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Book printing for children's books is quite expensive compared to trade paperbacks. Children's books have to be illustrated in full color and you need to print thousands of them to make it economical. Some experts suggest that a self-published illustrated book will cost $10 per book through digital printing and $4 per book through offset printing. Large publishers pay around 50 cents a book for their illustrated children's books. This is because the average retail price of an illustrated children's book is less than $5. Children's books are usually sold through a distributor which adds to the cost.