Saturday, July 14, 2012

Party Day: Partying On For The Third Week in the Top Five

For three weeks now Party Day by Laurie Berkner has been sitting in the top 5 in the Kids' section of the Barnes and Noble Nook store. Laurie is not only an author, but also a successful children's recording artist. I contacted Laurie to find more about her successful book.

Let's find out first what your book is about.

Party Day is based on the title track from The Laurie Berkner Band’s 2011 DVD, Party Day! (Two Tomatoes Records/Razor & Tie). In Party Day, a merry bunch of insects get together for an all-day beach celebration. They play instruments, dance, build sand castles, tell stories and watch the waves until the sun goes down. Julia Woolf's colorful and fun illustrations made it easy to capture visually what I wanted to express in the song; the joy of being with friends and never wanting a perfect day to end.

How did you get published: traditionally or independently?

I had previously released two book-with-CDs on Scholastic’s Orchard Books imprint, both of which were based on a single song. The first was in 2004; the second in 2007.

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

Barnes & Noble gets a strong response with their e-newsletter and they have featured it prominently on their website. The person in our office who handles social media has done a great job of getting the word out on Facebook.

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

Our audience is mostly preschool through kindergarten. The e-format in this case works well for them because they don’t need to know how to read yet and it is easy to manipulate. Even very young children can use their fingers to play music and animations, as well as participate in fun “drag and drop” and “find and touch” activities. The full song with lyrics is also included, which enhances the experience.

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

I loved the idea of turning my song into an animated story, and I was excited about the way that this interactive format could enhance the reading experience for young children. My biggest concern was how to make it fun without it losing the feel of it being a book. Everyone who helped me on the project was so talented that this ended up not being an issue at all. I’m very happy with the way it turned out

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

The book is not available in print format. The DVD came first, and then Barnes & Noble expressed interest in turning the title track into an exclusive NOOK Kids e-book. Party Day is both NOOK Kids’ and my first-ever original NOOK Kids Read and Play™ book.
Learn more about Laurie and the Laurie Berkner Band at her website, her Facebook page and her blog.

This week's Kids' Ebook Bestseller List features at least six authors that we haven't seen before. Exciting! Check it out for all the lastest top tens for children and young adults!