Getch’a popcorn ready: Thor vs. Alexander the Great (and 3 things I learned from pivoting)

How do you know when it’s time to pivot to a new idea?

First, If you’re not a subscriber to Bradan’s world, please visit bradansworld.com and sign up for the email list. And then follow us on Twitter @bradansworld, Instagram @bradansworld, and Facebook.com/bradansworld.

with that out of the way, today’s feature: Why I moved to Greeks v. Norsemen.

I created Heroes of History with the intention of not only making a fun game, but to let people use it as an education tool, learning some facts while they battle for glory. The US History set has sold hundreds of copies in 3 months of selling, an impressive feat for an indie tabletop game. While I’m pleased with the effort, I had the urge it was worth trying something different. Many people liked the game but responded even more positively to world history, so after listening to feedback I decided a pivot to Greeks and Norsemen made the most sense.

What I learned from this pivot:

  1. People just want to be entertained. I did my best to make the learning fun, but I ended up making the fun learning. Having Thor wield Mjolnir and facing down The Argonauts carrying Artemis’s Bow in the Palace of Knossos (commonly called the Minotaur’s Lair) just got way more people excited than Robert E. Lee vs. George Washington fighting at Saratoga. Okay, maybe they have a point.
  2. Changing the style worked. Whereas Midnight Riders vs. Echoes of the Plains was made in a colonial artwork style, Iron Phalanx vs. Dragonboat Raiders was done more in a fantasy style. We also changed the layout for the cards.
  3. By pivoting, I prevented myself from being boxed in to doing US History only. Most of the world could  care less about US History, but when they  see it’s a global theme, people begin to imagine Romans, Pirates, Wild West outlaws and lawmen, 1920s Mobsters, Aztecs, Celts, ancient Chinese and Japanese, and Inca in an all world brawl.

My tip to you: Whether it’s books or tabletop, it’s okay to pivot. Tomorrow I’ll go back to books and talk about why I pivoted on Era of Bradan.

I’d like to know what you think: Have you ever created something and then felt the need to pivot in order to improve upon your work?

 

We will launch the next Kickstarter September 7th. Please consider supporting us. Visit our webpage and sign up for our email list. Let’s make history epic!

Tips to Overcome the Challenges of Being Your Own Business Person: For Authors and Game Designers

Heroes in History25

So I’ve been at this blog thing for more than a year, though I wish I had more time to get to posting. Today I want to talk a little about the challenge of being your own businessperson.

It doesn’t matter if you are an author or aspiring game maker, it is REALLY HARD to stand out. Even if you have an above average product, you still have so much competition from many other people. Part of the extra challenge when you do creative work is that your product (with very few exceptions) is a WANT and not  a NEED. This I will explain in my next post.

No one needs your book or game to survive. However, there is a human need to be entertained, which is where you must fit things in.

Since I’ve been selling Heroes of History for about 3 months now, I can say I’ve done way more than the average person in terms of sales, going well into the 4 figures in total sales, including Kickstarter. This is considered exceptional for an indie game, which I am proud of. The fact that I got nominated for an award is even better. But, it’s even less likely that I will earn a living from making tabletop games than from writing, and neither is very likely.

I am aware that many indies, authors and game developers, are not very good at self marketing and promotion. So here’s what I’ve learned, and hopefully some of these tips will help you:

  1. don’t use conventions and  trade shows as a primary means of making sales. I’ve been to more than a half dozen comic cons and tabletop cons. I have yet to meet an indie game designer who plans to attend major conventions and actually turn a big profit, if any profit at all. The primary reason you go to those things is to network with fellow indies, meet bigger publishers that you might consider either selling your work to or at least get advice from, and collect information from your customers, such as their purchase habits, hobby enthusiasm, and what future products they might like (such as posters).
  2. You must make as many contacts as possible. One of the reasons I’ve been so successful in selling Heroes of History is that I’m willing to drive out and meet game shop owners from across the Mid Atlantic region, and even in New England (I also visit some Museums too). Now many of the owners will say no, but if even only a few say yes, you will make some sales that your fellow indies won’t because they work a day job and just sell on Amazon and at conventions. Many owners will allow you to do a demo day at the store, which is a good way of meeting potential customers and gaining fans. This rule also applies to authors: Find indie book stores (while they last) and talk to owners about buying a few copies or letting you have a book signing event to get your name out there.
  3. A lot of the stores and museum shops you reach out to will either forget, mislead you, or be careless with, their promises to buy copies. I have more than a dozen stores owners who allegedly were going to buy my game and simply did not return phone calls or emails. Most likely these owners are overwhelmed with running their stores, but many may think they want your product, then change their minds later.
  4. Carry sales receipts! The government counts what you do as a business, even if you’re self employed or file as a sole proprietor (meaning you’re the only employee and will always be the only employee), so you need to pay taxes. Not only to sales receipts give the store or museum a track record of your sale, but for taxes. I use Wave Accounting to log my expenses (disclosure: I have a friend who is my bookie) but I use printed receipts as a backup record.
  5. Use the MileIQ app to record your mileage expenses. Believe me, this is the best purchase I ever made.
  6. Be proud of your product. Even if you know it has flaws, you did what few people ever do: Actually produce something.

 

Got anything that I missed on this list? Share it below. And don’t forget to follow my page.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a Winner! Maybe

bostonfig-logo

I am pleased to announce that Heroes of History will be a featured game at the Boston Festival of Indie Games and is a finalist for a Figgie. Check out their site:

Welcome To The Boston Festival of Indie Games!

You: What does this mean, Mister Friedman? And why should I give a fruck?

Me: This is their Fifth Annual awards and considering that this is my first try at designing games, the fact that Heroes of History is a finalist makes me proud.

A big thank you to the following people for all their help: Eric Friedman, Benji Seyler, David North, the rest of my illustrative crew (Mackenzie Brewer, Michelle Graves, Dagmara Gaska, and Ben Ramos), and all of my product testers for helping me to get Heroes of History to where it needs to be. Special thanks to Mark DiPaola, Danielle Oliano, and Yeshaya Cohen, Dakota Fuller, the Friedman family (including relatives), the entire Breakie family, and everyone else who assisted in helping bring the Heroes to Life.

Tomorrow: I’ll talk about what I’ve learned from my time selling as an indie. Authors and Game Developers, take note.

7 Reasons for Children to Spend Time Reading Instead of Gaming

philareads.org

This is a guest post from Cassie at Culture Coverage. She asks the question: Why should kids spend more time reading than Video Gaming? Here’s her article:

I would like to thank Sam Ramirez Friedman for sharing this article on his website. He’s helped many authors and potential authors learn about the publishing process, and I’d especially like to recommend his tips on Kickstarter and Wattpad.

Since video games first became popular people have been having heated debates about whether children should or shouldn’t spend hours playing them. While there are excellent arguments both for and against letting children play video games, one thing is certain: reading has more benefits than playing video games.

  1. Reading Improves Academic Performance

For decades parents have been telling their children to read more to improve their school grades, and it turns out that they’ve been right all along. Reading has been shown to improve children’s overall academic performance, as well as their performance in specific areas such as vocabulary, math, reasoning and long-term memory skills. That isn’t to say that playing video games doesn’t have any benefits, but in terms of academic performance, the benefits of reading far outweigh the benefits of playing video games.

  1. Reading Develops Imagination

When children play video games, they don’t need to imagine what things look or sound like as everything is on the screen in front of them. However, not all books have pictures, and none have sounds, so children need to use their imaginations to bring the story to life. Even picture books only depict certain scenes, so children still need to use their imaginations to a large degree. While graphic novels have more pictures than normal books, they still require imagination, and they’re an excellent way to introduce children to reading. Books also encourage children to imagine other things that video games don’t, such as smells and tastes.

  1. Reading Enhances Communication Skills

Communication skills are vital to children’s social development, and reading is an easy way to help children improve these skills. When children read they need to pay attention and comprehend what they’re reading, and both of these activities are essential for effective communication. Children who read books also have better vocabularies and phonology skills than children who don’t spend time reading books.

  1. Reading Reduces Screen Time

It’s undeniable that many children spend way too much of their time in front of screens of some sort. From television to computers to smartphones, children may spend hours each day staring blankly at a screen. Encouraging children to read books dramatically reduces the time they spend watching screens. There is one caveat though: many children prefer to read on e-readers. Nevertheless, reading a book on an e-reader is still reading, so it’s better to let children read books on an e-reader than have them not read at all.

  1. Reading Leads to Better Sleep

Everyone needs to get enough sleep to function well, and this is especially true of children. Many video games are fast-paced and frenetic, which may overstimulate children before bedtime. This will make it much harder for them to fall asleep and also disrupt the sleep they do get. Screens also give off a lot of blue light that can disrupt circadian rhythms at night. Reading a book may be exciting, but it certainly won’t provide as much stimulation as a video game. So, reading is a fun and healthy way for children to relax before bed.

  1. Reading Provides Delayed Gratification

Video games are usually fast paced and provide immediate gratification, whereas books require patience and time to finish. This teaches children about delayed gratification, which helps them understand that many things are worth waiting for and take time and patience to attain. The ability to delay gratification is one of the most important skills that children will ever learn, as it leads to greater success in school and later life.

  1. Reading is Safer

Many of the most popular video games are multiplayer online games, and this means children may interact with anonymous strangers who could be dangerous. Unfortunately, some child predators use multiplayer online games to contact children. If children do play multiplayer video games online, it’s important for parents to supervise them. Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to hide children’s personal information also helps to keep them safe. Thankfully, books don’t pose this problem and parents can let their children read unsupervised.

Clearly, there are many reasons why every child should put down their video game controller and pick up a book, so tell us about any we’ve missed by posting a comment below.

About the Author: Cassie is a writer and entertainment blogger who is a self-confessed bibliophile. She hopes this post will inspire you to encourage your children to spend more time reading. She can be reached at cassie@culturecoverage.com

Will Pokemon Go Help Your Marketing?

Squirtle/nianticlabs.com

If you look around anywhere these days, you’ve probably seen kids of all ages running around looking into their smartphones catching Pokemon via the new Pokemon Go app from Niantic. Simply put, the app uses your phone camera to collect your data for sale to third parties who will market their products and services to you let you find and catch Pokemon for your collection. So you roam around to a spot where Pokemon are and catch and I presume trade, or hatch Poke eggs (I’m not playing). You also go to places and fight other people and pokemon in the gyms. While a few people have been injured or mugged, for the most part the biggest issue is people addicted to their phones not paying attention as they get exercise and socialize with other humans in person.

This post came up in the Jersey Writer Facebook page:

Authors can leverage the crazy popularity of ‪#‎PokemonGo‬ by dropping $10 or so on “lures” during book signings or other events. Cheap, easy, effective. ‪#‎kidlit‬, ‪#‎marketing‬

 The premise is simple: Just tell people there are Pokemon near you at your book signing and people will line up to buy your book while they catch Magikarp! Or will they?
Since the game is new, I can’t say for sure. There are mixed reviews about whether or not increased foot traffic to stores boosts sales. For some places, I’m sure store owners can guilt persuade new visitors into buying some cupcakes or a new shirt. Other places don’t do as well with people who could care less about your store and are only there for Pokemon or for the gym. I observed this in Virginia last week, seeing a bunch of people in battlefield parks paying little to no attention to the park itself, focusing on their smartphones for an Abra.
Abra/polygon.com
 So my personal opinion is that using a $10 lure probably works, since it’s low-cost. At $10 If you sell anywhere from 2-5 books (depends on your cost) you’ll cover even slightly profit from your cost. Even if you lose, $10 for some increased attention isn’t necessarily bad. However, don’t assume that most of the people who come to find your Pokemon give a darn about your book or even that they can be guilted into buying a copy. Also, this only works if you’re going to play off Pokemon Go into a clever ad. Just saying “I have Pokemon!” isn’t going to work. I speak from observed experience- people using Pokemon lures to get people to show up at things with the hope they will care about what they do. News flash: Maybe 10% will listen, the rest want their Pokemon.

If you’re doing a book signing or other event, and you’re using Pokemon Go to attract people, let me know how it goes.
  

If Barnes and Nobles Closes, are Unknown Authors Screwed?

If you missed the news, New Republic has a new essay out on the impending doom of Barnes and Nobles https://newrepublic.com/article/133876/pulp-friction

There’s more than a little irony to the impending collapse of Barnes & Noble. The mega-retailer that drove many small, independent booksellers out of business is now being done in by the rise of Amazon. But while many book lovers may be tempted to gloat, the death of Barnes & Noble would be catastrophic—not just for publishing houses and the writers they publish, but for American culture as a whole.

If Barnes & Noble were to shut its doors, Amazon, independent bookstores, and big-box retailers like Target and Walmart would pick up some of the slack. But not all of it. Part of the reason is that book sales are driven by“showrooming,” the idea that most people don’t buy a book, either in print or electronically, unless they’ve seen it somewhere else—on a friend’s shelf, say, or in a bookstore. Even on the brink of closing, Barnes & Noble still accounts for as much as 30 percent of all sales for some publishing houses.

This happens a lot and B&N is still among us. Yet in the long run, they are clearing out space for book and selling more music and games. Borders did this, and look at where they are now.

Here’s the scary part for wanna-be trade-pubbed authors:

In a world without Barnes & Noble, risk-averse publishers will double down on celebrity authors and surefire hits. Literary writers without proven sales records will have difficulty getting published, as will young, debut novelists. The most literary of novels will be shunted to smaller publishers. Some will probably never be published at all. And rigorous nonfiction books, which often require extensive research and travel, will have a tough time finding a publisher with the capital to fund such efforts.

The irony of the age of cultural abundance is that it still relies on old filters and distribution channels to highlight significant works. Barnes & Noble and corporate publishers still have enormous strides to make in fully reflecting America’s rich diversity. But without them, the kinds of books that challenge us, that spark intellectual debates, that push society to be better, will start to disappear. Without Barnes & Noble, we’ll be adrift in a sea of pulp.

So accoring to this author, if you’re unknown, sold poorly in the past, and not famous, you will soon be beyond screwed if B&N goes out. This is because no one, not even Amazon, can or will ever create a viable national print bookstore chain again in this country, unless there’s a sudden return to reading by the public.

It’s pretty clear that without B&N, traditional print publishers will lose a massive part of their appeal. Their two biggest appeals are: Marketing and distribution. Yes, they could still send to indie bookstores, but I have a feeling that few but the biggest authors will want to give away 85% of their revenue to someone who is nothing more than a big marketing agency and seller to small bookstores, especially since there are and will be other services that can do this more effectively for less. And marketing can be done with an agency.

I’m not saying publishers will be extinct if B&N goes under, but they will lose a huge incentive to query those agents for years to land one, and then wait more years to find a publisher (unless you’re one of the lottery winners who just has ‘it’ and can sail through the process in months). The downside is, how will most people be able to get their work out in an overcrowded marketplace?

 

 

My Novel got Rejected Again

After revising my query and trying again, I finally got an agent to request a partial. After she read it, here’s what I was told:

” I read it and found the plot interesting, but wasn’t as taken with the dialogue or writing, so I’m going to pass on the opportunity to represent this.”

I offered another novel that’s totally separate but that was declined as well (without being read).

So what does this mean? Ironically, I thought the writing and dialogue were good and the plot not so much, so this agent saw things completely opposite. However, as of this writing I’m over 17.5k reads in less than 3 months, and my story is consistently in the top 400 (as high as #49) out of at least 100,000 fantasy stories on Wattpad, so clearly there is interest in Bradan’s story. Per popular demand, I will post book 2 as I have no ability as of yet to market the novels themselves. I will continue to try to seek a traditional publisher but if no one wants the novel, I will self-publish the series rather than sit on them forever.

While I appreciate this agent’s time in reading the first 50 pages of ERA OF BRADAN, it’s disappointing that yet again, I cannot get interest in a novel that, as I note above, has a pretty solid following on Wattpad, especially given that it’s my only book and I only began posting it this calendar year. While the number may fluctuate, I gain about 1000 new reads every 4-5 days, which means close to 7,000 new fans a month or another 55,000 by the end of this year (this is just at current trends- typically as books get more reads, they attract even more people so I could end up averaging 1,000+ a day). Now that’s not a lot of reads on Wattpad, but it does suggest there’s interest in this story. Keep in mind this is a MG novel and isn’t even the right age for Wattpad’s readership. By the time I post the second novel, I should be able to easily get over 100,000 views (and no money for it). This doesn’t even count my kid beta readers, the few who’ve read the whole thing on PDF and have liked it, if not loved it.

I get that agents have a lot of submissions and it’s a totally subjective field. But I think they are looking for different things than what readers are looking for. And remember, we aren’t even up to the publishers yet. Oh well. In the meantime, back to selling card games.

 

What do you think about the traditional book publishing process ? Have you experienced rejection within the industry?

Will Audiobooks save Reading?

audio-book-Getty

Getty Images

From CNBC:

“Sales of books, in both print and digital formats, are struggling around the world, despite the efforts to promote reading on World Book Day. However there is one area that’s bucking the trend: Audio books.

World Book Day is promoted (sic) a worldwide celebration of books intended to encourage reading, but revenue from book publishing is falling worldwide.

Statistics from Euromonitor released in 2015 show that turnover from book publishing has experienced sharp declines in recent years. Between 2011 and 2014, revenue fell from $165 billion to $145 billion. The harshest decline was 2011-12, when the global book market contracted 7.4 percent

Part of the reason for declines in print book sales was the rise of e-books and e-readers, but this sector is now falling. According to business magazine “The Bookseller”, e-book sales by the U.K.’s five biggest publishers dropped 2.4 percent between 2014 and 2015, to 47.8 million.”

Well, this sucks for those of us who want to sell our published works.

So why are print sales falling?

  1. Books aren’t cheap. A hardcover is like $30. Some good paperbacks are $7.99 or less, but I rarely buy any book over $8.
  2. I can get a lot of books free at the library or cheap from a discount store. Since most novels are timeless, who cares when i read them? As for non-fiction, I buy non-fiction if I think it has value. For example, “starting an E-commerce Business for Dummies” has information I want to have for a while. But a book that has neat but not critical information or info that changes every year? Checkout. Even Wattpad has some decent stories that cost nothing.
  3. People don’t read as much anymore. More specifically, anything with depth. That’s why news articles are shorter and less thoughtful (a notable exception is americanthinker.com, which is very thoughtful). Some of this is technology, but I think publishers have been very poor at predicting what people want to read. For example, publishing books that fit political agendas but don’t have a wide audience. I’ve written this here  and here  and here about the decline in reading.
  4. Authors are just not “cool”. Even John Green and Neil Gaiman, who are about as cool as it gets by author standards, are nothing compared to the Kardashians in terms of “trendy”, and I have yet to see any reality TV shows starring authors (movie studios, TV execs, publishers, agents: I am TOTALLY DOWN to do this for you and max out ratings. Just give me a contract). Why does this matter, because pop culture drives trends and if books and authors are just not cool, then a potential reading audience will not be persuaded to pick up books.

The question  is then, why are audiobooks sales going up? We should be happy that people are still consuming literature, even if they listen in, right?

Yes!

  1. If you’re like me, and you’re on the road a lot, I can listen to an audiobook while I drive. I can also listen to an mp3 at the gym. This is great because talk radio is boring a lot of the time, and even Pandora is tiresome after 4 hours. Also great for parents with kids, because you can play something in the car to not only get the kiddos to be quiet, but to not be too attached to their Gameboys or smartphones.
  2. Unlike reading, which requires focus, Audiobooks don’t require as much attention. This is due to some cool science about how our brains process sound versus visuals.
  3. Audiobook packages are expensive, so my guess is a lot of the rise is in people switching from say a paperback to an audiobook.

Overall, if I have a story to tell, I don’t really care how they engage in it, as long as they do. And as long as I get paid. Speaking of, I’ve gotten 1500 Wattpad reads in 4 days and a lot of new fans. And of course I get zilch. But this book has been plowing through the 5-digit reads so it’s a good sign for me that this book will sell well when published. The question is, will a traditional publisher want this? Or will I end up self-publishing?

To be determined.

3 Kickstarter and Wattpad Tips

So now that Kickstarter is over, here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Kickstarter was fully funded! I cleared $4100 in 30 days, which is a good marker of success. I now hope I can deliver, both figuratively and literally, within the next month.
  • Waiting to get my cards printed up. Expected deliver is May 27th. My printer doesn’t move any faster. Check below for tips for success.
  • Got an agent requesting a partial! It’s not much but it is pretty cool. First time I’ve ever gotten a literary professional interested in any of my work. With luck, that agent won’t be the last.
  • Story was featured on Wattpad and I am over 8k views in less than 2 months. I expect that by May 25th I will have passed the 10k mark on reads. No, reads aren’t everything. But for those who care about such things, averaging 5k reads a month is not bad at all, especially since i’m still a relative unknown on Wattpad. Probably by the time I clear the 10k mark, I’ll see a bit of an uptick in views per day. My goal is to get 50k reads before my featuring expires. At my current rate I’m expecting 30-35k reads which is not bad given that I won’t write fanfic or teen romances. I’ll check back in periodically to  see if I can hit 50k before the featuring expires.

 

As it’s Mother’s Day, I won’t bore you with a long article. As much as I’d rather Vlog than blog, I just cannot find the enthusiasm to perform like a street monkey for a tiny number of strangers. Plus editing takes a lot of time, even for simple, jump-cut oriented video that is the favorite on YouTube. If you’re wonder why you’re probably not gonna become YouTube or Wattpad famous, I’ll post that next time. Hint: Has little to do with you.

That said, you can have some success, so here are 3 Wattpad tips:

  1. Write in a genre that has more readers, and give them what they want. Teen romance and fantasy (particularly with romance) does very well there, as does fan-fic of popular things. If you do horror or comedy, you won’t have as big a reach. Adjust expectations accordingly
  2.  Don’t do read for read swaps. At first, you will do this because you want to pump up your count. At a certain point there just isn’t enough time. An easier way to find new readers is to post to message boards. You can do this a few minutes a day and still reach a lot of readers.
  3. DO thank voters, commenters, and followers. Not just because it’s nice, but because you will show up on their profiles and this boosts your profile to whoever follows THEM.

 

Now three tips for success on Kickstarter:

  1. I wish I had known how hard it is to raise money by myself. Don’t get sucked into the hype that you just make a profile and “build it” that they will come. The more partners you have on your project, the loftier your expectations will be and the more money you can make.
  2. Get your supporters lined up early. Kickstarter favors those not even with more money, but with a combo of more money AND a higher percentage of their goal reached in the first day and then the first week when choosing which projects to feature. I hit 22 percent of my goal in 7 days, which is the minimum to even have a shot at featuring. But if I had hit 40 percent right away, my ranking would have been boosted and I would have seen my numbers go even higher.
  3. Use the Kickstarter hashtag on twitter. I not only gained a bunch of followers but I actually did get 2 donations of Twitter for boxes, which is pretty cool.

 

Got questions or tips? Post ’em below.

Reasons Not to Self-Publish a Children’s Book

I’m addressing this question because many authors are wondering whether to bother querying at all. More and more writers are asking, “why should I query like crazy, to agents who are overwhelmed with wannabes, to publishers struggling to make money, to sign my rights away for a long time (or forever), to be told I’m STILL responsible for marketing the book, AND have a limited amount of time to make sales before I get yanked?”

I posted this question (not directly, after the discussion took a turn as they always do) to the Wattpad community and here’s what I got. Now I did not get specific permission to repost here, but as all comments were made publicly on Wattpad, and the writers in question are supportive of other authors, I am reposting for your information to give you some ideas about what to do.

 

“Question: I have a children’s book and I am unsure if I should go indie or play the trad-pubbed game. On the one hand, I feel comfortable managing my career and don’t know if a publisher will really be a benefit to my career. While I would like to have a major publisher work on my book, I don’t require Big-Five validation for my stories to think they’re good. On the other hand, most kids prefer print books and do not seek indie authors out on Amazon, and the channels to reach them (parent groups, libraries, school book catalogues, word of mouth) are too difficult for one person to do effectively. Why should I seek out a publisher?”

Author 1 (indie romance author)-

1.Simply to know that what you wrote is considered good enough to publish by someone in the industry. If the trad publisher is willing to put up their money, that gives you the validation.

2. If you want your book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble.

3. The experience of working with a professional editor. You can learn a great deal.

4. If you can’t edit and/or make a book cover yourself and don’t have the money to pay for it.

5. If you don’t have the expertise or desire to market your novel. If no one knows it’s out there, you get zero sales.

6. For your ego, as in, “Hey, everyone, I got a Big-5 publishing contract!”

Author #2 (makes somewhere between $100,000 and $999,999 from her books, mostly YA romance):

“MG is an entirely different market. You won’t sell as an indie MG author, because MG readers don’t have credit cards or Amazon accounts. They also read predominantly in print. MG authors need agents and trad deals to get their books into reader hands. YA is similar, it is print dominated. The indie authors who do well in YA are selling to adults who read YA books. It’s all part of knowing the market and knowing which path is better for what types of books.”

Author #3 (has a Big-Five published novel and is a hybrid author)

1. Writing in a genre that buys print, not ebooks, and gets those books from sources indies have limited access to. That basically includes all the genres aimed at 18 or under.

2. If you write slowly, you may indeed do better with traditional than with indie publishing. Trad publishing is usually one book per year. (BW note: I asked her about book writing speed because I can only write 2 quality books a year, whereas successful indies often write 3-6 a year, depending on industry and writing speed).

3. If you have just one standalone book. Go indie if you have an adult series OR a healthy back list.

4. Go traditional if you don’t have the money to self publish WELL. Seriously, publishing badly is worse than not publishing at all.

So there you have it. I asked indies at K Boards this question as well and got a similar response. Now that said, there HAVE been some bestselling self-published kid’s books (really for pre-schoolers, which means the parents bought the book), and if kids end up fully moving away from print books in the future, that will open the door for an indie (presumably a non-celebrity) to self-publish and sell a lot of e-copies. But for the foreseeable  future, I can confirm anecdotally that most kids do prefer print books and schools rarely accept self-published books for availability to their students. While you are unlikely to earn a lot of money writing for kids, you have a better chance if you are able to find a publisher.