The Ultimate Guide to Self-Publishing
4.4 (8 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
48 students enrolled

The Ultimate Guide to Self-Publishing

The ultimate DIY guide to self-publishing your own professional quality illustrated children's book.
4.4 (8 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
48 students enrolled
Created by Megan Robin
Last updated 3/2018
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $129.99 Original price: $199.99 Discount: 35% off
2 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Self-publish your own professional quality illustrated children's book.
  • Basic computer skills and enthusiasm!

You’ve finished writing your children’s book!


Unsure of what to do next?

I know what that's like.

When I was first starting out, I looked everywhere for a single source that would tell me everything I needed to know to create and self-publish a professional quality illustrated children's book. 

I couldn't find anything to seamlessly guide me through the process.

The majority of the sources of information I found online were trying to sell me their printing, layout, design, or distribution services.

I worried about being taken advantage of.

Therefore, I asked tough questions of the self-publishing companies who made big promises, read the fine print, and conducted extensive research regarding what my editing, printing, and distribution options were.

In this course, in under two hours, you can learn information that took me over a year to research, collate, verify, and test.

I’ve sorted through the mountains of information developed by leading publishing experts, designers, and commercial printers and I've pinpointed exactly what you need to know know to self-publish like a pro.

Most self-publishing blogs, books, and courses focus primarily on how to work with only one self-publishing company. In this course, I teach you the foundational knowledge you need to know to work with any printer and book distributor you choose, whether that's Amazon, IngramSpark, BookBaby, Lulu, or somewhere else.

By the end of this course, you will know exactly what you need to do to self-publish a professional quality children's book.

This course is for you if you want to:

  • Increase the marketability of your book by choosing the right title, book categories and keywords and by writing compelling book descriptions.
  • Speak the language of children’s books designers and printers. I tell you what you need to know about margins, bleeds, digital artwork, scanned in artwork, hue, saturation, PNG, JPG, print ready PDFs, and more.
  • Produce a professional quality book by learning about ISBN numbers, book industry print standards and the Library of Congress PCN program.
  • Save money by understanding your printing options, including the difference between offset printing and digital (POD) printing.
  • Learn how to use Amazon Createspace, KDP, or IngramSpark (or all three in combination!) to widen your books reach and distribution.
  • Learn how the publishing industry works and speak the language. Self-publishing is a rapidly developing market. The printers and distributors that are the industry leaders today, may not be around tomorrow. While I discuss both IngramSpark and Amazon in this course because they are the current industry leaders, I also teach the core foundations of the publishing industry so that you can switch printers and distributors as you see fit to maximize your distribution and profit.

In this course, I will teach you how to self-publish your book, but more importantly, I will teach you how to protect your wallet along the way. According to The Independent Publishing Magazine, there are over 80 author services companies vying for your business. Some are great, while others are charge huge fees to handle things you can easily do yourself for free. When you are finished with this course, you will know what is worth paying for and what isn’t.

Are you in the right place?

These classes are NOT for you if you want to create a book for family and friends and you have no intention of selling your books commercially.

In these classes, I cover topics like how the self-publishing industry works, book marketing, and how to prepare digital files for commercial printers.

If you plan to only create a few books to share with family and friends, I recommend using a company like Shutterfly or Blurb. These companies offer easy drag and drop templates and they handle the details for you. However, if you plan to sell your book commercially, these companies aren’t very practical because their print costs are so high (the average is $20 per book or more,) so you’d have to price your book cost unattractively high to make a profit if you tried to resell these books. However, these companies are a great solution if you only want a few copies made.

Who this course is for:
  • Learn everything you need to know about self-publishing an illustrated children’s book, all in one place. "Do-it-yourselfers" on a publishing budget will love this course. I don't shy away from teaching the technical terms used in the printing and publishing industry. The lectures move quickly. (Time is money!) There are no 30 minute introductions filled with pep talks and sales pitches about why you should watch the video and why should get savvy before hiring, printing through or publishing with any company. If you aren't already convinced of this, then you (and mostly your wallet) are in trouble. Publishing is a competitive business. Prepare yourself by educating yourself.
Course content
Expand all 34 lectures 02:16:11
+ Publish Like a Pro
1 lecture 12:25

Here are links to the trim size options offered by a few common printers:

Ingram Spark:

Amazon Createspace:



Link to IngramSpark Duplex Cover Template:

Publish Like a Pro
+ How to Find an Illustrator and How to Negotiate a Price and Terms
1 lecture 12:15

Finding an Illustrator:

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators:




(These are just a few places to look. There are many others sites like these where you can find illustrators. Simply type "Children's Book Illustrator" in Google and tons of options will come up.)

Improving Your Drawing Skills:

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

Lynda Drawing Tutorial:

YouTube Drawing Classes:

Illustration Software:


Adobe Photoshop:

Adobe Illustrator:

Adobe Creative Cloud:


How to Find an Illustrator and How to Negotiate a Price and Terms
+ Set Up Your Book to Sell
8 lectures 29:07
Introduction to "Set Your Book Up to Sell!"
Writing Titles that Jump Off the Shelf
Crafting a Compelling Book Description
The Secret to Choosing Effective Keywords

Link to the BISAC Subject Headings List:

Choose the Right Book Categories So Readers Can Find Your Book

Link to Thema Book Categories:

Going Global: International Book Categorization Standards
Targeting Your Intended Audience
+ How to Create Print Ready Digital Book Files
6 lectures 14:19
Introduction to Creating Print Ready Digital Book Files
Master Margins and Bleeds
How to Avoid Common Color and Ink Mistakes and Pitfalls
+ Everything You Need to Know About ISBN Numbers
1 lecture 16:48

Link to the Bowker website:

Link to the Library of Congress PCN Program website:

Link to the Bowker page where you can assign your ISBN number to your book:

Everything You Need to Know About ISBN Numbers
+ Digital vs Offset Printing: How to Choose
3 lectures 07:31
Offset Printing vs Digital (Print on Demand) Printing
How to Choose a Printer
+ What You Need to Know About Pricing and Presales
4 lectures 13:00

Statistics and Studies of Author Earnings and U.S. Book Sales:

Ingram Spark Publisher Compensation Calculator:

Amazon CreateSpace Pricing Calculator:

Note: In addition to a 55% wholesale discount, most bookstores require that your books be returnable as well. This means that the bookstore can return any unsold copies to you.

How to Price Your Book and Set Your Wholesale Discount

How to Set Your Publication Date and Set Up a Pre-Sale
+ An Inside Look at Amazon Createspace
4 lectures 11:51
The Pros and Cons of Createspace
What to Expect: The Createspace Submission Process and Guidelines
The Createspace File Review Process
The Dark Side of Amazon
+ An Inside Look at IngramSpark
2 lectures 04:45
The Pros and Cons of IngramSpark
The IngramSpark File Review Process