Kids are the fastest growing group of ebook consumers. Do you think this is affecting how emergent writers for teens and tweens need to present their work to traditional publishers who may or may not be embracing the digital format, and what are your thoughts about skipping the traditional publisher altogether and using an independent ebook publisher to create a digital novel to sell directly to kids?
Reality check: You won’t sell your ebook directly to kids. They may be your readers, and they may read more ebooks every year, but they aren’t your direct customers. COPPA prevents you from engaging kids online, and since your primary promo tool will be social media, you’re selling to parents and adult readers of MG/YA. Reality check #2: Easy uploading doesn’t mean easy sales. Promoting an ebook is more than “Buy my book!” tweets. I’ve interviewed bestselling self-published authors—all engage their audience extensively through social media, reviewers, and bloggers, forming relationships that lead to sales. If you can’t commit to that, you’re just making your efiles available to family and friends and I don’t see that as a comparable alternative to traditional publishing. Like publishers, self-pubbers should aim to sell past break-even and grow a fanbase that returns for more. Reality check #3: Self-publication only impresses publishers if sales reach tens of thousands—and not at $.99 or free.
The EditorP.S. For more on this topic, read Self-publishing