This is a two-part post:
- First, I will discuss a cool new feature that Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) just introduced to help categorize children’s Kindle books.
- Next, I will share an idea to help market children’s Kindle books.
AGE & GRADE LEVELS
As of now, Step 3 of the KDP publishing process allows you to select an Age Range and a separate US Grade Range.
Tip: Open up your children’s, tween, and teen Kindle books on your Bookshelf and update Step 3. You’ll need to republish for this to take effect.
This will help give your juvenile book added visibility on Amazon:
- Your book will show up when customers select one of the age group or grade level filters in Amazon search results.
- You no longer need to waste a crucial keyword to get listed in the children’s age group categories. Tip: If you used a keyword to accomplish this in the past, you can now change that keyword to something else, if you wish.
- These age group and grade level settings apply to the Schools and Teaching store.
- These settings are supposed to apply to the Children’s Kindle Book stores for both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.
What about CreateSpace paperbacks? Well, it wouldn’t hurt our chances if several authors suddenly made this request. Hint, hint.
KDP has a table with suggestions for the different age groups: Click here to view it.
I love these new age group and grade level options at Kindle. I’ve been hoping for this for years, and I’m probably one of many authors who’ve requested it in my interactions with KDP. It’s a great opportunity for children’s e-book authors.
As you may know if you follow my blog, I had the opportunity to talk to members of the Kindle Educational Team a few weeks ago.
They are hoping to see more educators and authors who would like to educate via books publish helpful educational content on Kindle. They have recently reached out to authors to hear our perspective from the publishing end. These new age group and grade level options are one step toward accomplishing this.
So here is my idea:
Education covers many topics. One subject relates to most juvenile fiction stories: English. This includes reading, reading comprehension, writing, vocabulary, grammar, and so on.
Suppose you have a collection of short stories, poems, novellas, novel, or other children’s fictional work for children, tweens, or teens. If so, there is a simple way to improve the marketability of your children’s book:
- Create some teacher- or parent-oriented resources for your book. I’ll list a few examples below to get your brain churning.
- You could include these in your book, or you could add a page to your book describing free educational resources available on your blog or website, which parents or teachers could use to get educational value out of your stories. The latter option has the advantage of giving readers a reason to visit your blog and follow you (plus it doesn’t make your book resemble a textbook for kids just looking to enjoy fiction).
- Your stories are still marketable as stories, but now they are also marketable as educational resources to parents, teachers, homeschool instructors, libraries, and other educators. The free resources become an added marketing tool.
Here are a few ideas for creating educational resources to go along with your story:
- Add vocabulary definitions and exercises relating to your content.
- Write questions that assess reading comprehension for your story.
- Come up with essay questions relating to your book.
- Make creative writing questions stemming from your story or characters.
- Create a grammar worksheet to go along with your content.
- For historical novels, you may be able to add history lessons and exercises.
- For science fiction novels, you might be able to come up with related science questions and exercises.
- If your protagonist is bilingual, there is an opportunity for language lessons.
- If you can find ways that your book relates to one or more school subjects, this gives you more opportunities.
You may be aware that I launched an event in 2013 called Read Tuesday, which debuted in December. You can check out the website here: readtuesday.com.
Read Tuesday is a Black Friday event just for books. One big goal of the event is to help inspire reading.
In 2014, I would like to add a special page highlighting juvenile books that include educational resources (either in the book itself, or free resources that readers can find on the author’s blog or website). So if you have such a book and you’re willing to participate in Read Tuesday 2014 (which requires having your book on sale that day), in addition to listing your book in the Read Tuesday catalog, there will be a special page to showcase juvenile books with free educational resources available. I think this may be a good way for Read Tuesday to help promote reading.
Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers
- Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
- Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
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Click here to jump to the comments section:
Wow Chris this is an amazing opportunity! My books are works of fiction for young people, but encompass themes of disability, archeology and Irish mythology. My intention when writing them was to get young people in particular interested and engaged in our heritage. I already have approached a couple of schools about it, have carried out one school visit which was very successful, and have plans of applying for a grant to enable me to do more of this type of work. What you have discussed in this post could really work for me…the cogs are creaking rustily into motion!!!
Looks like you have great opportunities here. Marketing to schools is a good approach (parents, too). Good luck with your grant. 🙂
Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Meet New (to me) Authors Blog and commented:
AUTHORS of CHILDRENS’ BOOKS PLEASE NOTE THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION 😀
Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Welcome – as usual, you’re ahead of the Amazon News game Chris 😀
Thanks for the Kids Kindle Update. Great news! I already have a companion piece to go with AMAZING MATILDA and feature a FREE Download I my blog. I participated in READ TUESDAY last December & look forward to your added perk for our kids books this year. THANKS! 🙂
I’d love to see the kids books do even better on Read Tuesday this year. Thank you for participating. Good luck with your books.
Amazing article. Thanks for your ideas. I’ve created two activities for my book The Wanting Monster to be tied up with the Wants and Needs unit at school. This way I can also add that benefit to my school visits pitch. I’m creating writing prompts for my series Tristan Wolf and I’ll post them soon on my website. Hope this ideas help as well. I agree,KD Kids is an amazing tool for us authors but also for children, parents and educators. I just wish there was some sort of quality control, but that’s probably a whole ‘nother subject.
Quality is especially important for children’s books. After all, we want them to learn the language well. But yes, this opens a new can of worms. 🙂