How Much Does It Cost to Publish a Children’s Book?

How Much Does it Cost to Publish a Children’s Book?
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If you have a lot of experience with children and you simply love reading picture books together with your kids, it might be interesting enough of an idea for you to publish your own children’s book. But how much will it cost you to publish a children’s book?

You should be ready to spend at least $5,000 to publish a children’s book, but that is already close to the bare minimum cost of doing so as publishing a children’s book can easily go over $10,000 depending on a lot of different factors.

Publishing a children’s book can actually end up becoming lucrative if they sell well or can be a good source of passive income. But there are some costs that you need to know about publishing a children’s book so that you won’t end up getting surprised in the middle of doing so.

How Much Does It Cost to Publish a Children’s Book?

There are plenty of people around the United States who write their own children’s books because writing a picture book that is meant for kids tend to be easier to do compared to writing an entire novel that needs to be written by a seasoned author and should be hundreds of pages long most of the time. And although children’s books might be easier to write than actual novels, it still takes a certain level of creativity and experience with children and with picture books for one to be able to write them well.

If you happen to have written a really good children’s book, you would actually reap the benefits of consistent passive income that can help pay the bills even though the income might not be up to par with the money you are making in your regular job. And if the books or the series of books end up becoming best-sellers, you might just end up making good money out of this endeavor.

But, while it might be a good idea to publish a children’s book especially when you consider the passive income involved with doing so, you have to understand that it will cost quite a lot of money for you to publish the book. Nothing is ever free or, at the very least, cheap when it comes to this kind of endeavor. And that is why you are not going to find plenty of people willing to publish children’s books as the expenses might be more than what they can handle.

So, how much will it actually cost you to publish a children’s book? The general consensus is that you should be willing to shell out at least $5,000 for this endeavor.

Let us try to look at a simple breakdown of what you will end up spending for when you publish a children’s book.

1.     Editors

If you want to have a children’s book that is surely written well, you need to hire an editor, which will cost you somewhere between $200 to $1,000 depending on the length of your book and the quality of your editor.

2.     Illustrator

Of course, a picture book needs to have a good illustration of the ideas you want to convey, or else it won’t even be a good picture book at all. If you are not someone who has the talent for this, you would need to hire one. You can hire freelance illustrators on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork but you will most likely end up spending somewhere between $1,500 to $10,000 depending on the illustrator himself and on the length of your book.

3.     Layout Artist

Again, you can do the layout yourself if you have the time and talent but it might be better to hire someone who can do the layout for you if you want to save time and effort. Layout artists can have costs that vary between $500 and $2,000.

4.     Marketing

How can you sell your book if you are not marketing it? That’s why it is important for you to spend money on marketing or else the visibility of your book will suffer and no one will be able to see it much less buy your book.

Marketing costs can depend on whether you are doing it yourself or if you hire someone to market it for you but it will really vary as some people may end up spending only $50 for marketing if they know cheap and creative ways to do so while others may end up spending up to more than $10,000 if they hire marketing experts to do the marketing for them. But you have to understand that there is no guarantee that you would end up getting more sales if you spend more money on marketing because the sales of your book will depend more on its quality.

So, with all those said, what you should be preparing yourself for is to spend at least $5,000 for this endeavor and possibly even more than that depending on a lot of different factors. In that sense, publishing a children’s book won’t be a cheap endeavor.

How Much Money Do You Make From Publishing a Children’s Book?

At this point, you probably already understand that you would have to spend quite a lot of money just to publish a children’s book on top of the individual time and effort you spent on such an endeavor. But you also have to look at how much money you can end up making by publishing a children’s book.

What you need to understand is that publishing a children’s book will earn you a good passive source of income depending on how much you end up selling. But even the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators understand that those who write children’s books won’t end up earning a lot of money at the start.

So, how much do children’s books authors make on an annual basis? gave this simple breakdown, which depends on the experience of the writers (even though it is not separate just for children’s books authors):

  • 0 to 5 years: $42,000
  • 5 to 10 years: $54,000
  • 10 to 20 years: $62,000
  • More than 20 years: $74,000

However, you have to understand that the pay scale above is highly dependent on the success of the children’s book author. So, if you don’t end up selling a lot of copies for your book, you obviously won’t earn a lot as some authors have said that they only sell about 2,000 copies a year and make $3,000 to $4,000 from those books.

Should I Self-Publish a Children’s Book?

Now that you know the costs of publishing a children’s book and the possible income you would end up earning when you do so, you might be wondering right now whether you should self-publish the book or hire a publishing company. Well, here are some of the things you need to think about:

  • Self-publishing will allow you to have full control over your book but you might lose out on some possible input and ideas that can come from a publishing company.
  • If you are self-publishing, you won’t be pushed for time because the timeline is entirely up to you but a publishing company can help improve your timeline as you might end up losing your book deal if you can’t reach the deadlines.
  • The marketing end of self-publishing will depend largely on you and on the people you hire to do the marketing but a publishing company already has a target market and will do the marketing for you.
  • Publishing companies will get your book in bookstores fast but self-publishing can take some time and effort to get your books in bookstores as you would most likely end up having to sell your books online or through other independent entities most of the time.
  • Self-publishing will require you to have to put in a lot of time and effort into the work but traditional publishers basically do almost everything for you.
  • You will most likely end up with all of the profits with self-publishing or share some of it with your illustrator but you would only get a share of your profits if you published your book with a publishing company.

So, should you self-publish or go through the traditional publishing route? It really depends on you as there are some obvious pros and cons regarding self-publishing and the usual publishing route of getting your book published by a publishing company. If publishing companies are not buying into your ideas and you prefer to have full control over your book, then you can self-publish. But if you prefer to save a ton of time and effort, then publishing your children’s book through a publishing company might be the better option for you.

If you are looking for info about how much it costs and how much money you can make by self-publishing children’s books on Amazon, it would be ideal to you to look at this article about on that topic reliving how much can you make selling books on Amazon.

How Do I Get a Children’s Book Published?

If you are interested in getting your children’s book published, here are some simple and easy steps to follow:

  1. Research the target market. Remember here that you are not targeting the children but the parents themselves because the parents are the ones choosing the books they want for their children.
  2. Edit your manuscript or have an editor do it for you. Make sure that it has been optimized for publishing.
  1. Hire an illustrator to do the illustration for you. Remember that this is a picture book, which will require illustrations that are engaging, creative, and good enough to fit the narrative you want to convey in your children’s book.
  1. Choose your medium of distribution. Nowadays, a lot of books are being sold as eBooks because of the prevalence of digital devices. You can still sell your books through the traditional route of having them printed but doing so will be more expensive on your part.
  1. Plan your marketing strategy as this is the single most important aspect of selling your book. You can hire a marketing agency to do it for you, and most publishing companies will do the marketing on your end. But self-publishing requires you to find creative and affordable ways to market your book. The marketing will be entirely up to you, and that is why you need to be able to research how to market your product the right way if you want it to sell well.


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