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A Beginner's Guide: The 7 Important Steps to Writing and Publishing Your Children's Book on KDP

Writing and publishing a children's book can be incredibly rewarding and a fantastic way to generate passive income through platforms like Amazon KDP and IngramSpark. Starting the process and understanding the right structure can be challenging and often confusing, so ensure you follow along with the 7 Steps I recommend to craft your perfect childrens book.

Three years ago, I embarked on an incredible journey: writing publishing my very first children's picture story book. This experience has been immensely rewarding, knowing that my book has positively impacted the lives of children and families all around the world, spreading joy and positivity.

Now, fast forward to the present day. I am thrilled that I have not just one, but ten published children's books under my belt on platforms such as Amazon KDP, IngramSpark and Draft2Digital. I am eager to share with you the invaluable lessons I've learned along the way. Through these seven key steps, whether you are just starting out or a seasoned writer, I will guide you on the path to bring your children's book to life.

Additionally, I'll provide you with valuable links to essential resources that I personally utilize during the book creation process. Let's embark on this exciting adventure together and bring your stories to the hands of eager young readers.

Step 1: Identify Your Target Audience

The first crucial step in creating a successful children's book is to thoroughly understand and identify your target audience. Take the time to delve deep into the demographics and psychographics of your potential readers. Consider their age group, grade level, interests, and needs. Are you writing for preschoolers, early readers, or middle-grade students? By gaining a comprehensive understanding of your target audience, you can tailor your book to resonate with their specific preferences, ensuring a captivating and engaging reading experience for young minds.

Niche Research

To ensure a successful process, it is crucial to thoroughly research the niche of books in your chosen genre. Analyzing successful books will enable you to identify the most captivating topics, characters, plotlines, book covers and themes that will resonate with your target readers. Additionally, you can utilize tools like Publisher Rocket and KDSPY to extract popular keywords. These software platforms are widely used by self-publishers and offer highly valuable insights. They are the two software tools that I highly recommend to any self-publishers and are 'one-off' lifetime purchases which I prefer over subscription models.

Step 2: Choose a Central Theme and Framework

Once you've successfully identified your target audience and gained a clear understanding of their needs and interests, it's time to delve into the exciting task of selecting a central theme for your book. This critical step involves deciding what specific message or idea you wish to convey to your readers, ensuring that it resonates deeply with them and leaves a lasting impact.

A well-crafted central theme acts as the guiding force behind your book, providing it with a sense of focus, direction, and coherence. It serves as the foundation upon which your entire storyline and characters will be built, allowing you to weave a compelling narrative that captivates and engages your audience. Think of this stage as building the foundation of a house - it's essential to set a strong base upon which the entire structure will rest.

Step 3: Create Compelling Characters

Once you've got your central theme and foundational principles nailed down, it's time to start developing your characters. Think about the emotions, values, and experiences you want your readers to dive into and connect with as they explore the pages of your book. Make sure the chosen theme fits perfectly with the genre and purpose of your writing, amplifying its impact and giving you a solid framework to stay on track throughout the creative process.

Your characters are like the heart and soul of your story, so it's super important to bring them to life with vibrant personalities and motivations. Think about their quirks, strengths, and flaws.

Remember, the key is to ensure that your characters and plot work harmoniously together. Each event should serve a purpose in driving the story forward and revealing more about your characters. As you embark on this journey of planning, let your creativity flow and allow your imagination to guide you.

Step 4: Writing Your Manuscript

Now it's time to dive into the exciting journey of writing your manuscript. Take action and start the writing phase. Determine how you want the story to flow. Will it be a poem, a short story, or an adventure? Immerse yourself in the world you're creating, keeping your target audience and central theme in mind. Bring your characters to life on the page and aim for consistency in terms of tone, style, and voice.

As you write your manuscript, be sure to keep track of time spent on your project and breaks taken. This will help you manage your expectations and stay organized with the writing process. Along the way, don't forget to take a step back.

Remember, this stage is all about capturing the essence of your story, so don't fret too much about perfection just yet. You have the power to refine and polish your manuscript in the editing and revision phase. For now, let your creative energy flow and watch as your manuscript takes shape, ready to captivate readers with its compelling tale. Crafting a manuscript can be a time-consuming endeavor, potentially spanning days, weeks, or even months. However, what truly matters during this phase is the consistent dedication of time and effort to writing and nurturing your manuscript. The small daily actions and disciplined commitment to its development are pivotal in bringing your vision to life.

Step 5: Revise and Edit

Once you've completed your manuscript, it's time to dive into the crucial step of revising and editing. Take the opportunity to meticulously go through your manuscript multiple times, paying close attention to every detail, and scrutinizing for any errors or inconsistencies that may have slipped through the cracks. Additionally, seek the valuable input of friends or family members who can lend their fresh perspectives and provide constructive feedback to further enhance your work. If you're looking to take your manuscript to the next level, you might even consider enlisting the expertise of a seasoned professional editor who can help you refine your masterpiece with their keen eye and extensive experience. Remember, the process of revising and editing is a vital part of shaping your work into its best possible version, so don't rush it and embrace the opportunity to polish your manuscript to perfection.

Resources to assit with book editing:

Book Editing Service I recommend on Fiverr:

Software: Grammarly Pro:

Step 6: Illustrations and Front and Back Cover Design

Now that you have reached this exciting stage, it's time to add captivating illustrations to your book! If you're not an artist yourself, fear not! You should seriously consider enlisting the help of a talented illustrator who can skillfully bring your story to life with their creative touch. It's important to choose illustrations that not only complement your text but also captivate and engage your readers, immersing them in the enchanting world you've created.

Prefer to view a video on how to illustrate your childrens book? View my YouTube Video:

When it comes to designing the front cover, aim for an eye-catching design that entices potential readers and leaves a lasting impression. Consider incorporating elements that visually represent the essence of your story and intrigue the audience. The front cover is the first thing readers will see, so make it visually appealing and reflective of the content within.

And don't forget about the back cover! Utilize this space to provide a brief summary or teaser of your book, enticing readers to dive into the story. You can also include endorsements or reviews to build credibility and generate interest.

Let your imagination soar as you bring together the visual elements that will make your book truly stand out!


Canva Pro for cover design and formatting:

Illustrators can be found on platforms like, or

Step 7: Format, Upload, and Publish Your Book

Once you've completed the writing process, it's time to prepare your book for publication. Formatting your book correctly is crucial to meet the specifications required by platforms such as Amazon KDP and IngramSpark, ensuring a smooth uploading process and a professional presentation of your work.

First, consider the formatting guidelines provided by the platform you choose. These guidelines may include requirements for page size, margins, font styles, and formatting options. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these specifications and make the necessary adjustments to your manuscript.

To format your book, you can utilize software tools like Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign, BookBolt or Canva. These programs offer features that allow you to adjust the layout, font, and spacing to meet the platform's requirements. Additionally, you can find templates online specifically designed for book formatting or directly via Amazon:

Once your book is properly formatted, it's time to save your book cover and manuscript in PDF format prior to uploading. This ensures that your files are preserved and maintain their formatting and integrity during the uploading process. Afterward, you can proceed to upload your book to your chosen platform.

Follow the on-screen instructions provided by the platform, which usually involve creating an account, filling in the necessary details, and uploading your manuscript and illustrations. Be sure to review your files carefully before uploading to ensure there are no errors or formatting issues.

Create an account on the following platforms:

Amazon KDP:



While uploading your book, consider investing in marketing efforts like Amazon Advertising to help your book reach its intended audience. This can include activities like creating a compelling book description, designing an eye-catching cover, and utilizing social media platforms to promote your work. Marketing plays a crucial role in maximizing the visibility and success of your published book.

Need more assistance? Enrol in the Amazon KDP Advertising course HERE

By formatting and uploading your book correctly, saving your book cover and manuscript in PDF format, and investing in marketing strategies, you increase the chances of your book reaching a wider audience and achieving the desired impact. When choosing a book, it is important to consider its format, whether it is a paperback, hardback, or ebook. This decision holds significance in terms of the reading experience and personal preference along with the trim size (book dimensions) of your book.

So, take the time to ensure your book meets the formatting specifications, save your files in PDF format, and seize the opportunity to share your work with the world!

A little on marketing

Launching and markting your book successfully will form a huge part in the overall long term success of your childrens book. Remember, if customers don't know about your book then they can't buy it? Here are some steps to consider:

  • Develop an author page on Amazon - this is a great starting point for marketing your book and making it available for purchase

  • Utilize social media platforms, such as Instagram, YouTube and Facebook to build relationships with potential readers

  • Use Amazon Advertising (AMS)

  • Develop a launch team to help gain early and unbiased reviews to develop social proof.

  • Creating an animated book trailer is a fun way to let your potential readers know about your book. If you’re not comfortable or experienced with video editing, there are plenty of online gigs that can help you create one. Once you have a trailer, post it on all social media platforms that you're active on - this will help get the word out about your book. It's also important to add a link to the trailer so that viewers can buy it directly from your chosen platform. Finally, don’t forget to post often and engage with your followers - this will help keep your book at the front of people's minds.

What does a great book trailer look like? View this YouTube Video to see a great one in action!


Use my Book Animation EXPERT on Fiverr:

It's Time to Start Your Children's Book

Creating and publishing a children's book is both challenging and incredibly rewarding! By following these 7 essential steps and using some of the resources provided, you can craft a book that deeply resonates with young readers and their parents.

Throughout the process, keep your awesome target audience and central theme in mind. And remember, don't hesitate to seek feedback and enlist some super-talented professionals to refine your work. Trust me, with dedication and perseverance, you can create a timeless children's book that inspires and captivates young readers for years to come!

Romney Nelson is an international Best-Selling Author and Best-Selling Course Instructor on Udemy.

He is the Founder of Global Self-Publishing, where he is committed to empowering individuals with the tools and resources to Self-Publish.

Visit all of Romney’s Best-Selling Udemy Courses on Self-Publishing here:

Grab Yourself a FREE Copy of ‘Self-Publishing on KDP – All the Tools You Need’:

A Sample of other Self-Publishing Blog Posts


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