Printing a book

My wife wrote a short childrens book a few years ago but hasn’t done anything with it. I was thinking it would make a great letterpress project. I have two questions at this point….
What would be a good paper to use?
Any ideas how I could sell the books?

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You can get an idea of what paper to use by looking at children’s books of a similar nature at the bookstore. The choice of paper also becomes more critical if there are illustrations to be reproduced by halftone screen images. If the books are to be handled by children when read (as opposed to being read to the child) the bindings and paper must be built to withstand a certain amount of abuse. You will see that as well if you study the bindings of similar books.

As to sales of the book, you might make a list of specialty children’s book stores in your area as a beginning. Often small stores would be very pleased to schedule a reading by the author which can stir up a frenzy of sales, if the author is present to read and sign books.

The same would be true of public libraries, although some of them might balk at the sale of the books at the reading. Most, even if they would not allow sales, would be open to distribution of a card of information about the book and how it could be ordered from you. The library option is great as they generally don’t want a percentage of the sales, and see the reading as a service to their community. They also can often get press publicity which, except in smaller communities, often would require a paid ad for the bookstore.

Note bene: I have experience with books of poetry, which could be somewhat different than the children’s market.

John G. Henry
Cedar Creek Press

As if my previous comment wasn’t long enough, I should have added that you should “go for it” as there are few things as rewarding as producing a BOOK with your own hands.


I concur with J Henry on all of the above, especially for the advice to “go for it”. There are very few things in printing that are as rewarding as printing a book.

There are a few things I’d like to add to what he has said:

First, if you are serious about SELLING the books you produce, then you should get an ISBN number for that book. Without it, you cannot get your book listed in “Books in Print” or listed on I consider it a “must have” for any book that is to be sold nationally.

Secondly…. get your ISBN Number directly from Boker (if you are in the US), NOT from a reseller or “Vanity Press” type of operation. Your number identifies YOU as the publisher. If you buy it from a reseller, then HE is listed as the publisher, and most retaillers will not even consider carrying books from Vanity Presses. Buying numbers from a reseller almost guarantees that your book will not be taken seriously. The cost for the number is not high, under $30 each the last time I bought them…. but you must buy a minimum of 10 at a time. It is well worth the money.

Good luck!