Sunday, February 17, 2013

20,000 Self-published Kid's Books Sold!

I haven't posted in a while, but I have some news I think is worth sharing. January I had my first 2,000 book month and just a couple days ago I sold my 20,000th kid book. For those who are interested, here's some of my stats:

Books given-away: over 250k (most short stories)
Percentage of books sold on Amazon: over 95%
Printed copies: less than 200
First sale: June 26th 2010
Books sold in 2010 and 2011 combined: 8691
Books sold in 2012: 8746

This isn't phenomenal success, but it's pretty good for an indie Kidlit author. So I figured I'd offer my best (okay, my only) advice for other kidlit writers trying to generate some sales.

There's no sure-fire review blog or advertising sites for kidlit. Twitter and Facebook don't help much. The only thing I've found that really helps promote is to publish free short stories and tack on a preview of your full-length books at the end.

Amazon's KDP self-pubbing platform only allows you to set the price as low as 99¢, not free. So you have to use Smashwords or to upload your short stories to sites like B&N and Apple. Then wait, sometimes months for Amazon to price match.

It's been getting much harder to get Amazon to set a book to free, but it's worth the effort.

And don't discount the roll luck plays. After the basics (good writing, cover, description, etc), luck is key. But every book you release, even the short stories, are like getting another raffle ticket. With enough tickets, and enough time, you're bound to get lucky, eventually.