Saturday, January 28, 2012

Readers are Enchanted with UnEnchanted!

Today we get to visit with Chanda Hahn, author of UnEnchanted. Her book hit the number 3 spot in the "Children and Teen" section of the Apple iBookstore on January 14th, then jumped to number 2 the following week where it still sits today. Enjoy her story of success!

Tell us the story of UnEnchanted.

Mina Grime is unlucky, unpopular and uncoordinated, that is until she saves her crush's life on a field trip, changing her High School status from loser to hero overnight. But with her new found fame brings misfortune in the form of an old family curse come to light. For Mina is descended from the Brothers Grimm and has inherited all of their unfinished fairy tale business. Which includes trying to outwit a powerful Story from making her its next fairytale victim.

To break the fairy tale curse on her family and make these deadly occurrences stop, Mina must finish the tales until the very Grimm end.

How did you get published: traditional or indie? 

I wrote UnEnchanted over a year ago and I tried the traditional route through agents. It gained attention and a few wanted the manuscript but they didn’t think it had the marketability. I believed in my book and refused to give up on it. I knew that I had a story worth telling, and my characters didn’t deserve to sit on a flash drive for the next ten years, so I published the book myself through Smashwords. It has only been available for about two weeks [when I contacted her on 1/14] and I was surprised that it hit the top 3 in Children and Teens on IBook’s and top 55 for paid authors.

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

Chanda Hahn - two
weeks to top ten!
I didn’t want to do epublishing initially. There is something quit romantic about having a print book in your hands and being able to smell the pages or put your bookmark in your favorite passage. I also love the idea of having a book and personally handing it to someone and telling them it is worth reading. I truly believe you lose something once the book is on a computer. It’s not as personal.

So when I decided to try to epub it myself, I was both hesitant and reluctant. It’s similar to putting your kid in a beauty pageant and waiting to get judged by a panel, who will tell me whether my book/kid is good enough. Beauty is subjective to the eye of the beholder and so is writing a book. Once I published my book, it would be available to be judged by the world. But I’m a strong enough person to stand behind my books. I’m not sure if I would have normally gone through this process and it is not for everyone, because if your book does not sell, it is almost impossible to get an Agent or Publisher to pick it up after you’ve tried to publish it yourself.

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

I would have never in a million years predicted that my book would have made the top ten list. I’m grateful, excited, and hesitant at the same time.

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

The market is hot right now for fairytales, young adult and fantasy. The cover of my book is appealing, and looking at it you can tell exactly what genre and age I’m aiming for. The price is reasonable. As a new author I couldn’t justify putting a high price on my book until I get my name out there. No one will pay eight bucks for a no name author without the backing of a publisher.


Want to learn more about Chanda and her book? Check out her blog, her Facebook page, and follow her on Twitter.

Find more top ten e-authors at today's Kids' E-book Bestseller List.