Self publishing help needed

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schachtw
Posts: 98
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:15 pm

Self publishing help needed

Post by schachtw » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:15 pm

Bogleheads:

My wife has written and has associated illustrations for a children’s book. We need help and advice on self publishing and printing.

Any help and assistance is greatly appreciated.

GCD
Posts: 553
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:11 pm

Re: Self publishing help needed

Post by GCD » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:48 pm

So in my eternal quest to fund my minor children's IRAs...

My kids wrote a couple childrens books and we put them on Amazon. The process isn't very difficult. https://www.amazon.com/gp/seller-accoun ... =200260520.

What I discovered is that you are in charge of marketing with self-publishing. There is a ton of junk out there, written by every idiot (or child pushed by an overenthusiastic parent :wink: ) that thinks they are the next Ernest Hemingway. I did no marketing (and obviously neither did they at age 10/12) so the sales were dismal. You will have to figure out ways to market your books. Amazon won't do this. Your book will be on the website available for purchase, but nobody will know about it.

Other than relatives, only one person ever bought one of my kids' books. They were actually pretty good by kids standards. We donated their books to their school library and we were somewhat surprised to find out that my son's book had a waiting list of 10+ students to check it out. This was not due to his personal marketing to his friends, I think it had more to do with the fact that it was a fictional Minecraft story and the school library didn't have many Minecraft books. The point being that even though the book was legitimately popular with other kids his age, sales were nonexistent due to lack of marketing.

I have a friend who self-publishes. A couple years ago he told me he was making about 1K/month from his books. At the time he had 3 out, now he has about 6-7. He is a professional shooter. A former Federal Air Marshal, U.S. Marine and local SWAT cop. He recently placed first in a national competition. His full time job is teaching shooting classes around the country. At one point he was on the road 50% of the time. He appeared on Top Gun on the History Channel. He has a podcast and a show on the Outdoor Channel. So he has a large cult following and all of that activity can be considered marketing I suppose. For him, the books are just part of his income stream. His other life activities serve to support and market his books. I think it's reasonable to argue that he is a part-time writer and full time marketer/publicist as far as the writing game is concerned.

So getting a book in print is really not difficult at all. Getting people to buy it without the support of a major publishing house is another matter entirely.

I once read about a guy who did a guerilla marketing campaign. He went around and put his self-published book on the shelf in the proper section at a couple dozen Barnes and Nobles. The B&N people had a fit when people tried to buy it because it wouldn't scan right. Apparently there was enough interest that B&N actually stocked his book. Who knows if that would work twice?
Last edited by GCD on Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

Beensabu
Posts: 194
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Self publishing help needed

Post by Beensabu » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:20 pm

There are a lot of resources to be found through here:

http://www.kidlit411.com/2013/12/kidlit ... shing.html

Do check out the Authors Beware section to avoid vanity presses and scams.
"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next."

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