Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Does It Mean to Be. . . a Best Seller?

On April 14th, What Does it Mean to be Green? by Rana DiOrio hit the number 9 spot in the Kids' section of the Barnes and Noble e-bookstore. She joins us today to share all about her e-format experience. 

First, Rana, tell us what your book is about.

This colorful, insightful story demystifies for children what it means to be green by helping them to view everyday tasks through an environmentally-friendly lens. The book empowers children to do whatever they can to protect the Earth’s precious resources. Don’t be surprised if they start coming up with suggestions of their own for you!

Is your book available in print format? Which came first and why? 

What Does It Mean To Be Green? is also available as a hardback. It is, of course, printed on recycled paper with soy inks and without a superfluous (and environmentally suspect) dust jacket! The printed book came first. The eBooks came shortly thereafter. We always intended to release the eBook on all available platforms. The idea is to get the content to our young audience in whatever format is most accessible and enjoyable to them.

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing?  Have those initial thoughts changed now that you’ve done it?

E-publishing was always part of the Master Plan for this title and for all of the titles at Little Pickle Press. We always planned to extrapolate the original content into digital forms that our readers would access in the manner to which they have become accustomed–––iPad/iPhone, Nook Reader, Kindle Fire, etc. We were excited when we launched the products, and we're even more optimistic about their potential today than we were initially. Digital products have global reach and impact. They are also easy to share with communities in need. For example, we will be giving copies of What Does It Mean To Be Green?, among other titles, to Worldreader to load onto their Kindles to promote literacy in third world countries. We will also be donating this title, among others, for use in a Summer Readathon sponsored by MeMe Tales to promote literacy in this country.

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

I'd say the top ways that people are finding out about our book are:

  • winning awards––this title has garnered 3 industry awards: (1) a 2010 Gold Mom's Choice Award in the Children's Picture Book: Green Earth category; (2) a 2011 Gold Benjamin Franklin Award in the eBooks category; and (3) a 2011 Green Prize for Sustainability in Literature Award.
  • being recognized by the blogging community, folks like you––thank you!
  • getting noticed by the editors at the various platforms and being editorially featured
  • receiving favorable book and eBook reviews written by influencers
  • engaging the community as part of our own social media efforts
  • running promotions to catalyze adoption and readership––during the month of March, we gave this title away for free in the iBookstore and Nook Bookstore
  • reading and presenting the title in classrooms throughout the country
  • participating in eco-friendly events, such as the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival or Green Fest SF, where the constituents really care about the subject matter 
Learn more about Rana DiOrio and her books at the Little Pickle Press website, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Pinterest and at the Little Pickle Press blog.