kidlit

Permafree in the Children's Book Market

Permafree is a common term in the indie author world. Many authors will vouch for the strategy. The strategy is to set the first book in a series free (ebook formats only of course) to encourage new readers to try the book. The theory is the reader will like the book and be willing to pay for the rest of the series. Many independent authors have had tremendous success with this strategy. However, most of these authors are also writing adult or young adult fiction, not kids' books. The children's book market is a bit different and its transition to ebooks has been much slower. But there is evidence that more and more kids are reading on iPads and Kindles. With all this is mind, I decided to try permafree for my children's chapter book series. I had three books out, and I wanted to try something to spur some sales.

In the beginning of November, I set the first book in The Adventures of Zelda series free in ebook format on all platforms. I spread the word via social media, and I also had my friend Chubbs the Wampug tell her followers. (Chubbs is a pug celebrity) Since then, I haven't done any other advertising.

After almost three months of permafree, The Adventures of Zelda: A Pug Tale hovers around number 5,000 in the Kindle Free Charts with some spikes. Those spikes are usually around 150 free downloads in one day. Otherwise, my downloads range from 10-50 on a typical day in the Amazon Kindle Store.

In December, I saw record number of paperback sales for the Zelda series as a whole, selling over 100 books. November was strong for paperback sales as well. To date in January, ebook sales for the second and third book of the Zelda sales have risen to their best month with a week left still in the month. I'm selling a few copies of the second and third book each day in the Kindle store.

The other platforms are not doing much for me. Apple's iBooks is the only store that moves copies. Usually, I have about 5 free downloads a day of the first Zelda book with a few sales here and there for the second and third Zelda books. Nook, Kobo, Smashwords, etc aren't moving any books most days.

It's hard to know exactly what spurned my jump in sales, but I'm sure permafree was a big component. Going permafree made Zelda start appearing in also boughts on Amazon all over the place. It kept me at the top of the free kids' pet books charts. I'm happy with the results so far.

I realize my numbers aren't huge. I realize I'm not making thousands of dollars, but in a very tough children's ebook market, I'm happy with the growth. I'm happy that kids and parents are enjoying the series and continuing with it past book one. I'm also happy with the results because I haven't paid a dime for any advertising yet. That's the next step. And writing book four!

Are there any other children's book or middle grade authors out there? Any success with permafree?

Give the Gift of Zelda this Christmas!

IMG_0308With the holiday season around the corner, Zelda Claus and her friends wanted to remind that you The Adventures of Zelda series is a great gift for a child in your life. With the endorsements of these good looking pugs, you know it's worth checking out!

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When Hamilton Pug isn't running the streets of NYC, he is inside curling up with The Adventures of Zelda.  Chubbs2Z3The Adventures of Zelda: Pug and Peach is Chubbs the Wampug's favorite in the series.

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Bodie and Spanky hope treats await at the end of the book.

HoganFredddyZ3Hogan and Freddie are confused by the appearance of Peach, a Boston Terrier, in the third book. Wasn't this only about pugs?

SpikeZ3Even dogs that aren't pugs love Zelda. Thanks Spike!

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Thor gives a one paw forward review. ZirainsidebookZ3Zira hasn't made it past the title page because she is star struck that Zelda pawtographed her book.

The pug nation loves Zelda. I hope you do too. Head here for links to order your copy in paperback or ebook format.

The Zelda and Peach Photoshoot

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I had a grand idea for a photoshoot with Zelda and Peach to help promote the release of the third book in the Zelda series The Adventures of Zelda: Pug and PeachI grabbed my camera, the dogs, and my husband and off we went to get some good pictures. I thought it would be a piece of cake. Last week, we went canoeing and managed to get some great shots of them while in a canoe with doggy life jackets!We jumped in the jetta and took a short ride to a nearby park. This was the first shot. As you can see, Peach and Zelda were not cooperating–double snaggleteeth and a tongue. We tried a few more times with no luck, so we switched locations, out of the sunlight.

At this point, Zelda's photogenic powers returned. She jumped onto this ledge on her own and was a champ while we snapped some pics.

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Peach, on the other hand, was still not cooperating. In fact, I think she wanted to kill us for putting her on this pedestal.

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We left the park and returned to our neighborhood and familiar territory. Peach was much happier here and we were finally able to get some good pictures. Well, almost.

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Peach refused to display her best feature–her ears. This was the closest we could get to a picture with Peach's ears standing up in all of their magnificence.

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Here's the shot I like the best. No Peach ears, but no weird sunlight or shade and more importantly, two happy dogs!

Don't forget to join in the launch week fun for your chance to win some Zelda books! Check out this post to learn how you can win some books or where you can buy the latest book in the Zelda series.

The Adventures of Zelda: Pug and Peach

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IMG_1232 Zelda, Peach, and I are excited to announce that today is launch day for The Adventures of Zelda: Pug and Peach! This book is the third in the Zelda series, and we think they get better every time. If you are new to the Zelda series, this video will tell you a little more about the series or you can read the first chapter here.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgDNxsRI21k]

We hope that Zelda can move up the Amazon charts, so if you are thinking about buying The Adventures of Zelda: Pug and Peach for yourself, for your kids, your nieces and nephews, your grandkids, or the kids across the street, go ahead and take the plunge. All Zelda books are available in ebook and paperback form. In addition, you can now order a personalized, pawtographed paperback copy!

Buy Now:

AmazonApple iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo.

Click here to order a paperback book signed by the author and Zelda!

If you are new to the Zelda books and you want to start with book one, head over to my Zelda series page to purchase the first book.

We also encourage you to check back here on the blog each day this week for more Zelda, Peach, and pug fun.

How to Win Pawtographed Books

On Wednesday September 3, I will be giving away three pawtographed books to #pugchat winners. Join the pugs on twitter from 7pm-8pm. For those unfamiliar with #pugchat, here is an introduction.

You can join the Facebook launch party on Thursday September 4 from 7pm-10pm EST. I will be posting fun pug and Zelda facts, hosting Zelda trivia, and giving away signed Zelda books.

Finally, I will be hosting a #zeldachat on Twitter from 8pm-9pm on Thursday September 4th for my twitter and #pugchat friends. During that time, Zelda will be taking your questions, and participants have a chance to win a pawtographed set of Zelda books! Simply follow the hashtag #zeldachat during that time.

 

 

Zelda 3 Cover Reveal

Kristen_Otte_Book3-Front_CoverThe Adventures of Zelda: Pug and Peach

The adventures continue with double the sneezes, wrinkles, and slobber…

Coming September 2, 2014

The third book in the Zelda series is ready to go. The big release is a month away, and I have some fun ideas to promote Zelda's third book (and Peach's first!).

On release week, I will be posting interviews with Zelda and Peach, a photo shoot, a sneak peek at the book, and more. Stay tuned... And get excited! Zelda and Peach are ready to take over the Amazon charts with your help! More details will come later this month.

Don't you love the cover?