Saturday, July 27, 2013

THE OBSIDIAN BLADE Cut to the Top Ten -- And Has Stayed There For Four Weeks!

Today's featured author is Peter Hautman, author of The Obsidian Blade. His book first showed up on the Kids' EBook Bestseller List on July 6th, when it climbed to the #3 spot in the Children's section of the  Sony EBookstore. Since then, it  moved up a notch to #2 and it's still there today.  Let's hear Pete's insights on his e-pub success. 

First, tell us what your book is about.

The Obsidian Blade is the first book of the Klaatu Diskos trilogy. It's the story of a young teen named Tucker Feye whose parents disappear. To find them, Tucker must use the mysterious portals known as "diskos" to travel backward and forward in time. The story spans time from 2000 years in the past, to 10,000 years in the future. The second book in the trilogy, The Cydonian Pyramid, continues Tucker's story, and also tells the story of Lahlia, a girl from 800 years in the future, who is traveling the diskos in pursuit of Tucker. 

How did you get published: traditionally or independently? Recently or further in the past? 

My first book was published in 1993. I went the usual route for the time, which was to start by finding an agent. That took about a year. The agent submitted my work to several publishers, which took another year and twenty-one rejections.

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

I would like to think it's because I wrote a wonderful book, but the truth is, I have no idea.

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

I do very little marketing. I have a website that hasn't been updated in months, a blog on which I post two or three times a month, and I occasionally tweet something. I don't think any of that drives sales significantly, largely because of my lackadaisical approach. Social media is a huge time suck. I prefer to spend my desk time writing my novels.

Is your book available in print format?

Most of my sales are of the print editions. In fact, all of my 26 novels are available both as print and ebooks.

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

I believe there is no question that e-books will come to dominate the market. But it won't happen until we have a $20 e-reader that is waterproof and tough enough to survive an afternoon with a four-year-old. We're probably 5-10 years away from that.

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

As much as I like e-books as a reader, I have to say that they probably harm me slightly as an author because they create a far more competitive environment. More authors are publishing more books, so the pie gets sliced thinner. Also, I fear that piracy will become a bigger problem as more readers turn to e-books. But overall, I think that e-books are a wonderful thing. I do about half my reading on my iPad. 
Find out more about Peter Hautman, the the Klaatu Diskos trilogy and his other books at his websitehis blog or by following him on Facebook or Twitter. 

And check this week's updated  Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more top ten e-books for children and teens. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Kendare Blake: A Top Ten Author in the Google EBookstore

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake made it to the Kids' EBook Bestseller List on June 29th and again on July 6th. She hit the number 8 spot both weeks in the Juvenile category of the Google ebookstore. Today we get to hear all about Kendare's story--her fiction story about Anna, and her true-to-life story of how she became a bestselling ebook author!

Kendare, first tell us what your book is about.

Anna Dressed in Blood is the story of a teenage ghost hunter named Cas Lowood. He's been in the game a number of years now, using his father's special athame (ceremonial knife) to kill the ghosts who seek to harm the living. When he hears about Anna Dressed in Blood, the spirit of a girl who was murdered in 1958, he sets out to kill her, too. Unfortunately, she's much stronger, and more complicated, than any other job he's faced so far.

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

I don't know. This is a real mystery. Anna Dressed in Blood came out in August of 2011, so I had no idea it was popping up on charts now. Thank you for bringing it to my attention! It made my day. Maybe readers are hearing about the possible movie produced by Stephenie Meyer. Maybe people just want some bloody ghost hunting in the summertime. Maybe it's a mistake and they're buying it by accident. Whatever the reason, I couldn't be happier that people are connecting with Cas and his peppy gang of ghost busters, and of course, with tough, tragic Anna.

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

I hang out on Twitter @KendareBlake, and on Facebook, and update (bi-monthly if I try very hard) at my blog: I love talking to readers and writers and bloggers and random weird folk. It's a great way to be able to connect with people without seeming too creepy. I can ask Joe Hill a question! I can ask Anne Rice a question! They probably won't answer me, but I don't have to feel weird about asking! It's so much easier asking someone what they're reading on Twitter than in the middle of the street. Maybe it shouldn't be that way, but there you go.

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

I don't think it will take over. I think the two formats complement each other. An e-reader makes it so much more convenient to carry around a lot of books. I would've loved to have my college textbooks loaded up on an ipad. But I love books and bookshelves too, and I recently had an e-reader die on me, and that was a hard loss of books.

Also, with e-readers constantly improving, a lot of picture books can just be beautiful in electronic format. And there's more possibility for interactivity.

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

I don't know about other readers, but I know it both helps and hurts me. It makes it very convenient to shop for books. It's easy to go nuts buying ebooks, and I love that. That helps. However, I notice sometimes that I don't read as carefully on an ereader as I do if I have an actual hard copy in my hands. I'll get to the end and realize I missed something. Or find it harder to become immersed in the first place. So I don't think I'll ever switch over to 100% reading electronically.
Learn more about Kendare and her books by using the links I included above. You can also check out her website, where you'll find the trailer for Anna Dressed in Blood.

And take some time to peruse the new Kids' EBook Bestseller List. It's updated every Saturday morning to give you all the latest top tens in the top stores. Thanks for stopping by! 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

BLOOD RITES: Back Again as an iBook Bestseller

Author Quinn Loftis is no stranger to the Kids' EBook Bestseller list and June seems to be her particular month of success. In June of 2012 her book Blood Rites made it to the top ten for Children and Teens in the iBookstore. And on June 15th of this year, it was back -- this time in the number 9 spot. Today we get to hear all about Quinn's continued e-pub success.

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

Blood Rites is book 2 in the Grey Wolves Series. 17 year old Jacque has discovered not only is she in love with but she is also the true mate of a Canis lupus a werewolf. And with the wolf who was challenging Fane for Jacque out of the way, she is free to complete the Blood Rites with him. With her mom driving and her two best friends, Jen and Sally in tow, Jacque set off for her happily ever after. She will soon realize a plan has been put in motion that will change her course and possibly tear her from Fane's grasp forever. It will take a wolf pack, her mother's love, her two best friend's unrelenting determination, her own will to survive and the undying love of her mate to bring her home. The question remains, if she fights, if she endures, who will she be, what will be left once she is back in her mates arms? 

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

Lots of begging bloggers to read my book and do reviews on it. Telling anyone and everyone I knew about it. The help of other authors promoting my book and readers sharing it by word of mouth and thinking it's a story worth sharing. 

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

Bloggers, my author Facebook page, My website, Goodreads, Twitter, other authors telling people and putting chapters in the back of their books, other readers sharing my book. 

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

Teens are my target, though I have a lot of adult readers. I think e-format is great for teens because they like to have everything at their fingertips and not having to carry around a physical book just makes it that much easier for them. 

Do you think e-publishing will eventually take over print publishing? Why or why not? How do you see the world of e-publishing for children within the next 5 years?

As wonderful as e-publishing is I don't believe it will ever put print publishing out all together. Their are still so many people that love to have a physical copy of a book, in fact one of the things I run into is when people buy and e-book and love it, they usually want it in paperback and I think it's more of a sentimental thing, but still there is just something to be said for having a physical copy of something that you really care about. I think in 5 years we will see more school text in e-format, but I don't think that there will be any less print copies of books being printed.

Learn more about Quinn and her books at her website. Above, she mentioned several other ways to find her so I'm providing links for you: her author Facebook page, Goodreads and Twitter.

Have a look at this week's Kids' EBook Bestseller list for all the latest books from the best authors. Have you read something you've enjoyed lately? Take a moment to tell the world by posting a review. Authors appreciate your feedback. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

PARTIALS by Dan Wells: Top Ten for Teens in the Nook Store!

Last month, on June 22, Partials by Dan Wells showed up on the Kids' EBook Bestseller List when it hit the number 9 spot in the Teen section of the Barnes and Noble Nook store. This is the first book in Dan's Partials series, so we hope to see more of this series in the top ten in the months to come. Dan has taken the time to tell us all about his book and his experience with e-publishing.

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

Humans built the Partials, a species of artificial people, to serve as supersoldiers and end an unwinnable war, but the Partials turned on their creators, and a disease was released that ended the entire world. Eleven years years later, a survivor named Kira Walker tries desperately to cure the plague and rebuild civilization before the Partials--or the humans themselves--rise up and finish what they started.

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 "people who like to read the same kind of stuff that I do," which in this case is science fiction, adventure, and hard choices about doing the right thing. PARTIALS is officially a YA book, but I don't think anyone really considers YA to be solely for teens--a few elitist book critics notwithstanding--so I just write whatever I think is awesome, and do what I can to help the audience that agrees with me to find my books, whether they're teens or adults or SF fans or romance fans or men or women or whoever. The e-format works well for this audience partly because of the suggestion system ("if you liked A, you'll like B"), but mostly because the instant nature of ebook purchasing makes word of mouth so much more powerful than it ever has been before. Read a good review or a book blog, and decide you want to try the book? There's the link right there; you can buy it, download it, and start reading it in seconds. People share what they like on twitter and facebook, they send each other samples, they email each other recommendations, and this works because you know your friends better than I do, and they trust you more than they trust me, and the Internet makes it so incredibly easy to share what we like.

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

The book was released in print and ebook (and audio) more or less right at the same time, because that's pretty standard procedure these days for a publisher like HarperCollins. As wonderful as ebook is for some people, print is still equally wonderful for others, and if you can do both you'd be foolish not to--that's basically chopping off a portion of your audience, and I can't think of a compelling reason to make my books harder for people to get.

Do you think e-publishing will eventually take over print publishing? Why or why not? How do you see the world of e-publishing for children within the next 5 years? 

I desperately hope that ebooks do not kill paper books completely, at least not until e-readers are so mind-bogglingly common that literally everyone in the world has credible access to them. In the world we currently live in, saying that print books should disappear is like saying that poor people should not be allowed to read; print books are still cheaper to buy, easier to maintain, harder to destroy, simpler to distribute, and don't need to be charged, and until that changes they will invariably be a better choice for most libraries, public schools, underprivileged areas, and developing nations. Those of us in the position to debate the merits of one format over the other need to realize that this is a pretty awesome privilege, and we'd be better served by doing what we can to give others the same opportunities.

What advantages of e-publishing do you think are most relevant to the children’s literature market? 

I suspect that as ebooks and electronic formats continue to grow, they'll eventually stop trying to recreate the experience of reading a print book and become their own thing--I don't know exactly what they'll become, and I don't think anyone else in the industry really does, either, but the opportunities for evolution are too many to ignore. Ebooks will change, and it will be teens and children who spearhead that change because they're encountering these new formats without all the baggage that keeps adults stuck to the past. We read an ebook and say "I miss the feel of paper;" kids read an ebook and say "why doesn't this do anything when I touch it?" The children's literature market will be the proving ground for the future of a new medium.

Find out more about Dan and his books at his website, his blog, or by following him on Twitter or Facebook.

As usual, the  Kids' EBook Bestseller List has been updated with all the latest top tens. Check it out for some great summertime reading -- for "kids" of all ages!