Monday, February 8, 2016

Five Years of Interviews with Bestselling Authors for Kids and Young Adults

Thanks for visiting KidsEBookBestsellers.com. For five years, from November 2011 through November 2015, I compiled a weekly bestseller list from the internet's most popular e-bookstores. Then I contacted the authors for interviews about their top ten success. Check out the Author Index page for the full list of authors. 

Now that e-publishing is firmly established, I've discontinued the weekly lists and interview. But this site will remain. With over 230 author interviews, it will continue to be a source of insight and information for anyone who is a fan of books for children and young adults. So have a look around and enjoy "meeting" these successful authors.

Stop by my website to see what new things I'm working on these days! 

All the best!

Karleen Tauszik

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sean Fay-Wolfe: Quest for the Top Ten with QUEST FOR JUSTICE

On October 24th Quest for Justice by Sean Fay-Wolfe hit the number 4 spot in the Kids' section of the Barnes and Noble Nook store. Quest for Justice is book 1 of 3 in the The Elementia Chronicles series unofficial Minecraft-fan adventure books. Sean says, "The story stays true to the game while being packed with action and adventure."

First, please tell us what your book is about.


Quest for Justice takes place in an online Minecraft world called Elementia. A new player named Stan2012 joins the game, with no idea how to play. He makes some new friends travels to a village where he learns in a boot-camp-style program how to play the game from the older players. However, he soon realizes that many of the older players don't want any more new players to join Elementia, because they want to keep the few remaining resources around the server's capitol, Element City, for themselves. When the King of Elementia passes a law banishing all new players from the city, Stan and his friends set out on a journey across the world of Minecraft to fight back against him. They learn how to play the game as they look for resources and raise an army, meeting many colorful characters on the way, all in the name of bringing justice and balance to Elementia.

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

After receiving positive reactions from my family to Quest for Justice, I decided to try to get it published. First, I wrote to several publishing companies and to the creator of Minecraft himself. Not really to surprised that no one jumped at the opportunity to work with a 16 year old, I decided to self-publish. I used CreateSpace, a company that published the book for free but didn't provide editing or marketing services. The book was initially edited by my mother and I, and we marketed it through a social media campaign and visits to schools. I also joined the Association of Rhode Island Authors, along with several other author support groups, to try and gain more exposure. One event organized by ARIA put me in contact with Judith Rosin who worked for Publisher's Weekly. I ended up doing an interview with her which resulted in an online article being published about me . This article, in addition to the growing popularity of the series in my home state of Rhode Island, lead my current agent to approach me, which lead to me signing a three-book deal with HarperCollins in early 2015.

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

While we have marketed through social media, and through more traditional methods after being picked up by HarperCollins, I think that one of the biggest and most unique ways that the word has spread is through my visits to schools. I usually give presentations to 3rd through 6th graders, occasionally older and occasionally younger. In these presentations, I talk about what my book is about, and describe the ways that Minecraft inspired me to write. I use my books as an example as I talk about how to develop a plot, and how to go about evolving it from an idea to a piece of written work. These talks are effective because the students are happy to pay attention because the talk is about Minecraft, while the teachers are happy that the students are learning about writing and story structure.

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


The target audience of the Elementia Chronicles is between ages 8 and 12. However, while that is the demographic in which the series has been the most popular, I have heard from many teenagers, as well as some adults and parents of children under 8, who have all said that they have enjoyed the Elementia Chronicles. Most interestingly, many of these people have never played Minecraft, but were still able to enjoy the book. I believe that the e-format is beneficial to reaching out to everybody who might be interested in the book, whether they're in the target audience or not. Most people today own some sort of device with e-reader capabilities, and this makes the books much more accessible to people.

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

As of right now, I'm putting the finishing touches on the third book of the Elementia Chronicles, Herobrine's Message, which is slated for release on January 26, 2015 in the United States. Since I finished writing Herobrine's Message, I've spent most of my time editing it, as well as doing promotional work for the Elementia Chronicles and schoolwork for my classes (I'm a freshman at the University of Rhode Island). My next big project is a flash game that I'm coding, which I hope to release soon to help promote the Elementia Chronicles. In terms of my next books, I currently have a stand-alone young adult novel planned, as well as a new action-adventure children's series. I may also write more book based on Minecraft in the future, including a possible spin-off or sequel to the Elementia Chronicles.
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Learn more about Sean and his books by visiting his website, or by following him on Facebook or Twitter.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Kindle Teens Shot THE TOUCAN TRILOGY to the Top Ten

On October 17th, The Toucan Trilogy by Scott Cramer hit the number 5 spot in the Teen section for the Amazon Kindle store. While Scott has previously written feature articles for national magazines and has optioned a screenplay, these are his first novels.This dystopian trilogy consists of  Night of the Purple Moon, Colony East, and Generation M.

Scott, let's start with a description of your books.


This is the plot of The Toucan Trilogy: After a lethal pathogen introduced by a comet attacks the hormones of puberty, nearly all of the world’s adults die. Abby helps her brother and baby sister survive the apocalyptic nightmare, only to face the biggest threat of all: the deadly time bomb of adolescence.

But this is really what the book is about, as taken from a recent reader review. “The series brings to life the beauty of being human, our capacity for both good and evil but never negating the fact that the foundation of the human race is based on love, family, determination and our need to ensure our survival.

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

I wanted to write a story that would appeal to all ages, from 13 to 100, and I think I have largely accomplished that. I’ve received a number of emails telling me that a grandmother, mother, and daughter (three generations!) have all read the series and loved it.

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

First, I have to say that I love paperback and hardcover books, but I love my Kindle even more. Writing is a solitary endeavor, and it’s great when you have an opportunity to interact with readers and members of the team who are responsible for helping publish the book (editors, designers, formatters, beta readers, etc.) I love the fact that I am able to communicate with readers all over the world. My designer is in Bulgaria. I have several editors across the U.S. My formatter is in Australia. Beta readers come from Portugal, Sweden, Ireland, and across the U.S.

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?

There was a recent New York Times article that said paperback books are making a comeback. I find that really hard to believe. The cost of eBooks and the simplicity of eReaders make for a winning combination. I expect eBooks will exceed print publishing over the next few years.
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Learn more about Scott and his books by visiting his 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. Check back next week when my featured author will be Sean Fay-Wolfe.

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

Saturday, November 14, 2015

THE FANTASTIC FABLE OF PETER ABLE: Kindle Teens Certainly Think It's Fantastic!

The Fantastic Fable of Peter Able by Natalie Grigson hit the number 2 spot in the Teen & Young Adult section of the Amazon Kindle store on September 26th. It's her debut novel, and she's currently at work on book #2 of what she plans to be a trilogy. Read on to find out more about her e-pub success.

First, tell us what your book is about.


The Fantastic Fable of Peter Able is a fantasy novel—with a twist. You see, Peter is a Boy Wizard, albeit, an 18-year-old Boy Wizard who lives in the World of Fiction. His author has abruptly concluded his series, which leaves Peter free to explore his world liberated from the almighty Plotline. Of course, the transition into free will isn’t exactly an easy one, and (as it goes in Fiction), there are plenty of twists and turns along the way.

This is a book as much about the life of an ex-boy wizard as it is about the landscape of Fiction itself. You’ll see plenty of familiar faces from literature throughout, as well as many new ones, like Peter, the charming Randy, and of course, a ficus tree named Bob—who let’s be honest, doesn’t really have a face.

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

Peter was “born,” of course, when I first wrote him about two years ago. Since then, he’s visited various literary agencies and many a publisher’s office, but finally found his home at Kindle Press. I entered the Fantastic Fable of Peter Able in the Kindle Scout competition, not really expecting much, but ended up winning. With that, Kindle Press published the book on June 30, 2015. Here we are just three months later and things seem to be on the up and up for Peter.

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?

Personally, I think that no matter what format—be it on a printed page, an e-reader of some kind, a chalk on a board, or writing on a wall*—reading is reading. I, myself, used to swear I’d never buy an e-reader. Oh, the sanctity of books! Oh, the feel of the page! And yes, I do still love books, but once I started traveling a lot, a Kindle became necessary. Now, I read almost everything I can on it, and unless your e-book happens to be on a glaring, bright white screen or littered with puppy videos, I don’t see why comprehension should be lessened.

*Don’t write on your walls. Your parents will send me angry emails, and I’m busy watching puppy videos.

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


Peter Able is a book for booklovers. Fantasy, Humor, Mystery, or even just Fiction in general; the story is dotted with literary devices and, to a degree, “in-jokes” for those who love to read.

The e-book format is perfect for this audience, because if you’re a person who simply can’t read enough, you probably have an e-reader of some kind. And if you don’t, well, you should. You’ll save a ton of money.

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

These days I’m finishing up the final edits to the second in the Peter Able trilogy. As far as a schedule goes, I’ve found that my writing seems to flow the best upon waking up—before thinking all that much, before talking to anyone, but definitely after tea. From there, I generally just write until I get to a good stopping point, or simply can’t sit still any longer. Either way, it’s generally about three to four hours of non-stop writing. And then I go out into the real world and expend all of my pent up energy like dog on wheels, and do it all again the next day.
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Learn more about Natalie and her writing by visiting her Amazon author page or by following her on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads


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

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 7, 2015

The Darkslayer Omnibus: Six Books in One, A Top Ten Hit With Kindle Teens

On August 18th The Darkslayer Omnibus by Craig Halloran hit the number 1 spot in the Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store. Craig is the author of over two dozen fast-paced, action-packed fantasy adventure books. His Omnibus edition contains series 1, books 1 through 6 of the The Darkslayer series. 

And here's a nice coincidence: When I as compiling today's Kids' EBook Bestseller List, I saw that The Chronicles of Dragon Collection, also by Craig, is in the number 2 spot in the Children's section of the Kindle store! 

Craig joins us today to share about his e-publishing success.

First, tell us what The Darkslayer Omnibus is about.

Venir is a warrior that receives a mantle of power that allows him to unknowingly keep the forces of Good and Evil in check in the world called Bish. Currently, the rugged Outlands of the dog-eat-dog world is under the vice of an evil race called the underlings that are taking control of things. Venir, a brash and unwilling hero finds himself in one fight for his life and another as he friends and allies are under constant attack. In the end, victory can only be achieved when the force of good collides with the forces of evil. But there can only be one winner. Who will it be?

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

I started seriously writing and self publishing 5 years ago. Readers liked my stories so I kept on writing.

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

Advertising and marketing prices on Amazon Kindle.

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

I use twitter book blasts, and work with places like Bookbub.com and BookGorilla.com.

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 can't say, but my goal was to write exciting stories so that more young people would get excited about reading. I get a lot of compliments on it too. I don't write boring stories and I'd never read them when I was younger either. Chances are too many crummy material is out there due to a flood of eBooks.

What is your target audience?

I think 13 and up, but my Chronicles of Dragon series, which is my best selling, is more like 8 and up. People from 8 to 70 like them and I don't pick by age. I focus on the fantasy genre.

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

Epublishing has been great for me and I encourage it to all writers. If you write a good story, with thorough editing and slap on a good cover, keep at it and you will be successful.

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

Sure, I make a lot more money than I imagined and it's become my primary income.

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

I write about 2000 words a day and take a break on the weekend. Currently I'm working on Claws of the Dragon, from The Chronicles of Dragon series.

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?

Ebooks already sell more than print and more children will start reading eBooks over the years. I don't think paper will vanish, and I hope it doesn't.

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

Eformat is ten times better because you can quickly find your audience all over the world.

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

Children will learn what they are taught and absorb information quickly. They'll be whizzing through readers once they figure it out and I'm sure a large portion of the market has. Will it make more children read though, that's the important question, and sadly I don't think that will happen. But that should be a focus. 
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Learn more about Craig and his books by visiting his website, or by following him on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads.

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

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, October 31, 2015

HAUNTED by Ophelia Julien: A Top Ten Hit With Kindle Teens

On August 29th, Haunted by Ophelia Julien hit the number 2 spot in the Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store. Fortunately, the next Saturday available when Ophelia finished her interview was today -- Halloween! It's the perfect day to feature her supernatural suspense story. 

First, tell us what your book is about.


Haunted tells the story of Cassie Valentine and Michael Penfield, both of whom are dealing with grief and loss, and who run into each other again when Michael is hired by the bookstore where Cassie works. The bookstore's owner has a Ghost Story Night every Thursday when staff and a few regular customers get together to share a scary story. The book opens when Michael, as the new hire, tells a ghost story, one that involves Cassie, and that accidentally starts the two on investigating the haunting at Cassie's new house, as well as a 30-year old murder. It is the first in the Bridgeton Park Cemetery Series, which features that cemetery in every book.

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

Yes to both parts of both questions! I am traditionally published for two books, Saving Jake and Ghosts of Lake Michigan, and self-published on Amazon for The Bridgeton Park Cemetery Series as well as a short story called Hunting Spirits. I am grateful for the traditional publishers who took a chance on me, but much prefer self-publication at this point.


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

I have a fairy godmother! A very successful writer named Terri Reid took me under her wing and has taught me so much about marketing and the self-publishing business in general. Another fellow writer, Donnie Light, has also done more for my work than I could ever thank him for in one lifetime.


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

Because Terri Reid is so well-known with her readers (international, too!), whenever I put out a book and she lets her readers know about it, my sales get a nice boost. I am on FaceBook and have a website and a blog. I also have an Author Page with Amazon. I know I should be using Twitter more but I am just starting to get around to that!


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?

Wow, I can't speak to that. I don't know if they are reading more and comprehending less. My grandson and I still read the old-fashioned way (library books) but he is also very savvy on the computer. I worry sometimes about so much going online, but a lot of kids I've met at school visits still liked having a print copy of my book to hang onto.


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

I basically write for the YA market, but somehow, the demographic of my audience tends toward women -and some men- in their twenties and up. I haven't figured that out yet! But the e-format is great for them. I sell more e-books than print copies.


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

I was scared to death to try e-publishing and it took a few months and a lot of encouragement from various people to take the plunge. I thought e-publishing meant giving up the idea of ever seeing my book on a shelf or ever becoming a best-seller. I was wrong! My initial thoughts were based on fear of the unknown. Now that I know better, I am thrilled that I did it.


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

I never would have expected to have the sales I did last weekend from a one-day book promo. Something I never would have predicted: ranking ABOVE Stephen King (one of my all-time heroes) in at least one Amazon category of fiction and holding that rank for several days. Also, having a few hours where my book was outselling Harper Lee. I mean, how does that happen to someone like me??


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

My writing schedule is more chaotic than I would like and I am trying to get that under control. I am currently working on a sequel to Saving Jake that will be a free Kindle download off of my website, while developing the story line for the next (fourth) Bridgeton Park Cemetery Book.


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 believe e-publishing is going to become more popular for children and young adults, but I doubt it will completely replace print publishing. I see too many kids at the library, all ages including the young ones who will be school age in 5 years, and they seem plenty happy with print books. I think that unless the technology develops to make picture books into e-books without sacrificing the experience of holding a brand new and frequently huge picture book in hand, print will still be around. And I'm glad.


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

E-format helps me, definitely. There is a very narrow entryway to the big distributors that feed the big book stores. A small author like me, who is not agent-represented or the protege of a big NY publishing house doesn't stand much of a chance at getting my book into the hands of readers. E-format has opened a new pathway for reaching my audience.


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

I don't know about children, to tell you the truth. I think picture books should be in print and I hope they stay that way. As for young adult readers, I know they'd be fine with e-format. Heck, our local high school has most of the textbooks on e-readers. The kids growing up with the technology are already reading books in e-format.

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Learn more about Ophelia and her books by visiting her website and blog, or by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

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

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, October 24, 2015

CLARK THE SHARK Swam to the Top Ten for Kids in Two Stores

On Saturday, August 29th Clark the Shark by Bruce Hale hit the number 9 spot in the Kids' section of the Barnes and Noble Nook store AND the number 7 spot in the Kids' section of the iBook store. Bruce is the author and illustrator of dozens of books for kids: picture books, novels and graphic novel. He joins us today to talk about his double top-ten success.

First let's hear what Clark the Shark is about.


Clark is a shark with zing, bang, and BOOM! He zooms through the classroom and is rowdy at recess. Clark loves life — but when his enthusiasm proves too much for his friends, Clark’s teacher, Mrs. Inkydink, helps him figure out how to tone it down.

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

I started self-publishing back in the ‘90s, before digital books, and moved into conventional publishing in 2000 with the debut of my Chet Gecko Mysteries series. Including my self-published work, I’ve now got over 35 books out there, which continues to amaze me.

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? Was it your idea or your publisher’s?

It was my publisher’s idea, but I was completely on-board. It only makes sense to offer books in different formats.

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


Although I sometimes revise in the mornings, I write every afternoon from lunch until dinner. 4-5 hours is about the limit of my brain freshness. Right now I’m working on the third book of a middle-grade series that debuts next year: The Monstertown Mysteries.

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

I believe the e-format helps authors. What’s most important is the story, not the format — after all, story is story, whether it’s told around the campfire, printed in a book, or appearing on a digital device. So if some kids prefer reading e-books and my work appears in that format, it just helps my tale reach a wider readership. And that’s a good thing.
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Learn more about Bruce and his books by visiting his author website. He also has a separate site for a series he wrote, School for S.P.I.E.S. You can also follow him on Twitter

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

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.