Saturday, August 3, 2013

"Bestseller!" is What Readers Say About WHAT THE DOG SAYS

Randi Reisfeld, a prolific and well-known author, joins us today. She's written many books for middle grade and young adult readers, but today we get to hear specifically about her e-pub success with What The Dog Said. It reached the number 5 spot in the Children's and Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store on July 6th.

What is What The Dog Said about, Randi? 

Grace Abernathy is 13 years old when her dad dies suddenly. Grief-stricken, she withdraws from friends, family and school. It’s only when a special rescue dog enters her life—Rex is kinda big, kinda klutzy, kinda funny and super intuitive—that Grace begins to heal and move forward. There’s one big glitch, and she knew it was coming, but didn’t want to think about—Grace will have to make the most painful decision of her life.

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

I started my career at 16 Magazine. I interviewed and wrote about such then-teen stars as Johnny Depp, Will Smith, New Kids On The Block, among many others. That led to celebrity biographies and books based on TV shows and movies (Clueless, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Moesha). When I switched to fiction, the same companies--Scholastic, Simon & Shuster, Hyperion, Bloomsbury--that put out my celebrity books continued to publish me. I’ve been fortunate to find success with such series as T*Witches (co-written by HB Gilmour and which Disney Channel based two TV movies on), and most currently, What The Dog Said. 

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

I write for teens and tweens, the real pioneers of reading on tablets. Many find it easier, or simply more convenient. Others in this age group like discovering the books at libraries and bookstores. Hence, ebooks give both types of readers a way to find my books. 

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

I got into e-book publishing for my backlist—that is, books I’ve written that publishers’ no longer market, making it hard for readers to know the book exists. Unexpected is the instant popularity of my ebooks, even before I’ve had the time and savvy to market them myself.

Is your book available in print format? How did your e-book come about?

Yes, all my books remain available in print format since they were first published the traditional way. In some instances, such as the T*Witches and Starlet series, I’ve been able to secure the rights to ebook publish on my own. In other cases, the publisher retains rights to offer my books in both formats.

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

Nope. Naturally, more and more kids will use e-books as their preferred form of reading. However, there will always be people, young and old, who want to hold a book in their hands. There’s pleasure in that--and the idea of not going to the library or bookstore to peruse books is a great pleasure lost.

How do you see the world of e-publishing for children within the next 5 years?

Many e-books, specifically picture books, bring a new, animated dimension to stories that print cannot. So that’s cool. But how many children, of picture-book reading age, have, or will own, a personal tablet? How many kids delight in their own bookshelves, the ability and independence to grab any book, any time, just because the cover appeals, or it’s fun to turn the pages by themselves, or connect words in the story to the picture? Bottom line: in 5 years, it’ll feel natural to flip between both forms.  

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

I believe the “message”—the story told in the book—is more important than the “medium,” ebook, traditional print, or whatever the tech future brings. As long as people are reading, that’s a very, very good thing!

Learn more about Randi, her books and her interesting writing career at her website. You can also stay current with her by following her on Facebook.  

Check today's updated Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more fascinating authors who are finding top-ten success in electronic format!