I have written a story for a children's book, what do I do next?

padIt's actually very straight forward! I can do most things for you, from help and advice with the initial idea, to creating the book itself, and of course - the illustrations! I also can advise and support you when you are dealing with the printers! 🙂 

I have outlined my easy 7 step process to give you an idea of how we can bring your book to life!

  • Step #1: Develop your story
  • Step #2: Storyboard/layout
  • Step #3: Sketches
  • Step #4: Illustrations
  • Step #5: Digital proof and review
  • Step #6: Choose printing options
  • Step #7: Receive your book

For more information on my process and examples of my work, please visit my Children's book illustration page.

What exactly happens when you work with me?

happydesigner-deskMost importantly, We work together every step of the way. 

My process is pretty simple:

1. Let's Talk. Firstly, it all starts with a chat about your story, including the styles you have in mind etc. Creating your book, or books, is such a fun adventure, so I must have a good understanding of the story, its characters, its focus; anything that you think is important to the story. While this can be done via emails, I would much prefer a chat over the phone to get a better feel of the project. 

2. Deposit. Once the project has been agreed, A week before the start date, the 50% deposit will then be due, preferably via a BACS bank transfer. I will begin work once payment has been received.

3. Let's Get Started. Before I begin work I will need to be provided with ALL the details regarding your book. This includes a copy of your typed story, a descriptive paragraph for the back cover and any dedications for the book (if you wish to have one). Also, please inform me of any ideas you may have regarding how you want your characters to look and the style you would like, along with any other ideas you may have. I also need to know if I have any illustrative restraints, or anything you don't want. This will save us a lot of time in the editing stage! 

4. Proofreading/Editing. We will work through your story together. We can look at ensuring it has got a stable structure. Proofread and then work on the text layout. 

5. Sketch Building. This is the stage where you can check the sketches/rough book layout and make any suggestions. We will discuss colours, style and other important decisions so that it's right for you. It's crucial to ensure the sketches are correct at this point, as any re-paints will incur charges based on my hourly rate. Make sure you're honest with me and let me know in clear terms what you want to change, if anything, about the sketches. If you have chosen the publisher option, at this stage, we will involve them to confirm and sign off the layout. 

6. Illustration Development. This is the stage that can take the longest! This is when I get to colour everything in. Bear in mind that this will take approx. 3-4 weeks of work, dependent on the complexity of the illustrations. I will advise if it will take longer than this.

7. Book Generation. The book template generation stage involves importing the text and images, editing, etc. This will take approx. 1-2 weeks.

8. Payment/Final Files. Once I have completed the illustrations and book itself, and before the release of months of work, the final amount of the remaining 50% will be due. Upon receipt of that payment, I will send you the complete, finished proof. Payment is to be received first as the files I send you will be the completed book ready for final editing. Once this final payment is received the copyright to the book is yours!

9. Editing. Once you have seen the book and have had it proofed, I will work with you to edit out any little errors such as typos, imperfections etc. These edits are crucial to the finishing of the book, and I always advise you to take your time!

10. And to Finish. (*Varies dependent on package) After all the editing is complete, I will provide you with all the final files. At this stage, you will have everything you need; illustrations as separate files, the book PDF for print and the cover images. I will then send your book off to print. If you want more copies, and you need any assistance dealing with the printer, I'm happy to offer my advice, and I can liaise with a printer on your behalf if you wish. You can find some information about this below. 

How long will my book take to make?


Depends on a few factors, including:

  • The length of your story
  • The style/complexity of the illustrations
  • The amount of pictures required

As a rough idea, the average book (28 - 36 pages) takes around 2-3 months to complete from start to finish.

More complex books (i.e. More pages, detailed illustrations, etc.) can take up to 3-4 months to complete.

What is an ISBN and where can I get one?


ISBN stands for: The International Standard Book Number. This is your books unique product identity. It's essential if you want to sell your books, as it aids the listing, discovery and distribution of your books.

You don't HAVE TO have one, nor is it a legal requirement. Publishers mainly use them, booksellers and libraries for ordering, listing and stock control. 

IF you do want to add an ISBN to your book its simple. The process is easy and you can buy an ISBN online. 

The ISBN agency in the UK used to be Whitakers, but they were bought and combined with Book data to create Neilesen Book data. They manage the process of allocating ISBNs as well as several things that you will need to know about and use as we get into this project.

The URL for the ISBN Store is: https://www.nielsenisbnstore.com 

The email address to contact us is: isbn.agency@nielsen.com

Who owns the rights to the book when it's finished?

book1You do!

You hold all the rights to the book and all of its content, meaning you are free to do whatever you like with it. I do, however, reserve the right to use the book design and illustrations for promotional purposes.

Can you put a barcode on the back for me?

YEP! 🙂 computer-wt

I sure can. All I need is for you to send me the ISBN and I can generate the barcode for you and apply it to your books before it heads off to the printer. 🙂

What is a storyboard?


A storyboard is created at the beginning of a book project to:

  • Break up the story into pages
  • Visualise each page (With illustration and text)
  • Plan out the sequence of the story
  • Ensure the story flows correctly

As the creator of your book, producing a storyboard in the early stages allows us to plan out your story visually, ensuring the illustrations and text sit well together, and we have a clear direction of the story from beginning to end.


Are there any other options for self-publishers when it comes to producing a book?

Other options... pad

If you do not want to sort the online side, you could always check out: Lulu, Amazon, Kindle publishing, Ingram Sparks. These can be complicated to deal with if you are not familiar with the terminology, But I recommend ONCE we have the book finished you can talk to KA BOOKS. They work with helping to promote works by selected self-publishers. 

How much will it cost to print my book?

printer2Print prices vary depending on the amount of pages/material/size of the book. If budget is an issue, I can suggest very cost-effective printing options, or if you are aiming to produce a quality high-end book, I can help you achieve that too. But I do not do the printing myself, and you will be dealing with independent printers.

Do you take commission on the books I sell?

envelopeNo, I don't charge any commission.

Once you have paid for my service, the books are yours to sell as you wish. I am a sincere and trusting person, so I will trust that you will look after me once you are famous! I always say, if you become a millionaire, Just remember who helped!! 😀

What printing options do I have for my book?


There are lots of different print options available to you, and yes, that bit can be bamboozling when you start! But never fear, I can help advise you on the best printing options that will suit the style, story and budget of your book.

Printing: If you are self-publishing and require printing, please have a look at these guys for large quantities quotes: www.pureprint.com. Its always worth asking around and finding which suites you 🙂 But these guys produce GOOD, SOLID books 🙂 

Sizes: Some standard sizes of picture books include A4 (Portrait or Landscape) and 21cm x 21cm square, but other sizes are available depending on budget.

Print Setup: I support you with the entire print process, from the book set up to liaising with the book printer entirely for free on your behalf. I have established relationships with some great printers that my customers often use, but I am also happy to work with a printer that you have sourced yourself. I don't take any commission from the printers, and after the initial print setup I leave you free to build your relationship with your printer, making it easier for you to get more books printed as and when you want them.

How many pages do you recommend for a Childrens book?


In between 28 and 36 is the most common number of pages for an average children's picture book.

However, your book can have any number of pages. As long as the total number of pages is a multiple of 4 (because of the printing process).

What do you need from me to produce my book?


To make things as quick and smooth as possible, I need the following items from you to get the ball rolling:

  • A copy of your story
  • Descriptions of your characters
  • An idea of the illustration style required (if you have a preference)
  • A descriptive paragraph for the back cover
  • A dedication for inside the book (if you wish to have one)
  • A price? Would you like this added to the cover?
  • Do you have the Barcode and ISBN? If so, I can add those also to the design for you. 


Can you recommend a professional proof reader?

Yes I sure can!!! happydesigner-inking

Happydesigner can provide a full proofreading service. I have two proofreaders that will both work with me on your book 🙂 

I'd like to produce a series of books, how do I go about this?


Producing a series of books is a fantastic journey. While it can be an exciting process, it requires some planning too. Key factors to consider when planning your series are:

  • Number of books/stories
  • Are they going to be released in smaller sets?
  • The cost to produce a series

I also offer a promotional package. These include: Colouring sheets, online promo images, book promotion images, launch leaflet design, activity sheet designs, promo stickers, A4 or A3 poster design, etc. 


How many copies can I have of my book?

book-deliveryAs many as you like!

Whether its 10, 1000, or 10,000 copies, you can arrange for any number of books you require. 

Top tip! When printing books, the more copies you have, the less the price is per book. But remember, you have to store them!