No, we are not going to try to tell you how to write a children’s book, we are merely going to suggest that your book be written using an appropriate software program. For many reasons, a few of which we will go into here, we believe that MS Word is your best bet. There are other similar programs out there which are free (Open Office is the best), but if you are sending files back and forth with a co-writer or editor, Word is by far the most common word processing program on the planet, and using it will ultimately make formatting much easier. When it comes to incorporating your artwork, if you and your editors have access to Adobe Indesign and Quark Express, you can exert a lot of control over the entire process, and by copying and pasting Word docs, the text will generally flow in fairly well.
Naturally, editing is one of the most important parts of the project as a whole. While you may feel qualified to edit your work yourself, it is extremely beneficial to get some other competent eyes on the work at some point during the process. Often when you are immersed in such a large project, it can become a little too familiar and your eye tends to skip ahead. Unfortunately, the result is that you can miss some of the grammar or spelling errors that are in the manuscript. There are a few ways to find qualified editors: first you can simply enlist the help of a writer friend, perhaps in trade for editing some of his or her work. Second, you can go the route of hiring someone. Depending on your project, you may be able to save some money by hiring a graduate student to give it a going over. If that doesn’t suit you, then there is no shortage of professional editors out there. To start, you can look on websites such as e-lance, or place an ad on
Finding someone to do your illustration is not a dissimilar process to finding an editor. One thing to do is to take a good look around the Internet and bookstores for someone whose style you think would be a good fit for your book. Even the best illustrators are always on the lookout for work, and so more than likely are going to be willing to discuss your project with you. Of course, the best come at a premium, so you should be willing to either pay their price, or look for an artist who is less well-established, looking to make a name for him or herself, and thus may be willing to work for less.
For a durable hard or soft-cover book, you are going to want to do what is called “thermal binding.” This creates a finished product that is just like the books you find at the library or the bookstore, and the machines for doing this kind of binding are surprisingly effective, and extremely easy to use. If you are going to be doing your own publishing on a regular basis, you will save money over a relatively short period of time by owning your own thermal binding machine.