Saturday, February 16, 2013

THAT BOY: That Book is a Nook Teen Bestseller

On January 26th author Jillian Dodd made the Kids' EBook Bestseller List by taking the number 5 spot in the Teen section of the Barnes & Noble Nook store. Her book, That Boy, was a hit with readers, and she's here today to tell us how it all happened.

Jillian, first tell us what your book is about.

That Boy is really about falling in love with your best friend. Jadyn, Phillip, and Danny are best friends. The story starts with Jadyn getting engaged to one of boys. Then the book goes back to follow Jadyn along on important moments in her life that involve the boys. From first kiss to prom date, to college roommates, to engagements. Through the fun times and the sad times, they stay friends. And one of them is the boy she will fall in love with. It's sort of a modern day fairy tale. I think it's important for young girls to know that if you choose the right boy, you can have your own happily ever after.

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

Social media is how That Boy has gotten discovered by readers. I'm active on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.. I have a really fun blog that a team of contributors post to 4 times a week. You can write the most amazing book ever, but if no one reads it, no one knows about it. Social media has helped many self-published authors connect with readers. I also think readers love that accessibility to send you a quick tweet and tell you they liked your book and boom, you reply.

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

I think every author has apprehensions about sharing their stories with the world. I would say I was all of the above. Thrilled to be able to say I actually wrote a book. Then that I published it. And now that it has sold and people are reading it and loving it. Initially, That Boy was rejected by numerous agents, but looking back, I'm not surprised. I had no clue what I was doing. Query letters and synopsis writing is harder than writing a book, in my opinion. My husband read an article in the Wall Street Journal about self publishing and encouraged me to do it. I'm extremely happy it worked out that way for me. Since then, I've published another three books and will publish 3-4 more this year.

Is your book available in print format? Which came first and why? How did your e-book come about?

That Boy is available in print format. The ebook came out first, with the paperback following, but all of my other books have released with both paper and ebook version simultaneously.

Do you think e-publishing will eventually take over print publishing? Why or why not?

I think that the publishing industry is going through changes much like the music industry went through a few years ago. I have always been a very avid reader with an addiction to hardcover books. Which meant I was always carting a large, heavy book around with me if I wanted to read. Now, all my books stored on an app in my phone. My phone is always with me, so that means I am able to read more. With font changes, elderly people can read easier. And how great is it to travel with just your phone or e-reader and have all your books right there? I definitely see e-publishing will overtake print. I know that I don't buy CDs anymore. I buy songs and keep them on my computer or phone. I think people will continue to buy paperbacks, but from what I can see based on my readers, is that they want signed copies of their favorite books as sort of a collector's copy. 

I also think you are going to see more and more hybrid authors. Authors that both self publish and traditionally publish. I have a publishing company called Bandit Publishing. We just released our first book, Forever My Girl, by debuting author Heidi McLaughlin, which hit the top #100 on both Amazon and B&N, as well as the USA Today's best seller list just three weeks after it's release. Because I know how difficult it is to get noticed, I'm hoping to help other authors achieve success more quickly than they could on their own.

Check out all the links I included above, as well as Jillian's website to learn more about her and her books.  And don't forget to have a look at this week's updated Kids' EBook Bestseller List. You might find a new favorite author!