5 Helpful Tools for Self-Published Authors
To start your own children’s book project as an indie author or self-published author, you must write down the idea of the story, plot, conflicts, characters, settings, and where it took place. But if you are still unsure to develop a story you might need these professional helps that willing to assist you through the writing phase.
- Joel Friedlander's Book Startup Toolkit: it aims to eliminate your doubts and get you in the creative process. It provides you with a strategy, a roadmap, and the exact steps you need to take to make your story stands out and get the writing going.
- Scrivener: designed by authors for authors. This is one of the best programs you can try to use and get your writing organized.
- Reedsy Book Editor: It is a great production tool that helps you format and convert before finishing writing. It allows you to work online or with other contributors (such as your editors). After completion, you can easily export a perfect EPUB file or a printable PDF file that is typeset, and these files can be immediately be sent to an on-demand printing service, such as Ingram Spark. (Web-based)
- Grammarly: is an online grammar and plagiarism checker you can use and get your writing corrected easily.
- Plagiarism Checker: is also an online plagiarism checker and you can use it for a free or paid plan depending on what features you’re going to use, easy and check your book’s authenticity in just a few seconds.
- Plagium: another quick and easy plagiarism you can use and check if your writing is original or duplicated.
Now you’ve passed the writing phase by finishing the story and checked the plagiarism of your work, and then you’ll need to edit the written manuscript and do a proofread so it’s easily read and understand by readers especially children if you’re writing for a children’s book.
- Reedsy: provide you freelance editors that have been carefully selected by Reedsy. The freelance editors on Reedsy are experienced in editing manuscripts for books and been in the field for years, you can ensure that you’re working with the best editing professionals worldwide, from editing evaluation, development editing, copy editing to proofreading your manuscript.
- Editors Associations: working with local editors by finding it on Editors Associations will also help you get your writing edited.
Book Design Tools
If you get to this step, you’re halfway to getting your book published by a publisher that willing to do it for indie authors such as Ingram Sparks, Amazon’s KDP, so much more. In this step, you’ll need to get your manuscript illustrated by professional and experienced illustrators for a children’s book.
- Design Crowd: A website that allows you to search for an artist that’s willing to do a book cover design, book illustrations, and much more.
- 99 Design: Another website that helps you to find a suitable artist that’ll illustrate your manuscript.
- TullipStudio: An illustration studio that specializes in children’s book illustrations with more than 10 years’ experience in the field. Also, it provides you with many illustration styles from cartoon, whimsical, realistic, stylized, and so much more to choose from. Additionally, TullipStudio will also help you with book cover design and book formatting so you’ll just have to send it to the publisher.
Now get started to choose a publisher to print your finished illustrations and turn them into a children’s book. Also, you’ll need to decide on what paper that’s suitable for your children’s book project whether it’s a hardcover or a paperback cover. Here are some publishers that will provide a service for indie authors.
- Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP): Created and owned by Amazon Company, KDP is a great tool for indie authors who want to self-publish their works into an eBook format and distribute it directly to Amazon’s readers or known as Kindle Readers. Since KDP and Kindle's first launch in 2007, now Amazon’s eBook holds more than 80% of the market in The United States of America and the United Kingdom. Kindle is a device that allows users to browse, buy, download, and read eBooks, magazines, newspapers, and other digital media that are sold in the Kindle Store. KDP will pay authors royalties between 35% to 70% based on the book’s price.
- Apple iBooks: Apple's iBooks is the second-largest e-book retailer after Amazon, accounting for 10% of total sales in the top five countries. It provides unique benefits for authors in more than 40 e-book stores in specific countries: they can set prices based on the price of comparable books, or even in the local currency so that books are set differently in each country. In addition, authors can arrange free books and discounts at any time, and there is no exclusive distribution contract. To publish directly on iBooks, you must have a Mac device. Otherwise, you will have to go through the e-book aggregator. The royalty rate provided by Apple is 70% for the author.
- IngramSparks: This is a self-publishing service established by Ingram, the world's leading distributor of printed books, and connected with 39,000 bookstores, libraries, and online retailers in more than 150 countries. Ingram Spark also distributes e-books to all top online retailers such as Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and much more. They also provide publish hardcover books and even offer advanced printing-which is useful for books that contain many pictures. After deducting the cost of book production, Ingram Spark charges a 53% commission for bookstore sales and 30% commission from online retailers. They also charge a setup fee of $49 and an annual fee of $12.
Book Marketing Tools
You have now entered the last phase you have to face and this is where the fun part begins, marketing, selling, and start earning money by getting your children’s books to bookstores offline and online. Here are some tools that will help you out to start market your books.
- The Alliance for Independent Authors: is a non-profit organization that gives advice and guidance on being an indie author from how to market and promote your books, from online bookstore algorithms to planning your book launch and everything in between.
- Facebook Creator Studio: helps you schedule posts from Facebook and Instagram at the same time. Also, it helps you to view the engagement of every post you upload on Facebook and Instagram. This will give you an advantage on where to put your money for advertising according to the age group that viewed your contents.
- IngramSparks Free Courses: IngramSparks gives a lot of free courses that will guide you on being an indie-authors. For instance, “How to Build an Author Platform” is a free online self-publishing course that will help and teach indie authors how to get readers and stay connected with them. Because you’ll need to understand your audience first then you’ll able to know what marketing strategies to approach them.