Saturday, December 15, 2012

Happy Holidays!


Thanks for stopping by. I'm taking a short break from the blog to celebrate the holidays and enjoy some time off.

My posts will be back on Saturday, January 5th, kicking off the New Year with an interview with Jason Edwards, author of Will Allen and the Great Monster Detective

In the meantime, you can check the Author List for past interviews. Look for your favorites or catch up on ones you missed.

I hope you have a blessed holiday season!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Wielder's Fate: Three Weeks as a Kindle Bestseller for Teens


T.B. Christensen joins us today to talk about the e-book success of Wielder's Fate.  For three weeks, from mid November until early December, Wielder's Fate was in the top ten of the "Children and Teens" section of Amazon.

Let's start with a summary of your story.


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Wielder’s Fate is the third and final book in the Wielder Trilogy. The trilogy follows a young man as he grows from an uneducated lumberjack to a person of great consequence in the land. As a special power awakens within him, he learns of love, death, and sacrifice.

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

A good story and luck! It always takes a little luck. I believe the Wielder Trilogy is a fun adventure with characters that people can relate to and care about. It has benefited from good word of mouth and grown in popularity with the release of each book in the trilogy.

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

My target audience is teens through adults of all ages. The e-format works great because so many people these days have either a smart phone or an e-reader. This allows easy access to the books no matter where people are. The convenience allows people to squeeze in the purchase and reading of a book no matter where they are.

Do you think e-publishing will eventually take over print publishing? Why or why not? How do you see the world of e-publishing for children within the next 5 years?

Print publishing will always be around but e-publishing will become the dominate form of publishing. E-books are very convenient and can cost considerably less than a print book. With the ever increasing amount of relatively inexpensive smart phones, e-readers, and tablets coming to the market, it will continue to become easier for people to have the tools necessary to read whatever they want wherever they are.

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

Personally, it has helped me immensely. It allowed me to directly reach a large audience without having to convince an agent and a publisher that it would be profitable for them to publish my book. The e-format made my current success possible.


 

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Find out more about T.B. Christensen and his books at his blog. And check this week's Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more popular ebooks for children and young adults. You're bound to find something to interest you!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Winnie's War: Top Ten Victory on Amazon

On the Kids' EBook Bestseller List for November 17th, Jenny Moss took the  #3 spot in the "Children's and Teen" section of the Amazon Kindle store with her book, Winnie's War. Jenny took some time to share her thoughts on the e-success of her book.

What is Winnie's War about?                   BUY IT NOW ON AMAZON

Winnie Grace lives right by the cemetery in a small Texas town in the year 1918. When the Spanish influenza sweeps through Coward Creek, she is desperate to protect her two younger sisters, her coffin-making father, her distant mother, and even her cranky grandmother. Winnie's War, a middle grade novel, was selected as a Bank Street Children's Book of the Year.

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

My novels - Winnie's War, Shadow, and Taking Off - are traditionally published by Bloomsbury/Walker and Scholastic. I've dreamed of seeing my books on library shelves since I was a child. My first book was published in 2009.

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

Honestly, I have no idea. My editor e-mailed to tell me Winnie's War had been selected as an Amazon Kindle Daily Deal. It was a fun day. :)

How are people finding out about your book? 


I've been very fortunate in that my publishers have done most of the marketing of my books - getting them reviewed by professional journals, placed in Scholastic Book Fairs, and into the hands of librarians and teachers.

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

I write for tweens and teens, who seem to be very comfortable with e-books. It'll be interesting to see the changes that occur as these age groups get older.

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

All of my books were first published in print format.
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Learn more about Jenny and her books at her website. And see this week's Kids' EBook Bestseller List for the latest top tens in the most popular ebook stores.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes AND I Love My Story in E-Format!

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes first showed up on the Kids' EBook Bestseller List in mid-August and has been in the top ten of the Kids' section in the Barnes & Noble Nook store almost every week since then. Author Eric Litwin is here to tell us all about the book and its path to electronic success.

Eric, tell us what your book is about.

My books are about staying positive. Pete the Cat is an optimist who finds the good in all things.  


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How did you first get published: traditionally or independently?

 
The artist, James Dean, and I worked together and self published. Then we signed with Harper Collins and things got much bigger!

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

The books are a wonderful read out loud experience and empowering for emerging readers. Mostly, they are big huge groovy fun!

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

People find out about our books in many ways. The children hear it at school and come home singing. Social media has also been very important to us. Teachers have blogged often about our books and shared lesson plans on Pinterest. Also, our YouTube videos get thousands of hits everyday.

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

The target audience is 2 years old to seven years old. E-format works great for my books because they are interactive and I create a narrated version with music.

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


I am excited about e-publishing. I am very into interactive learning and feel e-publishing offers exciting options for this. 
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Learn more about Eric and his his books at his website. And look for the latest top ten e-book authors at this week's Kids' EBook Bestseller List.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Charade: Top Ten in Two Stores

This week we get to hear from Nyrae Dawn, whose book Charade has been in the top ten for Teens in both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The book is in the genre of "New Adult" -- geared toward older teens and college students. In the online stores, these books get grouped with Young Adult books, although they have more mature themes.

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Two weeks ago, Charade hit the number 5 spot in the Teen section of the Barnes & Noble Nook store, and last week it was still there, while also hitting #9 in the Children and Teen section of the Amazon Kindle Store.  Let's hear about Nyrae's e-format success!

First, tell us what Charade is about.

Two lost characters who start out playing a game, but end up figuring out what life is all about.

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


I've been at this a long time. I wrote a YA queried editors and got a million rejections. Wrote another book, got lots of requests and almosts, but no bites. Wrote a third book and got an agent...but didn't sell. My agent left and I got another agent. Wrote another book, but it didn't sell either. It got fantastic response from editors. They loved the voice, but wasn't sure it would sell (I heard that with my other book as well). I decided at that point to self publish those books and nothing has been the same sense! I love self publishing, but have also sold other books traditionally now. In my opinion, it doesn't have to be one or the other. I want to continue self publishing as well as placing some books traditionally. 

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

That's hard to answer. I don't think you can really say what makes a book sell or not. I will say that I believe word of mouth is huge! I've been lucky that people have talked about my book.

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


I think it helps. I love print as well, but ebooks are so conventient. They fit into people's busy schedules. 
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Learn more about Nyrae and her books at her blog or by following her on Twitter.

 She has the following books available now: What a Boy Wants, What a Boy Needs, Freeing Carter, Measuring Up, and  Karma Bites.  And coming soon is Misplaced, from Entangled Publishing.


Have a look at this week's Kids' EBook Bestseller List for all the latest ebooks for kids of all ages. The successful e-book release of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series combined with the diminishing popularity of The Hunger Games series has caused the list to change quite a bit over the past few weeks.
 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

RaShelle Workman: Three Weeks in the Kindle Top Ten!

Blood and Snow, Volumes 1 - 4 by RaShelle Workman hit the number 10 spot in the "Children's and Teen" section of the Amazon Kindle store on October 27th. The next week it climbed to number 8, and it's still on the list this week. Let's hear all about RaShelle's success with this unique book -- or I should say, four books in one.

What is Blood and Snow about?


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"Blood and Snow" is a fairytale retelling of Snow White. It'll be told in 12 volumes.

Here's the summary for the first 4:

BLOOD AND SNOW: Snow White isn't an ordinary girl. She doesn't know that yet.
REVENANT IN TRAINING: Snow has become something not quite human. She must discover how to live with the changes, hopefully without killing anyone.
THE VAMPIRE CHRISTOPHER: Snow White craves blood. Especially the blood of her Hunter. But will drinking from him save or enslave her?
BLOOD SOAKED PROMISES: Snow White must come to terms with her bloodlust. It's one thing to drink the blood of her Hunter, something else entirely to drink the blood of a human.

Volume 5, "Prey and Magic," will be out November 20th, 2012.

Tell us about your path to publication.


I published my first novel, "Exiled" in November of 2011, after the mid level publisher I signed with went under. Since then I've released 7 other novels, which can be found by clicking on my author link.  It's been a hard, exhausting year, filled with ups and downs, happy dances, and bitter tears, and lots of amazing fan mail, which I've gathered from my traditionally published friends is pretty much what they go through as well. I've loved every minute of it.


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


Marketing. Reader interest. And, price.

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


I belong to two different author groups. We are very good at promoting each other. I also have a presence on my blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google +. Social Media is great to an extent. It helps readers find me. But, I believe people are finding my book because of the cross promotions I do through Free Par-Tay.
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Follow the links I included to learn more about RaShelle and her books. And check out this week's Kids' EBook Bestseller List to see many more successful e-format authors. Maybe you'll find a new favorite!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Gary Paulsen's HATCHET: Finding New Fans In E-Format

Today I'm thrilled and honored to feature an interview with Gary Paulsen. If by chance you're not familiar with Gary and his books, here's  a snippet of his bio, taken from his author page at the Random House website: 

Paulsen is a master storyteller who has written more than 175 books and some 200 articles and short stories for children and adults. He is one of the most important writers of young adult literature today and three of his novels — Hatchet, Dogsong, and The Winter Room— were Newbery Honor Books. His books frequently appear on the best books lists of the American Library Association.



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The electronic version of Hatchet hit the number 8 spot in the "Children's and Young Adult" section of the EBooks.com store and has been there for three weeks in a row so far. I was able to contact Gary's agent with the news and she wrote back saying, "I read the questions to Gary as he was driving . . . and here are his answers."

Tell us what Hatchet is about.

A boy headed to visit his father survives a plane crash and must make his way, alone, in the Canadian wilderness with nothing more than a hatchet.

How was this book originally published: traditionally or independently? Recently or further in the past?


Hatchet was published 25 years ago. Bradbury published it, but that publishing house merged with Macmillan which then merged with Simon and Schuster and, at first, Puffin licensed the paperback rights and then Aladdin took them over and then, five years ago, an editor I'd worked with at another house who is now at S&S suggested doing an illustrated, annotated, anniversary edition and later, with Random House, I wrote four sequels and two nonfiction accounts (The River, Brian's Winter, Brian's Return, Brian's Hunt, Guts, and Father Water Mother Woods) of how I came to know the information I gave to Brian in Hatchet so, although I tried to be traditional, it's been a pretty post-modern publishing experience.

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


I think there's a great novelty about e-books and a tremendous ease and convenience. You order an e-book and boom, it's on your device almost instantly. And you can read on a phone, a designated e-reader, a tablet or a computer. Very handy.

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


I've always believed that the art of storytelling originated when cavemen danced around the fire telling what the hunt was like, so I'm supportive of anything that conveys story. If you can get a kid to read, it doesn't matter to me if it's hardcover, paperback, electronic, or paintings on the walls of a cave. Just get them to fall in love with a book, introduce them to the wonder of getting lost in a story. That's all that's really important.

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


Again, if you can get a kid to read and to fall in love with reading and books, in whatever format, there's nothing to complain about.

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Learn more about Gary Paulsen and his books at his website. And swing by the Kids' EBook Bestseller List to see Hatchet still in the top ten, along with many other top ten authors and their books for children and young adults.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bethany Wiggins: SHIFTING into the Kindle Top Ten

On the Kids' EBook Bestseller List for October 19th, I saw a new name: Bethany Wiggins. Her ebook, Shifting, hit the number 8 spot in the "Children's and Young Adult" section of the Amazon Kindle store. She was happy to share about her e-pub experience. Enjoy!
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Let's start with a summary of the Shifting story.

My book is about a girl who has the secret ability to shift into any animal. But what she doesn't know is that a group of Skinwalkers--right out of Navajo Indian legend--knows her secret, and they are hunting her.

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

I didn't originally aspire to be an author. In fact, the career path never even crossed my mind! My sister asked me one day, out of the blue, if I wanted to write a book, so I said yes. And I wrote a book. I wrote four books after that, and got over 200 rejections before I was a decent enough writer to land an agent. The fifth book I wrote is Shifting.

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

I have to thank Amazon for much of my e-book success. They are the ones who selected it to be their "Deal of the Day," which put my e-book in their top 100 bestsellers.

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing?

I was thrilled with the thought of e-publishing. My publisher and I both thought it would be great. There seems to be a huge wave of convenient reading rolling over this world, thanks to e-readers, and I am lucky enough to be a part of it. E-readers are just like i-pods--people can store thousands of songs on an i-pod and have their entire music library in their hands at all times, and store thousands of books on their e-readers, and carry their entire library with them at all times. It makes for a lot less clutter, and a ton of convenience.

Is your book available in print format? 

My book is available in print format. Both the e-book and the hard copy were released simultaneously.

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

E-format helps. I have hundreds of readers--e-readers--that would not be reading my book in hard copy. I want my book to reach as wide an audience as possible.
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You can find out more about Bethany and her books at her websiteher blog, or her Goodreads page.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

SLEEP, BIG BEAR, SLEEP Isn't Snoozing in the Kindle Store

Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep, by Maureen Wright hit the Kids' EBook Bestseller List last weekend, taking the number 10 spot in the "Children's and Young Adult" section of the Amazon Kindle store. Maureen joins us to talk about her path to e-book success.

Let's start by hearing what your book is about.

  BUY IT NOW ON AMAZON 
It's time for Big Bear to hibernate, so Old Man Winter keeps telling him: "Sleep, Big Bear, sleep." But Big Bear doesn't hear very well. He thinks Old Man Winter has told him to drive a jeep, to sweep, and to leap. Finally, Old Man Winter finds a noisy way get Big Bear's attention.

How did you get published? And how long ago?

I tried for twenty years to get published with traditional publishers and was met with one rejection letter after another. Finally, Editor, Margery Cuyler of Marshall Cavendish Children's Books took an interest in my writing. During the twenty years of rejection letters, I was very disheartened. But now I am actually grateful that it was a long, hard road for me. It makes a big impact on students when I tell them that I didn't give up after twenty years of failure. If it had been easy for me, I wouldn't have been able to share this life lesson with them: Don't Give Up! My favorite thank you note is from a young boy who wrote, "You taught me to be brave."

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

My target audience is three to eight years. I wish there had been such a thing as e-books when my three sons were little! It would have been very handy to pull a Kindle out of my purse in a busy doctor's office or on long car rides to help keep them entertained. The illustrations on the Kindle are bold and eye-catching. Illustrator, Will Hillenbrand, did an amazing job.

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

Amazon Children's Publishing acquired Marshall Cavendish Children's Books in 2011. I was notified by the publisher that my books would become e-books. I am grateful to have another avenue for book sales. I think e-books will, in turn, increase print book sales because parents/grandparents will see the book on Kindle and want to have the larger version of the beautiful illustrations in a print book. It has been a postive experience for me.


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Maureen has supplied us with this list of her books:

Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep! (2009)
Sneezy the Snowman (2010)
Sneeze, Big Bear, Sneeze! (2011)
Earth Day, Birthday! (2012)
Barnyard Fun (spring 2013)
Grumpy Groundhog (fall 2013)
Honey, Big Bear, Honey! (TBA)
It's Bedtime! (TBA)

Learn more about her work at her website.

For all the latest e-format bestsellers for children and young adults, check this week's updated Kids' EBook Bestseller List. And keep coming back -- on Wednesday, our author interview will be with Bethany Wiggins, author of Shifting, and next Saturday it's Gary Paulsen, featuring his book Hatchet. Want a reminder of who's being featured when?  Follow me on Twitter or Facebook!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

THE PERFECT GAME: Perfect for E-Pub Success

Last Saturday, October 13th,  J. Sterling  hit the number 4 spot in the Teen section of the Barnes & Noble Nook store with her e-book The Perfect Game. This week it's risen to number 3, AND it's at number 5 in the Children's and Young Adult section of the Amazon Kindle store! Jenn was "more than happy to participate" in an interview, so here we go...

What's The Perfect Game about? 


He's a game she never intended to play.
And she's the game changer he never knew he needed.

The Perfect Game tells the story of college juniors, Cassie Andrews & Jack Carter. When Cassie meets rising baseball hopeful Jack, she is determined to steer clear of him and his typical cocky attitude. But Jack has other things on his mind... like getting Cassie to give him the time of day.

They're both damaged, filled with mistrust and guarded before they find one another (and themselves) in this emotional journey about love and forgiveness. Strap yourselves for a ride that will not only break your heart, but put it back together.

Sometimes life gets ugly before it gets beautiful...

Tell us about your path to publication: traditional or independent?

Like most self published authors, I TRIED to get published traditionally first. I think it's because we all feel like that's the way to go- that's the way things work- you write a book, you query agents and you attempt to get a bite. All I got were numerous rejection emails. It was completely disheartening, but not enough so that I just gave up and called it a day. THANKFULLY we have options now. Getting that rejection letter doesn't mean our books never see the light of day. So I decided to self publish and it's been amazing!

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

Honestly? Hard.Freaking.Work. There is no magic pill (although it might feel that way sometimes). The Perfect Game is my third novel. I've been working my butt off for about 15 months or so trying to make a name for myself, marketing, promoting, socializing, making friends, meeting other authors, learning to take criticism, seeing the faults in my writing, growing, reading, etc... and of course, trying to write a good book that people would enjoy!

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

For this particular book, my target audience is New Adult/Mature YA. My other books are far tamer and for a younger YA audience. I believe that e-books are the way of our future, much like mp3's have become the way of our music. It's crazy to think how few music stores exist anymore. And it's SAD to think that bookstores are following in their footsteps.

As you got into e-publishing, have you discovered unexpected things?

I never once thought about the other authors when I first started. I had NO idea how many wonderfully kind, talented, giving and amazing self published authors I would meet. That group of people who choose to build each other up instead of compete with them- it's mind blowing.
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Learn more about J. Sterling and her books by visiting her website and blog, or by following her on Facebook or Twitter.

The Kids' EBook Bestseller List has been updated a bit earlier than usual because I am at the Florida Writers Association conference this weekend. Check out the updated list for the lastest in e-format top tens.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

YA Author Angie Stanton Found Indie Success on Amazon

Angie Stanton joins us today, excited to share about her e-success experience with A Rock and a Hard Place, her second book. On Saturday, it was in the number 9 spot in the "Children's and Young Adult" section of Amazon.

Let's hear what your book is about, Angie.
 Rock and a Hard Place is about Libby, a girl who has suffered great loss and closed herself down. Peter is lead singer for the Band Jamieson who misses a normal life.

One day while watching the Interstate exit for her dad’s long awaited return, Libby’s life is rocked when Peter Jamieson steps off his tour bus and into her life. After a couple chance meetings with Peter, Libby breaks away from her perfect behavior and her life changes course.

Peter longs for normalcy away from the screaming fans who know nothing about the real him. He is amazed to discover Libby has never heard of him or his band. Soon their friendship turns to love. While Peter battles his family's growing interference so he can spend time with Libby, she struggles with her eccentric aunt who turns more bizarre each day.

Their lives are torn apart when Peter's family intrudes and Libby disappears. Peter’s desperate search for her comes up empty. Can they find their way back to each other while the world plots against them?

Rock and a Hard Place shows how a young, hurting girl comes into herself and triumphs over life's circumstances.


How did you get published: traditionally or independently?

I am both traditionally and independently published. My first book, Love 'em or Leave 'em, an adult contemporary romance, was published by Avalon Books. When my second manuscript was ready, a contemporary Young Adult novel, Rock and a Hard Place, neither publishers nor agents were interested in looking at this story. My feeling is that paranormal books had such a strong hold on the industry, that a contemporary story wasn't worth their time.

The reason I indie published was out of sheer frustration. No one would look at Rock and a Hard Place. I hoped that someone might discover the book and enjoy it. To my total shock and delight, it quickly found an audience and has remained on Amazon best seller lists for the past 16 months.

How are people finding out about your book? Tell us about your marketing and use of social media.
Amazon's reviews, sales rankings and recommended book lists is what I attribute to spreading the word most efficiently. I also have a blog, Facebook page, and Twitter account.. I'm not very active on Twitter.
 

What is your target audience, and how do you believe the e-format works for that audience and serves their needs?
The target audience for my Young Adult books is 12 and up. I have both young readers and adult readers. This book seems to speak to all generations. Rock and a Hard Place is a sweet book with no graphic sex, drugs or drinking. It is appropriate for young readers.

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? Have those initial thoughts changed now that you’ve done it?
Initially, I was against e-publishing. Silly me. Now I realize it has given so many authors a vehicle to share their work. There are far more amazing stories than publishers are able to publish. In addition, publishers decide what books are put on the market. They have a narrow focus, designed to make money.

So, yes, I am a tremendous fan of e-publishing. However, I feel traditional publishing will always be important and always have a place.

Is your book available in print format?


Yes, Rock and a Hard Place is also available in print format, but e-book format came first.
__________________

Learn more about Angie and her books at the links I provided above. And stop back on Saturday to see another interview and the updated Kids' EBook Bestseller List.  Need a reminder? Follow me on Twitter or Facebook!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

J.K. Rowling: Returning to Kid Lit?

No Kids' EBook Bestseller List would be complete without a Harry Potter book popping up from time to time. I've seen Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and The Complete Harry Potter E-book Collection on my chart. As I do with every author that shows up on the list, I dug around on the internet for some contact information and actually found J.K. Rowling's agency. I sent an interview request,and received a lovely response with kind words about the blog and apologies that Ms. Rowling didn't have the time, given her many commitments. 
 
Alas, no interview. But feast your eyes on this, dear readers. Yesterday J.K. Rowling spoke to over one million fans in a live webcast through Scholastic Inc. This 50 minute broadcast reached nearly a million students around the world and it's been posted at the Scholastic website. Here's the link so you can watch it!

Perhaps the most exciting part is her admission that she will most likely be returning to children's literature for her next project. (She has made it clear in the past that the Harry Potter series is finished, so any new work will likely be a different story line.) So perhaps we'll see more of her books on the Kids' EBook Bestseller List. And who knows? Maybe someday I'll get that interview. A girl can dream!
 
Read more about the Scholastic webcast at Sony.BroadcastNewsroom.com and at the Good EReader Blog.

And check today's updated Kids' EBook Bestseller List to see all the TopTens in the top stores. Not only has it been updated with the latest bestsellers, but I've also added a new store to the mix -- EBooks.com. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Kissing Hand Shot Straight to the Top in E-Format!

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn was on the Kids' EBook Bestseller List for three weeks in a row in late August and early September. Audrey's book reached the number 3 spot, the number 2 spot, and yes, the number ONE spot in the Kids' section of the Barnes and Noble Nook store.  Let's hear all about it.

First, let's find out what your book is about.

The Kissing Hand is a book about Chester Raccoon who is about to start school and is suffering from separation anxiety from his mother Mrs. Raccoon. To help her tiny cub, Mrs. Raccoon tells him the story of The Kissing Hand and kisses the center of his palm. She tells him that whenever he feels lonely and needs a little loving from home, just press his hand to his cheek and think, “Mommy loves you.” On the way to night school, Chester Raccoon surprises his mother with a Kissing Hand of her own.

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

My path to publication was very unconventional and unusual, to say the 
least; but not less difficult once getting started. I wrote a manuscript as a Christmas gift for the actors, dancers, backstage geniuses, teachers, and friends involved in my theater career in New York and Washington, D.C. in the later 1960’s. In 1970 I received a phone call that a publisher wanted to publisher my book. I asked them what book and they thought they had the wrong number. They asked my name and told me the name of the book, which just happened to be the name of my manuscript. To this day, I have no idea who sent it in. No one has ever come forth. The name of the book is Happy Apple Told Me.
What top factors do you believe put your e-book where it is now?

I truly believe that the subject matter of The Kissing Hand and its leading characters is the reason it has become the popular book, and now e-book, that it has become. Separation anxiety is a problem, not just for very young child, but for children of all ages and for many adults. It is not just the little ones who suffer from separation when they are dropped off at school; it is very often the parent. It was for me.
What is your target audience, and how do you believe the e-format works for that audience and serves their needs?

My target audience was originally set for children ages five through 
eight but has proven to be appropriate for everyone from newborns to youngsters leaving for college. Most children are introduced to my books when they first enter school when they hear The Kissing Hand, but several books, such as Chester Raccoon and The Big Bad Bully and A Kiss Goodbye carry them through the fourth grade or older. I believe that my book Chester Raccoon and The Acorn Full of Memories in which Mrs. Raccoon helps Chester and the forest of young animals deal with the death of a schoolmate should be in every school, home, library, nook, kindle, and funeral home in the country. It is enormously gentle and helpful to begin a discussion between an adult and a child about death and making memories.

I was initially against all e-books when it came to children’s books. 
Children are already too tied to e-games, e-movies, and the cyber world as a whole. All children deserve to know the feeling of making a best friend that lives between the pages of a book that he or she can run to at any time and know that they will be there no matter what to comfort them, entertain them, and secure them into knowing that some things will always stay the same. A book is forever and there is nothing like the artwork and the phrasing in the big pages of a children’s book where the drawings are in proportion to the big people across the room. But.., teachers and students have recently made me aware that children who were once non-readers have become avid readers because of e-books, and that literacy has increased greatly because of e-books as well. If this is the case, I think it is wonderful. As for hearing myself read the nook version of the book; that pleases me.
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To learn more about Audrey Penn and her books (The Kissing Hand is part of a series) visit her website.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Indie Author and Illustrator Donny Yankellow Found E-Success in the iBookstore

Looking For a Dinosaur, by Donny Yankellow showed up on the Kids' EBook Bestseller List two weeks in a row in September by hitting the  top ten in the "Children and Teens" section of the iBookstore. Donny has taken the time to tell us about his successful e-publishing experience. 

First let's hear about the story of Looking For a Dinosaur.



The book is about a young boy who goes to the zoo in search of a dinosaur. As he goes through the zoo he wonders about what the dinosaur might eat, what it does for fun, and where it might live. Does he find what he's looking for? That's revealed at the end of the book.

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

From day one it was featured on the main "Children's and Teens" page in iTunes as a new release and a picture book. I have to thank someone at Apple for that one. I think that helped get it the exposure it needed. It quickly got into the top 100 and rose from there. Again-more exposure as it hit the top ten chart and stayed there. As sales grew so did the reviews and ratings in iTunes which always helps. If it wasn't viewable on that main page I think it would have gotten lost among the thousands of other books for sale. Plus, it is about dinosaurs, which is a very popular subject with kids.

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

I have a website (www.hedgehogalley.com and the domain www.lookingforadinsoaur.com which links to a page on that site about the book), word of mouth through friends and family, and twitter. I am also fortunate to have access to a big audience at MyMac.com, which is a website I write for. My fellow writers there have helped to promote the book on their podcasts and twitter, and I was able to write an article about the process of creating the book which also helped promote it. Also, as I mentioned earlier it has been gett some great exposure on the main "Childrens and Teens" section of iTunes.

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

Since I am a self publisher, e-publishing was the cheapest format to go. I can't really afford to self publish in printed format and I knew print-on-demand would result in an expensive book price. I knew through e-books I could control the pricing and keep it low enough to hopefully get some sales.

Is your book available in print format? 

Unfortunately, no. I tried a print on demand site and was not happy with the results so I pulled it. I also did not like the price I would have to charge. I would love to find a traditional publisher, but for now it is just in iTunes as an eBook.

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

Personally, it is a help to me. Without e-publishing I would not have the book out there at an affordable price and I don't think it would be as successful as it has been. I don't even know if I would have made the book. When I made the book the goal was start as an ebook and go from there.

What advantages of e-publishing do you think are most relevant to the children’s literature market? 

It allows authors and author/illustrators (like myself) to get our work out there at a relatively inexpensive cost. This lets parents have access to a lot more quality books that they might not have had access to otherwise. It also opens up the book to a much bigger audience that can make a purchase in a store which is open 24/7. It also allows for more interactive features in a book to further engage kids. Maybe one day I'll explore that route.
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Donny added the following notes so you can learn more:

My websites ares www.hedgehogalley.com and www.lookingforadinosaur.com. Twitter: @rtteachr  
A follow-up book is already in the works and I hope to have it out by the end of the year or sooner. I have also illustrated 4 other ebooks for author Mark Creech. All are $.99 and available in iTunes as well.

Find all the latest bestselling e-books for kids and young adults at this week's Kids' EBook Bestseller List

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ingrid Law Has the Savvy to Hit the Kindle Top Ten For Kids!

On September 15th, Savvy by Ingrid Law reached the number 5 spot in the "Children's & Young Adult" section of the Amazon Kindle store. So of course I contacted her! We don't get to hear from many authors for middle grade readers. (Mostly picture books and YA books make it onto the Kids' EBook Bestseller List.)  I'm delighted to feature her today, and I hope this will be the first of many MG books featured here as electronic publishing continues to grow in popularity for all ages.  

Ingrid, what's the story of Savvy?

Mibs Beaumontis about to become a teenager. As if that weren’t scary enough, thirteen is when a Beaumont’s savvy strikes--a larger than life talent to call one's own. And with one brother who causes hurricanes and another who creates electricity, Mibs's birthday promises to be thrilling. But just before her big day, Poppa is in a terrible accident and Mibs’s dreams of X-ray vision disappear like a flash of her brother’s lightning: All she wants now is a savvy that will save Poppa. Unfortunately, we don't always get what we want... but sometimes we do get what we need.

How did you get published: traditionally or independently? Recently or further in the past?

I wrote for nearly 20 years without ever trying to publish. Five years ago, I finally decided to start submitting my work to agents. I got the usual round of rejections on my first attempts but was inspired when several agents told me they liked my writing and invited me to submit future projects. That was when I wrote Savvy and found success. Literary agent Dan Lazar, of Writers House, snapped the manuscript up, signing me as his client in less than a week. I did two revisions for Dan in two weeks, then he began pitching the book to editors. I was over the moon when Dial Books for Young Readers (a division of Penguin Young Readers Group) made me an offer in partnership with Walden Media. Walden Media optioned the film rights thirty days later. The rest, as they say, is history.

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

My target audience is primarily middle grade readers, 8-13 year olds, but I’ve had readers write to me who have been as young as 6, and as old as 83. I am only guessing, but I suspect that a large percentage of my e-book sales are to adults who want to read aloud to their kids. I’m always so happy when parents select my book as their family’s read-aloud. I don’t care if they are reading from paper, or from an e-reader. Besides, I know first hand that a backlit e-reader makes it easier to read to kids at night—they make it so much easier to see if you want to turn out the light! The down-side is that there is no physical collection of books on a shelf to look at and say: We've read all those! I still have books from my youth, ones with my name scrawled inside the cover. I've read some of those books to my own child. Will e-books ever get passed down through generations? We can only wait and see what happens next.

As you got into e-publishing, have you discovered unexpected things? Has anything happened that you would not have predicted?

I’ve learned that one cannot sign an e-reader—author book signings could become a thing of the past! What will an author appearance look like in twenty years? Will they be electronic too? Many authors already do Skype visits... but meeting readers face to face is a completely different experience.

Do you think e-publishing will eventually take over print publishing?  How do you see the world of e-publishing for children within the next 5 years?

I do see the publishing industry changing--everything's in flux--but for the moment children’s books still see higher sales as traditionally bound books than as e-books. I’m in wait-and-see mode right now, I won't try to predict anything, but I am glad my book is available in a variety of formats.

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

For me, it’s all about access. I want to see a future in which stories are always easily accessible to children. Having traveled quite a bit since the publication of my first book, I’ve seen that there are still children in this country who have never owned a book of their own. I’d hate to live in a world that has only e-books in it. If a family is unable to buy a book for their child, how likely is it that that child would get a hold of an e-reader? On the flip-side, e-readers provide accessibility to other types of communities, and can even encourage reluctant readers who find reading easier when they can control the font size of what they are reading, or interact with a story in a new way. The more options the better! We need to keep rich and active storytelling alive.
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Would you like to learn more about Igrid Law and her books? You can visit her website, check out her blog, or follow her on Facebook.

Stop back on Saturday for an interview with picture book author and illustrator Donny Yankellow. You'll also be able to see latest 
Kids' EBook Bestseller List -- it's updated every Saturday morning with the top tens for kids and young adults, from the internet's most popular e-bookstores. Till then, happy reading!


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Janet Gurtler's I'M NOT HER: A B & N Nook Bestseller!

On September 8th,  I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler hit the number 2 spot in the Teen section of the Barnes & Noble Nook store. Janet kindly agreed to tell us about her successful e-format experience. 

For starters, tell us what your book is about.

I’m Not Her is a story about two sisters who each have a “role” to play in their families. Kristina is the perfect sister but when cancer literally takes her perfection from her, Tess the younger and less visible sister must step up and deal with a shift in their family roles. It’s a book about how our people aren’t always who we think they are. It’s a book about discovering yourself and standing up for what you want. It’s about dealing with change and growing.

How did you get published: Traditionally or independently? 

I have only been traditionally published at this point in my career. I’M NOT HER is published by Sourcebooks Fire. I wrote for about 8 years before my first book got published traditionally.

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

I wish I could say it was my amazing mad skills as a writer and marketer, but honestly I was super fortunate to have Barnes and Nobles select I’M NOT HER as the Nook Deal of the Day! Barnes and Nobles has been really great with my books.

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

As mentioned above, I’ve had great support from Barnes and Nobles in the US and Indigo/Chapters in Canada. Independent stores have also been great about bringing in my books(and ebooks). Sourcebooks is also an amazing publisher who really does try to help authors with their brand building and growing readership.

I am not as skilled at using social media to meet my readers as many other authors I don’t think. I love Facebook and Twitter and try to keep people updated with what I’m doing or what’s happening with the books. There’s a fine line though where promotions starts to feel like bragging and horn blowing and I worry sometimes that I do too much of that.

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

My core readers are of course, teenagers, since I write Young Adult fiction. However I truly think that I’M NOT HER and my new book coming out in October, WHO I KISSED are great reads for mom’s and twenty-something’s too. As Andrew Karre said, teen fiction is about teenagers, but it is meant to be read by everyone. (paraphrasing him)

I love that the e-format reaches a new generation of readers. Less bulk especially when travelling. It’s so much easier to carry a bunch of books on your e-reader of choice.

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


I think e-publishing is fascinating. While I am a true fan of real books, I love the feel, smell and warmth of them, I also love the convenience of e-books. My books are currently e-published by my publisher, Sourcebooks. I have a three book contact to fulfill so I’m pretty focused on those books right now, and Sourcebooks will e-publish them. I would love to look at e-pubbing on my own someday, but for now time-wise, it’s not really possible. I’m glad that the books go on sale periodically, like I’M NOT HER (for $1.99) because I do think that lower price is a great way to get into the e-readers of a totally new audience. I was thrilled when I found out I’M NOT HER went on sale at Nook, and at Amazon!

Do you think e-publishing will eventually take over print publishing? How do you see the world of e-publishing for children within the next 5 years?

I am not sure I can predict this. I’m old enough that I remember cassette tapes and CD’s and never would have thought that they would become obsolete, or pretty close. I think that e-books will continue to grow. I don’t know the stats off the top of my head, but I’m convinced there’s lots and lots of room for growth in the YA market.

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

I think e-formats help. It’s a way to reach readers who may not have access to the books in a traditional way. It’s a way to reach readers who prefer the e-format. I think any way that we can get or keep people reading is a positive thing!

What advantages of e-publishing do you think are most relevant to the children’s literature market?

This is another great, thought provoking question. I love that you are looking at the e-publishing world and asking great questions that get readers and authors thinking! I think that the loaning of e-books at libraries is fascinating and relevant to the tech savvy kids coming up in the school systems now. They are seeing e-books on their smart boards at schools and are just so much more open to different formats and media. I think e-publishing is something that is necessary in children’s literature, because that is where the children are growing up. 

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Learn more about Janet and her books at her websiteher blog or on Facebook.  And learn about more bestselling e-books by checking the Kids' EBook Bestseller List every week.










Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Helen Ketteman: A Monster Success on Amazon

Goodnight, Little Monster by Helen Ketteman hit the number 5 spot in the "Children's & YA" section of the Amazon Kindle store on September 8th. Helen joins us today to tell us all about her book and her path to e-format success.

First let's find out what your book is about.


My book is about a little monster going through his bedtime routine, as most young children do. And, like many young children (myself included, when I was little), he is afraid there is something scary under his bed. The routine he goes through with Mama monster is soothing and reassuring, and eventually he settles in for a good night's sleep.

How did you get published: traditional or independent route? Recently or further in the past?

I have been writing for around 27 years, and got published the old-fashioned way - through form rejections, "good" rejections, until I finally emerged from the slush pile.

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

I think just getting the word out about the book, and good reviews from traditional review sources and readers who post on their own blogs and on Amazon.

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

My marketing skills are less than wonderful. I have a web page, at www.helenketteman.com, which needs updating for my new books. The web page talks not only about my author visits and my books, but it also has a nice section on writing, which is geared for young writers and also for teachers who work on writing with young children. I have done marketing to librarians at library conventions, and through my author visits, teachers have spread the word about me and my books. I also have a page on facebook, and when a new book comes out, I do post a photo of the cover. That's about it.

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

Obviously, my main target audience is young children, my readers, and I think the Ebooks are good for that audience, since these youngsters are growing up with computers. However, since some of my target audiences don't read yet, and since they normally don't choose their own books, I need to target thir parents as well.




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

I grew up with "real" books, and am still quite a fan of those! I enjoy the feel of a book in my hand, of turning the pages, the smell of a book. So I was not sure about Ebooks when they first came out. I was afraid they would be too much like the videos children watch so much, and that children wouldn't come to love books as people of my generation did. BUT...I realize things are changing. Kids today grow up with smart phones and computers, so reading an Ebook (or having it read to them by an adult) probably feels pretty normal to them. Too, I know that books themselves are not going to disappear altogether - at least not for a VERY long time. (I HOPE!)

Is your book available in print format? How did your e-book come about?

All of my books are - or have been (some are out of print) - available in print. I publish through well-known children's book publishers, and many of the contracts I signed early on didn't even make reference to Ebooks, because there was no such thing at that time. I have never published a book that is only available as an Ebook, though this could possibly be something that would happen in the future, as printed books get more and more expensive. I do believe that public libraries and school libraries will still buy printed books, even though they may also purchase some Ebooks.

Do you think e-publishing will eventually take over print publishing?  How do you see the world of e-publishing for children within the next 5 years?

I don't know. I personally hope not. I don't see a lot of change in the next 5 years in the world of E-publishing, except that probably more and more books will be available in this format. I hope the quality of children's books doesn't go down, because children deserve the best in books if we are to create a lifelong love of reading and learning.

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

It helps in a way, in that perhaps the author's book can get into more households, since Ebooks are less expensive. But I also think the royalty system will have to change for the authors. Authors make very little on Ebook purchases, even with lots of sales, and while it's not about the money for most of us, we do have to survive and make some kind of a living.

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

I think if an Ebook is read to a young child by an adult, Mom or Dad, Grandma, whoever, then the shared experience can be similar to sharing a printed book. However, I do worry about Ebooks where there's the option of having the books read by the computer, and adding lots of interactive stuff, because to me, then the "book" starts to become similar in feel to a video game, and then it seems to me that the wonderful experience of reading and sharing a story is lost.

What advantages of e-publishing do you think are most relevant to the children’s literature market?

I think more people can afford to buy books and so books may become more widely known because of this. And, if Ebooks get children excited about books, then that's a good thing.

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Check back on Saturday for the latest and greatest Top Tens on the Kids' EBook Bestseller List.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Otto Goes To School -- And To The Top Ten

September: It's the traditional back to school month, not just for kids but also for Otto the dog. Author and illustrator Todd Parr joins us today to talk about the e-book success of Otto Goes To School.  On September 1st it hit the number 3 spot in the Kids section of the Barnes & Noble Nook store, and the following week it arose to number 2.  He generously answered almost every question I sent him. Enjoy!

Todd, tell us what your book is about.


After a breakfast of juice, cereal, and a banana split, Otto goes to school for the first time, where he makes new friends and learns how to wag his tail without knocking things over.

What was your path to publication: Traditional or independent? How long ago?

Traditional. OTTO GOES TO SCHOOL was part of an original 5 book series launched in 2003.


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


Redesign, redesigned icon, colors and a simple read.

How are people finding out about your book?

Repeat buyer of my other books. Facebook, Twitter and my web site


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


3-6 year olds.  Very well as long as it's on a color device.

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? 


I was very excited, not to replace the actual book, but to give more options on how people get their content.

As you got into e-publishing, has anything happened that you wouldn’t have predicted?

That I don't like my recorded voice in reading the books.

Is your book available in print format? 

It is being re-released in print format as part of the Early Reader Program. The book has been reformatted a bit for that. 


Do you think e-publishing will eventually take over print publishing? Why or why not? 

No. I think there is room for both. Two different experiences. I see it as much more interactive.


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

Not sure? In my case, I believe it has helped me. 


What advantages of e-publishing do you think are most relevant to the children’s literature market?

Interactive books that engage kids to read and make it fun.
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Learn more about Todd and his books by using the links I included above.

Check back on Wednesday for a visit with Helen Ketteman, the author of Goodnight, Little Monster, an Amazon Kindle bestseller. And don't forget to have a look at today's updated Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more Top Ten e-books.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Molly McAdams Took A Chance on E-Publishing . . . And Won!

I'm pleased to feature indie author Molly McAdams, whose e-book Taking Chances shot to the top ten right out of the gate. On the September 8th Kids' E-Book Bestseller List, her book was in the #8 spot in the "Children's and YA" section of the Amazon Kindle store AND it was also #1 (!!!!) in the Teen section of the Barnes and Noble Nook store. Last Saturday, September 15th, it climbed to #4 in Amazon and held on the the #1 spot in B & N. Wow! Let's hear her amazing story.....

In a few sentences, tell us what your book is about.


Taking Chances is about a girl, Harper, that has grown up with her career Marine father. After being sheltered her entire life, she's going away to college across the country and for the first time she has freedom. She's introduced to parties, guys, feminine clothing and love from a family like she's never had. She quickly falls in love with two guys, and is torn between the deep love she has for her boyfriend and the underlying chemistry she has for her roommate's brother. But Harper's decisions and actions will ultimately change everyone's lives in a way no one is expecting.

How did your book get published?


I actively started writing five books at the beginning of this year, mostly to get all the stories floating around in my head out; it wasn't until I finished one of them, Taking Chances, that I started thinking about publishing. I figured this was a hobby of mine, and I enjoyed what I was doing so I may as well publish it on my own. I copyrighted my book after editing and a week and a half ago (ed. late August) uploaded it through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I hadn't ever considered publishing with an actual publishing house, and for now I'm having fun doing it on my own, but I hope some day to have my books picked up.

How are people finding out about your book?


I haven't marketed at all, really it's social media and word of mouth. Goodreads, Facebook, and book reviewers have been amazing! Without those three things, I seriously doubt any of this would be happening for Taking Chances right now.

Is your book available in print format? 

 
Not yet, but I hope to start having it available within the year! I know people love actual books (I do too!) But I also know that e-readers are huge for so many different reasons right now and I think e-books will definitely always be my favorite way of going. It's very easy to publish for e-readers, it's free and people can download them in an instant. Who doesn't love that? :)
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Want to learn more about Molly? Visit her website and blog, her GoodReads author page, her Facebook Author page, her regular Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter.

And if you haven't yet, check out this week's Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more great books.