Saturday, April 30, 2011

Irish Author Celine Kiernan Talks About Her Bestseller

On last week's Kids' Ebook Bestseller List, The Rebel Prince by Celine Kiernan was in the Top Ten in the MobiPocket store. I sent Celine a note of congrats, and she kindly answered my many questions.  Enjoy!

Tell us what your book is about.

'Atmsopheric, complex
and intense.' 
Publishers Weekly

The Rebel Prince is book three in The Moorehawke Trilogy. Set in a fantastical renaissance Europe, this is the final book in a compelling trilogy of court intrigue, adventure and romance. 

Wynter Moorehawke is overjoyed to be reunited with her great friend Rebel Prince Alberon. But it seems that the years of war have left their scars and it is not long before brothers Alberon and Razi, allow their differences come between them. Alberon is determined to protect the kingdom by strength rather than diplomacy. He proudly reveals his great hope - Lorcan Moorehawke's Bloody Machine. But Razi fears the machine will rot the kingdom's soul and undo all the good that their father has achieved in his short reign.

Despite her qualms about Alberon's choice of allies, Wynter finds herself siding with him against her friends. But when the last envoys to Alberon's camp arrive, Wynter's loyalty to the kingdom and its future is stretched to its limit. How can she stand by as Alberon negotiates with those who represent everything she despises?

Is your book available in print format? Which came first and why? 

It is available in print format in many territories and in many languages. The print format came first. Then the e-book format followed quickly behind. As far as I know there are e-book versions of the German and French translations too, but I've no idea if the same is true for any of the other translations. 
Tell us about your path to publication.

My path to publication was traditional every step of the way. Starting off with the usual shoe box full of rejection slips, I kept on writing and writing, trying hard to hone my work with each project. When it came to selling Moorehawke, I took the new step of pitching to agents. I was accepted by an agency and my agent very quickly secured me a deal with an Irish publishing house (I live in Ireland) and then to the rest of the territories. My first book was published in 2008 and I've had a book out every year since.

What were your initial thoughts about  e-publishing?  

I made no decision about it at all. It was simply another format through which my publishers made the books available.

As long as my books are distributed in such a way that the consumer knows they exist, have easy access to purchase them, and are asked a fair price for them; as long as my publishers get a big enough portion of the profits to continue paying the wages of my fantastic editors and the teams who designed my covers and layout my books; and as long as my right to fair remuneration for my work is respected;  then I have no problem what format the final product is in.

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

It depends very much which territory your discussing. Judging from fan mail, in Aus and Ireland (where the books are published as YA and have been award winners or long listed for awards in that market) the majority of my fans came to the books through recommendation of a bookseller, librarian or teacher, or, more and more now, through word of mouth in school or college. In the UK/US/Germany and France where the books are marketed as adult fantasy, the majority of fans say they read a review online (usually on an independent book blog like booksmugglers or bookchickcity or booksidoneread) I can't really speak for any of the other territories as the language barrier prevents me having much contact with those fans (unfortunately!)

I use social media to respond to a fan base which already exists to be honest. As a way of staying in touch with folks who have already read the books and have sought me out. I certainly haven't been out there pushing myself online, I don't have a twitter account, my personal facebook page is private (though I accept fans as friends without hesitation) my public FB pages are fan run without much input from me, and my blog is solely there to give news of the books - which no one would be interested in, if they weren't already interested in me, if you know what I mean Smile emoticon 

I've been lucky that my publishers have done a great job promoting the books so that my energy goes into responding to those fans I already have, and the rest goes into producing the next book.
Do you believe the e-format helps or hurts you as an author? How?

Anything that gets a legitimate copy of my book into the hands of a reader is a good thing for me and for the publishing industry that has helped make those books as good as they are.

For more info on Celine, The Rebel Thief, and the rest of the The Moorehawke Trilogy, visit Celine's website.