice and vision, and don’t be afraid to seek feedback from others. With hard work and dedication, you can bring your children’s book idea to life!

Illustrations and Design

Illustrations are a crucial component of any children’s book. They help bring your story to life and capture your readers’ imaginations. Consider hiring a professional illustrator to create high-quality images that complement your story.

Finding the Right Illustrator

When it comes to finding the right illustrator, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, look for someone with experience in creating illustrations for children’s books. This can be a specialized skill, and you want to make sure you’re working with someone who knows what they’re doing.

Second, consider the style of illustrations you want for your book. Do you want something realistic or more whimsical? Make sure the illustrator you choose has a portfolio that showcases the style you’re looking for.

Finally, be sure to discuss your vision for the illustrations with the illustrator before hiring them. This will ensure that you’re both on the same page and that the final product meets your expectations.

Developing a Visual Style

Once you’ve found the right illustrator, it’s time to develop a visual style for your book. This can involve choosing a color scheme, font, and layout that will give your book a unique look and feel.

One thing to consider is the age range of your target audience. Younger children may benefit from bright, bold colors and simple, easy-to-read fonts, while older children may appreciate more complex designs and muted colors.

Another important consideration is the tone of your book. Is it lighthearted and fun, or more serious and thought-provoking? Your visual style should reflect the tone of your story and help set the mood for your readers.

Creating Eye-Catching Cover Art

Your book’s cover is often the first thing potential readers will see. Make sure it stands out by creating eye-catching cover art that accurately reflects your book’s content and tone.

Consider using bold colors, striking images, and clear, easy-to-read text to grab your readers’ attention. You may also want to include a tagline or short description of your book to give readers a taste of what’s inside.

Remember, your cover should be both visually appealing and informative. It should accurately convey the genre, tone, and subject matter of your book so that readers know what they’re getting into.

Formatting and Layout Considerations

When it comes to formatting and layout, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, consider how your book will look both in print and digital formats. Make sure your text and images are aligned correctly and that the overall design is visually appealing and easy to read.

You may also want to consider the size and shape of your book. Will it be a standard size, or do you want something more unique? Keep in mind that non-standard sizes may be more expensive to produce.

Finally, think about how your book will be read. Will it be read aloud to a group of children, or will kids be reading it on their own? This can impact the layout and font size you choose.

By taking the time to carefully consider your illustrations and design, you can create a book that not only tells a great story but looks great too.

Editing and Proofreading

The Importance of Professional Editing

Once you’ve completed your manuscript, the next step is editing. Editing involves revising and refining your book’s content, structure, and style to make it the best it can be. Consider hiring a professional editor to help you catch errors and improve the overall quality of your work.

Types of Editing Services

There are several types of editing services available, including developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading. Each type of editing focuses on a different aspect of your manuscript, so consider which service is best for your book’s needs.

Proofreading and Final Touches

Finally, proofread your book to ensure it is free of errors and ready for publication. Make any final changes or adjustments and prepare your book for distribution.


Self-publishing a children’s book in the UK is an exciting journey that requires dedication, hard work, and creativity. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a book that will captivate young readers and leave a lasting impression. Remember to be patient and enjoy the process, and you may just find yourself with a successful book on your hands.