Why it’s so hard to be a Children’s Book writer

Being a Children’s Book writer is extremely difficult, far more than any other type of writer

It’s really tough to be a Children’s Book writer for the following reasons

  1. Absolutely anyone can write a children’s book
    1. A Historical Fiction novel is usually 200 to 500 pages and requires a few years of research and writing
    2. Even less research intensive book genres requires 3 months to a year to write a book
    3. A Children’s Book can be 10 to 50 pages and can be written in a month or less
      1. There is no great requirement for accuracy or research
  2. Absolutely everyone and their mother is writing a children’s book
    1. Because it is so straightforward to write a Children’s Book
    2. Because there are huge successes like Harry Potter
    3. Everyone jumps into writing children’s books
  3. Kindle Store is the biggest ebook store, but there are not very many children or parents buying children’s books in the Kindle Store
    1. As strange as it seems, there are hardly any buyers for Children’s Books in the Kindle Store
  4. Paper books still dominate children’s books
    1. Perhaps one reason Kindle Store sees very few sales for children’s books is that it is still dominated by Paper books
  5. Children’s Books are heavily segmented by age and grade, as opposed to other genres
    1. This is one of the biggest killers
    2. As there are different books for babies, toddlers, young children, middle grade children, teenagers, and older teenagers
    3. As the books are sometimes even divided by school grade levels
    4. An already small market is further sub divided into tiny markets
    5. You are often writing a book which is aimed at one-tenth of the children’s books market
      1. And remember that it’s a small genre to begin with
  6. There are very few promotional venues for Children’s Books
    1. As ebook sales are very low, it doesn’t make financial sense for promotion companies to build products for promoting children’s books
    2. Additionally, children’s book authors are not easy to work with because they came into this market thinking they are going to be making money like Harry Potter
  7. Most Children’s Books are short, and it’s hard to convey value for money
    1. One of the big advantages ebooks have over paperback books is that they can be much cheaper
    2. A 200 page romance novel in ebook format can be $0.99 or $2.99 and that is much more compelling than a paperback at $11
    3. However, a 20 page children’s book in ebook format at $2.99 is not very compelling
  8. Majority of Children’s Books authors think it’s very easy to write children’s books
    1. Everyone comes in thinking there is an Easy Button
    2. Then the ebooks produced are not high quality
    3. Which means the ebooks don’t sell
  9. Majority of Children’s Books authors think it’s easy or straightforward to write the next Harry Potter
    1. No one ever does research into the time and effort put in by the bestselling authors
    2. Everyone wants the same results as bestselling authors
    3. This is particularly true of children’s book authors because you don’t even have to write a 200 page book, you can just write a 30 page kids book
  10. A significant portion of children’s book sales are gifts and there is no easy way to gift ebooks
    1. You buy a paperback book as a gift and you’re done
    2. With an ebook there is no easy way to know what ereader or reading app the person uses
    3. An ebook doesn’t have any ‘physical heft’ to it, and doesn’t look good as a gift
    4. Gifting an ebook ruins the element of surprise if you do it beforehand, and leaving it last minute is risky
    5. Books are one of the most gifted items and ebooks can not compete with physical books
  11. Kids are shifting more to video games, TV, movies, cartoons and other mediums of entertainment
    1. Because of a combination of factors such as shorter attention spans, slow advancement of ebook technology, high prices of ebooks from big name authors, rapid advancement of games, advent of new technologies such as virtual reality
    2. We are seeing reading time for children slowly decrease
    3. That means less book sales
  12. The complete and utter lack of quality control in most ebook stores scares readers away from ebooks
    1. Perhaps the final nail in the coffin is that the ebook stores do zero quality control and let in every ebook
    2. The flood of unpolished low quality ebooks hurts the relatively small percentage of well written and high quality ebooks

Children’s Books are by far the toughest market to do well in. Paradoxically, they are the easiest to get into

What makes everything worse is that the massive success of some book series, such as Harry Potter, creates a very wrong image that writing Children’s Books is easy and quickly leads to massive success

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