All about children's book
Children's books come in many sizes, but for the majority of children's books they are usually hard cover books, 24 or 32 pages in length, and are usually 8" square, 10" square, 8" x 10" or 8.5" x 11", both in vertical formats.
Note: It is worth noting that some US printers do not have the equipment to bind an 11" wide book. They can bind a 10.75" book. The width is the determining factor, so find out what your printer can do.
Some views on dust jackets
Most children's hard cover books have a printed cover protected with film lamination. Glossy film lamination does not scratch as easily as matt film lamination and sticky hand prints will wipe off easily. Dust jackets are often thrown away by schools and libraries, but those seeking awards usually include a dust jacket with the book. A dust jacket gives the author or publisher more room to highlight the story of the book, and present an enticing hook to the parent or educator who is looking over the book. On the back flap the author and or the illustrator are highlighted, while the front flap is usually reserved for a synopsis of the story and a compelling hook to entice the reader to purchase the book to find out more.
The books shown are two in a series, both have dust jackets and have been designed in a similar way to indicate branding and the fact they are a continuing series. The header above is the printed endsheets for both books.
Ways to make a splash
You should consider branding your book if you are intending to print more than one in a series or you want your books to stand out. They should look like a set either by all being the same size, or by the way they are designed. Branding can include the fonts used and the design of the covers, the use of colored endsheets or designed endsheets, and special treatments to the cover, such as spot varnish or foil stamping. You can even decide on a set of colors to be used in all your covers. Branding also includes your logo.
The book illustrated has spot varnish on the cover to emphasize the design.
Six important editing and design considerations
1. Make sure your cover is compelling. The image should make the potential buyer want to see or know more. Use text that jumps out.
2. Use very readable fonts for your target audience. The younger the audience, the simpler the fonts, with the use of simple text boxes. Don't run the text all over the page for a young reader.
3. Use vocabulary appropriate for your target age. Teachers will be looking for age appropriate vocabulary.
4. Make sure you use a professional editor, and that the final book is proofed before submitting to a printer and again during proofing. Reread your proof completely before giving the final OK.
5. Make sure you have the author's name and the illustrator's name spelled correctly. Easy to overlook.
6. Use professional story editors to make sure the story is compelling and appropriate and not filled with unnecessary detail. Story editors can make the difference between a good book and a great book.
This is a book cover I designed, using an illustrator for the figures. I also had a coloring book printed, and used the same cover for branding the pair.