Create Your Own Coloring Books
If you are an artist and can create original line drawings, you can create your own colouring books for sale either by getting them printed or by uploading them as PDFs to a print on demand (POD) service like KDP on Amazon. Alternatively, you can sell your line drawings to other people who create books but who cannot draw. You could also find an author writing stories that can include colouring pictures and create relevant pictures to illustrate the story. You could do this yourself for out of copyright stories like Little Red Riding Hood and provide your own text.
Create Your own Colouring Books for Sale
You can do this for free through Amazon’s KDP program. You upload your book and Amazon will display it on their site at no charge. Your job then, is to get visitors to look at and buy your book. You get a royalty for each book sold. I have done this and think it is probably the easiest and cheapest way to start.
Alternatively, you can send your book to a printer and get say, 100 copies that you then sell yourself, either online or in your local area. This will cost you some upfront money for printing costs. I have also done this and sold all the books because people liked a combination colouring and puzzle book related to the local area. This was at Christmas time. The pictures included relevant local landmarks and the puzzles included word searches on local items, as well as Christmas.
How To Start Producing Your Own Books
1. Decide on your chosen audience and whether your books will be for children or adults. If for children, decide on the age range, eg, 2 years plus, 4 – 6 years, 7 – 10 years. You could also try teens but above this, they will generally want adult colouring books.
2. Choose a theme, eg, dragons, jungle animals, spring, summer, valentine’s day, Christmas, any season, any holiday, magic, fairies, pirates, desert islands, local area etc.
3. Choose a page size, such as A4 or A5 and create about 30 line drawings in black and white on your chosen theme and make sure they suit your chosen audience. Drawings for adults will normally be much more complex than those for children. Many of the adult level pictures have what I would call zentangle type patterns to fill them and make them complex. These are quite popular. Of course, the drawing could also be busy, complex drawings. The younger the child, the simpler the drawings should be, such as large, outline pictures that can be coloured with chunky crayons or dot colouring pens. These are fibre tip pens with large button type fibre drawing ends. These produce large coloured dots and the children’s pictures include large circles, the same size as the dot colouring pens produce, so that kids appear to have coloured in a picture with large dots. These can look very attractive.
4. All drawings should have closed lines and be 300 dpi resolution, so they print out clean and clear. You can create by hand on paper or digitally. If you create by hand, you will need to scan your drawings into a file.
5. When you have your 30 pages completed, save the file as a PDF.
6. Create a book cover in colour with an indication of the types of pictures inside your book. Add a bio and a book description on the back and the book’s title and your name on the front. With KDP, they have some help for creating a cover. They have certain patterns and can help you produce a bio and description, the cover will also be the correct size for the book.
7. Either upload the drawings and cover PDFs separately to KDP or combine into one file and get printed locally.
How To Start With Producing Drawings For Sale
I am not an artist, so I BUY drawings from artists. Usually, these drawings are produced in sets of 10, 20 or 30 drawings all on the same theme. These drawings are sold as PLR – private label rights. The artist will sell these to a number of people and each person has the right to use the drawings as they wish. Some may use them to create a colouring book, others may use them as corner illustrations in journals or on calendars etc. PLR drawings are sold under certain conditions, such as not naming the creator, not using them in naughty publications, not selling them on as they are, etc. There are fairly standard conditions that you can find to use. I have found a number of artists that I tend to buy from. Some of these artists act as affiliates for other artists and use their own drawings as bonuses if you buy the other person’s offering. There have been times that I bought an offering through a particular affiliate because I liked their bonus. There was also one time that I bought the same PLR pack twice through two different affiliates because I liked both their bonuses.
When selling drawings, many of the artists I use produce about 4 different items for each offering. The main drawings are called FE – Front End. These might be fairies, pirates, robots, etc. The second item is called OTO1 – One Time Offer 1. These are often backgrounds that can be used with the FE – front end. So if you have dinosaurs as the FE, you might create simple swamp and desert backgrounds that can be used with them. These are very useful because you can mix and match the front end drawings with the background drawings. This is useful because if you use these to create a book for sale on Amazon, it MUST be unique, you CANNOT just sell an unchanged book of PLR drawings. By using different backgrounds with the front end item, each colouring picture is unique. I often use relevant backgrounds from another artist along with FE drawings, so they are almost guaranteed to create unique drawings. The other two items produced are called OTO2 and OTO 3 – One Time Offer 2 and One Time Offer 3. These will be such things as coloured versions of the FE and OTO1 (backgrounds) and sample cover pages in colour. Some artists provide dot to dot or tracing versions of the FE. They probably have software to do that for them.
Other artists use text, single words and motivational sayings as part of their PLR drawings. They often produce only one offering, so these drawings have to be mixed in with drawings from others in order to make unique books. Or they can be mixed in with puzzles of different kinds, relevant to the audience the drawings are aimed at (kids / adults, etc).
PLR drawings are offered at lower prices because they will be sold to a number of buyers. You could of course offer single or multiple drawings as unique items to a single buyer at a higher price. You can sell these kinds of drawings on Fiverr or similar business to business sites.
You could of course produce your own single or several drawing pages and sell them direct to customers on such sites as Etsy. These will be for instant download to parents or adults looking to colour in. You can sell them to as many people as you like on these sites but you would specify that they are for PERSONAL use, not for selling on to other people. With Etsy, all these items are download only so you can include a page to your customer that tells them they can find your other work on other sites, such as Amazon.
Research Your Audience
It is essential to research your audience before you begin to sell art online. You should study your target audience and pay attention to the comments they leave. Write down what you think is good and what you don’t. If you’re selling on the Internet, monitor your site’s social media accounts and keep track of any comments. This will help you to determine which pieces are selling the best and should be featured on the site. It is also essential to understand your target audience. Follow some other artists and see what they are doing to sell their pieces. For instance, check out colouring books on Amazon. One of the best sellers on there is Johanna Basford.