Home » How to publish a coloring book + other monetizing ideas

How to publish a coloring book + other monetizing ideas

Have you ever thought of how to publish a coloring book? I recently did just that for my husband, Patrick. He’s always wanted to do this, and this summer we made it a priority. This version I’m sharing is from our experience, I’m sure there are lots of other ways to do it, but this is the route we took!

Here is Patrick’s finished book on Amazon: Dia de Los Muertos Coloring Book, Vol 1

OK, the first thing he did was work on the coloring pages. He sketched and then inked each one. Use a heavy black marker and make sure everything is PERFECT. Seriously, have someone else edit it for you. On the cover, I accidentally put 16 illustrations when it should have said 19! Grrrr!


Then, we chose one of Patrick’s painting for the cover and I used PicMonkey to add the text. I saved everything at 300 dpi.

First version of the coloring book

Because I had no idea where to start – I took everything to my local Kinkos.

The staff there was awesome – they sized all the images to fit 8.5×11″ and binded the first book with a black coil and clear plastic covers. We used cardstock for the pages.


This is what it looked like – we LOVED it! It felt heavy, the cardstock was nice – but it had its drawbacks. After all was said and done, each priced out at $13, and because they were heavy, shipping was at least $4. That’s $17. without any mark up! We sold the first copies for $22 in Patrick’s Etsy store and we couldn’t keep up with demand.

So we went to Plan B. I researched and found the site, Blurb.com.

I looked up other self-published coloring books and many pointed to this site. We went with the 8×10 soft cover, and because I was nervous about it all, I hired my friend Steph from Hearts and Laserbeams to format it for me. I’m sure I could have done it myself, but with my crazy travel schedule, I didn’t want to postpone the project since it had already picked up steam. Steph handled it all for me. In case you do it on your own, Blurb has a lot of helpful tools!

We produced a 24-page trade book, 8×10, soft cover, uncoated standard white paper.

Things to keep in mind:

Title page

Acknowledgments page

Front and back cover

24 pages total – make sure to fill all of them. Patrick’s book has a couple of blank pages at the back, next time we’ll use up each page!

muertos-coloring book

I ordered a large volume of books for use to sell at events and also to take advantage of the bulk discount. Now, each copy came in at $10. That, we could handle.

Next lesson…we first sold them through Blurb.

You enter all your payment and bank deposit info, you set your pricing for paperback, ebook and even downloads. Then customers can order directly there and have them shipped. But whoa, the shipping prices were awful – $6.99 for a week, and $21.99 for two day.

Using Blurb’s seller tools, I set up the book to be sold through the Global Retail Network via Ingram and Blurb.

This automatically set it up on Amazon: Dia de Los Muertos Coloring Book, Vol 1!

This was a win!

We were able to set a mark up price and now the book has an ISBN number and can be sold in bookstores everywhere! Best thing, people can order on Amazon and even have it shipped free if they have Amazon Prime.

How to publish a coloring book: So, that’s how we did it, and we are still learning.

I’ll share more as that happens. Patrick is already working on his next coloring book. And because we bought a lot of them at wholesale, we can sell them at local events and he can sign copies for people. Now we can have book signings together!!!

OK, here are a few other ways you can monetize your artwork/drawings/paintings:

crafty chica illustrations


1. Giclee Prints: This is our next venture! You can make affordable low-cost inkjet reproductions of your paintings. The above are giclee prints from my friend, Emily Costello. She saves her original paintings for galleries and makes these for vending at events. Two totally different markets that she can cater to!


2. Make watercolor paper earrings. I reproduce our illustrations to make these earrings, I also use them on picture jewelry and more!




3. Matted Prints. Again, using Kinkos, I upload my images to their site and they call and/or email when my copies are ready. We print on heavy semi-gloss paper and I buy these: Pack of 25 11×14 WHITE Picture Mats Mattes with White Core Bevel Cut for 8×10 Photo + Backing + Bags. I like these because they come with the mats, the backing boards and the cello bags.



4. Image transfer on wood plaques. When we were in Mexico last year, I saw these everywhere and made my own versions!

PHOTO TIP: I used to use a flatbed scanner to input my images for crafting. Well, last month I visited the HP headquarters and ask a round of questions for the product development team. Guess what I learned? Our smartphone cameras work 10 times BETTER than a flatbed scanner. I downloaded the HP AiO Remote app and use that to take my pictures for these projects, it saves them as high res PDFs that I then move to my desktop. Just thought I’d share because that really blew my mind!

I hope all this helps you! And don’t forget to check out Patrick’s new coloring book!

Here is the link!

I hope this post about how to publish a coloring book helped you! Let me know if you try any of these ideas!

More Than Sugar Skulls, Pamela Enriquez

My Next Trip Back – San Miguel!


8 thoughts on “How to publish a coloring book + other monetizing ideas”

  1. Hi. I’ve been looking at blurb and don’t understand how to make a profit from making a book. Each book costs about $23 with a $2 profit… Do you guys make money off your husbands coloring book? Also do you guys have all the books shipped to your house? Then when people buy them on Amazon you guys ship them out?

    • Hi! I did buy some at wholesale to sell at local events, but for everything else it goes through Blurb. It has a program where you can sell via online merchants and then we get paid from amazon. Next book we’ll do directly through Amazon though, bigger profits! But it was great to get things rolling with blurb, I’ll have to do a follow up post for our next coloring book!

  2. How much money did you need to get started?? I want to publish a coloring book, but I don’t know how to do it on my limited income. What steps should I take???

  3. Sincerely appreciate this article! Wondering if you compared/considered KDP @ Amazon and what your thoughts are regarding KDP vs other publishing options.


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