How to publish a children’s book on Amazon

Whether you’re going the traditional route or self-publishing, bringing a book to market is no easy task. A children’s book can be even harder depending on the targeted age and whether you need illustrations or not. There a lot of questions when it comes to publishing a book on Amazon, let alone a children’s book. So, let’s discuss how to publish a children’s book on Amazon.

Why you should publish a children’s book on Amazon

While it involves a learning curve, it’s not necessarily harder to publish a children’s book than a novel. The formatting is different if you’re adding illustrations, but Amazon walks you through the process (which we’ll discuss).

In addition, publishing a children’s book on Amazon is easier than going the traditional route. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. Self-publishing through Amazon allows you to keep full creative control.
  2. You get to choose your illustrator.
  3. You can work closely with your illustrator so the book looks how you envisioned it to be.

The traditional publishing houses usually make big decisions for you, like book cover design, illustrations (and they pick the illustrator), and sometimes even change the book title. Having the ability to self-publish your children’s book through Amazon will make sure your book stays yours.

Before you publish a children’s book on Amazon

Here are a few quick tips on what to have before you decide to put your book up on Amazon.

  • Make sure your children’s book manuscript is properly formatted in Word, Scrivener, or the writing program of your choice.
  • Be sure that your manuscript is polished and has been professionally edited.
  • Decide on your illustrations — will you hire a professional or do the illustrations yourself?

If you have what it takes, you can easily be an author/illustrator for your children’s book. If you decide to hire a professional, be sure to work with them and have all the illustrations finalized before you choose to put your book onto Amazon.

How to publish a children’s book on Amazon: the details

Your book description

When you begin to set up your children’s book on Amazon, one of the first steps you’ll need to do is to write a book description.

A book description will give readers an important first impression of your book. The description should be easy to read but give a good idea of what the book is about. This will help your readers decide whether they’d like to read your book or not.

Use PickFu to choose the perfect book description that will sell

Writing book descriptions can be tricky. Sometimes, it’s hard to come up with the right words. Or maybe you have a few ideas and are torn between which one you should use.

This is where PickFu comes in.

PickFu makes it easy to poll a targeted audience. You can pit several book descriptions against each other for the audience to choose which one they prefer. It takes only a minute to set up a poll, and you’ll begin to see results immediately.

Choosing the right categories and keywords

Next, you’ll fill in your categories and keywords to make it easy for readers to discover your book on Amazon. KDP Jumpstart suggests, “Think of them like the sections of a physical bookstore.” If you’re working on a children’s picture book, one of your categories may be “picture book.”

The keywords break your categories down further. It’s more specific for your audience to come across your book when they search for relevant keywords. Your keywords should be based on any characters, settings, themes, etc. that your book is about. If your book is about farm animals, then farm animals would be a great keyword.

The best way to find relevant categories and keywords to your book is to search for books similar to yours. Using farm animals as an example, there are plenty of picture books about farm animals. Find those books on Amazon and take a peek at what categories and keywords they used.

What worked for them? Do the keywords make sense? If you typed in a keyword that may be suited for your book, did similar books show up in the search engine?

Don’t feel the need to incorporate every single keyword used based on the first few books that appear in your search. Your book, while it may be similar in topic, is unique from all the other children’s books out there. Get ideas and see what suits your story.

Amazon allows two categories and up to seven keywords, so choose wisely.

Defining your target audience

Next, Amazon asks you to fill out your book’s details. This includes a variety of inputs such as the language the book is written in and the basics: title, subtitle, author, and so on. 

One of the most important details is the targeted age of your book. Sometimes the answer can be a hard one to pinpoint. Your books could be suited for a handful of age ranges but which one is it for specifically? For whom is your book intended?

“Children’s books” is an umbrella term for young readers. Depending on the number of words and the illustrations, your children’s book may be best suited for one age group over another.

For example, according to Reedsy, picture books are for kids under 5 years old. They have plenty of illustrations and the word count is under 1,000. Books with some illustrations and composed of 2,000 to 5,000 words are for early readers (children 5 years and older).

Next are chapter books for kids ages six to nine. These may have light black and white pictures scattered about with a larger word count. Then we get into the middle-grade territory and beyond.

So, where does your children’s book fall? Is it a picture book or for early readers? This will also help you with formatting your book.

How to publish your children’s book on Amazon: Formatting your book

Formatting a book isn’t as simple as it sounds. Formatting an e-book is different than formatting a paperback. The good news is that Amazon has an easy tool to help you out.

Utilize the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator program

The Kindle Kids’ Book Creator is a program from Amazon that you can download onto your Windows or Mac computer. This program makes it easy for you to create a beautiful children’s book for Kindle.

Using this program, your book will be available on tablets, smartphones, and computers. It also easily imports various image files such as jpeg, pdf, and png. You can preview your book before it goes live on Kindle so you can make sure it looks exactly as you want it. 

How to publish your children’s book on Amazon: a recap

There’s a lot to keep track of when it comes to publishing a children’s book. But as long as your manuscript is formatted correctly and professionally edited and illustrated, the rest of the process should be simple.

Choose your categories and keywords wisely. Be sure to know who your target audience is. Use Amazon’s resources and tools to help ease you into the process.

PickFu is here to help, too

Use PickFu to help inform the big decisions about your children’s book. You can run a variety of PickFu polls to check your book description, book title, and book cover, just to name a few. You can even poll targeted audiences including parents and Amazon Prime members.

Give PickFu a try today. You’ll have a better understanding of what will work best for your children’s book.