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!

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!