In 2007, Karen O’Lone Hahn wrote, illustrated, and self-published her first children’s book, “Millicent and the Faraway Moon.” The book features a cow who learns that she can accomplish great things when she stops listening to the voices inside her head telling her she’s not good enough. She talked to Amanda Steinberg about her ongoing adventures in self-publishing.
How is your book selling?
To date, I have sold over 700 copies at art fairs and festivals, book signings, some schools, and online—which is a great start.
How did you make the leap from print-on-demand (POD) to retail?
With POD, I was paying $12.56 per book, plus shipping, and I was selling them for $17.95. It was slow, I was buying 26 copies at a time, and it was too expensive for me to go retail.
When I switched to offshore printing for the hardcover version in 2010, I had to come up with$3,000 up front for 1,000 copies. But that has allowed me me to retail to book seller at up to 50% discount off my $17.95 retail price—and still realize a profit.
I just launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for marketing my book.I also attended the Self-Publishing Book Expo in New York City to learn about bulk sales, and how to convert the print book into epub format for the Kindle and Nook.
Bulk sales are my big goal. You need to think beyond retail, and target bulk buyers who are relevant to your product. I’m looking into pediatric associations, home schooling groups, child psychology organizations. You can read more about what I’m learning as I go, on my blog.