Four years after its release, Kellen Roggenbuck has sold more than 10,000 copies of his beard book for children, My Dad Has a Beard. That’s a great achievement!
Bearded dad Roggenbuck reports that his son Levi was the reason why he wrote this fun little book that came out in 2017. It turns out that Roggenbuck’s son isn’t the only youngster who is a fan of My Dad has a Beard. Building on the first book’s success, Roggenbuck has authored and illustrated another beard book and a number of non-beard books for children. Read on to learn more about his success in children’s publishing that all started with his beard!
How do you feel about achieving sales of 10,000 beard books?
Selling 10,000 books is unreal. I had no idea this was going to be as popular as it has been, and it leaves me in awe, really.
Is 10,000 the combined total for both beard books?
My Dad Has a Beard, has sold 10,000 copies. The follow-up Great Beards of History hasn’t sold nearly as many. They are both about a bearded dad, but the original just caught on like wildfire!
How many books do you have out now?
- My Dad Has a Beard: This was my first book, originally created as a gift for my son. It’s my most popular and well-known book. It’s a baby explaining about his father’s beard and why it’s so great.
- Great Beards of History: A follow-up to My Dad Has a Beard, this is a collection of historical and pop culture icons with beards, listing silly facts and pictures. Sprinkled in between are facts about the narrator’s bearded dad and how he’s great, too.
- The Awkward Dinosaurs: This is a colorful, super-silly book about made-up dinosaur species that are odd and awkward, but totally secure in who they are. The lesson is to be who you are and own it!
- My Mom is Always Right: Meant to be a loose companion book to My Dad Has a Beard, this story is about a mom and daughter where the daughter is highlighting all the funny and meaningful lessons her mom has taught her over the years.
- Off To Be Pirates: An Owl Story: This is a story of some baby owls in the Midwest who dream about being pirates, even though they are nowhere near an ocean, and learn about thinking things through and being satisfied being owls, which is actually pretty great.
- Hard Working Mermaids: This, my newest book, is about mermaids who have traditionally non-feminine jobs under the sea. Filled with fun illustrations and ocean puns, this book’s lesson is you can be whatever you want and do whatever you want, regardless of gender.
Did the non-beard books come out after the beard books?
My first book was My Dad Has a Beard. The non-beard books came later. They are for those beardless parents and children to enjoy, too!
What was your inspiration for the non-beard books?
I write books to be funny enough to read every night for a week or two, since that’s what we do in my house with my son, and to have a positive message I wish more people taught their children. The inspiration for my non-beard books are self-love, being proud of who you are, and not letting people limit your potential.
Back to the beard books, what kind of feedback have you gotten from kids, moms, dads, and anyone else?
Parents seem to love the books because they are silly and offbeat, quirky enough to enjoy reading multiple times. Kids like the colorful pictures and the silliness, too. The beard books make great gifts, so many of the sales actually come from non-bearded people, and often non-parents.
What’s the funniest thing that’s happened as a result of writing your beard books?
My son still is funny about reading his “dad book”, even though I don’t look like the cover as much these days. I cut much of my beard off to wear a mask during Covid, and my son asked me if I had to make a new book now. That seems like a lot of work, to write a new version with every new beard style I wear…
How did you learn to create the illustrations for your book? Did you have prior experience as an artist or designer?
I illustrate my books on the computer. I’m 100% self-taught. Fifteen years ago, a friend and I had this notion we were going to get rich making t-shirts and one of us had to learn how to use this program my friend bought on eBay. That never really panned out, but I use my graphic skills in my everyday work and doing the odd graphic design job for friends. Illustrating is a different process for sure, but was a blast to figure out!
Can we expect any more beard books from you?
This truly is the question! Someday I may finish out a trilogy with something like The ABCs of Beards or something, but I haven’t started anything just yet. I hope the beard style stays strong enough to make it worth doing since I think that book would be pretty silly and fun to put together.
Is there anything else we should know about?
If you are thinking about picking up a book for Father’s Day or Christmas for your bearded friend, husband, dad, brother, or celebrity crush, I’d suggest getting both on a leap of faith — Great Beards of History is my favorite beard book and is often overlooked. The two make a great pair. They both celebrate bearded dads and are fun to read.
All of Kellen’s books are available for sale on Amazon. Click or tap on the following image to buy My Dad Has a Beard:
Click or tap on the following image to buy Great Beards of History! on Amazon:
While on Amazon’s pages for his beard books, click on Kellen’s name to see links to his non-beard books.
All About BEARDS is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Photo appear courtesy of Kellen Roggenbuck.