Back in November of 2011, C.C. Hunter did an interview for this blog when her book Awake At Dawn hit the top ten in e-format. (See the interview HERE.) Today she's back again. On April 27th, Chosen at Nightfall hit the #2 spot in the Teen section of the Barnes and Noble Nook store. It's the final book in her popular Shadow Falls series. C.C. chose different questions for this interview from the ones she chose for the first interview, so we get even more insight about her road to e-pub success.
First, let's hear what Chosen at Nightfall is about.
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What top factors do you believe put your e-book where it is now?
I think that to succeed in writing you first must have a good product—a good story that resonates with your targeted audience. But to take your success to the next level, you must find the universal emotion that will appeal not just to your demographics, but to the masses. Having written eight books for adults when I started the Shadow Falls series, I purposely set out to write a book that could appeal to both teens and adults. I believe finding a relatable premise that crossed the age barriers has helped the series do well.
What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? Have those initial thoughts changed now that you’ve done it?
My first step into e-publishing was with my backlist from a publisher who was facing financial issues. To get those rights returned to me, I had to walk away from large sum of money. It was both exciting and slightly overwhelming to suddenly have to deal with all the angles of publishing. But I more than recovered all that was owed to me, and I learned to cope with all the additional work brought on my self-publishing. I still release some of my own works, as well as write for traditional publishers. Chosen at Nightfall was just released by St. Martin’s Griffin, and I was told over half my sales were in the e-book format. I think e-publishing just offers authors a new venue in which to sell their work. The more venues we have, the more opportunity we have to appeal to the mass of readers. E-publishing has opened doors to me and my career, and I’m thrilled to be a part of this growing industry.
As you got into e-publishing, have you discovered unexpected things? Has anything happened that you wouldn’t have predicted?
The thing that really surprised me was the sense that e-publishing created a civil war in the publishing industry. Instead of being North and South, you were either e-published or traditionally published. It totally baffled me. Because in my opinion, what should define a book is the author’s work, and not the format in which the book was published. Later the issues weren’t so much if the book was e-published, but if it was indie published versus published by a traditional publisher, be it in e-format or print. But again, I felt a book should be judged by the work itself and not the publisher.
The rise in popularity in the indie, mostly e-book market still has some traditional publishers frowning upon their authors stepping into the self-publishing pond. And while it’s clear why they would worry, I felt very fortunate that both my traditional publishers viewed my adventure into this arena, not as a threat to my future career with them, but as a method to draw in new readers. One of my publishers came to me suggesting to put ads about my traditional published works in the back of my Indie e-books. The increase in sales was apparent in the e-print book rankings. I think the publishing industry continues to evolve and at this point, the only predictable thing is that it will continue to change. To secure a place in this business an author, as well as the publishers, must be willing evolve.
Is your book available in print format? Which came first and why? How did your e-book come about?
All my books, with exception to a few novellas, are available in both print and e-format. I bought print stock of my backlist adult titles which were originally published by Dorchester and offer them in print at my website. My one indie published novel went first to e-book but is now offered in print. I felt I had to do this due to the fact that so many of my adult readers are still solely print readers. In time, this may chance, but until it does, I will continue to do all I can to reach as many readers as possible.
Find out more about C.C. Hunter and her books at her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter. And be sure to stop back on Saturday for the updated Kids' EBook Bestseller List and an interview with Angie Sage, author of Fyre.