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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
January I had my first 2,000 book month and sometime in the wee hours of the morning 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 sold on Amazon: over 95%
Print copies: less than 200
First sale: June 26th 2010
Books sold in 2010 and 2011 combined: 8691
Books sold in 2012: 8746

Best (okay, only) advice for kidlit writers trying to get some sales: There's no sure-fire review or advertising sites for kidlit. Twitter and facebook don't help. The only thing you can do that really helps promote is it publish free short stories and tack on a preview of your full-length books.

Kidlit authors hang in there, there's light at the end of that tunnel--I swear I can see it way up ahead!
 

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Wow, what great stats! I'm struggling with the promo side of things exactly for the reasons that you cite. It's very hard to get the word out there, and even harder to get a book into a kid's, rather than an adult's, hands. Glad to hear it can be done, though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone. My sales are dragging today, but I don't think anything could bring me down!

Christopher Bunn said:
That's very encouraging. How many kidlit titles do you have?
Really just 3--plus lots of short stories. I got lucky a few times. First, this book's done really well: http://www.amazon.com/Super-Zombie-Juice-Mega-ebook/dp/B007NJQZJG even though it's basically the same thing as the non-graphic version, just with a few changes and some horrible stick figures (that kids seem to love).

Also, I've hit the big time with two of my free shorts. If you can giveaway 20k+ free books in a month, that goes a long way towards getting some paid sales.

I think after the basics (good writing, cover, description, etc), luck is the #1 key. Every book you release, even the short stories is sorta like getting another raffle ticket. With enough tickets and enough time, you're bound to get lucky, eventually.
 

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MJAWare said:
January I had my first 2,000 book month and sometime in the wee hours of the morning I sold my 20,000th kid book.
Congratulations, those are great figures! I have one children's novel and it doesn't sell anywhere near as many copies as my YA books. I've almost given up on it. It's a bit soul destroying though as it's had some good reviews.

Your idea of posting free shorts with an excerpt to the novel is genius :) Do you publish them as individual shorts or as a collection? And what sort of length are they?
 

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Very nice to see that you have been able to sustain this over time. The shorts suggestion is a great one.

Interesting about the graphic novel. Were things already taking off at the point you released it or do you feel like having an illustrated version tapped into a market/audience you were not previously reaching?
 

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Your post is so timely and encouraging. I just had my first free promo with pretty good success that translated into ZERO paid sales. I only have one epubbed, book, though. I do have a traditionally published children's book on Amazon, too, that is doing well but it is in the children's grief genre, so more specific. Thanks for sharing. Great job!

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Shalini Boland said:
Congratulations, those are great figures! I have one children's novel and it doesn't sell anywhere near as many copies as my YA books. I've almost given up on it. It's a bit soul destroying though as it's had some good reviews.
I know where you are coming from. If I could write anything I'd pick a more popular category. Alas, Kidlit is all I have in me (maybe a bit of YA, too).
Shalini Boland said:
Your idea of posting free shorts with an excerpt to the novel is genius :) Do you publish them as individual shorts or as a collection? And what sort of length are they?
I do three in each ebook. Anywhere from 500 words to 5k. I try for 5-6k per ebook. Any less than that and some people complain, even if it is free. No Way Out has been my bestseller for the last six months or so.

Steven Stickler said:
Very nice to see that you have been able to sustain this over time. The shorts suggestion is a great one.

Interesting about the graphic novel. Were things already taking off at the point you released it or do you feel like having an illustrated version tapped into a market/audience you were not previously reaching?
I'd promoted Super Zombie Juice as a MG/YA cross-over almost out of necessity--it was the only way to get bloggers to review it. I was selling 100-200 a month, when I decided to try a "Wimpy Kid" inspired cover. I just drew up the cover myself and when I saw it, I realized I had to add some illustrations to the book.
Rather than changing the old book, I just took out a few of the big words, reworked it a tiny bit and released it as a new book. It immediately took off, with daily sales out passing the original version after about 3 days.

I thought I had a recipe for success and released Zack & Zoey with 50 professional illustrations. Good reviews, but sells about a 100 copies on a good month--it's all about luck!
 

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Hey Mike, I've been waiting for a success story / big milestone thread started by you! And here it is, woo-hoo!!  :D

Congratulations of the well-deserved success. I know how diligent you are about the writing and publishing process.
 
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