Children’s books can be the most expensive proposition in book publishing for several reasons. Let’s look at them.
First, most children’s books are done in color. Color publishing can be expensive with several choices to make. Do I use 50 lb. paper or 70 lb. Paper? Do I use standard color or high color? All of which adds to the cost of printing. These type choices also add to the look and feel of the book, which is equally important.
Second, do I do my book in paperback or hardcover. Many children’s books are printed as hardcover editions, mainly for durability and for the laminated cover option, keeping the book protected from liquid spills of whatever kind. All these features add to cost of the project. But the most expensive part of children’s books are the illustrations. Let’s talk about that!
Children’s book illustrations are the most expensive part of the book process. That is because in most cases they are the product of a professional artist who you commission to design all the illustrations in your book. When completed they will have created not only all your interior pictures, but most times, they will also have designed your book cover as well.
If you hire an illustrator for a fee of $60 to $120 per illustration, they will provide you a licensed copy of all your pictures. Yes, licensed, not purchased. In most cases, you will not own your illustrations but will have licensed them for use in your book project. The illustrator will then also offer, for a set price, to design your book cover as well, which makes perfect sense. In the end, before you’re done, you could spend anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000 on your book before you ever get it to a publisher for publishing and distribution.
So self-publishing children’s books can be very expensive. If you have an artist friend willing to help you or if you are an artist, you can save a lot of money in this proposition.
For some encouragement on this topic that you may enjoy, I highly recommend you watch a movie called “Miss Potter.” This film can be found on Pureflix.com or TubiTV.com, Enjoy!