Saturday, February 18, 2012

Debra Lee: Taking the Top Ten with Taken

Here's a quick announcement before we get to today's interview:

Since the Kids' E-book Bestseller blog and list has become more popular, I have authors lined up 6 weeks ahead. That's too long to wait for their exciting insights on the fast-changing world of e-format. So I'll now be posting interviews and news twice a week instead of just once. Check back every Wednesday AND Saturday morning. Or make it easy on yourself and subscribe to the RSS feed at the right.

The Kids' E-Book Bestseller List will still be updated weekly on Saturday as usual.


Who knew about e-books a decade ago? Author Debra Lee did, and she's been publishing in the e-format ever since. Her recent book, Taken, hit the number 7 spot in the "Childrens's and Young Adult" section of the Amazon e-bookstore for the last two weeks.

Debra, what's the story on Taken?

Welcome to the fictitious little town of Watery, Pennsylvania where the district attorney’s personal secretary, Mary Murray never planned to become a single mom or a suspect in her infant’s disappearance, but she plans to find Jena before she suffers the same fate Mary’s younger brother had when he was taken twelve years earlier.

Is your book available in print format?

Taken is available in print format and as an ebook. They became available at the same time.

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing?

I was one of the ebook pioneers and had my first book published by an ebook publisher in the late 90s. This of course was before people knew too much about ebooks. When Amazon came out with the kindle, ebooks became a household name and I was already published in e-format. But I soon pulled my books from my epublisher and began publishing my books as an independent author.

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

My target audience was for adults who enjoy reading suspense and mystery books with a little romance. Taken is more a young adult book that adults enjoy as well. The book I'm working on now, Entrance will be targeted to the same audience.

How are people finding out about your book? 

I've belonged to many yahoo groups over the years. But now I mostly use facebook and twitter to get the word out about my books. I've also had a website since the late 90s. If you visit my website there are links to my facebook and twitter page.  [I included the links in the text.]

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

I think making my book free for a week, which resulted in close to 100,000 downloads in this country alone helped move the book to Bestseller list when the price returned to ninety-nine cents. Some good reviews and word of mouth from those readers I suspect helped as well.

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

The e-format helps and will continue to do so for all authors. The how is easy, broader exposure with readers and social networking getting authors noticed.

Check this week's  Kids' E-Book Bestseller List updated today with all the latest top sellers for kids and YA. And don't forget to stop by later in the week to see Wednesday's interview with Sarah Albee, author of Elmo Loves You!