I was acquainted with an interesting program during my research called Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Kid’s Books Creator. (Listen to an interesting podcast interview on the subject here.) It is a program similar to iBooks author, but aimed more towards children’s authors interesting in self-publishing a picture book. The program allows an author to edit and arrange their book page by page or upload a pdf, as well as upload directly to Amazon when they are finished. The biggest draw of this program, as opposed to iBooks author, is its compatibility with both Macs and PCs. It also offers landscape publishing design, to give the book more of a traditional picture book feel, as well as pop-up texts to enlarge text or add additional details. The biggest drawback of the program right now is its inability to incorporate audio, but this is rumored to be in the works already.
I think self-publication is the future of the publication industry, especially in the realm of children’s picture books.
Printing picture books is incredibly expensive, but self-publishing online eliminates printing cost, allowing funds to be allocated to other expenses such as editing, illustrations or marketing. The children’s book market is one of the fastest growing book market’s on Amazon (according to statistics cited in the podcast). Online publishing eliminates the mostly costly aspect of picture books and allows more authors to participate in this lucrative, quickly growing field.