Book review: How to Self-Publish and Market a Children’s Book

If someone gets ridiculously excited about a book that’s loaded with helpful information for authors, is she a complete nerd? I’m, um, asking for a friend.

I think some of the best nonfiction how-to books available today are self-published. How to Self-Publish and Market a Children’s Book: The key steps to self-publishing in print and as an eBook and how to get your story into young readers’ hands by Karen P. Inglis is one of them.

But don’t let the title fool you.

The first half of this book walks you through every step required for quality self-publishing, but the second half is packed with marketing advice that traditionally published authors need, too.

Inglis, a successful British self-published children’s book author, generously shares what she’s learned while writing, publishing, and marketing books that enjoy international recognition and sales.

Use this as your children’s book-publishing Bible

In 30 chapters and nearly 300 pages, Inglis takes on everything from selecting the best self-publishing option for your book to getting early feedback from young readers and how your target audience isn’t quite who you think it is.

While reading How to Self-Publish and Market a Children’s Book, I found myself either nodding my head in agreement, writing down a gem I wanted to flag for you, or thinking, “That’s a genius idea!”

For example, Inglis recommends that authors with several books create a free e-book with the first chapter from each of the books. Include a link to each book’s sales page, as she has done in Story Stack, her version of this strategy. (This will work for any book genre or category.)

Here’s another gem: You might already know that scheduling school visits near where you live is a smart move. But how about where you grew up? Wouldn’t you enjoy sharing your children’s book with students in the community you lived in when you were their age? School librarians and teachers will enjoy that, too.

Children’s books by self-published author Karen Inglis

What, exactly, will you learn?

I can’t think of a single subject Inglis has left out of this helpful resource. Topics covered that are unique to children’s book authors include:

  • The true target audience for children’s books
  • How to find beta readers, what to ask of them, and how to work with them
  • Why you must create a book mock-up before you publish and how to do it
  • Finding, working with, and compensating illustrators
  • Lead magnet ideas for building an email list
  • Content that children’s book authors need on their websites that other authors don’t need
  • How to schedule and handle school visits*
  • Publicity angles that have worked for her that will help you think through what will work for you
  • The best social media networks for children’s book authors
  • 21 social media content ideas unique to you and your books
  • A killer tip for your Pinterest boards
  • The best places for finding reviewers
  • The good, the bad, and the ugly of online advertising for these books

It includes self-publishing information all types of authors need, as well. These topics range from the importance of quality to how to decide if you should enroll your book in Amazon’s KDP Select program.

As Inglis writes, “Serious children’s self-publishers follow the same steps as traditional publishers in making sure that their stories are engaging and relevant for their target readers, well-written and use appropriate language.”

I’m giving it 5 stars

children's book 3
British author Karen Inglis

Each reader brings their own questions and knowledge level to a how-to book. I’m confident that no matter where you are in the publishing or marketing process, you’ll benefit from reading this book.

How to Self-Publish and Market a Children’s Book is a comprehensive, easy-to-read guide that’s loaded with specifics wrapped in wisdom.

I can’t imagine any beginning, intermediate, or veteran children’s book author reading this and not discovering something new and helpful.

Or being disappointed.

*For an in-depth look at school visits, read “Book review: Sell Books and Get Paid Doing Author School Visits” on this site

Got a question for author Karen Inglis? Ask it here and I’ll invite her to respond in the comments. 

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  1. Thank you so much for this great review, Sandra 🙂 A lot of work and thought went into the book and it was great finally to get it out there. I was so keen to share what I’ve learned over the last seven years as I know just what a challenge being a children’s author can be — especially when it comes to marketing.

    And, yes, if anyone has questions I’ll be more than happy to answer them.


    1. It’s very well-done, Karen. The cover, in fact is “exhibit A” for your book’s quality!

      When I want to review a book like this, I typically come to it with no pre-conceived notions or biases. In this case, the fact that we don’t know each other makes that easier!

      I look for certain types of information and how it’s presented — is it thorough? Can we trust it? And so on. I also look for what’s missing because I think it’s only fair, even in a positive review, to help readers understand what they WON’T find in a book.

      In this case, I found your level of detail REFRESHING! I also couldn’t find anything I thought you might have covered, but didn’t.

      That’s why I was nearly gleeful while reading your book. It’s just such a treat to find someone who knows what they’re talking about and shares it without a lot of smoke and mirrors nonsense. Thank you!


    1. I think you’ll love it, Mary! (And, of course, if you do, be sure to review it on Amazon and Goodreads. That’s on my to-do list, too.)


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