How to Publish a Coloring Book

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Publishing a coloring book

You are probably here because you have been wondering how to publish a coloring book? You might be wondering if you can self publish and make money from your ideas and designs. The answer is yes.

Whether you are an illustrator, a doodler, or you just have an eye for designs, you can publish your own coloring book, print it, and sell copies to people anywhere in the world.

How to make a coloring book

Define Your Target Market

Define the age group for your coloring books, young kids, older kids, teenagers, or adults and so on. Decide if it will be gender-neutral or targeted to boys, girls, women or men. What are their interests, locations?

Decide on a Theme

There are hundreds of commonly utilized themes such as mandalas, animals, enchanted forest, wildflowers, sports, architecture and so on. If you are using custom hand drawn designs you can be super specific with your theme and target a niche audience. Since many different types of coloring books are readily available to order online, creating a coloring book with a target niche will make it easier to reach your target audience using paid advertising.

Decide on Positioning & Pricing

Where do you want to position your product/brand? The design, quality and structure of your coloring book should reflect the price you are charging for the product. For example, if you are charging an above average price you should offer extras such as high-quality paper, a durable and aesthetic cover, hand drawn designs etc.

How to make design

Create or Find Designs

There are many ways to create or source designs for your coloring book, whether you want to design it yourself or not.

Draw your own designs

There is many amazing softwares such as Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Fresco, Procreate etc. that will allow you to draw your own designs for your coloring book. These can be freehand designs if you are comfortable with that or you can simply upload an image and draw and trace the outline of that image to create new sketches. These require less artistic skills than it would require to create a design from scratch but are still unique.

How to publish a coloring book, if you can’t design

If you have specific designs in mind but do not have the time, software and/or skills to draw the designs yourself, you can use sites like Upwork or Fiverr to find an artist or designer who can draw your coloring book just the way you want it.

Use stock patterns and elements

You can find premade stock templates or build designs using elements such as geometric shapes, floral patterns and other line drawings available in the elements section of Canva. You could also download other clip arts – ensuring they are copyright free images and marked for reuse, before using the images for your coloring book. This method of using stock designs for your coloring book is restrictive. Resulting in you needing to be extremely creative to create something unique with the elements you have available to you.

How to make book cover

The cover has to be awesome! It should catch the eye of customers if you want your book to sell in online and physical marketplaces. Choose a striking bold font, a fun and bright color scheme and show a little sample of what is inside the book. If you have decided on a specific theme make it obvious what it is.

Copyright your designs

If you have taken the time to design or have your coloring book designed, it is always a good idea to copyright the designs so that nobody copies and resells your designs.

How to print a book

Once the content is complete, how to publish a coloring book? Many companies can print your coloring book. If you want a more hands-on approach where you can feel the paper textures or you want some flexibility for trial and error, it is best to use a local printer. You can order and get samples of the coloring book from bigger (and potentially cheaper) national and international printers. However this is much more time consuming if there are changes and further checks required.

How to sell your book

There are many places to sell coloring books such as local and national vendors, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify.

Sell in stores

Trying to get your coloring book into local bookshops, supermarkets, art supply stores etc. can be more difficult than it sounds, depending on where you live of course. Even when you do get shelf space from vendors, sales from this method can be slow unless you are lucky enough to get picked up by a large retailer.

Sell online

There are many options including creating your own website with an eCommerce store to sell your book. However, if you are looking for an easy and stress-free way to get started with eCommerce, Amazon is one of the most common marketplaces for creators and writers to sell their items. There are many benefits of using the platform such as the ease of use, excellent logistics, the sheer volume of users on the platform at any given time. There are also other marketplaces to sell on such as eBay, Etsy, Shopify etc.

Create eBooks and Print Books for Amazon Kindle (KDP)

Postage & Packaging

There are some different options to consider when deciding on postage & packaging options.

Post it directly to the customer

This option will allow you to customize the branding on your packages, you could add a thank you card, coupon or little treat with the coloring book. This method works well when you are paying national postage prices but can become expensive when shipping to international customers.

Dropshipping

When the sales for your coloring book start increasing you should consider dropshipping. There are different levels of dropshipping.

Some companies will offer the entire service where they will print your coloring book on-demand and post it directly to the customer who ordered it. This can be expensive and you will likely need to add a little bit more to your asking price when using this method.

Companies such as Amazon offer a form of dropshipping where you can have your printed books shipped to their warehouse and they will ship your products directly to customers buying from the Amazon marketplace. Their strong national and international shipping and logistics operations will allow you to send your book efficiently all over the world with minimal effort.

Promoting your book

There are numerous ways to promote and sell more copies online.

Promote it on the platform you are selling it on

The platforms where you sell your book often have options to promote or sponsor your products. Amazon for example has a great ad platform where you can display products ads, headline search ads, and product display ads.

Run Facebook ads

Targeting people interested in coloring books, include those interested in the theme of your book e.g. someone interested in both coloring books and animals. If you want to sell your coloring book to kids you can target parents of young kinds. 

Google Ads

Create a Google ad campaign so that when people search for coloring books like yours, your amazon listing will be at the top of the search results.

How to publish a coloring book as an ebook

If you decide to turn your coloring book into a downloadable ebook, you can price your ebook much lower. This will be convenient for people who are in the mood to color right now and have just gone online to find some material to use immediately.

There are many platforms how to publish a coloring book as an ebook, Amazon has its own platform – Kindle Direct Publishing which pays authors royalties of 35% or 70% on the book’s list price. Other good platforms to sell your book include iBooks by Apple who offer a flat 70% royalty rate. Barnes & Noble Press where Royalty rates range from 40% to 65%, Smashwords, Kobo, IngramSpark, Lulu and so on.

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