First, what's the story of Ashes, Ashes?
Epidemics, floods, droughts--for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she's rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can't continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There's something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her.
How did you get published -- traditionally or independently? Recently or further in the past?
My first book, a middle-grade fantasy, came out in 2006 through a small indie publisher. Unfortunately there were financial troubles and the two sequels I wrote were never published. The idea for Ashes, Ashes came to me out of the blue during a very hot summer, and that book, a YA adventure, garnered me both an agent and a deal with Scholastic who published the book in 2011.
Is your book available in print format? How did your e-book come about?
Ashes, Ashes is available in both print and as an e-book. They came out simultaneously. Scholastic is at the forefront of new electronic media, as far as I am concerned.
What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? Have those initial thoughts changed now that you’ve done it?
I was excited to know that my book was available in e-book format. I am still excited about it. A huge chunk of my sales have been electronic and although I personally love holding a thick, heavy book in my hands (I even love the way the paper and ink smell), there's no arguing with the fact that reading a book electronically is easy and fun.
As you got into e-publishing, has anything happened that you wouldn’t have predicted?
I guess I am pretty blown away by how many sales have been electronic, though I shouldn't be as most of my readers are pre-teen, teen and young adult and they are always quicker to embrace new technology.
Do you think e-publishing will eventually take over print publishing? Why or why not?
I think that e-publishing will probably eventually account for the majority of book sales but print books will be around for a while still. I can see a strong print market in particular for picture books, board books and art/coffee table books. And I think owning a print copy of a much-loved book can't be beat. I still have books in my library from my childhood. That being said though, the convenience of down-loading books, plus the cheaper price, and the ease in which readers can shop from the comfort of their homes all play a part in the rising popularity.
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 pre-teen, teen and young adult and they absolutely the love e-format. It's instant gratification.
What top factors do you believe put your e-book where it is now?
Scholastic have a great Publicity team so I can't take credit for too much marketing but I do as many appearances and readings as I can. I also lead writing workshops for teens and pre-teens. I have blogged for almost 5 years and I continue to blog 4-6 times a month, and I have pages on Facebook and Twitter.. Also I rarely say 'no' to an interview.
Check this week's new Kids' E-Book Bestseller List for the latest on the greatest in e-format for children and YA!
And stop back on Wednesday when we'll hear from mega-award winning author Lois Lowry.