Setbacks, Opportunities, Challenges, and Success

For me, writing children’s stories is fun, quick, and relatively easy. I can often write one within three to five hours–and that includes multiple drafts, and considering and incorporating the feedback of others.

So far, it has taken me about a month to turn a fully illustrated children’s story into a successful children’s book. When it has taken longer, it has been for budgetary reasons rather than creative ones.

I don’t know how long it takes for me to create a commercially successful book, as I haven’t yet done it.

My definition of success is that I love what I do, grow and learn from it as it feeds and reveals my spirit and makes a positive difference in the world.

My definition of commercial success is that I love what I do, grow and learn from it as it feeds and reveals my spirit and makes a positive difference in the world while making a financial profit after factoring in all expenses.

My books are selling on and getting excellent reviews. Now, I need to help many more people discover them. I believe that is what it will take to propel my books from being successful to commercially successful.

I don’t need commercially successful books to be happy. My investment management business provides sufficient commercial success to more than meet my daily needs.

Still, commercially successful books would make the endeavor far more sustainable and that would lead to making a positive difference to the lives of many more children and their loved ones. So, I’m rooting for, and playing toward, that outcome.

I recently contacted three bookstores. None were interested in carrying my books. One said it was because they only carry books where the title is clearly visible on the spine. Mine aren’t. One said they only carry used books and the relatively few new books they feel forced to carry are the most popular ones from non-independent publishers. The third bookstore said they never deal with print-on-demand publishers.

This coming week, I plan to investigate using Etsy, EBay, and some other vehicles to help more people to discover my books.

I plan to share what I experience with you.

With Love,











About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 4 young grandsons. I manage a wealth management firm I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of 23 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and enjoying our small redwood grove and fern garden.
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6 Responses to Setbacks, Opportunities, Challenges, and Success

  1. This has got to be tough.. so many books on the market… but we know that you have a concept that would be so good for children. Just a thought but… do schools, public..private… nursery schools… school boards… possibly buy from other places than book stores ? I think the theme of your books are a concept that children need and maybe that could be recognized… ie kindness, compassion etc……I know nothing of the process . It was just a thought… Diane

  2. bulldog says:

    This is what puts a hold on writing my book, the marketing of the same… it seems to me more work selling than creating… but you do have a good product so keep at it…

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, bulldog. I’m beginning to have a much greater appreciation as to the need for marketing. I find it–tooting my horn–to be somewhat distasteful. It will be interesting to see whether I decide that continuing to do so is worth the effort. I have confidence that many children and their families will love my books once they discover them, and that my books have a positive impact on children, families, and the world. The critical question to me is: What will be necessary for me to do to help a lot more people to discover them? I may not like the answer.

  3. utesmile says:

    Russ, I can imagine that this is a bit frustrating, and patience is required. Your books are such gems. I have checked and hurray now they are on Amazon uk too, they were only on th eUS one before. So I shall write a review on the UK site too as it has not taken the review from the US over. At least something I can do for you and your wonderful books. I also have my book shop in school on 5th December, so I shall take mine to school and let parents have a look at them.
    There are hoodles of children’s books out there and people just need to find yours.

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