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48 Days to Printer
107 Days to Book Launch – March 19, 2016
Today I had a telephone call with a well established author to discuss Children book marketing ideas for middle grade readers. She had some very sobering statistics as to how well books sell for the average Indie (Independent) author. A reasonable expectation she said for a new author is to make a couple of hundred dollars the first year. One author she had talked with, Susan Kaye Quinn who is a bestselling author for YA (started out writing for MG) said that “Almost every indie MG (middle grades) author I know hasn’t yet made back their initial investment.” The investment she was talking about was less than one thousand dollars and she meant getting a return on that investment over a period of years not just one.
The author I was talking with said that she herself averages selling about two books a month for her middle school books. She then told me that she has moved from writing middle grade fiction to adult fiction for a number of reasons but one certainly was because it is more profitable.
So that should be enough gloom and doom for the day. I know that I have a rosy image that I will do better than that but the evidence certainly doesn’t substantiate such magical thinking.
I have already stated this but sharing again. The problem with children’s books is that until children get into the YA (young adult) category they do not buy books themselves. Parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians do. Teachers and librarians are on limited budgets and tend to buy only books from traditional publishers that they find in the trade journals they subscribe to. This pretty much means I need to connect with parents and grandparents who tend to buy books as presents for birthdays and Christmas.
Soooo – somehow I need to present my book as the perfect Birthday Book for an eight to ten year old! For the moment that seems to be my greatest lead. For awhile I thought it would be going through the pet industry because the book is about a dog – but it’s a magical dog not a real one so I’m thinking that is not such a great fit. Anyway will be putting on my thinking cap to see how I can break into the birthday market.
Would like to share that Susan Kaye Quinn (mentioned above) has a page on her website for writers. It is good. I am listening to her free 30 minute video on 10 Ways to Survive Indie Publishing and is worth a listen.
My last bit of wisdom for the day comes from an article I read today by Jane Friedman. She stated that the difference between building a following of a nonfiction book and a fiction book is that fiction requires you have a book to market. Nonfiction books you can build your following with white papers, expert interviews, etc. based on the profession you are writing from. With fiction unless you actually have a book you are not an established authority on writing fiction. Makes sense.