Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dan Gutman's Book Goes Berserk in the iBookstore

Dan Gutman is the award-winning author of middle grade books, especially known for his series My Weird School, My Weird School Daze, and My Weirder School. They feature the Ella Mentry School where all the adults are insane and the children are normal. There are currently over thirty Weird School books, and a few weeks ago, Mr. Burke is Berserk!, hit the number 8 spot in the "Children and Teens" section of the iBookstore.

Dan, tell us about the story of Mr. Burke is Berserk!

Mr. Burke--the Ella Mentry School groundskeeper--discovers gold in the playground. Naturally, all the grownups get gold fever. Everyone is wearing overalls, pushing wheelbarrows, and shouting "Yee ha!" The male teachers suddenly have beards. There's a duel involving cell phones. Kids love to read about grownups doing dumb things.

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

I was born in a log cabin and used to write by candlelight with a piece of chalk on a shovel. Oh, sorry, I misunderstood the question. Traditional. "Mr. Burke Is Berserk!" is the 37th book in my "My Weird School" series. The series started in 2004 and a new one comes out every three months.

Is your book available in print format?

I believe the print and e-book came out simultaneously. I don't know if all the books in the series are available as e-books, but a lot of them are.

Do you think e-publishing will eventually take over print publishing? Why or why not?
Dan Gutman at a
"marshmallow farm"

One sure way to screw up, I have discovered, is to try to predict the future. I have no idea if print books will disappear one day, but it's obvious that e-publishing is growing fast. I'd guess that five years from now, every household will have at least one e-reader. Hopefully, books will not go away. I've got a lot of bookshelves in my house, and they'd look pretty weird empty.

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

"My Weird School" is aimed at grades 1-3, while "The Genius Files" and my baseball card adventure series are for grades 3 and up. I'm seeing kids of ALL ages reading e-books, and I think it's great. It doesn't matter to me if kids read my books off a page or off a screen. As long as they read them.

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

The publisher is spreading the word with their "My Weird Classroom Club", but I also blatantly plug my books on my Facbook fan page, Twitter,  and my own website.  I wish I had time to hit the blogs, but I just don't.

Dan's websites are full of entertaining info about him and his many books. Be sure to visit!

Check this week's Kids' E-Book Bestseller List for more interesting authors and their amazing e-books. I see some new names this week!