Saturday, October 27, 2012

SLEEP, BIG BEAR, SLEEP Isn't Snoozing in the Kindle Store

Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep, by Maureen Wright hit the Kids' EBook Bestseller List last weekend, taking the number 10 spot in the "Children's and Young Adult" section of the Amazon Kindle store. Maureen joins us to talk about her path to e-book success.

Let's start by hearing what your book is about.

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It's time for Big Bear to hibernate, so Old Man Winter keeps telling him: "Sleep, Big Bear, sleep." But Big Bear doesn't hear very well. He thinks Old Man Winter has told him to drive a jeep, to sweep, and to leap. Finally, Old Man Winter finds a noisy way get Big Bear's attention.

How did you get published? And how long ago?

I tried for twenty years to get published with traditional publishers and was met with one rejection letter after another. Finally, Editor, Margery Cuyler of Marshall Cavendish Children's Books took an interest in my writing. During the twenty years of rejection letters, I was very disheartened. But now I am actually grateful that it was a long, hard road for me. It makes a big impact on students when I tell them that I didn't give up after twenty years of failure. If it had been easy for me, I wouldn't have been able to share this life lesson with them: Don't Give Up! My favorite thank you note is from a young boy who wrote, "You taught me to be brave."

What is your target audience? How do you believe the e-format serves their needs?

My target audience is three to eight years. I wish there had been such a thing as e-books when my three sons were little! It would have been very handy to pull a Kindle out of my purse in a busy doctor's office or on long car rides to help keep them entertained. The illustrations on the Kindle are bold and eye-catching. Illustrator, Will Hillenbrand, did an amazing job.

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

Amazon Children's Publishing acquired Marshall Cavendish Children's Books in 2011. I was notified by the publisher that my books would become e-books. I am grateful to have another avenue for book sales. I think e-books will, in turn, increase print book sales because parents/grandparents will see the book on Kindle and want to have the larger version of the beautiful illustrations in a print book. It has been a postive experience for me.


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Maureen has supplied us with this list of her books:

Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep! (2009)
Sneezy the Snowman (2010)
Sneeze, Big Bear, Sneeze! (2011)
Earth Day, Birthday! (2012)
Barnyard Fun (spring 2013)
Grumpy Groundhog (fall 2013)
Honey, Big Bear, Honey! (TBA)
It's Bedtime! (TBA)

Learn more about her work at her website.

For all the latest e-format bestsellers for children and young adults, check this week's updated Kids' EBook Bestseller List. And keep coming back -- on Wednesday, our author interview will be with Bethany Wiggins, author of Shifting, and next Saturday it's Gary Paulsen, featuring his book Hatchet. Want a reminder of who's being featured when?  Follow me on Twitter or Facebook!