Wednesday, March 7, 2012

There Was An Old Monkey Who Climbed to the Top Ten

Last Saturday There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog hit the number 10 spot in the "Children's and Young Adult" section of the Amazon Kindle bookstore. Author Jennifer Ward joins us to talk about her e-book success.  

First let's find out what the book is about.

There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog is a silly translation of the traditional children's song, I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. My version features a monkey as a main character, and he eats his way through a rainforest. I have written several adaptations of the traditional song with various characters, including, There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea, There Was an Odd Princess Who Swallowed a Pea, and the forthcoming, There Was an Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish.

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


My path to publication is a bit remarkable in that I was traditionally published by the first publisher I sent my manuscript to - you don't hear about that too often in this business, but it does happen. I was so "green" at the time, I didn't realize how fortunate I was. My first children's book,Way Out in the Desert, (1998) is still in print and still going strong. All of my books are traditionally published, and I have been writing for fourteen years with fifteen books published so far, and four additional books in production at present.

Is your book available in print format? How did your e-book come about?

Yes, There Was an Old Monkey is available in print format, which is the original format of this book. The e-format came about per the publisher's interest in making it available as an e-book, so presently the book is available as both an e-book or in print format. I am pretty sure all of my books are available as e-books, and most publishers are working hard to have their entire lists made availalbe in e- format, as it is a large - and growing- portion of the reader market.

As you got into e-publishing, have you discovered unexpected things? Has anything happened that you wouldn’t have predicted?

At this point I consider e-publishing a new frontier, and I am riding the trail just like everyone else, tyring to navigate my way along as I go. I am really curious to see what percentage of the book market will entail e-books, say, ten years from now - especially for children's picture books.

How do you see the world of e-publishing for children within the next 5 years?

During the next five years, I imagine a larger portion of the young reading market, children ages 4 - 8, will desire books in e-format vs. traditional print format. I believe this because it will be the format they are familiar with due to the fact that their parents use the technology in-home. I believe this is a trend that will continue to grow for years and years to come. I have already experienced this when I visit schools to read my books. Young children in grades 1 and 2 will inquire as to whether my books are available as e-books. I do hope that traditionally printed books will always have a place in a child's home, and in libraries and classrooms. There are sensory elements and cognitive elements that children engage with when reading a traditional book that aren't stimulated when reading in e-format, such as the physical aspect of fingering and turning each page.

Happy reading, everyone!
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Learn more about Jennifer Ward at her website or by following her on Facebook.

Visit this week's Kids' E-Book Bestseller List to see the top ten books for Kids and YA in the web's most popular e-book stores!