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Taylor Helfrich
By
December 19, 2019

How to Make a Coloring Book to Sell

Coloring books are a fun project for everyone involved, especially if you’re able to monetize off of it! Whether you’re looking to create a children’s coloring book or an adult coloring book, the following tips will help you end up with a top-quality product that people would be willing to pay for. 

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Tip 1: Select a Theme

One thing that is consistent across all coloring books is that each one has a specific theme. Some common themes we see at PrintingCenterUSA are:

  • Religious Children’s Activity Books
  • Showcasing a specific City or State
  • Body-Positive Adult Coloring Books
  • Mandala Coloring Books
  • General Children’s Coloring Books

Whichever theme you are creating a Coloring Book for, have fun with selecting a wide variety of scenes/images for that theme. Pick out images that make you happy and that you think might translate well into a coloring activity for your audience. You will use these to base your illustration pages out of. 

Tip 2: Research Your Audience

If you’re looking to sell your coloring books, you will definitely want to dive into the research to find out what your target audience is hoping for in a coloring book. Does your audience buy coloring books online? What do they search for when looking to purchase a coloring book? 

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Ahrefs (a premium SEO research tool) has a 7 day trial for $7 available. Take advantage of this excellent deal so you can gain a better understanding of what keywords and marketing strategies might work out best for your product. Keep an eye out for key terms that have a high volume with a low difficulty. These might help determine what you will call your coloring book when listing it for sale online. 

Tip 3: Creating your Illustration Pages

This is definitely the hardest part of making a coloring book. We all wish there was a super-simple magic wand that could turn a regular image into an outlined and vectorized illustration. But, there is just no easy way around this. Here are a few suggestions on how to create high-quality coloring book pages. 

  • Hire a Designer: A Designer will understand what you need here. Provide the designer with the images you want turned into outlines and they should be able to do so(one way or another). If you don’t know a designer or have a low budget for this project, check out Fiverr to see if anybody could help you with this task. 
  • Use an Illustration Tablet: Whether it’s a Surface Pro, Wacom, or iPad Pro, your life will be much easier if you can just trace over your images to create a vectorized outline. Delete the image when you’re done tracing, save your illustration as a PDF, and voila! You’ve got a high-quality coloring page. 
  • Take the Long Way: Not all of us have access to a drawing tablet, but maybe have access to Adobe Illustrator. If this is you, then here is my advice. Buy yourself some tracing paper and a nice black ink pen/marker. Then, trace away! Once you have the illustration looking the way you want on the tracing paper, scan it in or take a photograph of it against a white background. Import this image into Illustrator, then navigate to File > Image Trace > Make & Expand. This will turn the outline of your drawing into vectorized lines that you can edit using the pen or direct select tool. 

We know this is a lot of work, but it will be worth it when you start to see your profits rolling in. Nobody will spend money on coloring books that is full of images that were just simply changed to black and white. 

Tip 4: Attention-Grabbing Cover

To prevent your coloring book from seeming blasé, you might want to create a vibrant, colored image for the cover. The simplest way to do this is to color your favorite inside page! You can colorize it in a design program like Illustrator or Photoshop, or you can actually color it and scan it! To ensure the most vibrant outcome, we recommend using a design program. You want to inspire the potential buyers of your coloring book with what they could do with the inside pages. 

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Something a lot of our customers do is color only part of the cover illustration to simulate an in-process coloring page and could help prevent any at-a-glance confusion on whether or not this product is a children’s book or a coloring book. 

Tip 5: Select the Right Paper

To be able to color in a coloring book with more than just a sharpie, you must select an uncoated paper for the coloring pages. At PrintingCenterUSA, we highly recommend the 70# uncoated text. This paper is durable enough to be marked on without damaging the pages below and it also allows for the paper to accept pigment from colored pencils, crayons, markers, and ink pens. Which is the whole point right? To color in the coloring book? 

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Another consideration involving paper is whether you want your illustrations to be double-sided or single-sided. Because a ton of people that color in coloring books prefer to use markers that pose a bleed-through threat, PrintingCenterUSA recommends you put one illustration on the front of each page. 

Tip 6: User-Friendly Binding Options

While we do provide 4 binding options at PrintingCenterUSA, there are 3 that are best suited for this type of product: Saddle Stitch, Spiral, and Wire-O. These three binding styles are the best options for a coloring book due to one simple thing- they can lay flat. You want the person using your coloring book not have to fight to hold the pages down. Perfect Bound, our fourth binding option can not lay flat due to the way the pages are glued together, which would make for a very frustrating coloring experience. And coloring is supposed to be relaxing! 

Binding_SS3Saddle Stitch

Spiral

Spiral

Wire-OWire-O

 

Saddle Stitch is by far the most common binding type for coloring books. It is cost-effective and professional. However, Spiral and Wire-O binding have the extra-convenient ability to flip the pages all the way around. This could make the coloring book a little more portable for just a little more cost. 

Tip7: File Specifications

As always, PrintingCenterUSA requires a print-ready PDF for your print project. Here are some file specifications that you should look out for while saving your PDF. 

  • Does my project have bleed?
  • Is my project in CMYK? 
  • Is my project saved as single pages (and not spreads)?
  • Is my project 300 dpi or above?

Tip 8: How to Price Your Coloring Book to Sell

It’s important to go into your first coloring book project with a set budget.  This will help you identify your profits once you sell all your books! Pricing your coloring books at $10-$13 per book (retail) will net you a healthy profit.  You might want to consider mailing and advertising expenses as you set your budget as well. You’ll find that taking pre-orders will greatly decrease your mailing expenses.  With PrintingCenterUSA’s capability to keep your price per book at affordable pricing, hopefully you will be rolling in your coloring book profits in no time!

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