How to Make a Coloring Book to Sell

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Making your own coloring book doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. Even without any design experience, it is completely doable to learn how to make a coloring book.

There are many different ways to do this on many platforms without spending a penny.

Can you make money selling coloring books? YES!

Here we cover how to make a coloring book to sell and turn it into passive income.

How to Make a Coloring Book to Sell

Turn a love for design and drawing into a side hustle by creating your own coloring books to sell.

You may just be wondering how you can go about this and actually make a profit.

We will cover how you can create a coloring book that you can sell in a few simple steps. 

Decide on a theme

The first step to take is deciding on a theme for your coloring book. You need some type of direction to go in and a way to tie in your designs.

Are you creating a coloring book for children or adults? What do you want the overall theme of the coloring book to be? Maybe you want to make one on farm animals for children, or geometric patterns for adults. 

Take the time to decide on which theme you think would be best for your coloring book. Stick with this theme as you create your designs. 

Start creating!

There are two simple ways that you can start creating.

Firstly, you can take out a pen and a paper. Use a nice large tip pen or a black marker and start on your designs.

Scan your completed designs and save them onto your computer. By doing this, you can turn them into a PDF to print. 

Another way to create a design is digitally.

You can do this by using an Illustration tablet, such as an iPad Pro or a Surface Pro. You will draw with a special tablet pen used for tablets.

Let's say you aren't an artist though, how can you create digital designs?

This is easy with a platform called Canva, which we will cover later on in the article. 

After you have created your digital design it is easy to put the designs together into a PDF. Once your PDF is completed, you can either print or use a print-on-demand service. 

Make a cover for your coloring book

Before you can start selling your coloring book you also have to design a cover. A great way to do this is using a tool like Canva or PicMonkey.

To really capture the attention of buyers, you want to use vibrant colors and a design that is attention-grabbing.

Make the cover of your coloring book stand out by designing something unique and original.

Prepare the design for printing

For a printed coloring book, you will need to first choose the type of paper that you want to use.

Decide how thick the paper should be and the quality of the paper. Choose various weights of paper depending on what you will be coloring with.

Determining what weight of paper to use is important, especially if you will be printing double-sided.

If you are printing the design yourself, or using a print-on-demand service, decide on the type of binding you will be using.

You can use a type of stitching to hold the book together, or something like spirals. Use the most user-friendly binding to display your designs.

Price Your Coloring Book

The next step to preparing your coloring book to sell is to decide on a price.

When pricing your coloring book, take into account the cost of materials that you are using, if you are using a print-on-demand service, and any other potential expenses.

Choose a price that would still bring in profit, but be reasonable compared to other similar products. 

Find a Platform to Sell Your Coloring Book

Now that your coloring book is created, it is time to decide where to sell it.

A great place to start is on Etsy.

Etsy is a platform made for creators to sell their handmade items.

Buyers that come shop on Etsy are looking for one-of-a-kind products they can’t find in a store. Handmade coloring books are a great product for this audience.

Amazon is another option for selling your coloring book through their Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP platform. This takes the hassle of printing out of your hands and lets Amazon’s service take over.

Using Amazon involves specific steps and approval to be on the platform, but it is another option to get your coloring book in front of potential customers. 

How to Make a Coloring Book on Canva

Canva is a design platform with unlimited ways to create designs.

The best part about Canva, is that no graphic design skills are needed to use this platform.

You can use Canva for social media graphics, creating t-shirt designs, posters, and even coloring books. 

Canva offers both free and paid versions. The free version gives you plenty of ways to design without having to pay a monthly charge.

When approaching the design process on Canva, you have look at their pre-made templates. You also have the choice to completely start from scratch. Use whichever feature helps you get started.

Starting your design

How do you make a coloring book on Canva?

The first step is to create a new design and choose the correct size.

You can type in “coloring pages” and it will pull up a letter-size page, or you can enter in custom dimensions of 8.5”x11”. 

Once you have your blank slate, you can start creating your coloring page designs.

Use the free graphics that Canva provides on their platform. Check if they can be used for commercial use. You can also find images for coloring books from free platforms, such as Freepik and upload them into Canva. 

When choosing coloring page images from Canva’s selection of graphics, be sure to look for images that are a simple outline that would make it easy for coloring, or one that you have an option to change the colors to simple black and white.

Other than adding an image or two onto a coloring page, you can also add in a patterned background that can be found in Canva’s graphics, as well as text.

You can make any of the fonts in Canva into an outlined text, by clicking on “Effects” and then “Hollow.”

You can also choose from a selection of fonts in Canva that are already outlined and easy to add to your design. 

Continue adding more pages until you are happy with the amount of designs for your coloring book. You can also create your cover page on Canva, as mentioned above with vibrant colors and eye-catching designs. 

Downloading your design

After designing your coloring book, it is time to download it so you can sell your product. To do this, you will click on Download in the top right corner.

You will then need to change the file type from PNG to a PDF print, as this is the best format for printing your coloring book. And just like that, you have your completed coloring book!

KDP coloring book Canva

You can also create a KDP coloring book on Canva to make selling your product even easier! By selling on KDP, your design can be sent directly to a print-on-demand service, rather than having to print it yourself. 

To create a KDP coloring book on Canva, you first have to create a design with custom dimensions of 6” x 9”. This is the size needed for KDP designs. After this, you can begin designing it the same as you would any other coloring book on Canva. 

Keep in mind that there are restrictions for what can be on the cover of your coloring page for KDP. Avoid adding any promotions on the cover, and check for any typos or grammatical errors. You want to create a high-quality cover that will be eye-catching and appealing to your potential buyers. 

After creating a cover, you can either use graphics directly from Canva as mentioned above, or upload your own designs.

There are unlimited ways you can use Canva to create your KDP coloring book, so you can fully take advantage of the platform to create your design. 

Download each page as a PNG file when your design is finished. Saving in this file type is necessary if you want to take advantage of a software you can use to upload KDP designs.

Once you have downloaded your files, you can use the program FlyingUpload as a way to easily upload your designs. This program offers a free version that takes away some of the hassle of uploading your designs to Amazon KDP.

You just add in all of your images, your cover, and some details for your design, such as choosing which paper quality, and any details needed on your coloring book. 

How to Make a Coloring Book to Sell on Etsy

Once you have your design created and ready to go, you’ll need to figure out where to sell your design. One option for selling your coloring book is on Etsy.

Etsy is a platform made for selling handmade products and digital products like coloring books.

To get started on Etsy, you will first need to create your account and shop as an Etsy seller. This article walks you through the exact steps to setting up shop so you can start selling your products. So once you have your shop created and ready to go, you can start listing your items. 

Create your listing images

Etsy will not allow you to list an image of your coloring book cover, or a page, as your product listing image.

You don't want to give away your product away for free to your competitors or customers. Instead, take the time to create quality listing images. 

To create your listing images, you first need to download you digital product as PNG.

Upload these images to Canva and you will be ready to get started.

Here a few tips for creating your listing images: 

  • Make sure the dimensions are at least 2000 pixels, as this is the size that Etsy recommends. 
  • Use drop shadows to highlight your products. This makes your product stand out and give it a more professional look.
  • Give as much detail as possible. The more you can show them in your photos, the better. Customers tend to look at all the photos vs. reading the whole description of the product. 
  • The more images you use, the better you can display your product.

Canva is a perfect tool for quickly creating quality listing images.

Add backgrounds, use drop shadows to highlight, layer images, or add text to your listing images. Just make your image look eye-catching and provide all the information a customer needs to encourage them to buy.

Design your shop page

Once you have your listings added, you can start working on designing your shop page.

This is where customers see all of your products and learn more about you as the creator.

Shop images

Create a shop cover image that gives an idea of what your shop is selling and highlight a few of your products using Canva.

Make sure to create a logo, and even about images if needed. Be sure to check for the dimensions that Etsy recommends for these images.

Add something to your about section. Whether it’s an image of you, an image of one of your products, or even a free image that fits the theme of your shop. Completing this section will help you rank higher on Etsy. 

You can even add videos to the about section to tell the customer who you are and how you create your products. This is a great way for customers to learn more about the person behind the products.

How to list your product

You are now ready to get started on listing your product.

The first step will be adding the images for your listing. Download the images you created from Canva.

Now that your images are done you can begin working on your title.

Creating a title

This is an important step as it is how your buyers will find your product. You want to be sure to include keyword phrases that people will actually be searching to find your product.

Now select a category for your item. If it’s fitting, choose a primary or secondary color, the occasion, or the holiday that fits the item. 

Description and tags

When creating a description, describe how the customer will use the coloring book.

Are there any features they should know about that make your product stand out? How can they download and print it out? Are there any special instructions on how to color it in? 

Give a much information as you can to the customer so that they are confident to buy your product.

Next you will add tags to your product listing.

Tags are another way for your buyers to find your item and is key for SEO. Use as many quality keyword phrases as you can. Fill in all 13 tags to ensure your listing ranks high on Etsy.

After this you just need to price your product and add the quantity. For digital products, use a quantity of 999 so that you don't have to relist the product every time it sells.

Finally, you’ll need to add the file for your coloring book. This is where you will take the PDF print you downloaded and add it to your listing. This is what the customer will receive after they purchase the listing, so make sure everything is correct. 

Want to learn how to start a printable side hustle business on Etsy? Our E-Printables Course will walk you through the process step by step!

e-printables course by gold city ventures

How to Make a Coloring Book to Sell on Amazon

Amazon is another option for selling your coloring book. To sell on Amazon you would use their program, Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon KDP).

Sellers are able to sell the design to be used digitally or have it printed it on demand.

To get started with KDP, begin by creating an Amazon account. Enter your personal information, payment information, and tax information. 

Once you have this completed, you can begin creating your coloring book listing. Here are the steps to list your coloring book on Amazon.

Want done for you coloring pages to sell on Amazon KDP? The PLR Coloring Pages by Becky Beach will help you get started immediately!

how to make coloring books to sell on Amazon

Enter book details

The first step is entering in all of your book details. This includes your book title, author information, keywords, your book’s categories, and pre-order information if applicable.

It is important to take your time entering the details to make sure everything is correct, and there are no errors. 

Upload and preview book

The next step is to upload your book. Preview the book to see exactly what it will look like. This section of the setup also involves information about your book’s ISBN.

You will need a unique ISBN for your coloring book. Learn more about obtaining an ISBN for your book. 

Set rights and pricing

The last step is the Rights & Pricing section. Here you will set your book’s price, royalty rate, and agree to KDP’s Terms and Conditions before publishing.

The price of your coloring book doesn’t have to be set in stone at this point, and can be changed after publishing. After this, your listing is complete and just needs approval!

Want to learn more about selling on Amazon KDP? The Creativity by The Chapter Course by Allie will teach you how to turn the coloring books you create in Canva into cash by self publishing them on Amazon.

Make Your Own Coloring Book with Photos

Want to create coloring books with more of a personal touch? Make coloring books with photos.

To make a coloring book with photos, first choose the images you want to turn into a coloring page. Examples are a picture from your favorite vacation, or even a picture of your dog. 

You will then use a specific app to turn the photo into an outlined image. These images are perfect for coloring.

Pixlr is an example of an app can create outlines of photos.

You will edit the photo to take away any color from the image and turn it into a simple outline. You can find detailed instructions on how to turn your photos into a coloring page with Pixlr.

Once you turn your images into coloring pages, you can easily download the images as JPEGs. After the images are downloaded, upload them into Canva to turn them into a coloring book.

When finished, download your coloring book as a PDF.

Click on your downloaded product and then hit print! Now you can start coloring.

Make Your Own Coloring Book for Free

There are plenty of ways for you to create a coloring book without having to use a paid platform.

With so many free software platforms available, take advantage and get started.

Another way to make a coloring book to sell is to find free images on FreePik. As it says in it’s name, the images are completely free! Just begin searching for the type of images you are wanting to use to turn into a coloring book. 

The images on FreePik tend to be vector images with multiple images per page. You will need to separate the images out for your coloring book.

Once you choose the images you’d like to use, you can use another free software called Gravit Designer.

This is a vector design app that is completely free, with the option of a paid version. This platform helps you separate out vector images to turn them into separate images.

By using Gravit, you can fully edit your images to prepare them for adding into coloring pages.

Turn these images into coloring pages by first ungrouping the image so each piece is separated. This makes it simple for you to go in and select each shape and change the fill to white.

You’ll then select each shape and change each border to black, you may need to thicken the line.

The image will now look like a coloring page.

You can now trim the canvas to make the image fill the page. Name each individual page to make it easy for you to add into Canva.

When everything looks right, export the document as a JPEG and upload into Canva. Finally, create a cover and complete your coloring book.

You can do all of this with the free version of the platform.

How to Make a Coloring Book Online

We’ve covered a few different ways you can make a coloring book online. One last option is PicMonkey.

This is a paid program that some prefer over Canva, but offers the same basic tools. 

To create a design on PicMonkey, you’ll open up a blank canvas with the size of 8.5″x11″ for letter size.

You’ll then turn on crop and bleed marks, which will make for easy printing and a border for your page. 

You can then begin customizing your coloring book!

Use the graphics tab to choose graphics to add to your coloring page. Add text if desired.

Just like Canva, you can choose a font, click effects and then create an outline, or choose a font that is already an outline. 

You can then continue to add more pages for your coloring book, and download once completed. 

Final Thoughts

Making a coloring book to sell is a great way to use your creativity to earn passive income.

There are many different ways to create your design. This gives you a wide range of platforms to choose from to decide what works best for you/

Start designing your own coloring book to sell today!

Check out our tips on other creative ways to make money online!

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Katrina Waardenburg

Katrina Waardenburg

Katrina is an Etsy seller and content writer who was formerly a teacher. In her own words, "Being a mom of two girls, I work hard at growing this business and helping others grow as well so I can provide for my little family.”
Katrina Waardenburg

Katrina Waardenburg

Katrina is an Etsy seller and content writer who was formerly a teacher. In her own words, "Being a mom of two girls, I work hard at growing this business and helping others grow as well so I can provide for my little family.”

Learn how to start a business selling printables on Etsy!

Meet Julie & Cody

Julie Berninger and Cody Berman of Gold City Ventures have made thousands selling printables and digital downloads in their Etsy shops and on Shopify. They help others start printable businesses with their programs and templates.

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