Saturday, November 5, 2011

C.C. Hunter's Awake At Dawn Launches with E-sales "Almost As Great" as Print Sales

C.C. Hunter is here to tell us about her e-book experience with  Awake At Dawn, which hit the number 8 spot in the "Children and Teens" section of the Apple iBookstore last month. C.C. is an award winning romance writer, and Awake at Dawn is the second book in her Shadow Falls series.

Read Chapter 1 at
C.C.'s Facebook page.
First, let's hear what your story is about.

Sixteen-years-old Kylie Galen struggles to figure out who she is, only to discover that she doesn’t know what she is. Imagine being told you aren’t human? Envision being sent to camp surrounded by witches, werewolves, vampires, faes, and shape-shifters. And why is it that she feels for the first time in her life, as if she fits in? Kylie’s journey is one of self-discovery, and includes love, friendships, family issues, and a yearning to find her destiny. It’s not your average identity crisis.

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

When I was asked to write a young adult series by St. Martin’s Griffin, I immediately knew I wanted to write a book with a premise that crossed the age and gender barriers as had many other wonderful young adult series. Being a writer of adult romances, I wanted my regular readers to follow me into this exciting genre. So my target audience has always been for teens and adults as well.

I’m told that the majority of people reading in e-format are adults, but it appears that this is changing. With my first book in the Shadow Falls series, published in March 2011 the e-sales were much lower than print sales, nevertheless, I was recently told that with Awake at Dawn, my second book in the series, that released this month, my e-sales were almost as great as my print sales.

It seems apparent that as the cost of the e-readers go down, more people will turn to them as a reading format, and more parents will be buying their children e-readers for their convenience.

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

I sold my first novel in 1994 to Silhouette Romance. Independent publishing was not nearly as popular back then. After having trouble selling a second book, I started a new career in freelance writing. I broke back into the novel publishing and sold my single titles books in 2006 to Dorchester. The e-format was really just beginning to grow in popularity. Yet, I still didn’t own an e-reader myself. However, last year, I got my rights back to my recent backlist and I made them available in e-format. When these books started hitting bestseller lists, my eyes were really opened at just how popular the e-format was growing. I knew then that I, too, had to join the crowd. I’ve since gotten myself an e-reader. While I still love my paperbacks, I can’t deny seeing all the advantages of e-format.

I started out publishing traditional, but now I’ve added some independent publishing, so I see a great value in doing both.

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

While I have self-published my backlist and even plan to publish another adult title soon, I’m still publishing the traditional route with St. Martin’s Griffin and Grand Central. And as an author, I see the value of continuing to do both, so my traditional books are also marketed through my publishers. Of course, I also do my share of marketing with the other social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and my Website.

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

I can’t say it will hurt the author. However, I think the rise in e-format fame is changing the publishing industry and some of those changes will no doubt cause some growing pains both for the publishers, booksellers, and the authors. An author used to look to her print runs as a measuring stick of how well her career was doing. With the rise in popularity of the e-format, publishers are lowering print runs. However, some of the measures in which a book is recognized in today’s standards are still tied to the old way of viewing a book’s success. I think in time all these issues will smooth out and we’ll get used to a new norm.

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

With our children being so technically gifted, I can really see how e-readers will be a big hit with young adults. As for helping these teens, I can see how e-readers being used in education could really be a benefit—if for no other reason than preventing them from carrying tons of books to school. Of course, as a parent who has also dealt with children and their loss of items such as phones, electronic games, and even lap tops, I know this transition will cause some parents a lot of headaches. LOL.


Thanks to C.C. for her insights. I've provided links within her interview so you can learn more about her. 

On this week's Kids' E-book Bestseller List I see the Twilight series making a comeback, plus several new authors to explore and learn about. Check back here often to learn the latest in e-format for kids. Better yet, become a follower and subscribe to the RSS feed. With the publishing world changing so fast, you don't want to miss out on the news and views!