Self-Publishing - So Easy a Doctor Can Do It

​​​​​​​I just helped my 7 year old son publish his first book on Amazon as a gift for his upcoming birthday. I wanted to share some of the stuff I learned along the way so others who wanted to do it too can realize it's not so daunting.

I want you to give yourself permission to write and create something not great, maybe even bad, and be ok with it.


Set a timer for 30 minutes and stick to that time frame.

Open up PowerPoint or

Write out the story (in my case it was my son’s story, which WAS good), but don’t worry about your story having to be “perfect.”

Just write it.

Find stock photos to accompany the text of your story. They don’t have to be exactly what you have in your subconscious mind. Start with something and…voila… you have begun the journey to becoming a children’s book author.


Now that you have a rough draft it’s time to go find an illustrator. has some excellent resources and depending on the style of illustrations you want, there are freelancers galore to choose from. I contacted several freelancers to get quotes on how much the project would be and finally decided on one based on their prior work with other children’s books.


Refine, refine, refine.

Show your friends. Show your friend’s kids. Get feedback on what works. Where do they laugh? Where do they look bored? Like a stand-up comic honing their material, you will want to edit until your target audience seems to like it.


The legal stuff.

Apply for a copyright at

If you used a freelancer, you retain the intellectual property rights for the illustrations; that way you will not need to share royalties with the illustrator.


If you want your book in a library, you will have to apply for a Library of Congress number at

You will also need something called Publisher’s Cataloging-in-Publication Data to help with the process of filing in a library.

You can get that at a cataloging service website like:

There are many others, but this was just the one that I used.


Hire someone to format your book for the right size. You will need to pick the dimensions of your book and decide whether you want a hardcover or paperback copy.

I used a freelancer to do this for me and it was invaluable as there were nuances to the formatting that I could not have even imagined. This file will then come back to you as a .pdf

You can also get them to make an e-book version of it.


Decide where you want to publish. There are several options like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, which is a publishing on-demand option, or Ingram Spark. I just picked Amazon because it seemed the easiest and I was familiar with the platform.


Upload your files. Decide how much you want to charge.


Congratulations! You or your child is now a published author.


But wait. That’s just half the work. Now, you will have to MARKET your book.

Tell your friends.

Tell your friend’s friends.

Tell your staff.

Publish in

I included a list of the people I used below. You don’t have to use them, but I thought they were good and can be overwhelming at times.

[]( Book description

[]( Illustration

[]( Formatting


If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at

Robert Chan, Urologist

My philosophy: outsource everything that I had no idea how to do (I used Fiverr)

                                          Breakdown of Costs:



Write Book Description


Amazon Kindle and
Keyword research for SEO


Apply for a Library of Congress Number


Apply for Catalogue Service'
to get P-CIP data 
(to get the book into the Library of Congress)


Apply for copyright


Publish on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing


Seeing the look on my kid’s face
when he saw his book on Amazon…




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