My next Middle Grade Novel:

“Saving Gardenia” is HERE

My newest middle grade novel is now available! “Saving Gardenia” is book two in my Gemstone Dragons Series. Its available as a Kindle book and a softcover book. The amazon link is here.

Natural Consequeses

“Saving Gardenia” expands on the idea that keeping secrets causes drama.

In book one, “Escaping Gardenia”, the main characters are both keeping secrets and it makes it difficult to form a friendship. One of them finally opens up, but before the other can do the same, life intervenes and his secret exposed.

Book two, “Saving Gardenia” covers the fall out of having your secret exposed instead of sharing them.

All of this on the background of a fantasy novel, in which two kids are working to help other people, figure out who they are and who they want to be. Oh, and dealing with a magical force that has an agenda all its own.

Target Audience

Middle Grade books are a very misunderstood category. I believe its because different regions have there own names for this age group. Middle Grade does NOT mean Middle School.

Now that I have the cleared up what does middle grade mean? Middle grade is for kids aged 8-12. So upper elementary kids from 2nd grade through early 7th grade. That’s a pretty big range and obviously not every middle grade novel is going to be right for every 8-12 yr old kid.

Encouraging a love of reading

Try exposing your young people to a wide variety of books in order to find the niche that resonates with them. I write fantasy books, as a parent if that’s not your thing then it might be easy to skip those for your kids. I encourage you to reconsider that. Fantasy books encourage a child’s imagination in ways other books do not. I also encourage mysteries and historical books even though I personal don’t read mysteries, and I have a love hate relationship with historical books.

My kids are often drawn to similar books to what I like. Thankfully, early exposure to a wide variety of books means they read a much more varied selection than I ever did. This not only expands their imaginations, like I mentioned before, it gives them a larger vocabulary, and a broader understanding of how other people think and interact with each.

More books by me, Shannon L. Mokry

Let Everyday be an Adventure!

As a parent I know how hard it is to let my kids explore the world and have their own adventures. It gets even harder and more complicated when one of them is different. Society has a history of being unkind, and children are the worst. Or are they?

I’m not talking about bullies here…

I’m not saying you should let your child be bullied. Society has been making huge strides in fixing this, its not a perfect world. It is still very broken. Always step in if you suspect bulling.

However, this is the world that our kids have to live in, and we need to let them live. That means working together on solving misunderstandings. It means helping empower them to deal with misunderstandings. They will have their own stories, their own pain and triumph.

Here is the thing, if we don’t ever let them try, then they won’t every have a triumph. Its our job to encourage, to help, and to eventually step back. Kids are amazing at doing so much more than anyone ever thought possible, when given a chance.

Are you letting your child find his or her own triumphs? My book the Little Purple Porcupine is about a mom’s worry for her child. How she steps back and lets him find his adventures.

If mama’s not happy, no one is happy!

The same goes for worry. If mama’s worried, then everyone is worried. Mom is the security blanket and rock that kids turn to.

This is why I wrote a children’s book about a mother’s fear. Kids know when mom is worried about them. Its not a surprise, so it makes since to read a book about this topic. It makes it easier to open up conversation. Communication is always the best way to move forward.

Preorder your copy of The Little Purple Porcupine on amazon here.

Want more books from Shannon L Mokry?

All links below take you to their Amazon pages.

Self Publishing Question and Answer Series

Price Points

  1. How do I know if my book is priced to sell?

One of the joys of self publishing is doing your own market research. Go to a local book store, wonder over to the section that fits your books and take notes. Here is my list:

  • What is your trim size? Exactly what sizes are your books printed in? Really look around, take a tape measure if you need it.
  • Besides, what other differences are there? page count, hard cover, soft cover, color vs black and white images, etc.
  • Make a graph and list price points that go with each difference you found.
  • Make a list of at least 10 books featuring those differences to compare online pricing.
  • If your book is only an ebook, then research your genre, look for page length, word count, and popularity of genre.

After you have done this research you should be able to pinpoint the market standard for your book.

Examples:

  • I write children’s books. 8×8 fully illustrated hard cover books sell for $8.99-$12.99 in the US. If it costs me $8 to print it, then I won’t make any money.
  • The same book, printed in 8.5×11 fully illustrated with a hard cover. They sell for $17.99-$22.99 and cost the same $8 to print, then I have room for profit.

Traditional Publishers have their books printed in China and get their pricing down to $2 or less per book. That is how they can sell an 8×8 book for so little and still make a profit.

2. I though self published authors made more per book sale, than traditional authors?

I can’t guarantee that your book will sell, nothing is guaranteed in life or in business. If you do the research and size your books accordingly, then the profit per book should be greater than what a traditional author earns. I can tell you that a traditional author typically makes an advance then a small % of each book AFTER the advance has been earned through sales. I can also tell you that the % (called royalties) is split with your literary agent.

Self publishing is a business, so you have to get to know the competition. If you treat it like a business and not a hobby, then you will have done this research before you finalize the details for your book so that you can maximize your potential profit.

3 .I did the research and my price and size is competitive , what else could it be?

If your using Amazon’s KDP then, raising your price is the only option for making more. If your using someone else, like Ingram Spark, then you can change a few things. One you can change your wholesale discount. Yes the industry standard is 50-55% but if most of your sales are Print on Demand, then changing it to 30-40% can give you the extra profit room per book that you need.

Ingram Spark has a handy calculator that shows the differences that wholesale discount makes. Play with it and see what difference it may mean for you. https://myaccount.ingramspark.com/Portal/Tools/PubCompCalculator?hsCtaTracking=d9033cc7-9d81-4894-a3a6-99b8cc08bf02%7C42e1dc3e-a6a6-4177-b468-589181ab94f4

More about Writing

Please, always do your own research. All the information is presented in good faith. I gathered this information from information I gleaned while walking through the process of self publishing myself. Every genre is a little different, I personally publish children’s picture books, and middle grade fantasy novels. At the time I wrote this article I had two pictures books, one middle grade novel, a coloring book, and a teacher’s guide self-published.