The Benefits & Disadvantages of Pictures in Chapter Books
If you are writing chapter books for children, one of the things that you might have considered is adding pictures. This is something that is done quite often in traditional children’s book publishing but not so much in self-publishing because publishing a book that includes pictures can has certain disadvantages. However, there are also some pretty big benefits to adding pictures to your chapter book. Let’s take a look at both of them so that you can decide whether you want to include pictures with your self-published chapter books.
First, let’s take a look at the advantages. There are three main advantages to using pictures in your self-published chapters books, whether you are publishing age 6-8 chapter books or for older middle-grade students.
Pictures Can Extend the Length of Your Book: the first thing you should be aware of is that pictures can extend the length of your book and make it a little longer. If you have written a chapter book like a middle grade novel that is only around 15,000 words, adding pictures can extend the book length making it more attractive for buyers.
Pictures Can Make Children More Willing to Read Your Books: pictures can also make children more interested in reading your books. When a parent presents a child with a chapter book that has pictures in it, the odds of it being read have increased.
Pictures Can Make Your Books More Attractive to Parents: obviously, adding pictures also makes books more attractive to parents. Since it is parents that I books for their children, you definitely want to appeal to them as much as possible.
However, there are also a couple of disadvantages to using pictures with your self-published books that you should be aware of as well.
Pictures Can Be Expensive: you should know though that adding pictures to your book can be expensive. That’s because, unless you are an artist yourself, you are going to have to hire someone to draw pictures for your book. This can get really expensive, especially if they charge you a commercial license.
You Make Less on Books With Pictures: you also make less money on digital books with pictures due to the larger file size. Amazon and other platforms charging more and pay you less royalties when you have a book that is full of pictures because it cost them more bandwidth to send the book to someone when they purchase it.
Pictures Can Be a Formatting Nightmare: finally, be aware that having pictures in a book can be a formatting nightmare; if you are creating a digital book with pictures, you are probably going to spend weeks formatting it and tweaking things to get it right; formatting is easier if you are simply creating a print book, but almost all chapter books these days have a digital companion and that is going to require a massive amount of formatting to get the pictures to display properly.