Saturday, August 27, 2011

Forever Neverland Author Found Success Via E-Format

Heather Killough-Walden is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the Big Bad Wolf series and The October Trilogy. For the last three weeks, her e-book Forever Neverland has been on the Kids' E-book Bestseller List in the Teen section of

What is Forever Neverland about?

What happens after? When the Darling children are returned by Peter from Neverland, they are faced with a barrage of problems ranging from disbelieving parents and psychologists to the snide treatment of their peers. Forever Neverland picks up five years later, but with a few new twists, re-introducing a now "grown up" Peter, a misunderstood pirate captain, and a young story teller who must learn and accept who and what she truly is if she wants to save everyone she loves.

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

I specifically wrote Forever Neverland with a wide range of audience ages in mind. My seven-year-old daughter loves certain aspects of it, and my internal romantic loves other aspects of it. I honestly don't see a difference any longer between eformat and print books as far as their effect on the audience is concerned. They're both consisting of words, and they can both be read by anyone at any time.

Tell us how you got published: traditional or independent?

I tried for ten years to get published the "traditional" route. I have three hundred rejection letters in my closet. I guess I couldn't write a query letter to save my life. Then along came Kindle, and there was suddenly a light at the end of that seemingly infinite publication tunnel. Without ebooks, I wouldn't be where I am now. It was through independent epublishing that I made it to the New York Times bestseller's list.

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

I think it has its ups and downs. On the one hand, it has helped to achieve one of my dreams. Without it, I honestly wonder whether I ever would have been published. I have my doubts. The fact that I've done so well in the eformat world has also helped me to finally land a world-class agent and a print publishing deal with a major publishing house. Those are all good things.

On the other hand, I started on tenuous footing, unsure of my own worth as an author, and uncertain of how the ebook phenomena would fare in the world. Because of this, I priced my books at an exceedingly low price. They're worth a good deal more than I charge, but now my readers have grown used to my discounted prices. In fact, ebook readers everywhere often expect an unfairly low price with ebooks, and that can be a problem. While I agree that the middle man fees of distribution and cover design, etc., should be absent in an ebook's price, I have to tell you from experience that the author works no less and should get paid no less. In fact, in epublishing the author tends to work much more than in print publishing because he or she not only has to write the book, but is also in charge of the editing, the cover design, the marketing and so forth. So, pricing expectations can be a down-side.

Check out all of Heather's novels at Amazon and on Barnes and Noble Nook.

You can also learn more about Heather and her books at her website, her Facebook page, and by following her on Twitter. She also has a newsletter you can sign up for through the contact form on her website.

Get to know some new authors on this week's Kids' E-book Bestseller List.  Is it me, or does it seem like the Hunger Games/Catching Fire/Mockingjay dominance of the top spots may be cracking? Keep checking back to see what authors will be in the lead in the weeks to come.