How to Write a #1 Bestseller Children's Book

I am so excited to announce the success of Sammy the Bunny coming on the scene!

The book has been a #1 New Release for the past three weeks or so, and recently hit the #1 spot in a children’s book category on Amazon. It even nudged out my VERY FAVORITE rabbit-themed book of all times (but just for a few days in overall sales):  The Velveteen Rabbit. 

People have asked me what the process is to launch a best seller campaign.  I will tell you, this goal achievement did not happen on its own.

Here is the process broken down into FIVE steps:

1. Write a great book.  Well, write the best book you can.  I worked on this book with my son and design team for most of the the Fall/Winter of 2016.  We used the Freedom Journal process of setting a #1 goal to accomplish over a period of 100 days, and this was our #1 goal for that time period.  My son Alexander drew and re-drew the illustrations which we scanned and incorporated with photography with the help of a fantastic designer.  I edited the manuscript (with help) again and again to get rid of non-essential words and make the writing/rhyming as high impact as possible.

2. Get feedback from a beta group early on.  I enrolled in a course on children’s book writing which include cohorts, webinars, and small accountability groups.  There are many publishing cohorts you can join, including the Make Publishing Fun cohort by yours truly.  🙂

However, The best cohort for me (for a children’s book) was children that I read to during school visits. The teachers were always so gracious (and often thankful to have a guest reader!).
Read this post where we asked for feedback on the title. (Note: We ended up shortening the original title).

3. Give yourself a break before you publish.  Getting a book ready for printing and distribution is a huge effort. Then the work REALLY starts as you begin the marketing and publicity phase.  It is said that marketing and publicity can take as many as 4 hours for every 1 hour that you spend actually writing/ creating the book.  That is a lot of hours!  So although we had finished the book by the end of December 2016, we decided we wouldn’t publish until the Spring of 2017.

Get free access to a series of webinars I gave on book publicity.

4. Make the launch a big event.  Everyone loves to be part of something greater than themselves.  Form a launch team, involve them with perks, and build a bunch of buzz around the book launch.  When Where Does a Rainbow Grow launched, I made a special appearance at the Boulder Valley School District to do an event with kids the the food-celebrity Chef Ann Cooper. I actually needed the help of an assistant to keep track of all of the to-dos, including creating a Press Kit, press release, and managing the contacts with the nearly hundred people one the launch team.  We asked many of them to leave honest reviews on Amazon with a goal of 25 in the first week and 100 by the end of six-months.

5. Spread lots of gratitude.  Alexander (my now teenage illustrator of the book) and I check Amazon and Goodreads periodically and see if we recognize any of the people that left a review.  We follow up with a thank you note and send out lots of gratitude.  We spend a moment at the end of each day (as part of our Freedom Journal) and write down a few wonderful things that happened each day.  That sends gratitude out to the universe and brings it back around.
Listen to this wonderful podcast interview with Dr. Beth Cabrera explaining how gratitude affects the brain.

Here is a video of me introducing our new character Sammy the Bunny:

Read this post in anticipation of the book launch
Read about how the Eat a Rainbow concept is catching on fire!

Read more blog posts at Make Wellness Fun.
Listen to episodes from the Mountain Mantras podcast.
Listen to episodes from the Positive on Publishing podcast.

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