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The Nuts and Bolts of Self-Publishing for Picture Book Creators with Michael Hale

Creative Lab Syllabus


If you are contemplating independently publishing a picture book, you need to have a full understanding of what is in front of you before you jump in. An independently published author has to do everything that a traditionally published author would do… and much, much more.

Prepare to sit down with a pencil and a calculator. The most important part of your independent publishing journey begins with a lot of soul searching and careful planning.

Prerequisites and Advanced Preparation:

Bring a pen or pencil, a notebook for notes, and a calculator. (The one that came with your phone will do.) You will be filling out worksheets and reference sheets that you can use in the future. Those sheets will be provided.


Hour 1: Your Book Goals.

  • Introduction & Workshop Synopsis.
  • Your Independent publishing goals - Worksheet and discussion.
  • Picture Book Mechanics - Overview of how to create a picture book, start to finish.
  • Exploring your independent publishing alternatives: Hybrid/Vanity/Self Publishing.                       

Hour 2: Doing the Math

  • How much will this cost and what can I expect to earn?
  • Options for printing your picture book - pros and cons: print-on-demand/off-set printing/electronic.
  •  US vs. foreign printers - pros and cons.
  •  Cost per unit calculation.
  •  Return on Investment.

Hour 3: Your book - Your Product

  • Entrepreneurial Self Evaluation - Worksheet and discussion.
  • Starting your Publishing business - Worksheet and discussion.
  • Hiring Outside Help - Worksheet & reference / Sample contract review.            
  • Creating a Marketing plan -  Worksheet and reference.
  • Web & Social Media - What you need.
  • Networking.
  • Distribution.
  • Exploring Niche Markets - Worksheet for reference.
  • Self Evaluation - Worksheet for reference.


           Participants who complete the workshop will have and understanding of:

           • Their independent publishing goals.

           • The elements and materials needed to create a picture book.

           • The various options available to independently publish a picture book.

           • What potential earnings could be garnered from a picture book.

           • How much it will cost to print a picture book.

           • Whether or not they suited to be an entrepreneur.

           • How to set up a small business to begin selling books.

           • Factors to consider when hiring outside help.

           • A basic understanding of contracts and their importance.

           • How to set up a basic Marketing Plan.

           • How the use of a Website and Social Media can assist in their marketing.

           • How to explore Niche Markets.

           • How to evaluate their progress.

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