Saturday, December 13, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Thanks for visiting the Kids' EBook Bestsellers blog. As I do every year, I'm taking a break for a few weeks over the holidays. I'll be back on January 3rd, with the latest bestseller list and another compelling author interview. 

In the meantime, browse through the author list of interviews from the past four years. Over 180 bestselling authors for children and teens have shared their thoughts and experiences about their e-publishing success.

I have some fantastic interviews lined up for 2015. For January, they are Ali Novak, Gretchen McNeal, Richard Farr, C.J. Redwine and C.L. Stone. February is already booked with Jackie Davies, P.M. Pevato, Erin Fletcher and Toby Neal. And Ginger Scott joins us the first week of March. 

Be sure to bookmark this page and visit often. Even better, sign up to receive an email notification each time a new interview is posted. (See "Follow by E-Mail" to the right.) You can also keep up with all the blog happenings by signing up for my newsletter.

I hope your holidays are relaxing and fun, filled with the joys of the season. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Brian Spangler's AN ORDER OF COFFEE AND TEARS is a Top Ten Hit With Kindle Teens.

Brian Spangler joins us today to talk about his top ten e-pub success with An Order of Coffee and Tears. On September 20th it rose to the number 9 spot in the Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store.

Time to pull out your synopsis skills! In a few sentences, tell us what your book is about.

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An Order of Coffee and Tears is about finding a family in the most unexpected of places. For Gabby, that place was a small Diner in the city of Philadelphia. And through the adoption of a new family, Gabby is able to come to terms with her past while helping others come to terms with their present.  

Tell us briefly about your path to publication: Traditional or independent?

Currently, I'm considered an Indie Author. After a year of querying agents with my first two books, I decided to give the Indie route a try, joining Amazon's KDP Select Program. While I've stayed in the Amazon KDP Select program, I have new works which I'm sending out to Agents to go a traditional publishing route. The hybrid author is one who publishes as both Indie and Traditional… the best of both worlds.

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

The biggest factor is reviews. An Order of Coffee and Tears has been accepted very well and garnered enough good reviews to help readers make the decision to buy when browsing Amazon's huge list of books.

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

I'm not an outwardly social person, I doubt most writers are. But with the advent of social media, for a writer to reach readers, they have adopt and use social media. For me, that means Facebook and on occasion Twitter. I also manage an active subscriber list for readers interested in hearing from me on occasion. My website, writtenbybrian.com,  is designed around leading visitors to signing up newsletter subscribers. No spam, just a few words about what is coming up. Sometimes I throw in a free short story too.
  
What are you working on now?

After publishing science fiction for the last year, I'm moving back to literary and women's fiction with a new book, which I'm hopeful will be out early next year.
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Learn more about Brian 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. And check back next week when my featured author will be Brian Spangler.

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, November 29, 2014

THE MERCHANT OF DEATH: A Top Ten Hit With Kids in the Nook Store

Today's featured author is D.J. MacHale. On September 20th his book, The Merchant of Death, hit the #9 spot in the Kids' section of the Barnes and Noble Nook Store. It's the first book of ten in his bestselling book series, called "Pendragon - Journal of an Adventure Through Time and Space."

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

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The Merchant of Death is about fourteen year old Bobby Pendragon who is taken away from his perfect suburban life by his adventurous uncle on a mission to save an oppressed tribe on the other side of the universe. It is the first book of ten in the bestselling PENDRAGON – Journal of an Adventure Through Time and Space series.. Over the course of the series, Bobby learns that he is a Traveler, and must protect the ten territories of Halla from the evil Saint Dane.

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

I have written and produced many television shows for young people With the kid-TV landscape changing and the elimination of dramas produced specifically for kids, I took my storytelling to books. Since I already had a reputation in the entertainment world, I went the traditional publishing route and was able to secure a deal. I have since published 17 books plus another dozen or so spinoffs.

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

The Merchant of Death was originally published in 2002. The world of ebooks has exploded since then. Where I used to see maybe 1% of my sales from ebooks, it has now grown significantly, mostly with my backlist. One of the beauties of ebooks is that you don’t have to rely on a publisher to print more books and for stores to stock them.

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

My publishers promote extensively on-line, reaching out to bloggers. I also tour quite a bit and visit schools. I also have a presence on-line with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as my djmachalebooks.com website. [Links to all of these are provided below.]

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

My target audience is anyone who loves to read an exciting adventure. My readers range from 9-90. I don’t write for any specific age, I just write what I like. However, the vast majority of readers are in the 10-16 range. With tablets becoming common in schools, I see more young kids enjoying stories that way.

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

As I said, the idea that my backlist will always be available through ebooks is a wonderful thing. I can’t speak to pricing because right now that’s still being debated. My one big concern with ebooks is piracy. I’ve gotten emails from kids asking: “Where can I can find your books on line for free?” My answer is always: “Nowhere, I hope.”

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

Right now I’m finishing up the first book of the Voyagers series that Random House will publish next year. The third book in my trilogy “The SYLO Chronicles” titled STRIKE will publish next month and I’ll be touring for that. I’m also taking a break from books and writing a screenplay as well as a new TV show. It’s good to stretch in different areas. It keeps things interesting!

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

In the end, it’s all about the story. Whatever means works to get a book into the hands of a kid, in my opinion, is a good thing.
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Learn more about D.J. MacHale and his books by visiting his website where there is a blog and fan forums. You can also follow him on Facebook, on Twitter or on Instagram.

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

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, November 22, 2014

Psion Beta: A Favorite with Kindle Kids

Psion Beta by Jacob Gowans rose to the #9 spot in the Children's section of the Amazon Kindle store on September 20th. This book is the first of four books in his Psion series, and according to his blog, he's working on the fifth book, due out in 2015. Jacob joins us today to talk about his e-pub experience.

First, Jacob, what is your book about?


Psion Beta is about Sammy, a 14-year-old fugitive, who accidentally discovers he has the powers of a Psion.

After being plucked off the streets, he is thrust into the rigorously-disciplined environment of Psion Beta headquarters. As a new Beta, Sammy must hone his newfound abilities using holographic fighting simulations, stealth training missions, and complex war games. His fellow trainees are other kids competing to prove their worth so they can graduate and contribute to the war effort.

But the stifling competition at headquarters isolates Sammy from his peers. Learning to use his incredible powers is difficult enough, but when things go horribly wrong on a routine training mission, he must rely on the other Betas to stay alive.


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

I am both self-published and traditionally published. I self-published five books before one of them was noticed by a publisher and picked up. It was republished only three weeks ago. It's been an exciting experience, and I definitely recommend people consider both options because they both have their plusses and minuses.

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

The key to success in self publishing is three things: 1. Writing stories with high marketability well. 2. Having multiple books available for readers to buy. 3. Discounting your books heavily every few weeks to spread the word.

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

My target audience is ages 12 and up. The e-format works well for teens and adults who want to read on their devices. Not as much for middle grade and early-age readers. Teens are into devices like tablets and want to read books on them. I am very happy about the success of the e-book.

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

Initially, I felt that I was "resigned" to self-publishing. This was in the early days of doing so, in 2010. However, self-publishing is now a booming industry. It's nothing to be ashamed of and people can do very well in it. I was nervous and excited to self-publish, and things started slowly. Now that I've done it, I have no hesitancy to do it again if needed.

What does your writing schedule look like?

I am a full time dentist, four days a week, so I write on the weekends and evenings. Some days I have a bit of time during the work day, but nothing I can count on. I try to write about 10K words a week, but I don't always succeed. My goal is to someday write full time or at least 4 days a week.

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?

I think e-books are the future and that we'll see less and less print publishing. I think it's okay that this is happening. People can buy books at less of a cost and publishers will find new, exciting ways to incorporate media into e-novels like sound effects, short films, and other ways to dramatize the novel reading experience.
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Learn more about Jacob and his books at his website & blog, 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. And check back next week when my featured author will be D.J. MacHale.

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, November 15, 2014

GIRL ON A WIRE: A Top Ten Hit With Kindle Teens for Four Weeks

On September 6th Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond hit the number 3 spot in the Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store. Gwenda's book continued to hover in the top ten for three more weeks. She joins us today to talk about her e-pub success with Girl on a Wire.

First, please tell us what your book is about.

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Girl on a Wire is about Jules Maroni, a sixteen-year-old daredevil high wire walker from a legendary circus family. The Maronis have fallen on hard times despite being world-class performers. When they get a chance to join the Cirque American, a show seeking to return the big top tent circus to its place of glamour and glory, Jules forces the family to take it--but things become more complicated once she gets there. Old, possibly magical items believed to possess unlucky magic begin to turn up, and she must team up with Remy Garcia, the son of a rival circus family, to find the culprit before tragedy strikes. It sits at the intersection of many of my obsessions--the circus, high wire walking, girl daredevils, classic screwball comedies (particularly the memorable heroines and romances between equals in the best ones), multi-generational family mysteries.

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

I think it's a very exciting time in the world of books. Digital publishing has opened up so many opportunities for authors, whether traditional, indie published, or both. Every new path to readers is good for writers, in my view. I've been very lucky in that the imprint team at Skyscape, my publisher for Girl on a Wire, has been behind the book every step of the way. I was absolutely thrilled when they told me that the book had been selected as a Kindle First pick for September, because I knew it would help me reach not just readers of my first two books, but hopefully a whole bunch of new ones who might not necessarily find the book otherwise. It's a little surreal to see if bounce around the upper reaches of the e-charts this month.

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

My writing schedule changes depending on what stage I'm in. At the moment, I'm doing some last edits on my next book, Lois Lane: Fallout, putting the iconic Superman character front and center of a young adult novel. It'll be out in May. Such a fun project and an honor to get to do. I'm really excited to share it with everyone. And my husband and I are also finishing up a children's novel we've been writing together. So what that boils down to is thinking about both stories a lot of the time, and working on them a lot of the time. In the midst of launching Girl on a Wire. Whee!

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?

Again, such an exciting time in publishing. It's impossible to deny that e-books are growing--and will continue to do so, I believe--for YA readers, though I suspect most of the growth so far has been in adults who read YA. I don't think that print books for children and YAs will ever go away. At least, I hope not! I believe there is plenty of room for print and e to coexist, especially in this part of the market, but that e-books also provide a real opportunity to reach people who might not wander into the YA section of a bookstore (fewer all the time, but I think still an issue for some) or who are more likely to take a chance on a new-to-them author at a probably lower price in e-book. I also think we'll continue to see a rise of teens reading in many formats, including on their phones or tablets, etc. Personally, I'm also waiting for the first book that truly uses technology in a transformative way that enhances the story experience. I don't think we've seen that yet.

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

I'm a minor twitter addict--I love the conversation of it, and how effortlessly it can connect people. So, I can be found at @gwenda, likely tweeting way too much. I also maintain a more or less up-to-date blog at my website, and I can be found on Tumblr reblogging old Hollywood and comics and literary stuff. I don't really think of any of that as marketing, just places I talk about things that are important to me...which happens to include my books. ;-)
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Find out more about Gwenda and her books by checking out all  the links she provided above in the last paragraph.


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

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, November 8, 2014

39 CLUES: COUNTDOWN -- Unstoppable on its Rise to #1 for Kobo Kids

Today we get to hear from Natalie Standiford, author of The 39 Clues: Countdown. It's book 3 in the Unstoppable series for middle grade readers. (So far there are four Unstoppable books, each written by a different author.)
  
On September 6th, Natalie's book hit the number 1 spot in the Kids and Teen section of the Kobo.com store. Let's hear all about her path to e-pub success. 

Natalie, what is your book about?

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THE 39 CLUES: COUNTDOWN is the third book in the Unstoppable series. Relentless media tycoon and presidential candidate J. Rutherford Pierce has Amy and Dan Cahill on the run as they search the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal for a crucial ingredient needed to counteract Pierce's power. When Dan's life is in danger, Amy does the unthinkable to save him--and now the clock is running out for both of them.

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

My first book was published in 1987, so my road to publication started a long time ago! Soon after graduating from college I landed a job as an editorial assistant in the children's book division of Random House. I started writing licensed character books in-house, as all the assistants did. I published my first book, THE BEST LITTLE MONKEYS IN THE WORLD, while working at Random House. Working in publishing was a big advantage, because it taught me how the industry works and because I knew lots of editors. That's one way to go about getting published, but it's not for everyone, obviously.

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

The 39 Clues series is "multi-platform," meaning the books are paired with a strong online component of games, message boards, and so on. I think that helps make e-books a natural format for the series.

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

Each 39 Clues book comes with collectible cards relating to the books which also send readers to a web site, the39clues.scholastic.com . The site keeps readers coming back with games, message boards, news of the series, and so on. Scholastic has created a community of 39 Clues readers through the internet, which is great for marketing. I also tweet news about the series and post information on Facebook and on my web site, www.nataliestandiford.com. 

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

I try to write every day, usually in the morning until mid-afternoon. I write on weekends too. I often get more writing done on weekends because there are fewer distractions.

Right now I'm working on a new middle grade novel. It's in the early stages, too soon to say much about it, but if I stick to my schedule it should be published in 2016. 
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Find out more about Natalie and her books at her website, or by following her on Twitter or on Facebook

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

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, November 1, 2014

THE PAPER MAGICIAN: Seven Weeks in the Top Ten for Kindle Teens

The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg was released on September 1st. The following Saturday when I compiled Kids' EBook Bestseller List it was already in the #7 spot in the Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store. And it continued to stay in the top ten for six more weeks!

This book is the first in Charlie's Paper Magician series, and the second book is due for release on Tuesday, November 4th. The title is The Glass Magician.

Charlie, tell us what your book is about.

The Paper Magician is about a recent graduate from a rigorous magic prep school who winds up in an unwanted apprenticeship enchanting paper. Just as she starts to like her tutor, however, his heart gets literally ripped out and she has to get it back before his paper replacement fails.

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


The #1 factor is the fact that The Paper Magician was a Kindle First selection for August 2014. That helped immensely. Letting people download the book for free (or discounted if they didn’t have Amazon Prime) got the book into a lot more hands, in and out of my target audience. It got the word spreading!

#2 is probably the promotional emails Amazon sends out multiple times a month. I’ve received several that had The Paper Magician at the top of the fantasy listing. The book is also currently an ad on Kindle.

#3 is likely Twitter. Twitter encompasses a wide range of people, and the hashtags let me reach out to even more.  

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

My schedule is a little off the wall. I write when the baby sleeps, which usually means an hour or so in the morning, and an hour or so in the afternoon. The longer the nap, the more productive I am!

Right now I’m working on an adult romantic fantasy currently titled Charms of the Soothsayer, which is basically a love triangle between a diviner, a gorgon, and a eunuch. 

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 think it will continue to expand, especially with the growing use of tablets. It’s a great way for kids especially to interact with technology without playing a video game.

In the next five years, no, I don’t think ebooks will supersede print publishing. I hope they never do—there’s something special about paper books. That, and you never have to worry about the battery on a paperback going dead. ;)
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Learn more about Charlie and  her books  by visiting her website or by following her on Goodreads or Twitter. Also check out her blog post about the release of The Glass Magician, which includes a giveaway on Goodreads!


See the latest Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more top ten e-format authors and their books. It's updated every Saturday morning.

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.