Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tracie Puckett: 2 Books in the Top 10 at the iBookstore

On February 9th Just A Little Embrace by Tracie Puckett hit the number 8 spot in the "Children and Teen" section of the iBook store. Then the following week she had two books on the list: Just a Little Embrace at number 9 and All Good Things at number 10. Tracie has taken the time to share her e-publishing experience with us.

First, let's find out what your book is about.

Just a Little Embrace is the second part in a series of young adult novelettes. It picks up immediately where Just a Little Crush (Part 1) left off. In the first part of the series, Julie is required to job shadow Officer Lucas Reibeck as part of her senior project; he is young, handsome, and a little too stubborn. The two of them initially butt heads during their first ten hours on patrol, but as the story progresses, Julie develops a minor crush on her mentor.

 In Just a Little Embrace, Julie’s job shadowing project switches gears; she’s no longer on patrol with Luke, but spending her early mornings in exercise training. And as they’re thrown together for more and more hours, Julie’s feelings toward Luke only grow deeper. But things are complicated. Luke doesn’t seem the slightest bit interested in her, and the new guy in town is throwing himself at her feet. And when ghosts from her past come back and threaten her safety, Julie is forced to learn a lesson about the brevity of life and love.

How did your book get published: Traditionally or independently? Recently or further in the past?

I spent my high school years writing poetry and songs, and while I’d always hoped to pursue some type of career in the music industry, my heart kept calling for something bigger. I wrote many short stories as a teenager, but the first piece of writing I ever shared publicly was a one-act play (performed by a group of students at my alma mater). I loved being the person behind the script—I loved orchestrating the elements of a story and molding characters. So, I set out to write my first book right out of high school. In January 2012, I independently published The New Girl (Webster Grove). Fourteen months later, I have nine books available exclusively online.

What top factors do you believe put your e-book where it is now?

Like every other decision in life, there are major risks that come with writing and publishing independently. One of those risks includes the fact that a writer may never find their audience. While I know this route has its share of naysayers, I’m a major advocate for the “free” marketing tactic. I believe that readers are more apt to take a chance on someone they’ve never heard of if they’re not financially invested in that decision. So I offer the first book in each series for free. If they like what they read, awesome!!! If they don’t, all they’ve invested is a little time. I wholeheartedly believe that this tactic is what helped me find and build an audience; readers took a chance on me, and they’ve played a major role in getting my e-books where they are now.

And while readers have definitely fueled the sales, I owe a lot of the credit to Mark Coker and everyone over at Smashwords—they were the real game changer for me! My e-book sales were dead in the water before I started publishing there. And what did I learn from that experience? Smashwords is a godsend for Indie authors.

As you got into e-publishing, have you discovered unexpected things? Has anything happened that you wouldn’t have predicted?

I never expected this kind of response.

I never dreamed that one of my stories (let alone all of them!) would fall into any kind of bestselling category. I was thrilled to find an audience in America, but I was shocked when things took off on a global scale. Being named an Apple Australia Breakout Author has been one of the coolest parts of this experience so far!

But the best part has truly been the response from readers. I value and respect their opinions more than life; they’re the ones making this happen! I am thankful for every comment, suggestion, and email that comes my way. I never imagined that readers would be so involved in this process, that they’d vocalize exactly what they want from me (and from a story). They never leave me guessing; I always know what their expectations are. I love that I’ve developed some great relationships with people I’ve never met! This response is something I could’ve NEVER predicted!

Find out more about Tracie and her books at her website, or by following her on Facebook or Twitter. And, as usual, the Kids' EBook Bestseller List has been updated this morning. Have a look for all the top tens in the top stores.