One of the hottest trends in self publishing and tradtional publishing right now isn't steamy romance or smart science fiction, it's a market that most authors have never even considered -- coloring books for adults. Of the top 10 books sold in 2015, two of them were coloring books. Far from the familiar books with thick lines and simple pictures made for children, adult coloring books have intricate designs and sophisticated themes such as mandalas, fantasy worlds, or bestseller book tie-ins.
Why Coloring Books
Coloring books for adults have exploded across the book landscape in the last year or so. They fill shelves at bookstores, they're in the grocery store checkout line, and they're even on the front page of Amazon's book rankings. Some adults have always colored as a way to relax and unwind, but it's become hugely popular among overstressed parents, professionals, and anyone who needs a bit of down time. Billed as a way to unwind and increase mindfulness, it's a new hobby that's spawned hundreds of thousands of eager fans, greedy for new books every week.
What to Put in Your Book
Do a search of coloring books available today and you'll find a huge variety of pictures. They do have some similar themes, though. They're more elaborate than children's versions and they're obviously meant for adults to color. From cheeky books with swear words and wine glasses to intricate mandalas that take hours to finish, these aren't your kindergartener's coloring books. Your subject matter depends on your artistic talent. You'll find popular books with intricate patterns filling basic outlines, mandalas and Celtic knots, inspirational sayings, and beautiful fairy tales. Your talent will determine your style. Those who don't draw can use computer drawing programs to create desirable designs. Basic artists can do cartoon outlines with intricate designs inside. Every style has its fans; it's all a matter of book marketing to the right crowd.
How to Publish a Coloring Book
Whatever method you use to independently publish any other paperback book will work for coloring books. Create individual pages and scan them into your computer to use as your "manuscript." Create covers or have someone create them for you just as if you were publishing a regular book. Offer them on the same sales venues you would use for any other book. The process is the same, but the sales will probably surprise you.
Do's and Don't's
If you truly can't draw, resist the impulse to grab some of the millions of free pages you'll find online. Copyright laws still apply.
Build your books with themes. No one wants to buy a book with a jumble of subject matter. Do one with mandalas, one with all inspirational sayings, or a series of books with intricate designs.
Study current bestselling coloring books and covers to get inspiration.
Team up with other authors to create a line of coloring books as a side project.
Draw or hire someone to draw a coloring book as a tie-in with your popular book series. This added income stream might even spark more sales for your novels.
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with you!