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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a writer of childrens books and YA books I am wondering how effective a reading tool the kindle is with kids and early teens. I know I might be willing to buy my own child a Kindle if they were avid enough a reader. If I am anything to go by then I think my parents would have appreciated the device if only to make more space for clothes in my suitcase. But of the 4 million plus Kindles out there how many are own exclusively by kids who are active and regular downloaders? I have a couple of ebooks out there are on Kindle and I am finding them hard to promote as they are for younger and teen readers, whereas most of these devices are seemingly owned by adults. I have sold a few copies in the couple months they have been out there, but I don't think they are easy to find and finding places to post to the target market is very hard.

Any other middle grade and YA writers having the same issues?
 

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You might want to post this in the book corner, you may get more responses.

But, I will answer anyway. ;D I don't have a handheld Kindle, my family uses the PC version and my children (aged 10, 7 and 3) do read on it. There are probably more children's/middle grade books on there than my own.

Someday I will purchase a kindle and I'm sure it'll be absconded by one of my children. I know that my 10 year old son has already asked for a kindle for Christmas. Unfortunately Santa only brought him an IPod Nano and a couple of paperbacks, but he was happy. He's already asking for one again for his birthday which is coming up this November. I better get crackin', :D
 

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I've been wondering about this issue, too, since I write YAs. Of course, YA is a genre that a lot of adults read, too, however, and sales numbers don't tell you who is reading a book.
 

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Welcome to KindleBoards, Storymagus.  I've moved your thread to the Writers' Cafe, our board where KB authors can share experiences.

Thanks for joining KindleBoards!

Betsy
KB Moderator
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's great that some kids are reading direct on the screen but I fear this may not be the majority. I think marketing an ebook to kids and YA readers is incredibly hard. I am thinking of paper publishing myself and trying to go it alone? I have had good feedback from agents about all my works, and some genuine interest, so I think with hard work I could make something of the 5 books I have written. It's just that we all want an agents approval I guess.

 

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I've also been having a discussion about this on a Goodreads thread. Children's books don't seem to be taking off in the same way that books for adults are. I've had some good reviews for my Leon Chameleon PI books, but they have not been followed by good sales - haven't sold any on Amazon UK, and all my other books have sold much better there than on Amazon US. :'( Let's hope that Santa is making plans  :D
 

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I think the market in Kindle Kids is lagging at the moment. It's an expensive piece of gear for a kid and I think the perception that it needs a credit card is hurting.

Because we're early adopters in my house, all four of us have kindles now -- thanks to the round of May birthdays. My 13 and 16 yr olds each have their own kindles and are being extra nice and helpful in order to earn gift cards to keep them loaded with new reading material.

Of course we have so darn many print books in the house that they're as likely to be reading paper as kindle, but I think the handwriting is on the wall.

A) They love the devices because they're easy to use and have a huge cool factor.
B) They love being able to buy direct from Amazon without having to wait for shipping and without having to wait for Dad or Mom to take them to the bookstore for their next fix.
C) I'm seeing that KND has a new query for "Free books for Kids"

As the prices on the devices fall into the range that parents can support, I foresee more and more of the kindle YA and Middle Grades getting taken up.
 

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Ryne Douglas Pearson said:
My 11 year-old daughter purchased her own Kindle with money and gift certificates she received as birthday gifts. It's tied to our Amazon account, so when we purchase something for her we direct it to her individual Kindle. She seems to really enjoy it and is definitely starting to enjoy reading more--key word 'enjoy'.
This.

Funny how a little think like 'control' can take reading from "chore" (you have to read THIS book) to "enjoy" (you mean I can read whatever i LIKE?).
 

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I'm a middle grade author, too. We have two Kindles in our house that both my kids (ages 11 and 13) are free to use. At first, both of them loved reading on Kindle for the cool factor. Pretty soon, though, they reverted back to print books. My son (the 13 year old) is a non-stop reader and he says he doesn't retain books as well when he reads them on Kindle. Something about the sameness of the design (my theory) or the fact that his brain is conditioned to think of material he reads on screens as disposable (his theory).

From what I can tell, as of now there's a good/decent market for YA ebooks and virtually no market for middle grade and younger ebooks. But I firmly believe that's going to change as ereaders improve and prices drop. The NY Times wrote a huge article this January about how tons of kids got Kindles for Christmas; school libraries that can afford them are buying multiple ipads. And younger and younger kids are getting phones that work as readers.

So far I only have one middle grade novel out, published by a traditional publisher. But in the next month or so I'm self-publishing an e-series of stories for younger readers (ages 6-10). My hope is that when the market for this age group starts growing, I'll be ready and waiting!

Maybe we KB kid-book writers can help each other with marketing. For example, I know there's a KB list of general review sites. It would be great to have a list of sites that review independently published kids books. I'm going to start putting together a such a list over the next week or so and will post it here so others can add to it.
 

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I'm a MG/YA author, and I've noticed that my YA short story sells about 12:1 on the Kindle vs. Nook, but my middle grade mystery sells evenly between the two devices.  Makes me wonder if more parents are buying their younger readers Nook colors?
 

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I'm expecting that after Pottermore launches this fall we'll see a lot more kids wanting readers.  And, after this year's holiday season we'll see more kids owning them, especially if one or more of the readers end up priced at $99 or below.

Also, at my son's HS (it's private) they will be issuing iPads, which I'm assuming kids will use as a replacement to textbooks.  The iPad is loaned to the student for all four years and upon graduation the student can purchase it at a discount.  I'm sure we'll be paying for that in tuition,  but regardless, it's pretty cool.  :D
 

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My 8 year old gets to use mine for his afternoon reading time. He loves it, both the uniqueness and the convenience. I'm fairly sure he'll get his own for his birthday.

I think kids are actually a very logical target for kindles, now that the prices have dropped so much. My kindle can take much more abuse than paper, honestly. That child can bend up a paperback in ways that make me very sad, and he does it without thinking, while he's concentrating on reading. We're working on that issue, but he hands my kindle back and it looks just the same, I love that.
 

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Tmarchini said:
I'm a MG/YA author, and I've noticed that my YA short story sells about 12:1 on the Kindle vs. Nook, but my middle grade mystery sells evenly between the two devices. Makes me wonder if more parents are buying their younger readers Nook colors?
I read something about amazon coming out with a color kindle soon, but didn't see anything about cost.
 
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