Verdict: HOW TO SELF-PUBLISH A CHILDREN’S BOOK breaks down the overwhelming process of publishing your own book into tangible, doable steps.
Amazon best-selling author Yvonne Jones walks writers step-by-step through the publishing process, offering a comprehensive overview of nearly everything an aspiring self-published author needs to know to succeed. The information covered—including a breakdown of different types of children’s books and a discussion of the importance of editing—assumes that the reader knows nothing about publishing their own book and needs the most basic information. However, she presents that information in a way that never feels like she’s talking down to the reader. In fact, this method of breaking down the complex publishing process into its most basic parts acts almost as a comfort, even for people who might already know some of the information presented: it assures the readers that, even though publishing your own book is not easy, it is also not impossibly complex. When you see a task broken down into such simple, digestible bits, it reminds you that the task is doable.
To further ease the self-publishing process for new writers, Jones includes to-do lists at the end of each chapter, giving writers a clear call to action and tangible goals. She also includes downloadable pages, such as idea sheets for brainstorming and templates for contacting potential illustrators. At the end of nearly every chapter are personal recommendations for editors, illustrators, cover designers, and programs so that readers can save time researching these resources. She makes it clear that none of these recommendations are endorsed, and all are people or services that she or someone she knows has worked with in the past and loved.
The information concerning illustrations is the only part of this book that is questionable. For example, Jones suggests buying all the rights to illustrations created for the book, but that practice is rarely necessary and might discourage artists from working with you, because many want to retain some rights to their work. She also suggests the possibility of the author illustrating their own book to cut down costs. While this does cut down costs, this suggestion also undervalues the importance of high-quality illustrations in a picture book. The necessity of some artistic talent is offhandedly mentioned, but unless the writer is also a trained illustrator, this particular cutting of costs will also severely cut the quality. However, these few less-than-perfect pieces of advice are buried in an entire book of advice that is sound, digestible, and easy to follow.
~Jess Costello for IndieReader