Update: Publishing a Kindle Ebook

Sigh…. so much for me allowing you to follow along with the live progress.

As my son would say, “Worst blogger ever” — ha ha…

The Kindle ebook came out the first week in February (almost 3 weeks ago). I can’t remember when exactly. It is a non-fiction book for adults with a pen name and so in some ways, perhaps not that instructive to folks looking to self-publish children’s books. I have not done much promotion wise yet, having been busy with family responsibilities. The book has made some sales (I can tell by the Kindle sales ranking), but I don’t know how many. Bookbaby’s account information is a couple months behind Amazon’s accounting because Amazon only delivers the information to Bookbaby at the end of the month (or is it end of the quarter?). This is probably good and bad.

The good part of not having daily access to Amazon sales results is it keeps you from obsessing and logging in to check it every hour. I actually know one recently published Kindle author who told me that “It has never gotten this late in the day without a single sale before.” Wow….. now that is obsessed.

But, without daily access you can’t see the results of promotions you are doing.

So, now I am thinking about the children’s story that I have most ready to publish, which is “Smelly Ellie, Second Place Sister.” This was/is to be the second book in my chapter book series, Friends Along the Way — which as you can see, if you follow the link, at the moment has only one title.

While Poster Girl was a good story and Smelly Ellie, I think even better, I learned through publishing Poster Girl that chapter books are a tough way to make money. Let me restate that. It’s tough to even break even publishing children’s chapter books.

Poster Girl sellsl for $4.99, the highest price which I thought was competitive. When you sell through Amazon, they pay you 40% of the price — so that’s about $2 a copy. And you have to pay for postage to get the book to Amazon. While I was able to print each copy of Poster Girl for a bit under a dollar, I only got the price that low by printing 5000 copies. I still have a large percent of the 5000 copies and when Amazon orders new copies, you can imagine how low my profit margin is when I take $2 per copy and pay for postage.

What this has meant is that Smelly Ellie went through a complete critique from my writing group and all its revisions and then, I couldn’t really justify paying an illustrator to illustrate it, based on the balance sheet for Poster Girl which was distinctly in the red.

But the cost of publishing on Kindle can be pretty much as low as you want it to be. I think it’s time for me to get Smelly Ellie “out there”. I’ve been reading the forums at AbsoluteWrite.com and while there are many authors of fiction, both children and adult who are having no luck self-publishing on Kindle, there are others who have gained a following. Some have gained a following through a lot of self-promotion and social media, but not everyone who is successful promotes that heavily. Some seem to do well, simply based on word of mouth, with every month their sales growing from the previous month.

And, I mean, what would be the downside to me self-publishing Smelly Ellie on the Kindle? I will need to pay to have a cover illustration created and perhaps have a few illustrations done for the inside. I haven’t decided yet, whether to spend $99 to use BookBaby again. But otherwise, I really see no way that Smelly Ellie, Second Place Sister ever makes it to readers and frankly I think there are a lot of younger sisters out there who would LOVE this story.

Stay tuned…..

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1 Comment

  • At 2012.03.24 02:44, Reine Ackermann said:

    You have no idea how inspiring your blog is to me…

    BIG thanks :)

    p.s. I registered with BookBaby earlier today

    (Required, will not be published)