Adventures in Book Promotion Day 3 (Part II): Which Ends in Vetting Indie Kidlit

Well, that was fun.

It looks like I may have to make a new pen name under the same profile on Amazon, though I don’t know if that will remove the old name or if I even can. Trying to research it is kind of a nightmare too. Nothing comes up about it at all that I can find.

In the end, I just emailed them. It’ll probably be answered after Christmas.

For now, I updated my RSS feed from here (so this should show up there now too — hi Amazon!) and will be doing little tweaks here and there. One thing I DO know is, I’m glad I’m doing this now instead of right before the third book is finished!

Speaking of doing things ahead of time, after emailing Amazon my spaz brain kicked in again and I started looking into reviews.

Ahhh! Another big knot!

There are so many review sites out there, and so many reviews OF the reviews that my brain is spinning just trying to untie it all. Kirkus seems safe, but I still need to look into just how much good they do indie authors, as I’ve seen many differing views on it, plus it’s expensive at between $425 and $575 a pop.   There’s also my whole “kidlit author” thing, which makes it more complicated as many reviewers don’t review children’s books at all, and often those that do only review trade published titles. I have gotten a great review of “Dr. Fixit” from Erik at This Kid Reviews Books and I would love to get more specifically for kidlit that actually take indie books.

One issue I keep running into time and time again is the fact that children’s books are SERIOUSLY hard to get accepted by libraries, bookstores, schools, and, as you see, even review sites. Now, I understand. I do. Everyone wants to make sure the books children read are vetted to be safe for them. I get it, and I wholeheartedly agree. That said, there’s got to be a better vetting system than trade publication. There are literally hundreds of thousands of books that are great for kids, that would help them learn, grow, and see the world in a billion better ways, that never get trade published simply because the big houses (and even the small presses) don’t have enough time and resources to devote to them, so they have to reject them. What if a group of teachers, scholars, and established children’s writers and editors got together to create a solid, dependable vetting system for indie kidlit, to keep parents happy AND let kidlit authors reach our readers?

Well… I just went off on a tangent, and I’m almost off work so I have to go. Just… think about it. If you know of any system in place, or you like / hate the idea, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll talk to you tomorrow!

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11 Responses to “Adventures in Book Promotion Day 3 (Part II): Which Ends in Vetting Indie Kidlit”

  1. Jessica, what is your opinion on how much artwork should be incorporated into a middle grade children’s book? I personally want a lot in there, but I’m not sure if too much is too much?

    • That depends on if it’s upper middle grade like Percy Jackson, etc, or lower middle grade, like Captain Underpants, etc. For the former, I feel one nice image at the beginning of each chapter is good. For the latter, the more the better. Lower middle grade, to me, should be a nice, balanced mix of picture and chapter books.

      • Hmm. It’s not as long as Percy Jackson. It’s probably not as silly as Captain Underpants. Somewhere in the middle I think. Around 40,000 words. The draft has tons of concept art, far more than I would ever realistically put in, but I was thinking at least 20 b/w pictures.

      • Well, the difference between upper and lower isn’t only about humor or length. What is the premise? The plot? How much character development is in it? Where is it set? How big is the world? How old are the main protagonists? These all contribute as well.

  2. There’s some character development but it’s at a minimal level. It’s an adventure story set in a dream world, and there’s lots of exotic imagery that supports weird art. It’s also like a classic Choose your own adventure, which also had lots of art.

  3. Main characters are 10.

  4. What are other examples of lower middle grade?

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