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I've just self-published my first middle reader (target audience 5th-7th grade readers), despite all the advice I'd pretty much received from everyone. Is it really one of the most difficult markets to break into?

My real question for everyone is: This genre called to me. I felt like was a book I had to write. But, because of this drive I realize I'm agreeing to have potentially light/no sales. Have you had any passion projects/books that you knew wouldn't really sell? (Or am I being horribly pessimistic about this  :))
 

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Ha, yep.  Passion projects that almost definitely won't sell is the story of my life, so you are not alone  :D  I just think it's all good as long as you are making the projects you want to make.  If your goal was to make a living writing, then it's harder to justify those passion projects.  But if your goal is to write exactly what you want to write, then you are doing perfectly.  A realistic idea of the outcome is good to have, it's just, does that have to be a downer?  Because writing this book sounds pretty amazing to me.  And, who knows, you might get pleasantly surprised if it starts to sell.  Just don't spend that money before it comes in.
 

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No one can say for sure, but it's true that children's books are still very hard for self publishers. The market very much favors traditional publishers.
 

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The problem with middle grade and to a lesser extent teen and young adult is you cannot realistic market directly to your ultimate reader. You have to go through the parents...

To get to the parents, Scholastic books is a huge vehicle and this is traditional pub domain.  The only other way is to get on the radar of librarians which is not that easy either.

My advice is facebook ads...aimed at parents looking for books for their children.

Mark
 

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I have four MG scifi novels. Definitely a passion project.

Forget about trying to sell the ebook editions - I'd recommend using Amazon Ads to sell the paperbacks. Target the ASINs of similar books.

 

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I have a middle grade portal fantasy passion project. About half way through, the business part of my brain stepped on my heart and said, "You won't make any money with this, let alone sell it." And that's where it sits as of a year ago. I think it was the rumors and posts from all over the place that influenced my negativity about it. IOW, I listened to conspiracy rather than follow my heart. What does your heart and instincts tell you? You just might have a hit on your hands and not know it.
 

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Rumors? Conspiracy? Where?

Look, the harsh truth is, children's books are a hard sell for indies. It's just the truth. If you think to make any money from writing, there are other books to write. If it's a book of the heart, a passion project, and you accept that you'll make few sales, and work hard for them, don't let anyone or anything stop you.

There's loads of people out there trying to sell you on the idea you too can be a Kindle millionaire. It's not impossible, but it takes a ton of hard work, more money than most have, and the ability to write stuff that will sell. That typically won't include children's books, poetry, memoirs and nonfiction about stuff that's already done to death and by better SEO people.
 

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Parents/Grandparents/aunts/uncles don't have time to vet every book they buy for kids, so more often than not they just buy whatever is most popular. Or kids ask their parents for books which everyone else is talking about. Or people ask the bookstore employee what kids in age (x) are reading.

Hence, tough market to break in to.
 
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