Self-Publishing Children’s Picture Books

Carrie Sharkey Asner, MD, FAAFP takes you through the unique properties of children’s picture books; including writing, editing, illustrations, self-publishing, and marketing.

At a glance:


(This lecture is part of our Writers Conference For Healthcare Professionals)

Self-Publishing Children’s Picture Books. 

In medicine, I’ve always heard the saying, “Children are not just little adults.”

Similarly, children’s picture books are not just simplified adult books.

For beginning authors, or experienced authors wanting to expand their body of work, we’ll use my current book to go through the unique properties of picture books; including writing, editing, illustrations, self-publishing, and marketing.

Along the way, I’ll fill you in on mistakes I have made (spoiler alert – books really ARE judged by their cover), and share resources to get you started.


  1. Understanding the Children’s Picture Book Market:
    • Identify the target age group for children’s books.
    • Explore the current trends and demands in the children’s book market.

2.  Visual Storytelling:

    • Understand the integration of text and illustrations in picture books.
    • Explore how to communicate a compelling narrative through both words and visuals.

3. Structuring a Picture Book:

    • Learn the typical structure of a children’s picture book.
    • Understand the importance of pacing and page turns in creating an interactive reading experience.

4.  Character Development in Picture Books:

    • Explore techniques for developing memorable and visually appealing characters.
    • Understand the role of characters in driving the plot forward in a limited word count.

5. Collaborating with Illustrators:

    • Understand the collaborative process between authors and illustrators in picture book creation.
    • Learn effective communication strategies to convey your vision to illustrators.
  1. Collaborating with Editors
    • Understand the different types of editors.
    • How to find and partner with editors.
  1. Self-Publishing Basics:
    • Understand the fundamental steps involved in self-publishing a children’s picture book.
    • Explore options for formatting, layout, and cover design in the context of picture books.
  1. Promoting and Marketing Children’s Books:
    • Learn strategies for building an online presence as a children’s book author.
    • Understand how to leverage social media and other platforms for book promotion.
  1. Navigating Distribution Channels:
    • Explore different distribution options for self-published children’s books.
    • Understand the pros and cons of various distribution channels, including online platforms and local bookstores.
  1. Legal and Copyright Considerations:
    • Understand the importance of copyright protection for children’s book authors.
    • Learn about legal considerations when self-publishing, including contracts and rights management.

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The Lecturer

Carrie Sharkey Asner, MD, FAAFP

Carrie Sharkey Asner, MD, FAAFP

As a family doctor, Carrie discovered how daily reading is an essential component of child development and well-being. That’s why she supports Reach Out and Read, a nonprofit network of pediatric care providers who provide families, at routine check-ups, with the knowledge and tools they need to make reading a part of their daily routine. When she became a mother to her own three sons, Carrie rediscovered the joy she had reading aloud with voices and actions. She also gained a deeper appreciation for how a well-crafted children’s book can induce joy, ignite the imagination, and create a beloved memory.

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Carrie Sharkey Asner, MD, FAAFP

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