Saturday, July 25, 2015

Kindle Teens Kept SUGAR in the Top Ten for Months!

Sugar, by Deirdre Riordan Hall, hit the number 1 spot in the Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store on May 2. Then it proceeded to stay in the top ten for TEN more weeks, through July 11th. This story is contemporary fiction for young adults. Deirdre joins us today to talk about her e-publishing experience and the success of her book in e-format.

First, tell us what your book is about.


For seventeen years, Sugar has been told she's too much, yet not enough. Through an empowering friendship, she learns she's more than a worthless daughter, an annoying sister, and the target of the senior class prank; Sugar discovers hope is indomitable and so is she.

Tell us about your path to publication: Traditional or independent? Recently or further in the past?

I wrote several young adult manuscripts, but they weren't published before I detoured into independent publishing with my new adult series titled, Follow your Bliss over the course of 2014. In the middle of my that year, I was contacted by Skyscape Publishing with interest in SUGAR. I jumped in with both feet, becoming a hybrid author. Although writing NA is a lot of fun, YA is my literary home and I'm so fortunate to call Skyscape Publishing my family.

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? Have those initial thoughts changed now that you’ve done it?

As I mentioned above, I embarked on e-publishing as an indie, so I was familiar with the process, pleased with the widespread availability, and enthusiastic about SUGAR being available to people with e-readers. SUGAR will also be available in paperback and audio book (read by the fantastic Tara Sands) on its general publication date of 6/1. All in all, I feel optimistic about e-publishing, but am very grateful to have had a team of people doing the formatting this time around! For the Follow your Bliss series, I was a one woman show, on top of writing, so although independent publishing provides a great opportunity to get books out there, going with a traditional publisher also means I have more time to write.

As you got into e-publishing, have you discovered unexpected things? Has anything happened that you wouldn’t have predicted?


When I started as an indie-publisher, I discovered an amazing community of writers, readers, and bloggers who were surprisingly supportive and helpful for those of us newbies. As a hybrid author now, I appreciate the connection with my online friends whose careers I've watched bloom and grateful that I had their support while I was starting out.

What does your writing schedule look like? What are you working on now?

I firmly believe in the adage, writers-write, so I'm a Monday-Friday, nine-to-fiver. Although, since I have flexibility in my schedule, sometimes that fiver gets pushed to eight or midnight if I have to rearrange things when the non-writing life calls. And as you can probably imagine, the bonus, writing-related activities like social media, promotion, blogging, and interviews all get penciled in there too.

I just finished the rough draft of a young adult ms, today in fact! (*Doing a little celebratory dance!) But I'll soon be diving into revisions on my next YA project, PEARL, to be published by Skyscape in 2016.

Time to pull out your Magic 8 Ball: Do you think e-publishing will ever exceed or replace print publishing?

I think it will continue to succeed, but as for it replacing print publishing? Who knows, maybe they'll invent another format that will take its place before then. Lol.
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Deirdre has provided loads of links where you can find out more about her and her books. Check these out:

See the latest Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more top ten e-format authors and their books. It's updated every Saturday morning. Check back next week when my featured author will be Amber Argyle.

Want a sneak preview of the rest of the authors I'm featuring for the next few weeks? You can sign up HERE to get my newsletter and stay up to date with the blog and my books.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

THE LIVING: A Number One Hit with Kobo Teens

On May 2nd, The Living by Matt de la Pena hit the #1 spot in the Kids & Teen section of the Kobo.com store. The Living was originally released in 2013, and this year it was followed by a sequel, The Hunted.

Matt is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult novels and picture books, and he joins us today to share about his e-publishing success.

First, tell us what your book is about.

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The Living is a survival story. My main character Shy gets a summer job working on a luxury cruise ship. It's his first real exposure to people with money. He works hard and has some fun in his off hours (he especially likes hanging with Carmen, a beautiful girl from a neighborhood quite a bit like his). But soon he finds himself in extremely rough seas. When the ship goes down in the middle of the Pacific, Shy is in a fight for his life. It's during this fight that he uncovers an even deeper secret.

What is your target audience, and how do you believe the e-format works for that audience and serves their needs?

I write Young Adult novels, which are stories driven by teens. Shy is 17. I love my teen readers so much, but I also love the adults who read my books. The Living, I've found, has been very popular with adults. The e-format is exciting to me for many reasons. First of all, teens read on iPads and their phones. But it's also exciting that folks can download a book the second they hear about it. Also, I'm currently traveling, and I love that I can have six books on one device. When I teach, I find that it's great to be able to search for a key section instead of randomly flipping through pages. It's truly an honor to have an e-book that is widely read. It makes me so proud to think that there are people possibly reading my work on a device right this second, maybe a few rows behind me on the plane I'm currently on.

What does your writing schedule look like? What are you working on now?

Because I'm traveling so much these days, I've learned to write on planes and in hotels and on the train. I have deadlines that do not allow me to wait for the perfect setting. I have to make the best of whatever situation I find myself in. Currently, I'm waiting for the sequel to The Living, The Hunted, to come out. It's the end of Shy's story, and the book officially comes out May 12th, which is so soon. So I've been doing a lot of publicity for the book and meeting with readers. It's great. And tiring. And it makes me nervous. I hope people like how the story ends!

Do you believe the e-format helps or hurts your readers, specifically children and/or young adults? How?

As a reader of both traditional books AND e-books, I think reading is reading. Kids are shifting toward e-books these days. I think it's great. I'm happy they're reading. And if they're anything like me, I bet some of them go out and buy the hardcover of the books they like best. I know I do. I just love that there are so many way to experience a story these days. That's the most important thing. Because I believe narrative is vital to our culture.
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Learn more about Matt and his books by visiting his website, or by following him on Facebook or Twitter.

See the latest Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more top ten e-format authors and their books. It's updated every Saturday morning. Check back next week when my featured author will be Deirdre Riordan Hall.

Want a sneak preview of the rest of the authors I'm featuring for the next few weeks? You can sign up HERE to get my newsletter and stay up to date with the blog and my books.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Rachel Van Dyken: Five Weeks in the Kindle Top Ten for Teens

The Consequence of Loving Colton by Rachel Van Dyken hit the number one spot in the Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store on April 25th. It proceeded to stay in the top ten for four more weeks.

This New Adult Romance story is the first book in Rachel's Consequence series. Book #2, The Consequence of Revenge, was released on June 9th, and it immediately popped up to the top ten for three weeks. Rachel is planning two more books for the series. 

Rachel joins us today to talk about her book and her e-publishing success.

First let's find out what your book is about. 

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The Consequence of Loving Colton is a story about a girl who's always been in love with her brothers best friend...she's returns home for her brothers wedding and decides to put the sad infatuation behind her, but a stolen kiss has her panicking, especially considering he APOLOGIZES for it in the first place, so she does what any desparate hurt girl would do...she lies...and throws her best friend Max under the bus. Max shows up for the wedding to save her, but his questioning acting skills and Milo's obsession with Colton are making things difficult. Throw in a horny grandmother, xanax, a trip to prison, dragons, and a few choice star wars analogies and you've got the makings of a fun weekend ;)

Tell us briefly about your path to publication: Traditional or independent? Recently or further in the past? 

I started out at an indie publishing house and then from there went to self publishing and finally traditional. I'm what's called a hybrid author because I typically will do one traditional series a year and still self publish. I love having a big house back me but I also really love control of the creative process. I get the best of both worlds and wouldn't want it any other way!

What top factors do you believe put your e-book where it is now? 

I have an amazing publisher. I wish I could take credit, but I can't! They did a great job launching the book along with my PR team. TCOLC already had a fan base since it was originally published on watt pad for free, so I think that too contributed to sales.

How are people finding out about your book? Tell us about your marketing and use of social media. 

I fully believe that a social media presence is huge for authors...I spend around 4-6 hours a day online, responding to readers, emailing people, posting snippets of my books, etc. It's a full time job, for sure.

Some studies say children reading e-books are reading more, while other studies say they comprehend less of what they read. What’s your opinion or experience? 

I fully agree that kids are reading ebooks more. I actually used to work at a learning center and at a school as a counselor and its incredible how many kids read on their phones or iPads now, especially younger children because they don't get as overwhelmed with how long or big the book is. Its amazing what giving an ebook to a child who struggles with reading does...all of a sudden they finish the book and go hey that wasn't so bad! :)

What is your target audience, and how do you believe the e-format works for that audience and serves their needs?

My target audience would consist of teens all the way up to my grandma ;) I want to make sure that my books are enjoyed by all ages. Thats the beauty of being with a traditional publisher, if someone isn't a fan of the ebook they can read the paperback.

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? Have those initial thoughts changed now that you’ve done it?

I love e-publishing. LOVE IT! I would never go with a publisher who restricted e-publishing and I've never been hesitant about the process because that's where I sell the most books. It excites me to put new books out there and I'll continue to use that format.

As you got into e-publishing, have you discovered unexpected things? Has anything happened that you wouldn’t have predicted? 

I think the most unexpected thing I've noticed is that you can't predict it. Ever. Regardless of how many books you've sold or how well you've done, the ebook world is a constantly changing thing. Even genres that are popular change in a blink of an eye. You have to constantly be present to keep up.

What does your writing schedule look like? What are you working on now? 

I typically write around 5-6 hours a day, thankfully I have a babysitter come in twice a week so I can get my word counts up. I'm actually working on the third book in the consequence series. If I'm on deadline which I am right now AGH, then I typically write at night as well.

Time to pull out your Magic 8 Ball: How do you see the world of e-publishing developing for children and young adults over the next 5 years? Do you think it will ever exceed or replace print publishing? 

Oh wow! I don't think it will ever replace print. Readers won't allow that to happen and there's something very special about holding a book, however, I see it developing into something you see a lot more within the school system. It's cheaper than buying books and it teaches kids how to work with technology and as I said earlier, its not as overwhelming when you can't see how many pages you have left.

Do you believe the e-format helps or hurts you as an author? How? 

It helps because it broadens your audience.

Do you believe the e-format helps or hurts your readers, specifically children and/or young adults? How? 

I think it helps them...especially if they are home and need some entertainment, as a mother I'd much rather have my child read an ebook that costs the price of a cup of coffee then sit in front of the tv. 
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Learn more about Rachel and her books by visiting her website or by following her on Facebook or Twitter.


See the latest Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more top ten e-format authors and their books. It's updated every Saturday morning. Check back next week when my featured author will be Matt de la Pena.

Want a sneak preview of the rest of the authors I'm featuring for the next few weeks? You can sign up HERE to get my newsletter and stay up to date with the blog and my books.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

ILLUMINATE Shines in the Teen section of the Barnes & Noble Nook Store

Today we get to hear from Aimee Agresti, author of Illuminate. Her book hit the number 8 spot in the Teen section of the Barnes and Noble Nook store on April 18th. 

Illuminate has been featured in such popular magazines as Seventeen, Justine, Entertainment Weekly and US Weekly. CafeMom.com even included it in their list of "10 Best Vampire & Supernatural Books to Replace Your ‘Twilight’ Obsession." Welcome, Aimee!


In a few sentences, tell us what your book is about.

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ILLUMINATE is the first book in my "Gilded Wings Trilogy" about a teen angel who's forced to battle a pack of gorgeous, soul-stealing demons in order to earn her wings...and of course she falls in love with one along the way. But wild paranormal elements aside, it's really the story of a girl learning to have confidence in herself. What could be a better metaphor for growing up than earning your wings and learning to fly, right?

What top factors do you believe put your e-book where it is now?

I have the best readers! Their word of mouth has made such a difference and it means so much to me. It's the ultimate compliment when I hear that someone enjoyed the book so much that they mentioned it to a friend. I've gotten so many sweet emails and tweets from readers. I don't think they even realize how much I treasure their notes! Speaking of, I always love to hear from folks so feel free to write to me through my website aimeeagresti.com. I may be slow but I do write back!

How are people finding out about your book? Tell us about your marketing and use of social media.

I love interacting with readers on Twitter and Facebook, doing interviews with bloggers and doing giveaways on my own blog. And stay tuned: the third book in my trilogy comes out soon and it takes place in a fabulous location so I'm planning to post photos and videos from my research trip. It'll be a fun way to make readers feel like they're there! 

What is your target audience, and how do you believe the e-format works for that audience and serves their needs?

My target is anyone who loves to escape into a good story with romance, mystery, adventure, fantasy and above all, a strong heroine! I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read and since it's so fun to tote e-readers around, it's easier than ever to fit reading into a busy schedule whether you're a teen trying to read between classes or a busy mom swiping through a few pages after the kids go to bed. Personally, I LOVE my e-reader, it's changed my life!

What does your writing schedule look like? What are you working on now?

I'm absolutely thrilled that the third book in the trilogy will be coming out this year--yay! I hope to have news of the release date very, very soon. I can't wait to hear what readers think of the finale. It was a ton of fun to write and also bittersweet after spending so many years with these characters I love so much!
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Learn more about Aimee and her books by visiting her website, or by following her on Facebook or Twitter

See the latest Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more top ten e-format authors and their books. It's updated every Saturday morning. Check back next week when my featured author will be Rachel Van Dyken.

Want a sneak preview of the rest of the authors I'm featuring for the next few weeks? You can sign up HERE to get my newsletter and stay up to date with the blog and my books.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Wizard of Time Trilogy: Number One with Kindle Kids!


The Wizard of Time Trilogy hit the coveted number 1 spot in the Children's section of the Amazon Kindle store on April 18th. This time travel adventure series by G. L. Breedon consists of The Wizard of Time, The Sword of Unmaking, and The Edge of Eternity.

First, please tell us what your books are about.
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Thirteen-year-old Gabriel Salvador has dreams about the future and his dreams always come true. When he dreams one night that he will drown, he knows upon waking it is only a matter of time before his dream becomes reality.

Plucked from the timeline of history at the moment of his death, Gabriel becomes an apprentice time mage and part of an elite team of wizards who travel throughout history to fight the War of Time and Magic.

Victorian London, the Aztec temples of 1487, the Greek island of Samos in 320 BCE, Scotland in the Middle Ages, and the battle fields of Alexander the Great are only some of the adventures in time that await Gabriel as he learns to become a time mage and joins the battle to protect the timeline of history in The Wizard of Time.

Tell us about your path to publication: Traditional or independent? Recently or further in the past?

I have the usual indie author story. I spent several years writing novels and collecting rejection letters from agents and publishers before I decided to start self-publishing in 2011. I currently have three books in the Wizard of Time series, two books in my Young Sorcerers Guild series, and a stand alone YA sci-fi book published.

What top factors do you believe put your e-book where it is now?

I think the thing that helps sell books more than anything is word of mouth – people wanting to share their experience of reading your book and telling others about it. That only happens if you write something people enjoy enough to want to share. And sometimes people want to share some of your books more than others. My Wizard of Time books outsell my others by a wide margin.

How are people finding out about your book? Tell us about your marketing and use of social media.

I’ve run bookbub ads, which helps give the book a boost, but most of the sales are from people finding it or having it recommended to them. I have a blog and facebook and twitter account, but I’ve been ignoring them lately as I’ve invested most of my free time writing and editing my new fantasy novel. I find it really difficult to make time for both when I’m writing or editing. I’m hoping to get back to posting on all of them soon.

Some studies say children reading e-books are reading more, while other studies say they comprehend less of what they read. What's your opinion or experience?

I’ve had parents write to say that The Wizard of Time got their child into reading or rekindled a lost interested in reading, so I definitely think kids are reading more. If they are comprehending less it might be due to the fact that ebooks make it easier to flip pages and skim past parts the kids find boring.

What is your target audience, and how do you believe the e-format works for that audience and serves their needs?


The books I have written so far are pretty solidly targeted to the 12-14 year old reader. I think ebooks work great for that age range – assuming they have access to a tablet or ereader. Unfortunately, most kids that age don’t yet have their own dedicated device. I think that will change as the price continues to drop for ereaders and tablets, and I think younger readers will read more ebooks as a result.

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? Have those initial thoughts changed now that you've done it?

I’d spent years reading that self-publishing was not only a sign of failure as a writer but would ensure that your book never got accepted by a traditional publisher. However, by the time I started indie publishing my novels as ebooks enough people were doing it that it seemed more reasonable and less risky. Now I find it hard to imagine having a traditional publisher even if that meant a wider print distribution than I can manage on my own.

As you got into e-publishing, have you discovered unexpected things?  Has anything happened that you wouldn't have predicted?

The thing that surprised me most was the effect of word of mouth in selling books. I’ve watched other writers who invested a great deal of time in social media or ads or free give always, and compared them to the sales of writers who did none of that, but who had a book people wanted to share with friends and family. The books that generate word of mouth buzz always sell more. That made intuitive sense, because I love to share books that really interest me, but it still surprised me from a practical point of view as an indie published author.

What does your writing schedule look like? What are you working on now?

I have a freelance day job, so I do most of my writing and editing between gigs. I’m currently editing my new Epic Sword and Sorcery Opera. It’s a 750+ page fantasy novel following seven groups of people in a world where thousands have begun to have dreams of a new god and a new star and begin a pilgrimage to the Forbidden Realm. One night a star appears in the sky just as the dreams foretold and sets in motion all manner of chaos for the characters at the center of the story.

Time to pull out your Magic 8 Ball:  How do you see the world of e-publishing developing for children and young adults over the next 5 years? Do you think it will ever exceed or replace print publishing?

I suspect that in the next 5 years, and certainly in the next 10, ebooks will replace print for most genre fiction, for all age ranges. It may happen slower for children’s books and middle grade YA books. I don’t think print will go away for contemporary fiction or for text books and works with large amounts of photos. Print it is very convenient for that sort of thing. I also suspect that more of the writers of those genre ebooks will be indie authors. As mass maket paperback sales decline there will be less incentive for newer authors to look for a traditional publishing deal.

Do you believe the e-format helps or hurts you as an author? How?

I don’t think people would be reading my novels without ebooks. For all I know I might be on my sixth novel of collecting rejection letters instead of getting ready to indie publish my seventh.

Do you believe the e-format helps or hurts your readers, specifically children and/or young adults? How?

I can’t honestly see how ebooks could hurt readers. They cost less, their easy to read, and they can’t fall off your overcrowded book shelf and hit you in the head. Win, win, win.
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Learn more about Geoffrey and his books by visiting his website, or by following him on Facebook and Twitter.

See the latest Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more top ten e-format authors and their books. It's usually updated every Saturday morning, but this week due to scheduling conflicts I had to compile it on Friday evening. Check back next week when my featured author will be Aimee Agresti.

Want a sneak preview of the rest of the authors I'm featuring for the next few weeks? You can sign up HERE to get my newsletter and stay up to date with the blog and my books.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

DOLLHOUSE: A Top Ten Hit with Kindle Teens

Today's featured author is Anya Allyn. Her book, Dollhouse, hit the number 10 spot in the Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store on April 4th. It's the first book of four in The Dark Carousel series, although there is a free short story prequel called Thirteen.

Anya classifies her books as young adult Gothic horror/thrillers, and she joins us today to talk about her e-publishing success.  

First, tell us what your book is about.


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DOLLHOUSE is about a group of teenagers who end up in a dark, surreal dollhouse beneath an old mansion. There's a place inside the Dollhouse, known as the Toy Box, from which they can enter into other realms--the past, a macabre carnival and some terrifying places.

Tell us about your path to publication: Traditional or independent? Recently or further in the past?

I started out with the thought of going traditional. I actually didn’t know there was any other option! I had been a features’ writer for a media organisation in Australia (from 2002-2009) and was now homeschooling one of my boys and running a small business.

I began writing fiction at night. I uploaded a short story to a place named Inkpop.com (now Figment.com) just to gain feedback from teenagers. It was a site where you gained criticism for your writing and also upvoted others for a chance to gain a review from Harper Collins. To my shock, my story sped to the top within a month or so, and I gained a great review from a HC editor. It gave me the confidence to try writing a book. By the time I’d written DOLLHOUSE in 2012, I’d just heard about Amazon and decided to try it as an independent.


I had a lot of success with Dollhouse and went on to write three more books in the series.

In 2013, I had three publishers contacted me - one large and two smaller. I ended up going with one of the smaller--Paper Lantern Lit. I felt that the PLL editor, Lauren Oliver, really ‘got’ my book and that together with the PLL team, I could make the Dollhouse book the very best it could be. This interview explains a little more about that time from Lauren’s side of things.

What top factors do you believe put your e-book where it is now?

I’m not sure, to be honest. I continue to be astounded people like the weird and creepy stories floating about in my head!

How are people finding out about your book? Tell us about your marketing and use of social media.

I will admit I’m not great at marketing. I’m an introvert who finds it almost impossible to say, ‘please review my book’ or ‘hey, here’s a book you might like’!

I keep a presence on my Facebook author page and love interacting with readers there.

I’d say that the biggest thing you can do for marketing is to write a series that people really like. Which isn’t really marketing but writing! A lot!  Books in a series can help sell each other, as each book is like its own little billboard at a vendor, and also many readers like totally losing themselves in the world an author creates--which can be difficult to achieve in the space of a single book.

Of course, advertising is a big factor in book discovery. Advertisers such as BookBub and promotions run at distributors such as Amazon and iTunes can really catapult your book.

Some studies say children reading e-books are reading more, while other studies say they comprehend less of what they read. What’s your opinion or experience?

I have four boys. There was definite frustration with the older two in not always being able to access the books they wanted to read. Now, I have a kindle, and it’s great being able to offer the younger two more variety. I’m not sure about the comprehension side of things, but I definitely think it’s something for educators to be aware of and keep researching.

As you got into e-publishing, have you discovered unexpected things? 

Things. Change. So. Fast.

That’s been the biggest thing that I’ve noticed. It’s a whirlwind and hard to keep up with it all.


What does your writing schedule look like? What are you working on now?

My writing schedule is basically this: After I drop my children off at school, I'm home by 9.30am. I start writing at 10am. Run around and do some cleaning up at 2pm and then pick my kids up again. And then there's kids' sport, homework and dinner. I rarely get more than two solid writing hours in. There are always other things to take care of in our very busy household!

At the moment I’m writing a psychological thriller--a new genre for me! I'm also working on getting together a new website of authors who write dark YA fiction: http://evereerie.com. I’ve just released a standalone YA sic fi novel (Lake Ephemeral), which I'd love to write a sequel for in the future. I’d also love to write a prequel/sequel for Dollhouse. I have so many ideas for books and it just isn’t possible to write them all!
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Learn more about Anya and her books by visiting her website, or by following her on Facebook or Twitter

See the latest Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more top ten e-format authors and their books. It's updated every Saturday morning. Check back next week when my featured author will be G. L. Breedon.

Want a sneak preview of the rest of the authors I'm featuring for the next few weeks? You can sign up HERE to get my newsletter and stay up to date with the blog and my books.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Christopher Healy's Guide to Top Ten Success!

On March 21st, The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom hit the number 5 spot in the Kids' and Teen section of the Kobo.com store. Christopher Healy is the author of this e-book bestseller, and he joins us today. 

After a career of writing for magazines, newspapers and websites, this was Christopher's first book written for children. It has won several notable awards as well as wonderful reviews, and there are now two sequels in the Hero's Guide series: The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle and The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw. 

First, tell us what The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is about.

Prince Liam, Prince Frederic, Prince Gustav, Prince Duncan. These are the so-called heroes who became famous for rescuing Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White, respectively. Yet no one even knows their real names—they are all simply known by the generic name, Prince Charming, and forced to live in the shadows of their more famous (even if deservedly so) female counterparts. Now the time has come for these four second-banana princes to join together on a daring, monster-and-magic-filled quest to prove to the world—and themselves—that they truly are the heroes their stories make them out to be. (And if things get rough, the princesses are always around to help the guys out of a tight spot.)

Tell us about your path to publication: Traditional or independent? Recently or further in the past?

As someone who was telling people I was going to be an author someday back when I was 7 years old, I took a pretty roundabout path to actually reach that goal. I started my professional "writing" career as a magazine fact-checker. Then I moved from double-checking other people's writing to wrangling some real writing assignments of my own—ones with an actual byline. Eventually, I was writing for a whole bunch of magazines, newspapers, and websites—everything from the New York Times to AOL. But once my kids were born, I ended up finding a niche for myself as a children's media critic, reviewing kids' books, movies, music, and video games (Hey, "Write what you know," right?). After years of that, though, I finally reached a point where I got tired of writing about other people's works and wanted to try creating my own. I reminded myself of my dreams from back when I was a second grader. So in between all the paying work, I began writing The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom—my first shot at a novel. From there, the route to publication was pretty traditional. I got an agent (who luckily turned out to be awesome), she brought my manuscript to several publishers, and HarperCollins made me an offer.

What top factors do you believe put your e-book where it is now?

I hate to say bargain deals, but when talking specifically about the e-book version of Hero's Guide, they've been a huge help. Every limited time, low-price deal has led to a jump in sales. Beyond just the electronic version, though, I credit the success of the series to a number of factors (each of which I'm incredibly grateful for!)—schools (teachers and librarians have been great champions for my books), handselling at brick-and-mortar bookstores, very supportive book bloggers, and word of mouth from kid readers. Of course, I don't know how many of those boosts I would have gotten at all if the publisher hadn't been so good about pushing and marketing the series on their end.

What is your target audience, and how do you believe the e-format works for that audience and serves their needs?

Although I have a wide spectrum of readers, the series is technically labeled as middle grade, meaning a target audience of 8 to 12. I can't say I've seen too many kids that age reading ebooks, but a lot of their parents do. I also know that a lot of parents read my books aloud to their kids, so for them, the format wouldn't necessarily matter. I do think, however, that if my series only existed in e-book format, it would not have gotten the wonderful reception it has from schools.

What does your writing schedule look like? What are you working on now?

I try my hardest to put in a full six hours of writing between 9 and 3, while my kids are at school. Once they're home, it's too easy to get distracted, so I save as much of the business-end of the job (emails, contracts, bills, website upkeep, etc.) for after 3pm. Of course, it doesn't always work out. And there's always a little thing called Writer's Block that tends to show up pretty much every day at some point. When that happens, I find it much more productive to move on to some other task, rather than sit and stare at a blank screen. It's usually while I'm in the middle of something else that the answer will come to me. My latest novel that I'm working on is called, The Worst Thing About Saving the World, and it follows the post-heroic life of a middle-schooler AFTER he's saved the day and become mega famous for it. It's set to be published in 2016.
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Learn more about Christopher and his books by visiting his website and the Official Hero's Guide website. You can also follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

See the latest Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more top ten e-format authors and their books. It's updated every Saturday morning. Check back next week when my featured author will be Anya Allyn.

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