It’s very easy to self-publish a book written by your child.
There are many online services available to self-publish your child’s book in either an ebook or print book.
Children are often blessed with a fantastic imagination. If you are the parent of a budding storyteller, you have plenty of options.
I’m sure that you will make your child very happy, and at the same time, you’ll be a very proud parent.
Did you know that the youngest published author was four years old?
According to the Guinness Book of Records, Dorothy Straight, born in 1958, wrote How the World Began in 1962.
The youngest boy author is Thanuwana Serasinghe, who wrote Junk Food when he was 4 years and 356 days.
I’m not sure your child will challenge the records, but it shows that there is no age too young to write a book.
A local news station first mentioned author Emma Sumner when she was eight years old in 2016.
Her book is still available on Amazon.
Alexandra Adornetto wrote The Shadow Thief when she was 13. It was published in 2007.
When he was only nine years old, Alec Greven wrote and published How to Talk to Girls.
It went on to become a New York Times bestseller.
You can check this list of child and teenage authors for many more.
Tips to help self-publish a book written by your child
If you want to self-publish a book your child wrote, you will take on the role of a publisher.
You need to prepare the manuscript and make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors.
After that, careful and thorough proofreading and formatting the text for either ebook or print book publishing.
Then there is the book cover design and possibly illustrations.
Depending on the age of your child, you might need to do all the tasks.
But teenagers should be able to help you with some of the work.
Legal and financial aspects
Because your child is a minor, they cannot enter into a legally binding contract nor open a bank account or credit card.
You need to take on the legal and financial responsibilities of the publisher of the book.
But with most of the free self-publishing services, it is a relatively simple process.
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing clarifies this point in the eligibility clause of its Terms and Conditions.
4.1 Eligibility. You must have an active Program account in order to participate in the Program. You represent that you are at least 18 years old (or the age of majority where you reside, whichever is older) and that you are able to form a legally binding contract. A parent or guardian of a minor can open a KDP account and be the Publisher of the minor’s Book.
You will find that most online publishers and retailers have similar terms for publishing the work of a minor.
As the publisher, any royalty payments the book earns will be paid into your bank account.
It will be up to you how you manage these earnings for your child.
A simple solution would be to open a trust account.
But you might want to seek the advice of an accountant because tax implications vary in every country.
When you publish a book for a child, their name will show as the author.
It is the same process as publishing under a pen name.
On Amazon KDP, you only need to add your child’s name in the author field as the primary author.
Your name as the publisher will not show on the book details unless you specifically want to do so.
Once you publish the book, you can also set up an author page on Amazon Author Central.
The process is similar on most self-publishing platforms.
Types of books
You can publish in ebook or paperback print book.
If the book is a novel or novella, it will be mostly text, so it’s very easy to publish.
However, if it is a children’s book with a lot of illustrations, you will need more tools to help you.
KDP has a free Kindle Kids’ Book Creator tool that you can download for PC and Mac.
There are many self-publishing services for ebooks but fewer for print books.
The best options for a print book are probably Amazon, Lulu, and Blurb, but there are others.
Print a book but not for sale online
If you are concerned about your child’s name appearing online, you might choose not to self-publish and make the book available for sale.
In this case, there is the option to buy print book copies without making the book available for sale online.
You can order a single copy, which can be a little expensive. But the cost per copy reduces if you order more.
Bookbaby offers a Print Your Own Book service. But if you search online, you will find other providers offering similar print-on-demand services.
Publishing a book written by your child in this way will still give you the satisfaction of seeing their name in print.
However, you could consider selling copies of the book locally or perhaps with a local bookstore.
Your cost per copy will depend on how many copies you order, and it might not allow you to make a profit.
But it’s an option if you would prefer to protect your child from online activity, such as Amazon and Goodreads book reviewers.
Sell ebooks directly
One other option you have is to produce an ebook version of your child’s book and sell it directly to readers.
There are many tools available online to help you produce an ebook.
Calibre is probably the most popular. It is free, open-source software that you can download for Mac and PC.
You need to create versions in mobi (for Kindle readers), epub, and pdf.
There are a few services that help you to sell your books directly from your website or blog, on social media, or through email campaigns. Payhip is one of the well-known service providers.
When someone buys an ebook, you will be paid directly into your Paypal or Stripe account.
Selling ebooks in this way is another option to protect your child from open online activities.
You are in control of where, when, and how you offer the ebooks to potential readers.
It is also more economical and potentially more profitable than producuîng print books.
Self-publishing a book written by your child is quite straightforward.
In most cases, it’s only a matter of being the publisher and adding your child’s name as the author.
If you have some experience in self-publishing, you can use your existing publishing account.
But if not, it’s only a matter of opening an account, and you are ready to publish.
Amazon KDP is probably the best choice if you are new to self-publishing.
However, if your child is quite young, you might want to choose a publishing option that is more under your control to protect them from online exposure or criticism.
Whichever path you take will turn your young budding writer or novelist into a published author.