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How to Publish a Coloring Book

January 26, 2021 (Last Updated June 22, 2022)

Marcy G.

People looking for a stay-at-home activity have rediscovered coloring books. Coloring provides stress relief and a creative outlet, perfect for all ages. 

If you’re artistically talented, you may enjoy self-publishing a coloring book. You can create custom drawings, scenes and designs people will love to color.

If you’re wondering how to self-publish a coloring book, 48 Hour Books has helpful tips. We also have the resources you need to create and sell your book: design assistance, formatting templates, and print on demand for as few as 10 books.

Publishing a Coloring Book for Kids

Kids love to color! Self-publishing your own kids coloring book is a great way to inspire a love of art. Here are some tips to get you started:

·      Pick a theme for your book and then create designs that play off the theme.  

·      Make sure your images contain large enough spaces so you don’t frustrate a younger audience.

·      Consider adding text below the images to help teach young readers.

Publishing a Coloring Book for Adults

If you’re wondering how to publish a coloring book for adults, 48 Hour Books can help.

Here are some tips:

·      The design options for adult coloring books are endless – patterns, intricate designs, garden scenes, animals, fantasy, and sci-fi.

·      Make your designs difficult enough to offer a challenge, but not too difficult. They should be mentally challenging but relaxing.

·      Coloring books for adults come in a range of sizes. In addition to your most common sizes (8.5” x 11”), there are small, pocket-sized books (easily portable) or larger sizes (for displaying finished coloring pages in a frame).

How to Create and Publish a Coloring Book

Here are some of the most common questions related to publishing a coloring book:

What size are coloring books?

The most popular size is 8.5” x 11”.  For some designs, a landscape layout might work better (11” x 8.5”). The size you choose is a personal decision, and with self-publishing, you have that creative freedom.

How should I create my art files?

When creating a coloring book, you can choose to sketch your art files by hand or use an electronic sketching pad. When it’s time to print, you’ll need electronic files, so if you draw your images by hand, scan your drawings. Your images should be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch) to print in high-resolution.  

How do I prepare coloring book files for print?

To print your coloring book with 48 Hour Books, you’ll need a print-ready PDF file of both your inside pages and the cover. If you need help formatting your interior pages, 48 Hour Books offers book formatting templates.

How do I design a coloring book cover?

Your cover design will be one of your best marketing tools. At 48 Hour Books, we offer cover design assistance, including a size calculator to determine cover measurements and our Create-a-Cover design service.

Which paper works best for coloring books?

Coloring books must be printed on uncoated paper so the color will adhere to it. 48 Hour Books offers uncoated (offset) paper stock, and we recommend using a 70# or 80# paper weight. This thicker paper prevents colors from showing through on the opposite side and provides the extra durability needed for coloring.

By ordering our Ultimate Guide to a 48 Hour Book, you can see our paper options up close before making your selection.

What are the best coloring book binding options?

Typically, spiral coil works best for coloring book binding. 48 Hour Books uses durable plastic coil in a wide range of color options. We can find the right color to match your design. 48 Hour Books also prints paperback and saddle stitch (stapled binding) books. If you choose one of these binding methods, consider perforating your pages to make them easier to tear out. We can provide pricing for perforated pages.

How fast can you print my coloring book?

48 Hour Books can print coil-bound or saddle-stitched books in five business days. We print perfect bound coloring books in just two business days. You will need to add shipping time to your production schedule. If you need your books printed faster than that, we have rush and super rush options available to speed up production.

How many books can I print at a time?

With 48 Hour Books high-quality print on demand services, you can print as few as 10 coloring books at a time, or as many as you want! We make reordering easy, so you can simply place your order online, or talk to any of our helpful team members.

How much does it cost to publish a coloring book?

If you want to self-publish a coloring book, 48 Hour Books offers a quick and easy price calculator. By inputting a few details, you can get an idea of what it will cost to print. Once you have your printed books, marketing costs depend on how you plan to sell. Read our marketing tips here.

If these tips on how to publish a coloring book have your creative juices flowing, why not partner with 48 Hour Books to print your coloring book today!


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Sign up for the 48 Hour Books newsletter to learn how to self-publish your book — and get it printed faster with us than anywhere else.

Print painlessly

Sign up for the 48 Hour Books newsletter to learn how to self-publish your book — and get it printed faster with us than anywhere else.


Jessica February 22, 2024

I'd love to be able to create a coloring book from drawings I found of my daughter's creative mindset of fantasy sci-fi some mystical and gloomy. She's 25 now and I'd love to create that for her.

48 Hr Books February 26, 2024

Hi Jessica! In order to print this for you, you would need to scan her drawing to put into file form. If you need instructions on how to do this, please call us at 800-231-0521 and we will connect you with a designer!

[email protected] February 07, 2024

Hello and good my name is Michael Ward , I finish three color books already. How can I put them more bigger platforms even get them in the books store or school districts

48 Hr Books February 26, 2024

Hello! The best way to get your coloring book out there on the market is to contact retailers, local stores, and schools directly! As long as you have an ISBN and barcode, you will be able to sell your books in stores and online.

Darlene Trudeau November 09, 2023

Very informative. Thank you for the insight on self publishing coloring books

gull November 06, 2023

i am create many coloring book for kids, how can I publish ?

48 Hr Books November 06, 2023

Hello! If you decide you want to self-publish your book, we can print your book using print-ready PDF files. You would handle marketing and distribution on your end. To learn more about self-publishing, we have information here: https://www.48hrbooks.com/self-publishing

Wendy May 22, 2023

I'm interested in creating my own children coloring book. Would like to learn more of yr services. Thank you.

48 Hr Books May 23, 2023

Hello! We require print-ready PDF files of your inside pages and cover. Once your files are ready, you simply place an order at our website and upload your files. We will prepare a PDF proof of your book. Once you approve the proof and pay in full your books go to print! If you have questions about placing your order, please call us at 800-231-0521

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