Learn to Publish Books for Children
Study children's publishing at home -online open learning
Learn to self publish for children's books in both print and digital formats
Self paced, flexible, with support from highly qualified, expert tutors
The content of each of the ten lessons is as outlined below:
- The Publishing World (Writing for Children)
- Children’s book genres
- Self-publishing and the educational market
- Developmental landmarks and their relationship to children’s publishing
- Reading level assessments and their relationship to children’s publishing
- Publishing Procedures and Techniques
- Stages of traditional publishing
- Steps to finalising a manuscript
- Types of editing
- Illustrations and working with external illustrators
- Page design
- Picture book design
- Desktop Publishing (Print Versions of Children's Books)
- Defining desktop publishing
- Layout and design for different book types: board books, picture books, chapter books and novels
- Use of colour
- Test runs for printing
- Creating a dummy version of an illustrated text
- Desktop Publishing
- Defining e-publishing
- Apps vs eBooks
- Layout of Illustrated eBooks or Text-based eBooks
- Working with audiobooks
- Audiobooks for children
- Accessibility and eBooks
- eBook file types
- Illustration 1: Introduction to Graphics in Children's Fiction
- The purpose of illustrations and graphics
- Selecting a graphic or illustration design style
- Types of books with graphics
- Formatting textual elements
- Working with a designer or illustrator: Preparing a brief and keeping the contract clear
- Graphics and marketing
- Illustration 2: Introduction to Photography in Children's Books
- Working with photographs: Non-fiction, fiction and covers
- What makes a good photo
- Designing with photos
- Principles of photographic composition
- Creating effects
- Researching Material for Children’s & Young Adult’s Books
- Researching for fiction: world building and time period, and gathering resources
- Types of non-fiction texts for children and young adults
- How to plan research
- How to note take effectively
- Author notes
- Marketing in Publishing (Children's Books)
- Book distributors
- Marketing toward retailers
- Theme marketing and special sales
- Website and author platforms
- Marketing toward the consumer: Reviews and interviews, book launches and talks, lectures, and readings
- Publishing: Ethics & The Law
- Ethics and content creation
- Sensitivity, cultural, and linguistic diversity
- Content and ratings advisories
- Censorship and book banning
- Copyright: Copyright notices, what does copyright protect and when a work can be legally used
- Codes of ethics
- Publishing Project (PBL)
- Plan the publication of a children’s book
- Answer set discussion questions
- Present a final report
Duration: 100 hours, self paced study
Outline the characteristics of children’s books and explain the relevance of traditional children’s publishing conventions for self-publishers.
Describe stages of the publishing process and indicate where self-publishing can be advantageous to authors.
Explain best practices for working with layout and design in print picture books. Discuss ways print layout can affect market potential for picture books. Explain differences in layout between picture books and other age-specific books.
Outline the additional elements involved in creating and publishing children’s eBooks.
Explain different uses of graphics and illustrations in children’s books. Discuss factors affecting illustration styles and choices. Explain how to write a brief for an illustrator or designer.
Explain how to use photographic images effectively when self-publishing children’s books.
Discuss ways to research material or information for children’s and young adult’s books.
Explain methods of marketing children’s and young adult’s books.
Determine ethical issues relevant to writing and publishing. Discuss issues specific to ethics in writing and publishing children’s books.
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Should you publish in Print, Electronically or both?
Printed books have dominated the publishing market for centuries; but with the advent of computers and readers; all of this is changing. How much is anyone's guess, but change is likely to continue for some time.
Most publishers contract printers to do the printing and most publishers call for several quotes for each job. Printing costs may be minimal (or non-existent in the case of electronic publications), or can be the most significant expense of the project. The publisher needs to check on delivery time as some overseas printers can take several months to print, bind and ship the final delivery. Quality also varies, and may be a very important factor in deciding on the printer for a full-colour book or magazine.
Desktop publishing has transformed pre-press production, and most publishers use it to electronically produce page proofs that can be edited and proofread before the final publishing. This greatly reduces the amount of work and time involved, since the manuscript itself can be worked on. Changes to the text and specifications can be directly keyed in by the editor and designer, making them more instrumental in pre-press processes than was traditionally the case.
When editing for content and layout, the publisher (editor and designer) will have determined the physical size of the finished product (its width and height) and the number of pages (which will determine its thickness). Decisions have also probably been made on the use of colour, type of illustrations, and font etc. Other factors to be determined before the project can be printed are the kind and quality of paper. All these factors that determine the final nature and cost of the product are called its specifications.
The dimensions of a publication will change according to:
the number of words
the number and size of graphics (photos, drawings, tables)
the size of the text including headings and white space (ie. margins, the space between headings, text and graphics)
the size of the pages
inclusion of prelims (preliminaries or pages preceding the main content) and end matter (pages at the end of the publication, after the body). Book prelims usually include a half-title page, frontispiece (i.e.. reverse of half-title page), title page, verso page (ie. copyright notice, printer’s imprint, ISBN/ISSN), foreword, list of contents and preface. End matter includes appendices, glossary, bibliography and index.
Specialty books can often be very large (like “coffee table” books), but usually not as long as text books, most having moderate amounts of written text and large, quality illustrations or maps. Alternatively, they might be very short and of small dimensions because of their narrow focus or their aim of highlighting a particular artist’s work, or the features of a particular city. They are often designed to be easily transported in a purse, suitcase or pocket. Poetry books are especially suited to this format.
The decision of what size to make a publication will also depend on impact of the physical size on the reader (for instance, small children prefer larger books), and what size will make the content more appealing and profitable. Small art books might sell if they are fairly inexpensive, but larger art books with large, quality prints will sell at a much higher price. “Coffee table” books are an example of publications where size, content and cost are clearly interrelated: they are generally limited in readership to those with a particular interest in the content and are willing to pay more for the specialist content, and the high quality artwork reproductions and binding.
The other main factor determining size (and in many cases, the main factor) is cost. Publishers are in a business, and their main objective is to make a profit.
While some publishers will produce books that clearly will not be profitable, either to meet demand or stimulate interest and possibly, future sales, all publishers must weigh their preferences in terms of size, style, and content against the costs of production and distribution, and the publication’s money-making potential.