Over the last few years, personalized children’s books have been flying off the online shelves – and it’s not hard to see why!
With the option to add in their own name, address, hobbies, and even physical characteristics, children (and parents!) everywhere are loving the idea of having a book that symbolizes a little piece of them.
The vast majority of these books are created and sold online with some of the biggest manufacturers being Wonderbly, Characterful, and even Etsy.
But, the question is, how can indie authors offer their own and what are the benefits for doing so?
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
What are Personalized Children’s Books?
While the narrative of these books don’t tend to change, personalized children’s books change some of the content by adding in personal names to help keep the story relevant to the little one, and make it an enjoyable reading experience for both guardians and children.
For example, Wonderbly’s top-selling book called “The Little Boy/Girl Who Lost His/Her Name”, a book about self-discovery, uses each letter of the child’s name until they reach the end.
What are Some Benefits to Personalized Children’s Books?
Compared to normal reading books, there’s a list of advantages to creating and publishing a personalized book for little ones:
Heightened Sense of Empathy
Stories play a significant role in helping children understand a range of different thoughts, feelings and emotions. Children often live through characters during their younger years, so when the child becomes the main character who is problem-solving, interacting and being curious, they tend to emulate this in real life.
Brings Diversity into Children’s Stories
While authors are pro-actively bridging the gap in diversity these days, personalized books do an awesome job of this. Children feel excited when they see a character that resembles both their physical features and their personality type – so why not make them the hero of any given story?
Inspires a Love for Reading!
Not only does reading increase a child’s early learning and literacy skills, it also helps them understand the world a lot better by a younger age. Personalization has proven to motivate children to read and engage with a story, and recall the entire narrative, too!
How Can Indie Authors Offer Their Own Personalized Children’s Book?
A 2015 study showed that people prefer to buy personalized items and gifts, so it’s good to know how you, as an author, can be a part of this profitable category! And in the world of ecommerce, it’s easier than ever to publish and sell personalized children’s books – how do you get started?
Analyze the Start-Up Costs
A personalized children’s book business actually requires very small start-up capital. As long as you have a computer and printer, you’re all set to go! Even if you want to get your book designed and printed elsewhere, the costs still prove a lot lower than other categories.
Top Tip! Reach Out to Local Libraries, Schools and Businesses
With any business, it’s really important to research your clients. Although your readers are made up of children, your buyers consist of parents, schools, libraries and big businesses! Show them a portfolio of work and ask for constant feedback so you know how to adapt your story to better fit your audience.
Create the Narrative
The starting point of the actual book would be to create a narrative that can be relevant and exciting to any child within a specific age range. Wonderbly do an awesome job of this with their “New Brother/Sister” story book – they targeted young, growing families who want to ease the older child into the idea of new siblings arriving.
Here’s some popular storybook ideas to help you out:
- Welcoming the arrival of a new baby
- Traditional Fairy Tales that star any child
- Superhero stories
- Boost of confidence – the story can be based on a specific experience or struggle
- Stories based on a child’s beliefs or morals
Next up would be to get your book designed. Our friends at Self-Publishing School have professional designers who can assist you in bringing your book to life! Due to the nature of personalized books, you may want to look into designing variations of the book which illustrate different skin colors, hair colors, physical features and character clothing.
Effectively Marketing Your Book
So, you have the story written and illustrations completed – but how do you let the world know about your personalized book?
When we’re thinking about children’s books, we have to remember that the buyers consist of parents! And one of the biggest ways to grab their attention is through social media, parent forums, and local schools.
- Attend libraries and bookshops that often hold reading events for children, which can be found on the events section of their website. This is a great way to be presented with an audience of local parents and guardians and share your story.
- Use Canva to get creative and produce banners or promotional videos to really show what your book is about!
- Encourage friends and family to leave a review on Goodreads. As an author, you’ll already know just how important it is to climb those review charts and get your book in front of as many eyes as possible.
Remember, Data Protection is Key
When offering personalized children’s books, it’s crucial to remember that you are handling sensitive, confidential information about a child’s identity, including their name, physical characteristics or personal experiences.
Ensuring trust between yourself as the self-publisher and parents is super important in aiding the growth of your book.
That’s a wrap! We’ve gone through all there is to know about personalized children’s books, including how to get started with your very own.
Now it’s time to hit the drawing board.
Remember, try to create a narrative that is easily applicable to a range of children, and that parents will love! Focus on inspiring empathy through your words and making use of brilliant designs that can help your book come to life.
This article was written by Zara Choudhry. You can find more of her work at www.anonymouslyzara.com.