Back on September 3, Amazon took the writing community by surprise by releasing its free Kindle Kids’ Book Creator software. The promise? Writers can now create and publish illustrated children’s eBooks for Kindle — even in landscape mode.
Then, two weeks later, Amazon released its first Kindle tablet specifically for children.
Now, let’s put 2 and 2 together:
The worlds largest bookseller is going all-in on children’s Kindle books….and they need content.
The opportunity is obvious. But it’s also time to take stock, and not rush headlong into publishing just anything. Now more than ever, craft is king, and your book must be good to gain any traction.
To help get you in the mind-frame to take full advantage of this opportunity the right way, here’s an excerpt from the introduction to our new online course Picture eBook Mastery:
Back in the day (and by “day”, we mean anything before about 2004), if you dreamed of publishing a children’s book, you had two options:
You worked hard on your craft, then submitted your book to publishers. And waited. You attended conferences and met editors and agents taking submissions. You mailed in your manuscript, and waited. If you had a very good book, excellent timing, and a large dollop of luck, you eventually got a call from an editor offering you a publishing contract. What a good day to be a children’s book writer! Throw a party!
Or you could self-publish. At that time, self-publishing involved loads of money and cadre of experts to help with the design, printing and distribution of your book. And space in your garage to store your inventory. And months convincing distributors to place your book in stores. If you managed to get one or two prime reviews, you might make back your original investment within a year. Another reason to throw a party.
Then in 2007 Amazon released the Kindle.
The naysayers said eBooks would never catch on. They were wrong. They said kids would never read books on a screen. They were wrong. They said you could never easily provide quality illustrated books for an eReader.
Here’s what the KDP Kids’ Book Creator means to you: if you dream of publishing an illustrated book for children, if you want to reach kids with your work and impact their lives, now you can. You can do it easily, instantly, and without spending your life savings. Children’s books are at their very core works of art, and now anyone — regardless of income or connections or location — can be an artist.
But there is a difference between creative dabbling and producing art. Before you put your work in front of the world’s children, please commit to two things:
Never forget your craft. Even though you can produce an illustrated eBook on the Kids’ Book Creator in minutes, it takes a lot longer to assemble the text and illustrations that go into the final product. Spend time learning how to write for children (if you need help with your writing, go to www.cbiclubhouse.com). Carefully craft your illustrations. If you’re not an illustrator, get the best illustrations you can afford. We’ve given you ways of finding illustrations if you’re on a tight budget, but still consider how you can make those illustrations unique and of the highest quality. Self-publishing is not just for the rich, but it is the responsibility of every book creator to put out the best product possible.
Plan on marketing your work. Why put all that effort into a book that no child will ever see? Self-promotion is a fact of life in today’s world, regardless of how you get published. So commit to online marketing, and if your book is good, it will get attention. Watch the videos with our marketing experts included in this course to get you started.
In the last 10 years, self-published books have gained legitimacy. This doesn’t mean traditional publishing is dead, or bad. It simply means that you now have options. And as of 2014, 50% of Americans own an eReader or tablet. So next time you’re in a crowded place, look around. Half the people you see could potentially buy your book for their children, grandchildren, or themselves. Wow!
It’s a great day to be a children’s book writer. Come join the party!
For more on how to take full advantage of this remarkable opportunity, visit http://pictureebookmastery.com/kindle
Tags: amazon, ebook, kindle