Children's Books: Tips for Getting Started

September 26, 2018

When writing a children’s book. It’s important to establish which age group you are targeting. The way you construct your book will be dependent on the age group you select.

Here are some standard age groups:

·      Ages 0-3: Babies and toddlers

·      Ages 4-6: Pre-K through 1st grade

·      Ages 7-9: 2nd grade through 4th grade

·      Ages 10-12: 5th grade through 7th grade

 

Number of Pages:

The industry standard page count for ages 3-8 is 32 pages, while ages 5-10 can range from 32-64 pages.  These numbers are just averages, so if your page count is short or exceeds these standards, then that is fine!

Amount of Text:

If you are trying to target a young age group, such as ages 0-3, you should rely heavily on pictures, rather than text. You may choose to create a picture book with no text. The older the age group, the more text you can include. Think about the average attention span for your age group and what they can handle.  

Font Size:

Rather than the standard 11 or 12pt font for chapter books, a larger font should be used for children's books. When laying out your book, try using font sizes 16-24pt.  For the youngest age groups, a large font is especially important, while older age groups can be smaller.

 

Book Size:

Choosing the size of your children's book is your own personal preference, but a popular industry standard is 8 x 10 or 10 x 8 (landscape).  We can print both of these sizes. When you go to place your order on our website, you would choose the 8.5 x 11 standard size and in the “customer comments” section on the order, you would say your book is 8 x 10 and we'll custom trim your books to that size! 

**When you are creating your files, be sure to set them up for the size you want your book to be. If you want the size of your book to be 8 x 10, your PDF files must be formatted to 8 x 10.

 

Type of Binding:

Perfect Bound (paperback)

Since children's books usually have a smaller page count, so perfect bound books are a great option. We recommend at least 16 pages for perfect bound books.

Hard Bound (hardcover)

Hard bound books are also an option when printing a children's book due to their durability. We recommend at least 40 pages for hard bound books, but we can normally make it work if your page count is fewer than 40 pages. Just let us know!

 

Pictures & Illustrations:

Illustrations are an important aspect of children’s books. They are essential in capturing the essence of what your book is about. Visual aids will help in a child’s understanding in what the text is demonstrating. If you are not an artist, you may need to hire an illustrator.  Think about the look you are going for. Have a color scheme and style in mind. Simply put: do your research.

Type of Paper:

Our standard paper is a 60# White Offset, which is no additional cost.  However, if you have a lot of color photos or images in your book, we recommend our 80# or 100# gloss text paper, which are great for color.

Formatting:

Because children's books usually have a lot of color, formatting can be tricky.  You must think about how the text will be displayed on the page in relation to the images or illustrations. Think about if you want to be playful and display the text within the illustrations, situated it in different ways, or if you want to keep a consistent format with the text above or below the pictures.

 

Getting Started with 48 Hr Books:

 

Book Templates:

We offer Free Book Templates that you can use to format your book. They'll open in Microsoft Word or just about any other word processing program, and they come in four standard sizes:

4.25 x 7     5.5 x 8.5     6 x 9     8.5 x 11

You can type your book directly into the template and set it up any way you choose. Be sure to choose the right page size, and when you're done formatting, simply convert the file to PDF format, and the resulting PDF file will be ready to upload to us. You'll upload your files directly to your order, so you'll need to place an order first on our website. If you get stuck or have any questions, remember, we're just a phone call away: 800-231-0521.

 

Covers:

Covers are extremely important because you want them to catch a child's interest. Therefore, be sure to use a lot of color. 48 Hr Books prints full-color covers for no additional cost!

If you need help constructing your cover, 48 Hour Books has a Create-a-Cover option for $100. With this option, you can choose a general layout, a background color and texture, and any additional instructions and photos you want included. Email all the photos to us, and our prepress technicians take your options and assemble your cover using these elements. The $100 is a one-time fee, so if you receive your cover proof and decide you want to change an element on it such as the background color, this is no problem. If you have InDesign, you can use one of our Cover Templates to design your own cover.