For a mere $250 on KidPub, your kid can publish a book for the world to see.
For many kids it’s a dream come true. Three books and more than 50 books sold before the age of 15.
If “selling” a novel makes kids want to write books then I’m all for it. This is a program that should be expanded into inner city schools to excite kids about the possibility of being on Amazon or the iBook store.
The feeling of fame and the possibility of actually making money is better than selling lemonade on the street.
But there are two problems with kids self-publishing books:
Distorts the professional from the amafessional. My friend has been writing his book for three years. He works on it every day, writing new chapters and editing to perfection old ones. The fact that a 13 year old can put a poorly written book on Amazon.com and get it featured on the frontpage carousel and make real money is a stab to his heart.
Price is a canard. Just because your kid can self-publish and make money doesn’t make his or her work more legitimate. Kids should write because they feel passionate about the subject. Money shouldn’t be the main incentive. And it could also lead to many parents top-editing their kids books.
We live in an age where the line between artist and user-generated products is blurred by free distribution and viral marketing. Digital retail stores should differentiate between professionally written books from books written by kids, even if the latter sell more. It’s like putting a 13 year old kid on the Chicago Bulls. He may sell more jerseys than Derrick Rose but he shouldn’t be on the floor.
iBooks Author, Garageband, and augmenting apps like Instagram are wonderful tools that make us all feel like artists. But being a real artist takes experience and mastery, all 10,000 hours of it.