Tag Archives: juvenile

Amazon’s KDP Kids

If you’ve ever considered self-publishing a children’s picture book or a chapter book (which also has a number of illustrations), you know the cost can be out of most people’s reach. Amazon has developed a program that helps you create and market a children’s book without having to spend a huge amount of money.

KDP Kids is the new children’s-focused illustrated and chapter book category in the Kindle Store. Amazon is also offering the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator for the creation and production of kids’ digital titles in a Kindle format. Authors can prepare their prose or illustrated books, upload them to KDP Kids and use a variety of filters for age, grade and reading levels to place the title and attract the specific customer leveled for their titles.

KDP Kids authors will also have access to marketing tools such as Countdown Deals and Free Book promotions. They are also eligible to enroll in Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s e-book subscription service, and the Kindle Lending Library.

Advances for Children’s Book and Juvenile Authors #getpublished #pubtip

So often, I am asked what kind of an advance an author might expect.

Really, this is a question for which even your literary agent won’t dare to hazard a guess. The reason is because advances can vary so wildly depending on a host of factors outside their control…and even the control of the acquisitions editor.

However, there are some ranges that can be taken as averages. And the averages are different depending on the type of manuscript you’re offering.

So today, I’ll tell you some averages for children’s and juvenile authors. Over the next several days, we’ll look at other types of books from YA through adult fiction and adult nonfiction. The rates given here are for first books from authors who have not yet published with a traditional house.

A children’s picture book, which in final print form has 32 pages with an illustration on every page/for every two-page spread, will garner an advance of $8,000-$12,000. The author splits this with the illustrator, and the illustrator usually receives a larger portion of that advance. Royalty rates are also split, so the author will receive a 3.5%-6% royalty rate.

Easy readers, which are about the same length as the longest (atypical) picture book, generate an average advance of $5,000 to $8,000. Since neither the advance nor the royalty rate of 7-10% are split with the illustrator, they go fully to the author’s share.

Middle grade books, also called chapter books, will range higher on average. Any real range can’t be nailed down in part because the middle grade books parse down into so many categories, grade levels, and whether they are intended for academic or mainstream audiences. Generally, however, a range for the advance might fall between $6,000 and $20,000 depending on whether the author has other publication credits for different age groups, whether the work is a series, and other factors.

Young adult will be considered in the next blog post.

Profits Up 83% at HC Due to Juvenile Authors

Citing e-books as a major cause, operational efficiencies and higher revenue in general, profits rose 83% at HarperCollins for the third quarter of fiscal year 2014. The total reached $53 million, up from $29 million the same time last year. 

Sales and profits were driven by the Divergent series, which sold more than 8 million units that quarter. The children’s division in general was also cited as a major reason for this jump, and the increase was spectacular even without the impact of the Divergent series. 

This is great news for authors writing for juvenile readers. The trend across all juvenile titles for all publishers, including the hot children’s book market and the strong chapter book market, is for increasing sales and bigger profits.

Writer’s Resource is one of the few places where authors can find in-depth, experienced assistance with their juvenile works. Email or call today to discuss how your project can take advantage of this firestorm!

Juvenile Publishing Requires Unique Approach

At the Bologna publishing conference, a panel spoke about children’s publishing. It noted that a “nimble” approach was required…meaning that publishers had to be quick with distributing apps and other digital components to attract and engage readers.

One of the primary points to come out was that branding is a big deal even within juvenile arenas. No one can simply wait for Apple or Amazon to pick their product or app from the slew of incoming projects. Instead, publishers need to grab new opportunities for combining forces.

One of the newest things I’ve noticed lately is groups of authors teaming up to offer package deals on books. For a set price, usually equaling $0.99 for each book in the package, buyers get four, five, six or even twelve books at once. Authors copromote on their social media and often have found themselves achieving bestseller lists.

2013 Bestsellers

Great news for authors working with fiction: 2013 again proved that fiction is the top choice among readers.

The books ranged from juvenile lit like books from the Wimpy Kid series to the YA Divergent series. Ebooks also held fiction in the prime spot; the top 20 bestselling Kindle books were all novels.

Great News for Debut Authors

Elise Parsley went from query to book deal in 72 hours.

Her work is a picture book called If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t! Little, Brown made a preemptive offer (meaning one that was intended to eliminate other bids and a potential bidding war).

The story sparks with creativity and chaos. In juvenile publishing as in other forms of fiction, that creative spark is critical! And yes, quality still sells!

Publishing Trends: Middle Grade

More great news in publishing. Amulet paid a seven-figure deal for a new middle grade series. The four-book deal is for The Terrible Two, which follows two pranksters.

Middle grade books are alive and well. In fact, some chatter has been overheard lately about adults purchasing these books for their own reading pleasures. They’ve been doing that for YA titles for some years now. Although the numbers likely aren’t the same for middle grade, the fact that some folks are admitting to reading the books rather than only buying them for their kids proves that the story counts.

Book Publisher Info

Counting over 13 million books sold, Free Spirit is the leading publisher of self-help books for children and teen readers, parents and educators. The press has 300 titles in print to fulfill its mission of providing youth with the tools they need to achieve success.

Opportunity for Juvenile and YA Authors

The Best American Nonrequired Reading contest finds stories appropriate for young readers that aren’t going to make any required reading lists in school. Selected by a handful of high school students, the collection is published by Houghton-Mifflin. Contact the committee at nonrequired@gmail.com. They read every week, and they read every piece sent in.

Can Unknown Authors Capture the Attention of Literary Agents?

The answer is yes. Yes! YES!

Just last week a client of mine asked me to rewrite the query letter he had created for a juvenile manuscript. I had ghostwritten the story so was intimately familiar with the project and its potential impact on young readers today.

He sent out the new version of the query letter and received a request for sample chapters in less than 24 hours.

This author has never won any awards. He does not have other publications to his credit either for this age group or for any other, including adults. He doesn’t even work fulltime in anything remotely related to books, publishing or the media.

And yet he has what agents want: a strong story with current topical appeal that fills a void in the market.

If that describes your project, send out your query today! If you’re having trouble seeing how your project is unique in today’s market, please let me help.

Publisher Accepting Submissions

Free Spirit publishes 20 to 25 titles per year for children and teens. Their focus is on helping readers learn how to succeed in life and make a difference in the world. They specify that authors should submit a proposal as part of their pitch.

Do Agents Rep Juvenile Authors?

The work I offer through Writer’s Resource covers a range of age groups and genres including juvenile works. Juvenile is defined as anything from children’s picture books through young adult (YA).

Authors are often surprized to learn two things…that they should have a submissions packet for their juvenile works, and that agents will represent fiction and nonfiction targeting younger readers.

Fifteen years ago, the landscape was much different. It was much more difficult to locate agents who represented works for young readers outside the academic market. Today, things have changed so much that juvenile works are well respected…and agents want to represent the works whether they’re for the academic market, the mainstream reader, or both.

It used to be that when a client asked me to put together a list of agents for their juvenile works, the research turned up only a handful of agents. Nowadays, it is common for those lists to include dozens of names…often a hundred or more.

If your project has a wide target, consider adding an agent to the team of individuals you work with to help you along your publishing journey.

Two New Trends in Young Adult (YA) Books

Tired of vampires and other incarnations of the undead? There’s hope!

The pendulum in YA is swinging away from the paranormal back toward contemporary fiction. Yes, zombies are also hot right now and it will take time before readers completely turn away from them. Meanwhile, publishers are ramping up to focus their marketing efforts again on modern fiction.

Mysteries and thrillers are also becoming hot for this age group. This is happening because YA readers reach into the adult market for these kinds of books but the material isn’t suited well to their level. So many more adult authors are shifting their focus or revamping material to fit YA readers.