Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mary Hooper: The Great Plague + A Great Author = A Best Seller!

Earlier this month, At the Sign of the Sugared Plum, by UK author Mary Hooper hit the number 5 spot in the "Children's and Young Adult" section of the Amazon e-bookstore. 

Welcome, Mary! First let's hear what your book is about.

AT THE SIGN OF THE SUGARED PLUM is about the Great Plague in England, 1665, and is told from the point of view of a young girl coming to London for the first time to help her sister in their sweetmeats shop. It's also a love story. I found out loads of fascinating details about life back then and, as chapter headings, used quotes from Pepys Diary, I also found some genuine 17th century sweet recipes and put them at the back of the book.

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

I have been writing books for about 25 years now, and writing historical fiction for about the last ten. AT THE SIGN OF THE SUGARED PLUM was my first historical. I loved writing it so much I vowed never to write another modern book!

Is your book available in print format? Which came first and why?
See my note to you above!
[Mary is referring to her e-mail to me: "Gosh, you have really made me sit up! I hadn't even realised that AT THE SIGN OF THE SUGARED PLUM was out in electronic form. When I looked, it was No.1 in three categories on Amazon kindle .... Very exciting! Thank you for letting me know.]
It's been in print nearly ten years now and I didn't even know it was available electronically.

Do you think e-publishing will eventually take over print publishing? Why or why not?
I sincerely hope not. I think there's a place for both. I have a reading device on which I've downloaded all the classics - but I couldn't manage without a REAL book, with a cover picture and a blurb and a bit about the author and all those extra things.

How are people finding out about your book? Tell us about your marketing and use of social media.
We are encouraged to use social media, but I think you are either a natural tweeter and blogger or not. I am not! I would rather be writing a chapter of a book than composing a blog. Having said that, I am a member of The History Girls Blog and we blog once a month (which I find just about manageable).

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


I have no idea why it should suddenly spring forward! I had a new book out last year called FALLEN GRACE and this was very well reviewed in the New York Times, so maybe it's had a knock-on effect.
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Learn more about Mary Hooper and her many books at her website.

See this week's Kids' E-Book Bestseller List for more fascinating books and authors for children and young adults!