3 Alternative Methods for Self-Publishing Children’s Books

Self-Publishing is the publication of any media by its author on his own, without the involvement of any publisher. Usually, the media here refers to the hard, written media, such as books and magazines, or digital media including eBooks and websites. In this particular type of publishing the whole process is controlled by the author. He takes care of the entire process, including design, price, distribution, marketing and publishing relations, in addition to bearing all the cost of publishing. Today we are discussing alternative methods for self-publishing. We will look at the 3 main ones.

These are a great lot of things to take the pain of. But Self-Publishing is more profitable, that’s why many of us consider this for getting our write-up published. There are a few alternate ways of self-publishing, which would mitigate the burden of all these responsibilities. In the write-up, we are going to discuss 3 incredible alternate ways of Self-Publishing. We will turn every stone to have a deep insight into all the pros and cons of these methods, and at the end of the article, you would be able to pick the best method for you.

Books on shelves

3 Alternative Methods

1. Print on Demand (POD)

With POD, you pay a company for the required number of books. The services provided by the POD companies include printing and shipping of each book order, handling royalties, and getting listing in online book stores. You are to pay a one-time set-up fee, decide the price of your book and receive royalties on sold books. There are usually no upfront payments, as in most of the cases, the companies handle the selling and send the author a royalty, after deducting the printing and shipping fee. Although, the cost for this type of publishing a high, the turnout is equally profitable. In the basic services, the POD companies don’t offer editing, formatting, and proofreading. These are considered premium facilities with extra charges.

Self-Publishing also helps authors to spread the words without waiting for a traditional publisher’s approval. One thing you must care about is, be sure that you own the ISBN, and assign the right to publish a certain number of copies of your books. Whoever owns the ISBN, owns the right to publish the book.

There are a some cons with this alternative

There are few pitfalls in Print-on-Demand publishing. POD companies are always ready to print for anyone willing to pay, this results in overall quality concerns of the books. The books are produced in paperback format with a low-quality material. Moreover, proofreading and marketing are not up to the mark for POD.

2. Subsidy or Vanity Publishing

The Vanity Publishing works on the base of “Pay and get Published”. There is more independence for the authors about the content of the book than any other publishing services provide, but their charges are high. They also don’t offer the editorial or marketing facilities but in return for extra charges. Some authors write, edit, design, layout, market, and promote their books themselves, relying on a printer only for printing and binding. The major difference between Print-on-demand publishing and Subsidy publishing is that: the Publish on Demand Company sales the books and pays a royalty to the author, while subsidy publishers handover the published books to the authors.

There drawbacks of getting published by a vanity press. As these publishing companies are unselective, publications by vanity press don’t get enough prestige and recognition as commercial publications. Moreover, a vanity press may assert control over rights to the published work and provide limited or no editing, cover art, or marketing services in exchange for their fee. In a nutshell, the author has to take all the responsibilities like self-publishing but he gets the amount for royalties only. He has no share in the sales.

3. Hybrid Printing

This is a publishing scheme that has different models of revenues than traditional publishing while keeping the rest of the publishing practices the same. There are various international standards to adhere to for the hybrid publishers. So, the selection of a book for hybrid publishing could be a little tough, but your book would be more credible than the vanity publication. The hybrid publishing companies take pains towards the success of the book as they share the profit from sales with the author. There is freedom for the author to avail or not all the services provided by the hybrid companies. For instance, he can get his book cover design from a third party. Similarly, the hybrid companies also have the freedom to offer one service or not, such as many of them don’t participate in the marketing of the books.

The drawback of hybrid publishing is that there is a restriction on creative freedom, as it is in traditional publishing.

Few Things to Consider

Working with traditional publishers is comparatively easy that way, that they are more credible, they guide you through the process and take the complete responsibility from editing and designing to marketing and selling your books. On the contrary, working with a self-publishing model, you have to be careful about many things. Few most important of them are mentioned below.

Make sure of these 4 things

  1. Beware of the fake publishers. There are a plethora of scams, pretending to be publishers and can cause you serious financial damage.
  2. ISBN is really important. Pay due attention to the rights granted by the ISBN to you and your publishers. Check the time duration in the agreement, after that the publishing right should be reverted to you.
  3. Many publishers don’t have capabilities and facilities to handle large orders. Due to their mishandling, such sales are lost. Be sure that you have all the rights to your books including discounted prices for the large orders to save them.
  4. There are many compulsory components of your book such as ISBN, Library of Congress Number, the back-cover essentials. So, it is really important to edit your book accordingly.


Self-Publishing has the freedom and financial benefits greater than traditional publishing, but there are many things to concern about, to get the full advantage out of your publication. You must know that acquiring the services of a publishing company in this regard can help you through it. Even though it can be hard, you can have a successful book on your credit if everything is handled professionally. Now that you’ve learnt these alternative methods for self-publishing, which one are you trying next?

Source: “How to Create a Successful Children’s Picture Book” by Bobbie Hinman

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