Helping you publish your dream children’s book

Our little creative studio is here to help you achieve your dream of self publishing children’s books.

About Rock Sheep Studio

We’re a small award-winning creative studio located on the picturesque Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

We are passionate about children’s books and we love working with passionate authors. There is no better feeling than making someone’s dream of publishing a children’s book come true.

Watch this video to see our process in action:

Children’s book specialists

As a husband and wife team, we specialise in bringing children’s books to life,  working with authors who are self publishing children’s books. Our passion comes from reading children’s books with our daughter from an early age and more recently working on a variety of children’s books.

Supporting you from concept to published book

Our range of services are there to support you throughout your publishing journey. We can help you with developing your book concept, producing illustrations, designing your book, or by providing publishing support needed to get the finished book out there.

With services tailored to your needs

There is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ when creating and self publishing children’s books. Every author and story is different. We always provide a tailored package of services specific to your needs. You can be sure your book is created with you, your story, and your audience in mind.

Get your children's book started today

Are you looking to self publish children’s books? Have you got a story or two in mind and are unsure how to get started?

We can help you right from the start with concept development and advice on how to get your children’s book published.

Get in touch today and we can point you in the right direction.

Services

We are here to help you get your book published and into the hands of your readers. Take a look at the services we offer to help you on your self publishing journey:

Concept development

Sometimes, you have a great idea and just need a helping hand to perfect your story, to get your ideas on paper, to plan your story from start to finish, or to finalise your characters.

Our concept development service is here to help you think about the bigger picture and create your best possible story.

Editing

Once your story is written, editing plays a crucial role in ensuring your written story is free of any spelling or grammar issues and to help improve cadence, rhythm, and readability.

We can provide a structural edit and analysis report, as well as copyediting and proofreading to ensure your writing is ready to be published.

Character design

To bring your characters to life, you need to define how each one looks and establish the illustration style that’s right for your book.

We can work with you to design your characters based on how you imagine they will look, how best they fit your story and make sure they fit with the illustration style of your choice.

Storyboarding

Storyboarding is the bridge connecting your written story with the illustration and design phases of the publishing journey. From breaking up your story in to pages, sketching what scenes could look like and suggesting text placement around illustrations.

Our hollistic approach to storyboarding ensures you know what your finished book will look like as soon as possible.

Illustration

The right illustrations should compliment your written story and engage all readers in a way that allows them to imagine your story happening right in front of their eyes.

We can create a wide variety of illustrations inhouse from spot illustrations to full spreads, in colour or black & white, and with simple styling or a high level of detail.

Design

Children’s book design is the invisible glue that ties everything together. Good design sets brilliant books apart. We can help you choose which book formats, fonts, trim sizes will work for your book, and manage the page setup requirements.

Our design service takes care of the whole design process for you. Once complete, you are given print ready files for print and ebook.

Publishing support

Publishing your book can be daunting with so many options and choices available to you. Should you use Ingram Spark, Amazon or do a print run? How will your distribute and sell your books?

We can advise on the publishing possibilities that work best for you and would be happy to help with getting your book added on the various available platforms.

The Rock Sheep Studio Team

Inspired by nature, people and the world around us, we’re a husband and wife team who like to bring creativity and inspiration to everything we do.

Co-Founder & Managing Director

Ben Stout

Ben is an award winning designer that likes to combine precision design with his quick sense of humour.

Ben loves to create fun, quirky illustrated books, especially for kids, who have such a playful, innocent way of seeing the world.

There’s something satisfying in guiding kids and parents on a journey from one page to the next, to subtly convey the author’s message and ultimately leave a lasting impact.

Ben believes that great design is invisible. It’s something that’s felt, rather than noticed.

Key areas of support: design  |  illustration  |  concept development  |  storyboarding

Co-Founder & Art Director

Becky Stout

Becky is an award-winning creator of expressive, rustic artwork inspired by nature, people and the world around us.

Becky also works in a wide variety of illustrative styles and loves nothing better than a creative challenge.

She is particularly interested in drawing atmospheric landscapes, and animals native to the British countryside.

She often wonders what different animals would sound like if they could speak, and what stories they would tell.

Key areas of support: illustration | editing | concept development |  storyboarding

Testimonials

Ready to start self publishing children's books?

If you’ve seen something that could help you with your publishing journey, fill in our contact form below to discover how we can help you.

FAQs

How much do your services cost?

Here is a summary of our prices. We tailor project costs to your needs so quoted prices may be different from those shown below.

Concept development – our costs are for video calls at £50 per video call.

Prior to your video call, please send us your manuscript, which we will refer to during our call. Our video calls last 45 minutes. Each one can focus on developing your ideas and/or story, help with getting the characters right, and looking at the bigger picture.

Editing – the following prices are for up to 750 word children’s books:

  • Structural edit – £165
  • Copy edit – £95
  • Proofreading – £75

Please let us know if you have a higher word count, as we can tailor the editing cost to factor in a higher word count where applicable.

Character design – our character design services cost:

  • 1 x full body sketch in colour – £75
  • 1 x full body sketch in colour plus 2 x lineart expression sketches – £100
  • 1 x full body sketch in colour plus 5 x lineart expression sketches – £125

These costs are per character.

Storyboarding – our cost is from £295 for a book with 32 internal pages.

We break down the story into pages with average word counts and image descriptions. We then create composition sketches which provide a rough sketch of each illustration and show the text placement on the page.

Illustrations – our illustration costs are:

  • Spot illustrations from £60
  • Single page illustrations from £125
  • Spread illustrations (equivalent to 2 pages) from £225

Prices vary based on what will be included in each illustration, the level of detail, and if they are in colour. Spot illustrations costs are for black & white and can be created in colour. The single page and spread illustrations are in colour.

Book design – our  design costs for 32 internal pages and covers are:

  • 1 print format – £295
  • 1 print format plus 1 other format – £365
  • 1 print format plus 2 other formats – £425

Standard print formats are usually paperback or hardback. Other formats include ebook.

Publishing support – our support services costs are:

  • Video call to discuss publishing options – £50
  • General publishing support – £30 per hour

On a video call, we can discuss all of the possibilities for publishing and what you need to do. Our general publishing support cost is for our time sharing screens to help you complete the publishing process.

Do you only work with authors who are self publishing children's books?

No, not at all.  Although we specialise in children’s books, we do also take on other projects that involve a mixture of our services.

Check out our gallery where we have examples of other projects, including a couple of journals and marketing illustrations.

Who owns the copyright for my books?

As we are not a Publisher, you (the author) retain all copyright ownership of your story, illustrations you provide and the text. This may be different if you work with another illustrator as they may own the illustration copyright and have given you rights to use them. Please check with your illustrator so you know who owns the illustration copyright.

For our illustration services, we provide each client with copyright ownership of the illustrations. This is done through a Copyright Agreement, which specifies the provision and terms of exclusive usage rights to the client.

We do keep the right to use the works (illustrations and book design) we create for marketing use. E.g. sharing images on our website and on social media.

Do you work under contract?

For projects we work on, we provide creative contracts covering the whole project and all of the services we undertake. This covers changes to works, timescales, project costs and payments among other things.

In addition to a contract, we also provide either copyright ownership information. This is either integrated into the services contract or provided as a seperate document.

Do you offer any discounts for your services?

We offer discounts for projects that involve illustration, book design and other services. The discount would be a percentage of the overall project cost.

For multiple books, we offer a higher discount across the book series.

If you want to find out more about the discounts we offer get in touch and we can discuss your project.

Do you work for royalties?

We only work on a fee basis for the projects we undertake.

Royalty deals can be difficult to manage. If you decide to work with someone else on a royalties deal, remember to consider how the royalties will be managed. I.e. who will record books sales, calculate the royalties due, and how often royalities are shared. These are just a few things to consider.

What are the turn around times for a project?

There are no standard turn around times as each project is different. When we start a project, each project phase will have an expected turn aorund time agreed with you.

For a 32 page book project involving illustration, design and other services, the average turnaround time is 3-4 months. 

If there is likely to be a change or delay for any reason, then we’ll let you know as soon as possible and keep you up to date we progess and expected completion times.

Do you do illustration samples?

Yes, we offer samples through our character design service.

If you are also looking for character design to include a sample background, please ask we can add a sketchy background to give you an idea of the background style too.

Is Rock Sheep Studio a Publisher?

Yes and no! We are not a vanity or any other type of publisher as we do not publish other people’s books.

We only publish our own books through Rock Sheep Studio. We help our book project clients to self publish their children’s books through their own accounts and ISBNs.

Is self publishing children's books complicated?

It doesn’t have to be.

There are plenty of things to consider along the publishing journey and that’s why we offer the services we do.

The main things to consider are:

  • Concept and product planning
  • Editing
  • Illustration
  • Design
  • ISBN and book registration
  • Printing and distribution
  • Marketing

For ISBNs – check out the Nielsen site for the UK and Bowker for the USA.

If you have any more questions about publishing or the book creation process, get in touch to arrange a video call.

How can I get my children's books into readers hands?

When self publishing, there are generally 3 options most authors consider when deciding how to print and distribute their children’s books.

You could choose to go down the print on demand route and only get books printed when they are ordered. Amazon (KDP), Ingram Spark and Barnes & Noble are very popular options for this.

Alternatively, you could get your children’s books printed by one of the many offset printing companies around the world. These could be short runs or large runs to reduce the cost per book.

The third option is to consider doing a combination of a print run and print on demand options.

With any of the above options, you are responsible for registering and getting your book stocked by distributors, bookshops, and libraries.

Why is character design important to get right?

When considering character design and the illustration style for your children’s book is important to factor in the reader age range, story theme, and the style you want for your book. 

We find that having charcter designs established prior to storyboarding and illustrating a book is a good way for you, as the author, to to get a solid grasp of each character. 

The additional benefit of character design is to get a good feel of what the book might look like as a finished product.

How will working with you on concept development help me?

It is useful to think about your book as a product and consider the business side of publishing before creating your book.

It’s also important to know who you are targeting and the conventions of books within that reader age group. Knowing whether your story will resonate with that audience will give you clarity. 

A 45 minute video call with us is a great way to go through this so that you have a clear plan in mind when starting on your publishing journey.

Why do I need a storyboard for my children's book?

Here are a few things that storyboarding can help with:

  • It helps to ensure that the author and illustrator are on the same page.
  • It can help to determine whether there are scenes that are too long.
  • When composition sketches are created it gives you an early look into how your book will look and feel.

If you’d like to see how your book might look, get in touch for more info.

Which editing services do I need and when?

Here’s a quick summary of the different types of editing available:

  • Structural edit – a developmental analysis of your manuscript. This includes a report outlining the positives and any areas for improvement relating to audience, concept, characters, plot structure, and themes.
  • Copy edit – line editing of your manuscript to improve readability, remove any spelling and grammatical errors, and improve plot pace.
  • Proofread – a review of the text to pick up on any spelling or grammatical errors. This is particularly useful following rewrites and final edits.

It’s important to have some level of editing done, even for experienced writers, as an extra pair of eyes always helps.  Get in touch for a tailored editing quote.

What can I expect from your illustration service?

As there is no ‘one size fits all’ with illustration, we begin by determining the scope of work.

We always start with character designs first. This helps you to get a feel for what each character will look like and the style of illustration to be used.

Following character designs, we undertake the storyboarding phase, where composition sketches for each page are created. These allow you to see how an illustration would look. E.g. what the character will look like, the background around the character, and where text fits.

The illustrations then move on to the lineart phase. Sketches are cleaned up and have defined lines ready for the colouring phase, which is up next if applicable.

For colour illustrations, once the lineart in ready, the illustrations are coloured in the style agreed when creating the character designs.

Finally, once the illustrations are complete, we provide you with the illustration at the sizes requested and in the file types needed for your project.

If we are also doing the design of your children’s book, we will add the completed illustrations into the design file, complete all of the typesetting and page setup ready for publication.

What's included with book design?

The process for book design is fairly straight forward. You provide the story’s text, illustrations, blurb, ISBN, print spoecifications, and any other book information we request, and we create the files needed to publish your book.

If we are also working on the illustrations for your children’s book, the design process goes hand in hand. We create illustrations that will work with the design and will have already factored in text placement on the page.

Here’s a summary of what our book design service includes:

  • Trimming and placement of your illustrations on each page;
  • Finding fonts that work for your book;
  • Typesetting;
  • Design of the cover (front and back);
  • Adding informational pages such as copyright information and dedications;
  • Creation of the files in the formats you need.

Tell us about your project

Whether you are looking for help with your book project or simply looking for advice, fill in the form below and we will be in touch as soon as we can: