Gone are the days when you had to have a major deal with a prominent publishing company to get your image-based book seen by the masses.
Today, all it takes to create what could be a very successful picture book are a great idea, some imagination and a few simple tools that anyone can access and use online.
What Exactly are Image-Based Books?
There are many different kinds of image-based books, but for the scope of this article, here are a few of the most popular types by category:
- Coloring books for adults: Coloring books for children have always been big sellers, but in recent years adult versions of this popular pastime have gone viral and are selling like hot cakes on platforms like Amazon.com. If you have a creative niche idea for a coloring book for grownups, it can be a great way to ease into self-publishing a no content picture book.
- Children’s picture story books: No one loves a great story more than a child. For younger kids in particular, images help to effectively communicate a story that they wouldn’t yet be able understand by reading it. The possibilities are endless for exciting image-based books that stimulate the imagination of younger audiences.
- Coffee table picture books: Picture books for coffee tables are extremely popular and fairly simple to put together. If you’re into photography or have access to a collection of unique images, you can produce your very own book in about as much time as it takes you to create a layout.
With image-based offers, depending on the scope of your idea, you can literally start from zero and have your first book ready within a few hours.
And on that note, if you’re thinking about getting started with picture books but aren’t sure how to move forward with creating and marketing your image-based offer effectively, here are some useful tips you can use to get and stay on the right track.
How to Create a Best-Selling Image-Based Book
In a similar vein to writing a content-rich fiction or non-fiction book, there are a lot of elements that have to come together perfectly to create an image-based book.
Get this right and your book has the potential to become wildly popular and change the course of your self-publishing career.
Focus on a Niche Audience
As with any other product offer, it’s important to focus on a specific audience to increase your chances of success with an image-based book.
There are many picture-rich books available for buyers to choose from, which means you have to make yours appeal to a very specific type of customer in order to make your book stand out in a crowd.
Start by brainstorming general ideas and then niching down from there.
For example, let’s say you wanted to create a coloring book for adults who love science-fiction. That’s a great start, but science fiction is still a huge market. If you niched that down into an idea for a steampunk coloring book, things start to get a bit more interesting.
Theme for Even Better Results
Continuing on from our steampunk coloring book example, that’s a fanatical niche market that you could do very well with. But what is the main differentiating factor about your steampunk coloring book that has appeal for a certain kind of person?
Here’s where the concept of theming factors in and why it’s so important when you’re in the process of coming up with an idea for a successful image-based self-published book.
Think about all the different angles and approaches to steampunk coloring books that you could experiment with and brainstorm a list of possibilities, for example:
- Steampunk clocks coloring book
- Steampunk owls coloring book
- Steampunk fashions coloring book
As you can see, when you focus on a niche and then go on to theme your offer you begin to come up with picture book concepts that are truly unique and special.
Look for Formulas and Spin-off Opportunities
If you could talk to some of the most successful artists and business people in the history of the world they would tell you that when it comes to ideas there’s nothing new under the sun.
When you really think about it, you begin to realize that everything is either a derivative or aggregate of things that already exist.
Use this train of thought to come up with ideas for creating your own image-based books and to find effective ways for marketing them to ensure success upon each release.
To begin, go into your local book store or library and ask to see the top three image-rich books in each of the major categories: coloring books, children’s books and coffee table books.
Next, look through each one to discover any commonalities that stand out to you.
- Coloring books: What are the themes that people buy the most? Gag gift type coloring books? Landscapes? Animals? Take that general concept and then find a way to apply it to the niche audience you’ve decided to create a product for.
- Children’s picture books: Look at the kinds of characters the stories in the most popular children’s books focus on. Take note of the various storylines and situations inside each book. Observe the way the illustrations are drawn in each title to come up with ideas for creating your own unique characters.
- Coffee table books: Along with being stylish and visually appealing, popular coffee table books tend to also have a bit of an educational or pop culture spin to them. Look at top-selling books for ideas on topics you can focus on with your offer that are related to history, geography, nature, ethnicity and other similar themes.
Once you’ve created and launched your first hit book, it’s important to not stop there. Always look for spin-off opportunities before moving on to your next idea.
For example, if you author a successful children’s story picture book based on your own original characters, why not create a coloring book based on the characters in the original story?
You could also create volume editions of your books that carry on a series of events that all begin with the very first issue.
Make your Images and Graphics Exceptional
Unlike content-rich books that give you plenty of opportunity to weave a rich tapestry with your words, creating an image-based book means having to deliver the same level of emotional impact by using visual cues exclusively.
This means that in order to develop an interesting and in-demand image-based book, your pictures and graphics can’t just be ‘nice’, they must be exceptional.
If you’re not a very good illustrator, focus on developing the concepts for your book and then outsource all the graphics creation to someone who can do it justice.
Also keep in mind that no matter which type of image-based book you decide to create, designing an eye-catching cover is perhaps the most important image you could include in your book that will go a long way towards influencing your prospects to buy.
The opportunities are endless for image-based books when you think creatively and brainstorm ideas from a niche-based point-of-view. Start today by identifying an audience you can serve with a beautiful, interesting and appealing image-based book.
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