Thursday, January 21, 2010

How I Self-published My Children’s Book

After self-publishing my first book in 2004, I knew what was involved when I started to publish my second book in 2005. I was willing to do the marketing legwork again, but I did not want to handle distribution. I had addressed hundreds of envelopes and made as many trips to the post office with my first book. At the time, the average self-published author could not get distribution through Ingram unless the book was printed by Lightning Source. This limitation made it difficult for authors to get their books into bookstores and on Therefore, with my second book, I opted to go with Booksurge, a publish-on-demand affiliate of I would have to sell it to them for 55 percent off the retail price, which means the author makes very little on the sale of one book. But, Amazon handled the distribution and added my book to Ingram’s catalogue where it could be ordered by any retail bookstore.

I had my third book published through Nightengale Press in 2007 and even though Nightengale is generous in the percentage of royalties they pay their authors, I knew I could make more per book or else offer the book at a lower price if I self published. This was important because The Sid Series is a full-color book inside and out, and books with a color interior cost more to print than black and white ones. The book publishing industry has changed a lot in the past six years and Lightning Source has recently started working directly with authors rather than publishers only.

In my research, I came across a self-publishing guru by the name of Morris Rosenthal. He informed me that publishers did not have to agree to Amazon’s 55-percent discount. He referred me to a book by Aaron Shepard titled Aiming At Amazon. From that book, I learned how to publish my own book, have it printed through Lightning Source, list it in Ingram’s catalog, and sell it on Amazon and offer it to bookstores for a short discount of 30 percent. This method put me in the driver’s seat as both the publisher and the author and completely removed the middle person. My profit margin is greater because the cost per book is lower and I’m not giving away any of my royalties to a publisher. Win-Win!


Yvonne Perry is the author of The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children. These 12 body-mind-spirit stories highlight unique lessons about love, acceptance, self-worth, caring for the body, diversity, facing fears, dealing with change, experiencing the death of a pet, using spiritual gifts, and psychic experiences today's children exhibit (see

Yvonne is also a free-lance writer and the owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services (WITS). She and her team of ghostwriters are ready to assist you with writing and editing for books, Web text, business documents, resumes, bios, articles, and media releases. For more information about writing, networking, publishing, and book promotion, or to sign up for free email delivery of WITS newsletter, please visit New subscribers receive a free e-book Tips for Freelance Writing.

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