What is the Average Cost of a Children’s Book?

Children’s books are expensive to publish. They typically have a lower word count than novels, which means that editing rates are higher and illustrators can charge thousands of dollars.

Printing is also expensive, especially with color printing. But using POD services like 48 Hour Books can reduce these costs.


Children’s books can be expensive to publish and market. These books require significant editing, design and illustration time, and many have multiple pages compared to adult novels. Some examples of costs include printing (which can be expensive if you choose to use digital or offset printing methods) and the cost of hiring a freelance illustrator.

The next biggest expense is marketing. This can be done through traditional publishers, but it’s also common for authors to seek out a hybrid publisher, which will provide distribution and marketing services but still requires the author to cover some publishing expenses, including printing. Other potential marketing costs include submitting the book for review. These reviews can be very expensive, with some sites charging upwards of $500 for a professional review.


Children’s books have a lower word count than other genres, which makes them one of the most affordable to have edited. However, the cost to edit a science fiction or fantasy book can rise significantly because of their lengthy word counts.

Book interior design rates vary widely, depending on the type of book and how intricate its pages are. Formatting a children’s picture book is more specific and often requires manipulation from page to page to accommodate the art it references.

Authors can hire a professional to format their book, which may cost from $250-$1,000. They also have the option to self-format their work, but this is usually reserved for text-only books. Copyright costs are also associated with the drafting of a children’s book. Formal registration is not required to publish a book, but it does offer some protections against intellectual property infringement claims.


Depending on the type of editing you need (copyediting, line editing, developmental editing) and your manuscript’s length, it can cost up to $0.09 per word.

Generally, children’s book editors offer different types of editing services in one package. But the price of the service depends on the length of the manuscript and how long it takes to edit it.

Children’s books require a lot of work and pay less royalties than other genres. If you want to earn a decent profit from your children’s book, it’s important to invest in the production process and not cut corners. It will backfire in the long run, since readers will recognize poor quality and avoid your book. It’s better to spend more money upfront and get quality editing and illustrations.


The cost of hiring an illustrator for a children’s book can vary widely depending on the illustrator’s experience and reputation. Additionally, the illustrator may charge extra for usage rights.

An author should expect to pay an average of $1000 – $10,000 for the illustrations in their book. This includes full-color illustrations, black-and-white illustrations, and front cover design.

Hiring a quality illustrator is one of the most expensive components of publishing a children’s book. However, it is worth the investment, as children’s books rely on both the words and the art to tell the story. Moreover, the illustrations should complement each other in a symbiotic way. This can take time, so it’s important to allow for enough time when working with an illustrator. Also, it is important to find an illustrator who can deliver on a deadline.


Having the right marketing is vital for your book. If you can, join a writer’s organization to get to know other members and build professional connections that can help you reach your audience.

Another important step is to contact your local schools and ask them if you can read to the kids. Many authors are surprised to learn that many schools have budgets to pay for author visits, which can help you recoup your publishing costs.

Finally, you should consider printing your book using a POD service, which prints a single copy at a time and deducts the cost from your royalty payment. This way, you can avoid paying upfront for a number of books that may not sell. You can also save on printing and shipping costs.

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