Guest Post-Yvonne Herbst-How to write a children’s picture ebook, part 2


The road to publication had broadened for many writers and illustrators with the advent of e-books. But the process can be confusing to many. Where to start? What to do? How do you do it?

Well we feel the best way to learn is through the experiences of others. So join us as Writer/Illustrator Yvonne Herbst walks us through the second part of her journey to self publication! Learn from her journey and incorporate what you can into yours.



In my last post I ended with mentioning Book Creator and how this app got me on the road to finally finishing my digital picture book.

I painted the pictures, per their specifications, in Photoshop. I then emailed it to myself.  Opened and saved it onto my ipad and placed it into my file in the book creator app. The text is also added at that time via Book Creator. There are a variety of fonts, sizes and colors to choose from. You can also record and apply sound effects in the Book Creator app.  This is great if you want to make an interactive book to be published in iBooks.

It was fun to open it along the way in the kindle for ipad app and see how the pages turned. It gave me a better feeling of whether the story was flowing or not.  Once I had my book the way I wanted it I saved it to my dropbox in the epub format and pdf format. I sent several pdf’s of my book to friends who were kind enough to proof read it and make comments about my illustrations. Then I got a tax identification number. You may need one to publish your book depending on where you decide to sell it online!

Book Creator works closely with iBooks so the next step for me was to publish my book to ibooks. You can either self publish to ibooks or you can choose a service to do it for you. There are several available. I looked more closely at Lulu and BookBaby. The advantages offered are that they can publish an ebook to several sites at once and save you the stress of filling out the application for each and every site. They will also format your book to their specifications.

A limitation of Book Creator is that it only churns out fixed epub files. As a picture book creator this is what you would want. Unfortunately Lulu and Bookbaby can’t just wave a magic want and make the file fit to all smart devices big and small. Therefore it’s not possible to take advantage of these services with Book Creator alone.  I found out again that publishing a picture book is not easy and I would have a more complicated road to get my book onto multiple sites.

Next I realized that to publish on iBooks I needed to have an ISBN number. Not all publishing sites require it. Barnes and Nobles and Amazon do not  but iBooks does. To get an ISBN number you can go to this site and pay $125.  I was tight on cash and I wanted a bigger bang for my buck than just the ISBN number. Bookbaby will publish your book to ibooks for $99. If you need an ISBN number they charge an additional $19. The  total cost to me was $118. If I had gone through the site that offered only an ISBN number I would have payed $125 but still needed to publish my book on ibooks myself. Bookbaby offered me a better deal all around. With everything paid for and an ISBN number assigned to my book and I was ready for the next step.

Make absolutely sure that everything is spelled correctly and you are 1000000% happy with your book before you give it the GO! (By the way, the people at bookbaby are friendly folks!)

So that was easy peasy (pretty much). My book was now on it’s way to ibooks and would be published within 3 to 6 weeks.

Next, how the heck do I get it published to Barns and Noble and Amazon?


1 Comment

  1. Anne Fraker

    Thank you so much for these invaluable information.
    Lat week I just acquired Book Creator for my granddaughter and really for myself. But the publishing end of it was such a mystery that I’ve been putting off finishing writing/illustrating my little story for almost a year. Now with summer right around the corner, and thanks to your post, I’ve taken a renewed interest to complete my first children story.


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