Saturday, September 7, 2013

DON'T TURN AROUND: Three Weeks in the Nook Top Ten For Teens

Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon first showed up in the top ten for Teens in the  Barnes & Noble Nook store on August 3rd. The following week it was still there, and last weekend it was back again. This is the first book in Michelle's Persefone trilogy, and the 2nd book, Don't Look Now, was just released last month.

First, Michelle, tell us a little about your book.

DON’T TURN AROUND is being pitched as “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets The Bourne Identity,” which perfectly sums it up for me. I’m a huge fan of both of those books, so I can’t imagine higher praise! 

(Michelle has a great description of the book, along with a book trailer, at her website.)

Tell us briefly about your path to publication: Traditional or independent?

I actually have a series of four “adult” novels with a different publisher, and a standalone YA novel (STRANGELETS) with SoHo Teen. I’ve always been traditionally published, but when I was starting out, that was really the only option. 

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

HarperTeen has been doing a fantastic promotion for the series, gearing up for the release of the second book in the trilogy (DON’T LOOK NOW, which comes out in a couple of weeks!) They’ve really been working their social media networks and blog contacts. 

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

DON’T TURN AROUND was selected for several high school summer reading lists because YALSA picked it as one of the best YA novels of the year, and Texas, Florida, and Maryland all added it to their state reading recommendations. From there, it kind of snowballed; it was a Kirkus pick for 2012, was nominated for a Thriller Award and a Black Eyed Susan Award, was an IndieNext pick, and was chosen by Entertainment Weekly Magazine as a hot teen read. I’m active on tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, etc; but in the end, I think that having the series selected for those lists made all the difference.

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

My favorite Amazon review so far was, “I am a senior and I say this book is great for any age.” Honestly, the story isn’t any different from what I’d write for adults; the only change is that my main characters are a bit younger. I always tell people that if they enjoyed The Hunger Games and Divergent, they’ll probably like this trilogy too.

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

Helps, definitely. Thanks to eReaders, there’s really no such thing as going out of print any more. It’s difficult to find copies of three of my adult novels in print; but they’re all instantly available as eBooks. For a writer, that makes an enormous difference.

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

I think that anything that gets people reading is a good thing. I bounce back and forth between reading on my Kindle and reading print books, depending on what I have on my TBR shelf. And I probably end up buying twice as many books a year, just because it’s so easy. I also have a lot of friends who were dropped by their traditional publishers, but have found a niche self-publishing. As far as I’m concerned, it’s win-win.

Learn more about Michelle and her books by visiting the links I've included above. And have a look at this week's Kids' EBook Bestseller List. You might find some new favorites!