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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