Saturday, July 30, 2011

News to Review: Borders, Barnes & Noble, a New E-Reader from Kobo, and an Interactive E-book That Will Wow You!

After 4 weeks of super interviews with authors Helene Boudreau, Lisa Bergren,  Ni-Ni Simone and Addison Moore, it’s time to get caught up on the latest news in e-format-land.

I was at a writer’s workshop two weeks ago when we caught the news that Borders was closing their last 399 stores and going out of business. As the news buzzed from person to person, it visibly affected the authors, editors and publishers there. Although this time of change is exciting on one hand, it’s also sad to see a major book store chain gone forever.  In case you missed the news, here's a report from the L.A. Times.  They report that Borders was “defeated by poor management decisions, massive debt and a changing industry.”

Of course, many of Borders’ customers will now turn to Barnes and Noble for their book/coffee/hang-out needs. And that leads me to an International Business Times article on Five Things Barnes and Noble Can Do To Survive. Number 5 has to do with....e-books, of course!  “Gain more eReader market share by setting the trend instead of merely following Amazon’s lead,” says the article. “Barnes and Noble needs to set the trend, not follow the trend, it the company is going to survive.”

Speaking of trends, last Friday it was announced that Kobo is debuting a new touch screen e-reader, launching it first in Hong Kong. Besides the touch screen there are many other new features. My favs are: you can read up to one month on a single charge,it is  customizable with 7 font styles and 25 font sizes, and it accepts almost any format of e-book. Check out the full press release.

The debate continues about interactive e-books for children. Do the razzle-dazzle interactive features limit children from using their imagination as they read or hear a story? Do they help or hinder kids as they learn to read.The jury is still out, but here’s a story about designer William Joyce who used to work for Pixar. This story tells us, “he’s now taking that skill and making the next generation of interactive experiences on the iPad. He and his colleagues at Moonbot Studios created the short film “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore“, an amazing story inspired by Hurricane Katrina, The Wizard of Oz, and Buster Keaton movies.”  Have a look at the article and the various videos showing his work on this e-book. Is it a movie? Or is it a book? At what point does the imagination stop and the special effects take over? The debate goes on.

As always, the Kids' E-Book Bestsellers List has been updated with this week’s top tens. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Addison Moore: Solid Success for Ethereal

Addison Moore joins us this week. Her book Ethereal is an Amazon bestseller, and it’s been on my Kid's E-book Bestseller List since May. Welcome, Addison.

First, thank you SO much for having me on your blog! I’m honored to be here!

My pleasure! I see that Ethereal is your first book in a series of three, and that you just recently finished the third book, Burn. Tell us what they are about.

The Celestra series is about sixteen year-old Skyla Messenger who moves to Paragon Island with her family and soon learns she is a descendant of the Nephilim angels. Skyla falls in love with a boy named Logan, but due to the fact they both belong to the nearly extinct but powerful Celestra faction, they cannot be a couple as it endangers their lives. Needless to say, struggles ensue.  

What is your target audience, and how do you believe the e-format works for them?

The Celestra series is young adult fiction, categorized under paranormal romance. I think this particular genre has the widest reach as far as a cross over audience is concerned. I find that most of my readers are outside of the 14-18 demographic and I think that’s great. I’ve been reading and writing young adult for far longer than I ever was a teenager. There’s something simply timeless and special about that tender time in our lives and what better way to live in that world than through books? 

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

When e-readers first came out I had mixed feelings about them. It made me wonder what would happen to the paper books I loved to hold, and smell, and curl up with in bed at night. I wondered about bookstores and their fate and how I would possible live in a world where I couldn’t see and touch books. It’s safe to say I’ve assimilated well. I LOVE my e-reader. I had a Kindle for two years then switched to an ipad with a Kindle app and I don’t leave the house without it. Thank God there are still plenty of paper books in the world. I don’t see them vanishing as I once feared. I’m so thrilled to be able to share my stories and have them available to anyone on the planet at the touch of a button. It’s a wonderful time to be a writer!

Addison Moore
How are readers finding out about your book?

I have to say it’s mostly word of mouth. I’d love to say my facebook, twitter, or blog was responsible or that I hired an amazing publicist but none of that is true. I think for whatever reason my books have resonated with people and I often get emails letting me know that not only have they enjoyed my books, but they’ve told their friends and family. People have been tweeting about the series and a lot of really nice bloggers like yourself have hosted me and my books. I think that kind of exposure is invaluable.

Have a look at this week's Kids' E-Book Bestseller List for the top authors and books in the most popular e-book stores. And noote that Addison's third book in the Celestra series, Burn, hit the number 6 spot on Amazon this week! 


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ni-Ni Simone: Bestselling for Ten Weeks

Since March, Ni-Ni Simone has been a frequent visitor on my Kids' E-book Bestseller List.. Her book, Upgrade U, made the list ten times, and The Breakup Diaries made the list three times.This week, she tells us all about her e-book success with Upgrade U .  
What’s your book about?

Upgrade U is about understanding that the love you have for yourself matters more than anything! 

Ni-Ni has a book trailer to tell you more.

How do you think the e-format works for your  audience?

My target audience are teens from the ages of 13-18 (although I have adults that love the Ni-Ni Simone series just as much as the teens--LOL). In the age of Facebook, twitter, social networking ect I believe that teens spend a lot of time on the computer and having book in e-format makes reading very accessible and convenient for them. I'm just thankful that they're reading even it's on their cell phones. LOL!

Is your book available in print format?

Yes, my books are in print. The paperback and the e-format are released simultaneously. The paperbacks sell more than the e-books.

How did you get published?

I've been published since 2004, as I also write adult contemporary fiction. My books are published in the traditional fashion. My road to being published was not a difficult one, as my manuscript was accepted the first time I ever sent anything to a publisher. I thank God for that, as I realize that is not everyone's plight.   

What were your initial thoughts about  e-publishing?

I was excited about the e-book publishing! It was my publisher's idea. I think it's great and is something that I hope continues in the future! 

How are people finding out about your book?

I believe people are finding out about my books mostly through social media, as I am always on facebook and twitter. There is also 'word of mouth' which I think is fantastic and has definitely worked for me as well.  I also have a web site,

Do you believe the e-format helps or hurts you as an author? And what about your readers?

I think any vehicle that keeps kids reading is beneficial for all authors. 

I think the e-format helps readers, who may not traditionally go into a book store and purchase a book, find new authors and continue reading!

Check the updated Kids' E-book Bestseller list  for more great authors and their e-books! 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lisa Bergren: Time Travelling to Tuscany via E-book

Last week I featured an interview with Hélène Boudreau about her e-book bestseller, Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings. As usual, I set it to automatically post at 10 AM on Saturday. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and I didn’t discover the error until Thursday. Be sure to check out Hélène’s interview if you missed it.

This week, we’re talking to Lisa Bergren, author of Cascade, a Mobi Pocket bestseller. Lisa is also the author of over thirty books that have sold more than two million copies combined. She’s written fiction of all sorts (romance, historical, contemporary, suspense, YA), nonfiction and children’s books. But fortunately for us, she's not too busy to share her thoughts on e-books! 

Lisa, tell us about Cascade.

CASCADE is book #2 in the River of Time Series (following WATERFALL). It's about two modern American girls who time travel back to medieval Tuscany and in battling for love and life, face the challenging questions that will take them from teen-dom to adulthood. Their tale includes a lot of swoon-worthy romance (hello there, Italian knights) and high-stakes action.

Who is your target audience?  How do you believe the e-format serves them?

My target audience is the 14 and up crowd, but I'm getting a lot of moms in the mix too--which is great. I particularly like it when moms and daughters read the same book; I love the idea of them chatting about it afterward and discussing the Big Questions Gabi and Lia face. It's a great opportunity for meaningful dialogue. The e-format works well for this series because they're fast reads...and people immediately want the next one in the series. I highly recommend readers begin with WATERFALL. TORRENT (book #3) will be out 9/1/11.

Which came first, print book or e-book, and how do your sales compare between the two formats?

The publisher released both at once. Print continues to be 85% of my sales, but e-sales are climbing every month. It's an interesting time to be publishing books in any format!
Lisa Bergren
How are readers finding out about your book?

I've been networking heavily among YA book bloggers...what a wonderful community of readers! I also have a "River of Time Series" on Facebook  that continues to build each month. I tweet as @LisaTBergren too. 

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

I love e-format and believe it's going to dominate in the future, so the more I can see my books enter this arena, the better I think it'll be. I'm even toying with going straight to e-format on a few books next year to see how that goes. I love the idea of getting books into the hands of readers without the 1-3 year wait traditional publishing takes.

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

Helps! If they're reading more (which studies say they are, with Kindles, etc), how can that be bad?!? Anything that helps get today's young readers into a book is a good thing, as far as I'm concerned.

You can learn more about Lisa at her website.. And in addition to the Rivers of Time Facebook page already mentioned, she also has a more general author Facebook page.  

Check this week's Kids' E-book Bestseller list, updated every Saturday morning with the latest top ten lists from the most popular e-book stores. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Real Mermaids: A Real Bestseller

Author Hélène Boudreau joins us this week to talk about her book, Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings, which was in the #1 spot in the Mobi Pocket store last week AND this week.

So Hélène, let’s start with a description of your book.
2011 Crystal Kite
Member Choice Award
Freak of nature takes on a whole new meaning...
If she hadn't been so clueless, she might have seen it coming. But really, who expects to get into a relaxing bathtub after a stressful day of shopping for tankinis and come out with scales and a tail?
Most. Embarrassing. Moment. Ever.
Jade soon discovers she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mom. But if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown?
Jade is determined to find out. So how does a plus-size, aqua-phobic mer-girl go about doing that exactly? And how will Jade ever be able to explain her secret to her best friend, Cori, and to her crush, Luke?
This summer is about to get a lot more interesting...

Who is your target audience, and how do you believe the e-format works for them?

Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings is best suited for ages 10 +. I think e-books will become more and more popular for this age range as parents start to upgrade their e-readers and give their hand-me-downs to their kids. My kids read books on my phone and tablet so they're already exploring ways to access e-books outside the realm of dedicated e-readers. 

E-books are just another way to reach readers for me, in concert with print and audio. I'm a bit of a book omnivore and love reading in all three formats. 
How do your sales compare between the print format and e-format?

My book came out in print, audio and e-book all at the same time. E-books represent about 10% of total sales. 
Hélène Boudreau
What was your path to publication: Traditional or independent?

My first book, Acadian Star, was first published by Nimbus Publishing in 2008. Since then, I've published 3 more fiction and 5 non-fiction books and have several other upcoming fiction books with Sourcebooks (Real Mermaids 2 &3)  and Candlewick (picture book).
[Nimbus is a large traditional Canadian publisher, while Sourcebooks is an independent publisher near Chicago that accepts work through agents.]

How are readers finding out about your book?
I think word-of-mouth is the most valuable manner in which people find out about my books so I'm very appreciative of readers who've shared their reviews and told friends about Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings. That said, I try to stay accessible to my readers, which I think is important, through interviews like these, blog/website, TwitterFacebook and Goodreads.

Check  the links Hélène provided to learn more about her and her books. And be on the lookout:  the second book in the series Real Mermaids Shouldn't Hold Their Breath will be released in paperback and e-book in Spring, 2012.
As always, the Kids' Ebook Bestseller List  shows you this week's bestsellers in the top e-book stores.