Adult Coloring Books: How To Get Started Publishing & Selling Adult Coloring Books, Artist Shares Expert Tips

How can someone get started creating and publishing adult coloring books? The trend is still going strong after the idea took off a few years ago. Artists have a new avenue to pursue in the evolving market of coloring books for grown-ups.

Morgan Carson is one such artist publishing adult coloring books. The 29-year-old just concluded her month-long Kickstarter campaign in October for the project she published, Her Coloring Book.

The initial goal for donations was $3,000, but the final total came to $8,861 with 149 backers. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Her Coloring Book is a niche coloring book that celebrates women and all that they embrace. The book boasts 23 pages of inspirational messages with illustrations of women in fantasy-like settings exemplifying peace and tranquility. As of this writing, Her Coloring Book is sold out.

Morgan believes in empowering artists as well as women. In the interview published here, she shares how she got started creating and publishing adult coloring books. Many artists are curious about what the first steps are in the whole process. After a little online research, no one has really shared tips on how to publish an adult coloring book.

Morgan reveals that it’s important for artists to find a niche when illustrating an adult coloring book to sell and publish.

“I believe it’s the most important piece of any business is to really discover what they are the best at, and who needs what they are creating,” Morgan says. “No different in a artist setting accept we often don’t know where to start asking these questions we just know it part of us. So, what I suggest is shift from artist to guardian of the project and see what it really wants to be. Crazy cartoons that are adult in nature or zen meditation for children with traumatic stress.”

Her Coloring Book: Adult Coloring Books No. 1 On Kickstarter
‘Her Coloring Book’ by Morgan Carson.

Support for Her Coloring Book was telling on Kickstarter. She had one of the highest funded adult coloring books to ever appear on the crowdfunding website. Morgan was “humbled” by the overwhelming response.

“Always humbling to see something you gave birth to become collaborative in nature,” she says. “I had my first super fan squeak as I handed her a coloring page designed just for her, and I promise to keep myself humble, it still feels wonderful to know the art is resonating with the women I care so deeply about.”

Morgan says that the first step artists must take when deciding to publish and sell an adult coloring book is determine whether it’s a hobby or a business venture.

“Is a hobby or a business? And to really dive into a theme that most excited you, think and dream about the journey your walking your audience through,” Morgan says.

Various processes can accomplish the goal of creating an adult coloring book to sell on the open market. Morgan explains that it can be done in one of two ways.

“Decide in your books dimensions, digitize and format book based on printing specs unless your only digital, design cover,” the artist advises. “Then print a proof for $150 and test it out. Things to consider are bindings, page weight, margins, and how it’s meant to be colored. Finding a good printing agent can help with printers because, honestly, they are a bit myopic and expect you to understand their language; small runs give no motivation to work through the process with you. You might pay a dollar more per book, but save a ton in the long run.”

In terms of publishing and finding a printer for adult coloring books, Morgan Carson says bindings is the biggest cost. She adds that it takes a bit of knowledge and research to successfully communicate with some printers.

“Basically, bindings is what is the biggest cost,” she shares. “Printers have their own language, so be prepared by knowing your paper, page count, style of binding, and cover and size of paper.”

Many artists are interested in knowing what upfront costs are associated with publishing an adult coloring book to sell. Morgan outlines the basic expenses an artist should be prepared for. She says to expect to put in at least $500 for design and proofing… and another $2,500 for your first round of books.

The Her Coloring Book artist has a few key tips for artists pursuing the adult coloring book profession.

“Believe in yourself, learn about marketing, build an email list, and love it. Love it so much that when you get frustrated your heart helps you through it,” Morgan urges other artists.

Morgan shares that among the best-selling coloring books for adults are mandalas and Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden.

She goes on to say that there’s plenty of room for “niche and personalized books. We all have room,” Morgan says.

Morgan doesn’t see this trend of coloring books for grown-ups slowing down anytime soon. She sees it becoming “stronger and more unique.”
It’s a way for art to become collaborative and more accessible to people who want to color in these beautiful illustrations.

Morgan Carson
Morgan Carson

When asked what an artist can expect in regards to investment return upon publishing and selling adult coloring books, Morgan says it’s “good if you understand how to market or you get a partner who does.”

Morgan Carson has other projects in the works. In addition to her pro-active approach to creating a community for all women around coloring and self-expression, she creates between 30 and 60 new pieces of art a month. There’s more to come from this insightful and talented artist.

[Photos Courtesy of Morgan Carson]

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