How to publish an adult coloring book (and why you should)

A few weeks ago I got obsessed with adult coloring books, after realizing that about half of the top bestsellers on Amazon fall into this category, and that even the boring ones are doing pretty well (top 1000 or so, any are in the top 100).

In contrast, my fiction is closer to 10,000, which means I’m selling about 10 copies a day. But fiction is hard work and takes a long time – adult coloring books should be much faster and easier to make, and potential will sell much better. If I can get into the top 100, that’s about a thousand sales a day. At $2 profit, that’s $60K a month.

Holy shit, right?

So this month I’m going to focus on making some of my own. I’ve hired some artists to help, and will also be pulling copyright free images from out of print books. That will let me produce much faster, most just using photoshop to make collages of artwork.

If you think these are fun ideas, please share the covers on Pinterest or social media. I plan to have these and others up on Amazon within a month.

cats    1453219_10156742442700790_1246677200078428738_n covernewAa cover2as cover


I also made a video talking about adult coloring books, formatting and production, and my publishing plans.

About Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a book designer with a Ph.D. in Literature. He's been featured on CNN and spoken at dozens of writing conferences around the world. These days he mostly writes young adult fantasy and science fiction, while helping authors build profitable publishing platforms. Find me
  • Lena Goldfinch

    I’ve been thinking about doing an adult coloring book of word doodles for a while, but was held back by my marginal doodling skills. I’ve hired out children’s picture book illustrations before (using Fiverr), and I know how to format books for CS, so why not hire out doodle art for this project too?? I’m in. Thanks for the nudge. 🙂

    Love the sample covers, especially the beard one! 🙂

    PS I’ve heard that some colorists like a white border around their images so they can cut them out and frame them. Who knew? So it could possibly be a desired feature to not print to the edge of the page.

    • I release A3 pdfs of my doodles for colouring through patreon with a white border. 😀

  • Brianna Nash

    Love this idea!!! How do you know how to format the book?

  • Brianna Nash

    Love this idea!!! How do you know how to format the book?

Pin It on Pinterest


Share This

Share this post with your friends!