Wednesday, May 1, 2013

PRISONERS IN THE PALACE Has a Captive Audience in E-Format

Prisoners In The Palace was Michaela MacColl's first novel. Originally published in 2010, it's now enjoying new popularity in electronic format. Michaela's book hit the #7 spot in the Teen section of the Barnes and Noble Nook store on April 13th.

When I contacted her, she said, "I would be delighted to participate. I mentioned this to Lara Starr my publicist at Chronicle and she said in fact Prisoners ended up at No. 1!" Hurrah! Today we get to hear all about Michael's epub success.
First, tell us a bit about the story of Prisoners In The Palace.

In London of 1836, sixteen-year-old Liza's dreams of her society debut are dashed when her parents are killed in an accident. Penniless, she accepts the position of lady's maid to young Princess Victoria and steps unwittingly into the gossipy intrigue of the servant's world below-stairs as well as the trickery above.Liza has to learn how to navigate the intrigue at the palace, the difficulty of befriending a spoiled princess and falling in love with a journalist, while protecting Victoria from hostile forces who want to break the future Queen's spirit.

Tell us about your path to publication: Traditional or independent? Recently or further in the past? 

I'm a traditionalist! It mattered to me that my book be accepted and vetted by a well-respected publisher. I began writing about ten years ago off and on. I went to conferences and took classes. One of my teachers introduced me to her agent and he found a home for Prisoners in 2008. Two years later, it was published! 

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

My publisher has been promoting the book on their website and I know that the price point was attractive!

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

I have a website, authorFacebook page and I tweet. I don't do an enormous amount because I think it distracts from writing.

What is your target audience, and how do you believe the e-format works for that audience and serves their needs?

My target audience is older middle grade and young adult. These kids are very savvy with iPads, Kindles and Nooks. Often they can buy e-titles themselves without a visit to the bookstore. While I worry about kids buying inappropriate books, I know that my books don't contain topics that kids shouldn't read.  

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? Was it your idea or your publisher’s?

I wasn't consulted about the e-book version. It just appeared! Somehow the colors on the cover were wildly off. As soon as I brought this to the publisher's attention, they fixed it. Amazon chose it as a Kindle Book of the Day -- and we sold almost 10,000 copies in a single day. It was very fun to beat out Hunger Games for the day! 

Find out more about Michaela and her books at her website, or by following her on Facebook or on Twitter.

And did you see Saturday's update Kids' EBook Bestseller List? Check it out for all the latest top tens in the top ebook stores!