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Children's Book Publishing... WOW?!

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MJ DeMarco

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Saw this at Costco...

WOW.

Over 200 million sold, the "Wimpy" series I'm guessing. Safe to say that Mr. Kinney is probably doing pretty good for himself.

Anyone here in this market?

I do recall seeing some threads but can't seem to find them.

IMG_0598.JPG
 

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Thoelt53

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The market is huge and saturated with thousands of shitty books. Some are so unbelievably bad.

I can’t imagine that a good, quality kids book with some decent marketing behind it wouldn’t do VERY well. Some of the better books I’ve gotten for my son appear to sell very well on Amazon.

How hard would it be to get a book into Barnes and Noble or another B&M bookstore if you have a proven record of online sales? Walmart too...

I had eyeballed the space for a while but lost focus on it. After my son was born I went on a kid book writing bender and have a bunch of rough drafts that I’ve done nothing with.

200M book sales is pretty incredible. Even if somehow he’s only making 50 cents per book, he’s still got f*ck you money and then some.
 

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Saw this at Costco...

WOW.

Over 200 million sold, the "Wimpy" series I'm guessing. Safe to say that Mr. Kinney is probably doing pretty good for himself.

Anyone here in this market?

I do recall seeing some threads but can't seem to find them.

View attachment 23688
Looks like a good market to digitize
 

MTF

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It's a great example of a long, long process. The author first published it online in 2004. Three years later, as a physical copy. Three years later, a movie based on the book was released. In the meantime, he continued writing sequels and now there are thirteen book in the series.

Children's books are a very good niche and you can make a lot of money without traditional distribution. The challenges are to find a great illustrator, identify current trends in the market, and of course, write a good story (it might be simple, but it still has to be good and convince both the parents and the child to read it).
 

ExaltedLife

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Wow that's amazing.
 

rollerskates

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The market is huge and saturated with thousands of shitty books. Some are so unbelievably bad.
There are a lot of markets out there filled with crap these days. I've been told that's subjective, though, and only my opinion, so I'm sure I'm just a snob. ;)

The challenges are to find a great illustrator, identify current trends in the market, and of course, write a good story (it might be simple, but it still has to be good and convince both the parents and the child to read it).
On my bucket list of some-day projects because I can illustrate it myself.
 

captainwes

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I actually have one complete children's story (with another storyboarded) with my wife as the illustrator. She's done art commissions for a few years now (banners at schools, business window painting, custom painted apparel).
I've considered the Kindle market only because of the ease of entry, we aren't sure if a physical book is better vs. digital.
I needed this motivation, a storm is rolling in tonight so we're trapped inside - time to get rough drafts out.
 

Eisenstein

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Anyone here in this market?
"I am". The first story is done and edited, the cover and the illustrations are in the making. I'll definitely read Jeff Kinney! Thank you for sharing/remembering :)
 

steelandchrome

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I can attest children's books are a HUGE market from first hand experience. My daughter is 6 years old and probably has 200+ books and gets new ones every month to keep reading. I really should use a library but when they are this age they like to own them and re-read over and over. She is getting into chapter books now and those cost more and we like to buy them better when sold in sets and not a single book so I would suggest anyone looking to do this write them in sets of 3-4 or more so the parents feel like the money is worth the time they will be read.
 

Brendan8450

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My day just past has had a celeb promoting her book. ...its a keep it at home book...
Nevertheless..it is out there..cartoons illustrations

Is there any way for a wespace storytime?
If you have stories they would be a shame to waste.

Find an outlet. Chapters are easy touch screen.
Hope someone on here jumps...
 

richRich

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while I've been researching about marketing my freelance business this week, I met a marketing guy who produced this recently:

Grabbling — A children's book by Austin L. Church

Immediately, I added to my Someday/Maybe list "Write a kid's book" :D

I find the landing page a really good fit considering how he sells the story and the illustrations. The checkout page might be a bit too simple, though?

Anyway, I suppose there might be quite some market for books like these: sell appealing topics (bravery, veganism, stoicism, minimalism...) to adults who then bring the books to the kids.

Digitalize it like this:
The Boat | SBS

And you are good on all fronts ✊
 

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Readerly

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I'm working on a middle-grade novel (the category for ages 8 to 12) called Prezzemolina, or, The Little Parsley Girl. The novel's based on a classic Italian folk tale.

Here's the jacket synopsis:

Prezzemolina is a headstrong loner who feels cursed by her weird name, which her struggling single mom once joked was bequeathed to her by fairies.

The morning before her twelfth birthday, Prezzemolina wakes to discover she's turned--from crown to toe--green. Horrified, she'd give anything to be "normal" once and for all.

Her mother, who's hiding a dark secret, won't help her. But when a gaggle of mysterious gray-suited ladies offer to grant Prezzemolina's wish, their bargain, despite the price she must pay, proves irresistible.

The ladies turn out to be the very same fairies that named her. They whisk her away to Fairyworld to be their slave.

There, she must use all her wits--and her magical affinity for parsley--to defeat not only the ravenous fairies, but also their mistress, a scheming sorceress named Lady Faye. If Prezzemolina fails, she'll be trapped in Fairyworld forever.​

In part, I'm writing it for my daughter, who's eight. I've hired a top-notch editor named Mark Kole to edit it. I'm currently working on a second draft. I plan to self-publish this spring.

If you have a kid in your life who might be interested, you can sign up here for a free ebook copy of Prezzemolina, which'll be available the first week it's out.

prezzemolina-cover-medium2.jpg
 

abrakamowse

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I am an illustrator, I have a book written but I was having not so much time to illustrate it.

I hope this year I can finish illustrating it. Nice thread. Maybe I will post some of my sketches on my thread when I have them.

I really don't like too much the book Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but because of the huge sales, I think I have to read it, there's always time to learn something new ... and my daughter has two or three books of the Wimpy Kid...
 
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MJ DeMarco

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You should write millionaire fastlane version for kids under 12 / parents.

Introduce them to money, capitalism and how the world actually works without swearing or complex language. I think that could be a million dollar best seller.
I'm exploring Unscripted for teens, discussing it with an educator now.
 

Veloce Grey

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I'm exploring Unscripted for teens, discussing it with an educator now.
I wanted to get my nephews (15/13, intelligent but generally bored at school) a copy of it or TMF, but having seen how conditioned they are to flick back and forward from media to media now I simply didn't think they'd read an actual non fiction book. A Tai Lopezesque youtube video perhaps which I've heard them imitate from the ads, but the habit of reading non fiction seems slightly lost on their generation given the competing options. It's like watching a relentless bombardment of temptations-they don't watch sport the way people did 20 years ago. It's watch a bit, send a snapchat, check instagram, watch a bit more. Leaving Wifi range can be a drama.

I'd still love to see a specially edited version and would be interested to see how it would do as a test run.

In terms of your original post, I was aware of the Wimpy Kid books and the numbers as they've been around for long enough and had movie promotion too but the numbers that shocked me were the youtube numbers for the various nursery rhyme stuff in the much younger age bracket. Babyshark/Pinkfong, Cocomelon etc the view counts are huge. e.g.

"monthly ranking of the most-viewed U.S. media creators across social video platforms. The ranking below covers November.
Although sports-related content makes a good showing with three of the top 10 spots, it’s kid-focused creator Cocomelon - Nursery Rhymes that leads with an impressive 1.9 billion views, coming solely from YouTube. Second place goes to the Buzzfeed behemoth Tasty with over 1.4 billion views across social video platforms."
 

Edwin Fernandez

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My wife is in this niche, but more towards the toddler age. She is self publishing on Amazon; Amazon prints the physical copies when the book is ordered and ships, the book costs the buyer $6.99, when it's all said and done she takes about $1 per book.

She found a great illustrator on Fiverr, working with him was tough. She/we went through many iterations due to the language barriers the illustrator just didn't quite understand what we wanted half of the time. I recall it was about $600 for a ~9 pages of illustration plus the cover.

She made about $100 so far, its been on the market about a year.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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I wanted to get my nephews (15/13, intelligent but generally bored at school) a copy of it or TMF, but having seen how conditioned they are to flick back and forward from media to media now I simply didn't think they'd read an actual non fiction book. A Tai Lopezesque youtube video perhaps which I've heard them imitate from the ads, but the habit of reading non fiction seems slightly lost on their generation given the competing options. It's like watching a relentless bombardment of temptations-they don't watch sport the way people did 20 years ago. It's watch a bit, send a snapchat, check instagram, watch a bit more. Leaving Wifi range can be a drama.
My next book is actually for this market... abbreviated bite-sized tidits of information consumable in short bursts. I recognize the opportunity as the younger set needs something swipe worthy, not War and Peace.

I can send you samples or do an illustration the way you want.
Thank you, can you post some here!? Maybe you can find other opportunity as well!
 

ZF Lee

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Saw this at Costco...

WOW.

Over 200 million sold, the "Wimpy" series I'm guessing. Safe to say that Mr. Kinney is probably doing pretty good for himself.

Anyone here in this market?

I do recall seeing some threads but can't seem to find them.

View attachment 23688
Wuuuuh!

I have the whole series!

If you want to peek at the childhood version of the SCRIPT, it is this.

The main character is basically an average kid who's torn between exploring outside norms (he does some attempts at entrepreneurship and inventing), family conflicts and the 7 sins lol.

I wrote a fanfic about this some time back, but I stopped halfway. For good reason too.

I started exploring tough topics such as independence of children and the balance between corporal measures and empathetic leniency. It was very wrong for a 14-15 year old boy like me to write stories on those things....

I'm exploring Unscripted for teens, discussing it with an educator now.
Then you better read the Wimpy Kid series. Puts you in the mind of an average SCRIPTED teen.

Also, do you know that they have a 'behind the scenes' book?



It talks about the entire development of the series, as well as the movies. Very eye-opening!
 

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G-Man

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My next book is actually for this market... abbreviated bite-sized tidits of information consumable in short bursts. I recognize the opportunity as the younger set needs something swipe worthy, not War and Peace.
Have you thought about doing it as a youtube series, or a youtube series that funnels to a book?
 

richRich

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I'm exploring Unscripted for teens, discussing it with an educator now.
Covey did this with his 7 habits for highly effective people, but I think it was just the book rewritten in a simplified language and I don't know know how successful it was.

Have you thought about transferring the message via comics? I've seen some really interesting comics examples recently with great imagery, stories and message.
 

abrakamowse

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Thank you, can you post some here!? Maybe you can find other opportunity as well!
Of course! Here there're some









I will post some more soon... if you want you can go to my website. I have some more illustrations there:

Portfolio

I think a project like that can be very helpful for kids, to begin to understand how money works so they don't get stuck on a 9-5 job (Like me :p )
 

GerTex

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If anyone is interested in this market also take a look at 'The Warrior Kid' series by Navy Seal Jocko Willink.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1250158613/?tag=tff-amazonparser-20

He has an amazing podcast as well and because of the success of the Warrior Kid series (my 11-year-old daughter loves his books) started a kids podcast as well.

Warrior Kid Podcast by Jocko DEFCOR Network on Apple Podcasts

Another one to consider no matter your political stance is Rush Limbaugh's history series which is actually REALLY good. He's sold a TON of copies to his audience and has quite a bit of cross over. Kids learn actual history in a fun and digestible manner.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1476755868/?tag=tff-amazonparser-20
 

edh

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I'm exploring Unscripted for teens, discussing it with an educator now.
Wow, Love this concept! Sign us up as reviewers if you need feedback, my 11 year old has such a strong entrepreneurial spirit, I think she would really enjoy something like this.

She published her first book when she was 5 ( Ok, Dad might have helped a little - but the story was ALL her ) and has a good feel for the process at this point.

And yea, we're a few days late for Valentine's Day, but I'll put my shameless plug in here anyway for her book, "Main Bear's First Valentine" - solid 5 star reviews, and it's free on Kindle Unlimited!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICS9OGS/?tag=tff-amazonparser-20
 

msufan

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YES! This would be incredible for starting conversations between parents and kids! Keep it clean, and include the types of things kids think about -- is it worth going to college (you could hammer the whole issue about taking out massive college loans is something the kids should not do without understanding what they are taking on and being sure they are getting a degree that is worthwhile), is it Fastlane for me to be a YouTuber or Twitch streamer (since SO MANY kids want to do these kinds of things, even before they have an idea or anything worthwhile to share), and so on. This is an awesome, big next idea for you to pursue IMHO!!
 

Blake_Writes

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This thread literally got me out of bed today. So, thanks to everyone who contributed here - it was exactly the motivation I needed at the perfect time. I've been floundering a bit in the desert of desertion, but pushing forward everyday. If you'd like a deeper dive on what I'm up to, I just posted my Progress Thread here.

I'm in the prep stage of a children's book while I grow my website to have an audience to sell the book to.
  • Least daunting is the book itself (although I do need an illustrator)
  • Most daunting is finding an audience and selling the book (I like Kickstarter - thoughts?)
Some specific replies to the thread:
@richRich those links are amazing. I love the sales page for Grabbling and agree with you on the checkout page. At least another image, right?
@Readerly your book sounds amazing! I just signed up for your list.
@abrakamowse your illustrations are stunning, @rollerskates let's see some of yours.
@ZF Lee definitely going to check out that BTS book for a little insight on process
@GerTex Warrior Kid looks like an excellent example of how to draft someone else's success

@Everyone - hit me up if I can help you with anything - Copywriting, Video Production, Promotion, Storytelling...
 

Blake_Writes

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I can attest children's books are a HUGE market from first hand experience. My daughter is 6 years old and probably has 200+ books and gets new ones every month to keep reading. I really should use a library but when they are this age they like to own them and re-read over and over. She is getting into chapter books now and those cost more and we like to buy them better when sold in sets and not a single book so I would suggest anyone looking to do this write them in sets of 3-4 or more so the parents feel like the money is worth the time they will be read.
What are some of your (and her) favorites?
Great thought on the bundle as well.
 

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