Self-Publishing Children’s Books on Kindle - Ebooks in 2013

So a year ago I did not have any children’s books on Kindle. Today, I have four shown here (hopefully):

My most recent title Mattie Monster is NOT Tired is a slightly different approach for me.

You see normally I write the story I want to tell, then get feedback from others and then publish. This time I still wrote the story I wanted to tell. It was called Joey Edwards is NOT Tired. It was a story about a boy who is not tired. His mother sends him to bed where he continues to play with his toys. She says “No toys in bed”…. so he turns to his imaginary friend to play with. Back and forth the mostly good-natured parent-child bedtime struggle goes.

I wrote the story years ago and submitted it to traditional publishers. It came back with a few favorable comments. The editors who liked the story, said they still wouldn’t publish it because they believed parents wouldn’t buy a book that might encourage misbehaving at bedtime. When I began publishing books on Kindle, I briefly considered the story, but felt something was missing from it.

Then I sat in on a webinar on writing Kindle books for kids. The webinar host encouraged people to look at the current Bestselling Children’s Books on Kindle and look for trends, popular topics.

It didn’t take a genius to spot, at Number 4 was:

and then around number 22 or 23, there was:

Monsters — children like monsters, or at least books about monsters. In fact, in case we missed it, the webinar person even listed good topics for kids books and included monsters in the list.

So…. I had this bedtime story about a child who wasn’t sleepy. Why not turn that child into a monster? The truth is, don’t we as parents feel that this is EXACTLY what happens each night? We have this child, whom we love and we want them to go to bed and to sleep and they turn into this monster, who simply refuses to give us the break we need and go to sleep.

In fact, this syndrome and frustration is so common, that there was the runaway bestseller,

But I digress. In the interest of marketability, I changed my main character from a human boy to a little monster. And… I went one further. I looked at common names. I wanted a name that began with an ‘M’, but it should be a popular name, because parents whose child had that name would be more likely to buy the book. Matthew was the number 4 name in 2005, a year that would mean children are currently age 7. And “Mattie” sounds like “Maddie” which is a girl’s name.

I went even further (being completely honest) in looking for ways to make people inclined to purchase this book. I decided to price it at 99 cents. And then I chose a cover design that would emulate this one:
Do you think I was too obvious? Both books have a brown background with a gradiant (gradual color change) and then they have the title in green and a green monster on the cover. Beyond that, my book cover is 100% original.

See the story is still what I wanted to write, original and unaffected by other’s books. But the packaging of the book — title, illustrations, cover, all are completely based on what is currently selling.

We’ll see how it does.

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