Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mrs. Dole Is In Control of the #6 Spot on

Hurrah! Last week Dan Gutman was back on the Kids' EBook Bestseller List so I contacted him to see if I could feature him again.  Almost exactly a year ago (March 3rd, 2012) Dan visited us with an interview about his book Mr. Burke Is Berserk!, Book #4 in his "My Weirder School" series. Today, he's back to talk about Mrs. Dole Is Out of Control, the first book in his "My Weird School Daze" series. Last Saturday and again today it's #6 in the "Children's and Young Adult" section of 

Dan, tell us what Mrs. Dole Is Out of Control is about.  

A.J. and the gang are graduating! But the out-of-control PTA president is turning the whole thing into a huge ceremony complete with fireworks, a petting zoo, and a flyover by the Blue Angels! Is moving up to third grade such a big deal? And what could possibly go wrong?

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing?

Well, I guess I'm somewhat of a purist when it comes to most things. My feeling was that the paper book had served us pretty well for five hundred years or so, and there was no reason to do anything differently.

Was it your idea or your publisher’s?

I'm not sure. After the Mac was introduced and desktop publishing arrived, everybody pretty much knew e-books were on the horizon. It was a question of how long it would take, how good they would be, how much they would cost, how hard it would be to use them, and things like that.

Were you hesitant?



Yes. I may be a purist, but at the same time I do get excited by new technology and what it is capable of. I think I was very lucky to be living in a time when I could witness the birth of the personal computer, VCR, CD, DVD, the Internet, digital cameras, cable TV, cell phones, iPods, and so many other cool things.  




Yes. And scared, too. Because any new technology is usually hard to use and I'm not a techie at all. I remember HATING the VCR, because I couldn't even figure out how to set the clock on the thing, much less program it to tape a TV show when I wasn't home. Now I have a DVR, and I record everything in sight effortlessly.

Have those initial thoughts changed now that you’ve done it?

Oh yeah. I must confess that I actually prefer to read books off a screen, because I like to blow the type up big and flip through pages quickly.

Do you believe the e-format helps or hurts you as an author?

It's too soon to tell. I just got my first royalty check for an e-book TODAY. Ask me in five years.

Do you believe the e-format helps or hurts your readers, specifically children and/or young adults? 

I believe it is great for reluctant readers, for the same reason that I like to read off a screen. A big page full of tiny type is intimidating to a lot of kids. People with short attention spans (like me) find it easier to read when we only see a small part of the page at one time. 

You can learn more about Dan and his many books at the "My Weird Classroom Club" website from his publisher HarperCollins, at Dan's own website or by following him on his Facebook fan page or on Twitter.

And have a look at today's Kids' EBook Bestseller List where you'll find all the top authors for children and young adults.