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Book Buying Guide for Babies and Toddlers

Deciding on which book to buy for your toddler or baby can feel tremendous when standing in the children’s area of your local book store. If you find yourself looking and just not knowing which books to buy or where to begin the helpful children’s book buying tips below will make short work of your shopping.

Where to Find Books for Babies and Toddlers

Your local library and garage sales are great places to find used books for children. Most libraries hold a used book sale each year where you can buy great children’s books at rock bottom prices. Libraries also have books available to borrow for babies and toddlers. This can be a great way to introduce new books to your children.

Book of the month clubs offer an opportunity to build up your own personal library in your home. There are a wide selection of children’s book of the month clubs available where you can select books from a catalog and order them from home. Your child will get excited about selecting a new book each month and then have great anticipation waiting for his or her new book to arrive in the mail.

Choosing Storage for Children’s Books

Books should always be accessible to young children. By storing books on low book shelves or in low drawers children will be encouraged to pick up books and read.

You may find that children feel a connection to books if they help make a storage container for their books. Try getting an old cardboard box or storage container and having your child decorate the box. When the decorating is finished your child can load the box with his or her favorite books and keep it down low where they can reach in and get a book any time.

Which Book is Best for Babies and Toddlers?

Young babies like to look at colorful board books that are easy to hold and easy to handle. Thick cardboard like books or books with soft sides and vinyl covers allow babies to chew without getting hurt.

Toddlers like to read books with easy to follow story lines and simple rhyming books. Toddlers also like books that relate to their life. Such as stories about potty training or going to school, something the toddler is doing in his life.

Picture books are great for both babies and toddlers. Babies like to look at the colorful pictures and toddlers like to make up story lines to go with the pictures.

Selecting a Time to Read to Children

Babies and toddlers just love to be read to. Any time of day will work for most children when it comes to reading. A nice routine of reading at bed time or after bath time is recommended by many child development specialists.

Just remember that children love to read and if your toddler brings you a book and asks you to read, you should take the time to do so. Reading will build a love of books and foster great memories of quiet time spent together.

Publish a Book – How to Price Your Book to Sell

Writing is an art, but publishing is a business. If you want to publish a book, you must know how to price a book. If you fail to price your book correctly, you may be technically out of business before you sell your first book. How is this possible? Suppose you plan to sell your book in bookstores, libraries, and retail stores. Your first run of 1,000 books cost $5,000 or $5.00 each. To be competitive, you decide to set a retail price of $10.00. You are now in big trouble.

Why are you in trouble? The distribution channels you have chosen to sell your books (bookstores, libraries, etc.) will want a discounted price. If you are fortunate enough to sell directly to the bookstores, libraries, they will want a 40% discount. That means they will buy your book for $6.00. If you are required to sell your books through a wholesaler or distributors, they will want a 55% to 66% discount (by the way, bookstores and libraries prefer to order from wholesalers or distributors). At these discount rates, you must cut your price by $5.50 to $6.60. Now your sales price is down to between $3.40 and $4.50. Did you notice you are now selling your books at a loss? Remember, each book costs you $5.00.

Is this an extreme example? Absolutely. Most writers are savvy enough not to price there book too low. However, I personally have witnessed the extreme example actually occur. So how do you price your book to avoid a potential loss or marginal profit?

Before you publish a book, you must price your book at least eight times the printing and freight costs. There is no need to figure in prepress costs, such as book cover design, interior book design, etc. These are one-time charges that you should recover over time through profits you earn on your book.

Why do you need eight times? You have to allow for distribution and promotional costs. Distributors (62.5-66%), wholesalers (50-55%), bookstores, libraries, and dealers (40%) require discounts off the retail price of your book. If you charge less than eight times mark-up, you may not have enough profit to properly promote your book.

There is one additional step you must take. Go to bookstores, online bookstores (Amazon.com, BN.com, BAMM.com, etc.) to find books with subject matter similar to your book. Examine the price, page count, trim size, type of paper, type of binding, etc. Your price has to make sense in comparison to similar books. If your book is only 128 pages and similar books have over 300 pages, you may encounter difficulty charging the same price. In other words, your potential buyer may not see value in your book compared to similar books (your competitors).

After you have made comparisons, you should price your book as high as you feel your marketplace will bear. Once you do this, see if this price will still allow for the mark-up of eight times the production and freight charges. If not, you may have to limit your books sales to full retail. In other words, you may need to rely on website sales, mail order sales, and other venues that do not require discounts. In this case, your mark-up should be at least five times. Now you are ready to publish a book of your own that will have a fair chance of generating a profit level that will reward you for all your efforts.

How To Copyright Your Book

U. S. law provides you copyright protection automatically upon the creation of your work. But you can gain greater protection if you register your copyright with the Library of Congress.

Copyright registration is the official legal notice of your copyright claim for the project. Before you can sue for copyright infringement, you must have the copyright registered with the Library of Congress.

Many people used to – and some still do – try the “poor man copyright” method of mailing a copy of the manuscript to themselves. The unopened envelope provided proof that the project was in existence on a certain date, thanks to the postmark.

But that method is not a particularly strong one, especially in this day of technology. The better and more effective way to protect your project’s copyright is to properly register it.

You can visit the Library of Congress’s Web site and print out the application. Submit the application, the registration fee (about $45) and copies of the manuscript to the Library of Congress. Get the complete details for your particular project at the Library of Congress, as different types of creative works require different submission procedures.

Even if you’ve already published your book, it’s not too late to register the copyright. Copyright may be registered anytime during the life of the project, but the sooner, the better, as the point is to provide you a measure of legal protection, should you need it.

You will receive a copyright certificate about four to five months — possibly longer — following successful submission of your application and accompanying materials.