Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sharon Draper: Two Books, Top Ten, Two Weeks in a Row.

Sharon M. Draper is an award-winning (and prolific) author. She's also an educator, speaker, poet and National Teacher of the Year. On July 27th, her book Out of My Mind hit the number 2 spot in the Children's and Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store. The following week, on August 3, Copper Sun was #10 in the Juvenile section of EBooks.com. Today we'll focus on Out of My Mind.

First, tell us what your book is about.

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 In Out of my Mind, I have created a character who speaks for all of us, even though she cannot say a word. Melody has cerebral palsy, but she dares anyone to feel sorry for her. She understands her limitations, yet strives each day to reach beyond those limits. She can’t walk, can’t talk, can’t even go to the bathroom by herself. Yet she has a brilliant mind, a photographic memory, and dreams and desires of any of child her age. Her struggles and successes will both surprise and enchant the reader.

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

Out of my Mind is my thirtieth book. I have been very blessed. But I guess you can say it has taken me twenty years to become an overnight success! My first book, Tears of a Tiger, was rejected by twenty-four publishers. I had sent the manuscript to 25 publishers. The very last response was a yes! And it was Simon and Schuster. That was back in 1994. I've been writing and sharing books every since.

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

I think the world of readers is changing. Most of my books are written for young people--teens and tweens--and those are the ones who most embrace the world of computers and smart devices and non-print communication. So they, of course, would be the ones to gravitate to ebooks and ereaders. I'm so glad the book is available in that format for them.

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

I've got a website I am in the process of re-doing it this summer, partly because I like to keep it fresh and current, and partly because the communication platforms have change so drastically. For example, my site could not be opened on my own iPad and other smart devcies. Hopefully, in the fall it will shine! I'm also on Facebook and Twitter..

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? Have those initial thoughts changed now that you’ve done it?

I am very excited about e-publishing. I guess I'm considered "old school" (LOL). I remember typewriters and writing with actual pen and pencil (gasp) on long yellow legal pads. I remember when it was a rare oddity to have a computer at a school and when movies were shown on an old-fashioned sixteen millimeter projector. We listened to music on a record player. There was no such thing as a cell phone or a microwave or an ipad or ipod. And certainly no e-readers. There was no e-anything! But I embraced every change, bought every new device, and kept up with every advancement. So, yes, I'm ready for e-publishing, and for whatever comes next as well!

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

I guess the unexpected part was the success and the increased vastness of the audience. I've received emails from readers all over the world who have read Out of my Mind and loved the book. Those readers might not have found the book in their local bookstore. But through their various digital devices, they can access the book with just a fingertip I like that.

Is your book available in print format?

Yes, Out of my Mind is available in print, as are all of my books. I am very proud to say that Out of my Mind has been on the New York Times Bestseller List for almost a whole year! What a blessing!

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

Like I said, I'm old school. I never want to lose books. I love the smell of a book in my hand, the feel of a page as I turn it, the memories evoked by a glance at the cover. I don't want to lose libraries and bookstores. They are vital to our sense of connection and community. I love sitting in a library and inhaling all the knowledge there as I peruse a real book. I love sitting in a bookstore surrounded by real books as I read on a quiet Sunday afternoon. I think traditional print books will always be around. I think the two formats can co-exist. They must. Both are essential.

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

I really don't know enough yet to answer that question. But a thirteen-year-old aspiring writer once said to me, "I want to be a writer when I grow up. Will there still be books? Will people still read?" She could see the changes and wasn't sure how she would fit into the future. I told her, "There will always be a need for stories to be told, and a need for a person to write those stories. So yes, you can be a writer. The format may change, but the need for knowledge and literary involvement will never go away."

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

I have a five year old grandson who can find things on his iPad that I cannot. He helps me when I get stuck! He reads traditional books as well as ebooks. Instead of using paper and pencil materials, he learns numbers and letters and colors and such on various e-devices. He is comfortable with both worlds. He will grow up knowing and using both. I imagine most kids of his generation will do the same. 
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Find out even more about Sharon and her books at her website or by following her  on Facebook.

And you can find more fantastic e-book authors at the updated Kids' EBook Bestseller List. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jack D. Albrecht and Ashley Delay Found Magical Success With THE WAND-MAKER'S DEBATE.

Today we have twice as much wisdom to share about ebook success. Co-authors Jack D. Albrecht Jr. and Ashley Delay wrote The Wand-Maker's Debate, the first book in their Osric's Wand series. On August 3rd, it hit the number 9 spot in the Children's and Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store.

The second book, High-Wizard's Hunt, is also available. Jack says, "We are currently working on the third book in the series. We expect there to be many more in the world of Archana, but the story tends to write itself, so we can't give you a definite count as of yet. Keep watching the website for updates on the progress of the series!" 

OK, so back to the bestseller...

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In a few sentences, tell us what The Wand-Maker's Debate is about.

In a world of magic, why wouldn’t animals speak? Archana is a world much like our own; however our renaissance came in the form of science, theirs is one of magic. Disease was our catalyst, and war will be theirs. 

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

A lot of hard work, and a whole lot of help from fans. It is not surprising to say that independent authors have less resources than the big publishing houses, but we have some very motivated readers who have given us a great deal of exposure. 

Outside of our fan base, we have located two very good promotional sites that can help any author. The Indie Book Collective has classes as well as promotions that gave us most of our success. The classes are mandatory for new authors to their promotions, and we can honestly say that we would not have been half as successful if we hadn't taken them. The promotions require a great deal of personal sacrifice, as well as an understanding that what they say is never intended to do anything other than help you in your publishing journey. Because of them, we had our first book cover completely redesigned and paid to have professional editing done on our books. We hit a best seller list shortly after, and we have been gaining ground ever since. 

Another great avenue for authors to gain exposure is through BookBub.com, they have some great advertising campaigns at an affordable price. 

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

We like to think of our books as having a very broad base audience. We have the old wize man, who also happens to be quite grumpy, as well as the cute kid who always seems to break the tension at the right moment, and has a way of seeing things in ways nobody else does.

 With that being said, most of our marketing lends to a younger audience and most of our readership is mid-twenty women. So, it is really hard to nail down a specific age group. But our advertising is doing well, so we would have to call it YA fantasy by the strength of the evidence. 

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

We tend to think that e-format is the way the world is moving. We don't think it will ever eliminate paperbacks, but more eBooks are sold everyday already. We love a paperback ourselves, but it does appear that the future will have a lot less dead trees than the past has. We have yet to really explore electronics in our schools in any more than a rudimentary class, so we should all ask ourselves that question on a daily basis. Whether of not it is a good thing, only time will tell.
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Follow Jack, Ashley and their books on Facebook, Twitter, or the Osric's Wand website.
And stop back on Saturday when the Kids' EBook Bestseller List will be updated with all the latest top tens from the top stores.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

LIFE AS WE KNEW IT: an iBookstore Bestseller for Susan Pfeffer

Susan Pfeffer's book, Life As We Knew It showed up on the Kids' EBook Bestseller List on July 20th, when it hit the number 8 spot in the "Children's and Teens" section of the iBookstore.  The book has received numerous starred reviews and honors and was nominated for many state awards, winning six. The second book in this series, The Shade of the Moon, was just released on August 13th, and there are two more on the way!

Susan very generously answered ALL of my questions, so we get to find out quite a bit about her e-publishing experience.

First tell us what your book is about.

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Life As We Knew It is the first of a four book series about the consequences (all bad) on earth after the moon's orbit is changed, increasingly the moon's gravitational pull.

The book focuses on sixteen year old Miranda, who keeps a diary recording the daily life of her family as they struggle to survive unthinkable suffering and loss.

Tell us briefly about your path to publication.


I wrote my first book that got published my last semester in college. I've been a writer ever since.

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

Life As We Knew It is a popular title, and has been a New York Times best seller. But I think the fact the price went down is definitely a factor!

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

I've been incredibly fortunate with Life As We Knew It. To begin with, it was shortlisted for a couple of prestigious science fiction awards, which put it out there for sci fi people to find.

In addition, there was something about the book that appealed to bloggers, who continue to review the book and bring it to the notice of new readers.

I have a blog, which I've kept going for a few years now, and which allows me to communicate directly with people about my books and my life.

I also tweet, when I can think of something particularly pithy to say.

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

Life As We Knew It is a young adult novel, so its target audience is teenagers, although I'm delighted that grownups frequently enjoy the book as well.
 

I really don't know how teenagers feel about e-format vs. print.

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? Was it your idea or your publisher’s? Have those initial thoughts changed now that you’ve done it?

My publisher (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) handled putting Life As We Knew It (and the other three moon books- The Dead And The Gone, This World We Live In and The Shade Of The Moon) in e-book formats. I'm not sure how I felt about it originally, possibly a little concerned about how it would affect sales, possibly a little excited.

Now, of course, it's simply the norm. When I get my royalty statements, every six months, I look to see how the e-book formats are selling.

In addition, I've put a few of my older titles on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It's a good feeling to know those books will never go out of print.

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

When Amazon first put Life As We Knew It on Kindle, they said they had 250,000 titles available. Now it's over a million, and obviously that number keeps growing and growing and growing.

I'm intrigued by what e-publishing is doing to the industry, and frankly, the whole thing is something I couldn't have predicted.

Is your book available in print format?

All my moon books remain in print and available as hardcovers and paperbacks, as well as e-books.

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

I don't think e-publishing will ever replace picture books. And I don't think it's going to take over institutional sales. For example, there are schools that use Life As We Knew It in their classrooms, and I think right now at least, schools would rather use paperbacks than e-books.

Beyond that, I can't hazard a guess. I do know I'm glad I'm at the end of my career (Social Security is beckoning). I think writers starting out now will be able to navigate all the changes, but the middle of the career writers will have a harder time handling things, in particular the pirating of their works.

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

Unauthorized scanning of books is a real problem, and one that is going to get worse and worse unless some tough laws are passed and enforced.

So on the one hand, you gain sales and readers with the availability of e-books. And on the other, you lose sales (if not readers) because people don't understand that scanning a copywrited book is the same as shoplifting.

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

I think the opportunity for backlists to last forever is the most relevant. If a kid reads a book and likes it, e-publishing makes it easier to find and read all (or at least some) of the author's other titles.

And, of course, there's the advantage of being able to learn about the author immediately, from a quick trip to Google or Wikipedia. Or learning the definition of a word you don't know without having to get up and find a dictionary.

I would have really liked that when I was growing up! 
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Keep up with Susan and her books by visiting her blog, or by following her on Twitter. Also, her series has its own website!

And check out the latest top tens in the top stores, all on the Kids' EBook Bestseller List, updated every Saturday morning. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tamia Sheldon's THE HUNGRY SHARK Jumped to #3 in the Kindle Store

On July 20th, The Hungry Shark hit the number 3 spot in the Children's and Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store. Author and illustrator Tamia Sheldon joins us today to talk about her Kindle success.

When Tamia first responded to my email, she shared this background about her book:


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Thank you for your interest and support of my book! I wrote this story for my then four year old daughter when she was in a huge shark and fish phase, we had drawings of fish all over the house. She loved how Amelia cried so much and laughed at her denied requests to eat other sea creatures. I thought it might be a good book to illustrate and started sketching out the pages in adobe illustrator. I am so pleased the book has been well received and that kids as well as adults get the sense of fun and humor I wanted to convey. Illustrating for children's products and books is my passion, I love kids' natural sense of joy and curiosity and try to create work that speaks to that sense of fun. The best inspration I find is working dircectly with kiddos, I teach K-1st graders art classes and while they are not quiet, they are awesome. Kids are so totally uninhibited in their art and that is something we could all learn from.

Tell us what The Hungry Shark is about.

It’s lunchtime and Amelia is hungry! Amelia the Shark is looking for her lunch but all of the sea creatures she finds have a clever form of protection.

The Hungry Shark features colorful images, playful text and an kid-friendly recipe starring Amelia's favorite food: Seaweed! This fun children's book is perfect for calm afternoons and bedtime. 


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

Many parents today have iphones, kindles, computers or other devices that they use to entertain their kids while driving, waiting for a table, the Dr.s office waiting room. Instead of having them play a mindless game its great there are e-books they can read and interact with. This is a huge new frontier for artists and writers to create original, quality work that can be shared easily on all these new formats. My kiddo is a voraciousness reader and now I can download a ton of books onto one tiny device. I think e-books are wonderful!

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

Anything that gets very young children interested in reading is a great thing. Kids today are surrounded by technology and its integrated into their daily lives, why not use what we have to instill a love of reading? If your kid digs playing on a i-pad and you are working on literacy reading an ebook together is the logical next step.
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See more of Tamia's work at her website. For the latest top ten children's and YA authors in the e-book realm, see the Kids' EBook Bestseller List, which is updated every Saturday morning.







Saturday, August 17, 2013

SECOND HEARTS, Fifth Week As an iBookstore Bestseller.

Today's featured author is GJ Walker Smith. She wrote Second Hearts, which hit the top ten in the iBookstore on June 20th and June 27th. It showed up again on August 3rd, and has been staying in that prized position ever since. GJ joins us to share about her story ... and the story of her e-pub success.

Let's get started with a summary of your story.


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Second Hearts is book two of The Wishes Series. Charli Blake has spent the past year living out her dream of travelling. On a whim, she decides to cut her trip short and head to New York in search of Adam D├ęcarie, the boy she fell madly in love with the year earlier. They’d first met in the tiny town she lived in. This time round, they’re on his home turf and life is extraordinarily different. It’s a coming of age story about a young couple who fell in love easily, but have a much harder time staying in love.

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

I chose to publish independently because I’m impatient! Once I finally made the decision to get my stories out there, I wanted it done quickly. In hindsight, I wouldn’t change a thing. It was definitely the right path for me.

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

Periodically listing my first book, Saving Wishes, for free has given Second Hearts a great push. People took a chance on an unknown author and downloaded the freebie. Thankfully, those who enjoyed the first book were keen to continue the story and tell others about it. 

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

My Facebook page is my main link to my readers. I’ve met such great people and choose to hang out there most days. iTunes have been very kind to me with providing great exposure. My books were featured in the ‘breakout books’ and ‘hot new teen fiction’ sections. I’ve also been privileged to meet some fantastic bloggers who’ve run some great features and competitions on my work.

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

I expected my audience to be predominately teen girls but many of my readers are much older. I love hearing that mums and daughters are reading and enjoying my books together. I’m sure younger audiences love the convenience and lower price of e-books.

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

I think e-publishing will continue to grow but I don’t think it will ever take over print publishing. Nothing compares to turning the pages of a book you really love. A good book can be a treasured possession, especially for children.
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Use the Facebook link GJ provided above to follow all the latest news about her and her books.. And don't forget to have a look at the latest Kids' EBook Bestseller List to see this week's top tens for children and teens -- including Second Hearts in the iBookstore.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Maryann Macdonald Shares the Secrets to Her Kindle Success with ODETTE'S SECRETS.

Odette's Secrets by Maryann Macdonald made it to the Kids' EBook Bestseller List on July 27th when it hit the number 3 spot in the Children's and Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store. This  historical novel for middle grade readers is written in verse, and Maryann joins us to tell about her path to e-book success with this unique book.

First, please share what your book is about.

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Odette's Secrets is an historical novel based on the true story of a Jewish child who survives WWII in France by hiding in plain sight. Odette's father is a prisoner of war and her mother is in the Resistance, Like most of the tens of thousands of French Jewish children who saved themselves during this dangerous time, she must completely reinvent herself as a Christian child. Living with a foster family in the countryside and later under an assumed name with her mother, Odette becomes an expert at lying about who she is, with the inevitable effect of becoming confused about her identity. When she returns to Paris after the war, she must come to terms with who she really is.

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

Generous bloggers have really helped people find out about Odette's Secrets. Many have interviewed me and lots more have done reviews. I've also been interviewed on the radio. More than 100 readers have rated/reviewed the book on goodreads. I also have a website: www.maryannmacdonald.com. If you visit the site, you can see a trailer I created for the book. I live in New York City, and have spoken at a number of libraries there, and have also signed books and spoken at several bookshops. I did my first Skype interview with a classroom in June.

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

My book is written for readers ten years old and up, but I have heard from readers as young as eight who are enjoying it. Many teachers and librarians have commented on the fact that it provides a "gentle" introduction to the holocaust for younger readers, but I have also been surprised by the number of adult readers who have written to me saying that they loved the book.

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

I would never have predicted that Odette's Secrets would become an e-book bestseller, but it was certainly a happy surprise! The book is written in verse, as Odette wrote poetry in her later life, and I was trying to capture the childhood voice of a poet-to-be. I wasn't sure this would work in an e-book, but it's great to be proved wrong.

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

I love to flip back and forth in my books, and it frustrates me that I cannot do this easily with an e-reader. Until the e-reader makes this possible, I don't think it will take over. Having said that, I read more and faster with my e-reader, and also buy more books that way. However, I do not enjoy it as much. I suspect this may be the case with other adults and especially with children, who love to revisit and savor illustrations.
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Find out more about Maryann and her books by visiting her website, her Goodreads page or her special Odette's Secrets Facebook page where you can read the first SIX chapters of the book for free!  

And stop back on Saturday when the Kids' EBook Bestseller List will be updated with all the latest top tens for children and young adults.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Shelly Crane's ACCORDANCE: A Top Ten Success in the iBookstore.

Shelly Crane joins us today to share about her e-pub success with her book, Accordance. On July 13th it hit the number 6 spot in the Children and Teen section of the iBookstore. Accordance is the second book in her Significance series. Shelly is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author, so she has plenty of wisdom and experience to share.

Shelly, what is Accordance about?

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It's about a girl, Maggie, who's learning to deal with this new supernatural love she has for a good old family boy, Caleb. She thought her world collapsed and she lost everything when her mom left, but then Caleb comes in after she saves his life and shows her that life always has a plan.

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

Oh, yes! For one, people read my book! I never expected that. I'm sure that sounds strange for an author to say that, but I hadn't always thought, "I'm going to be an author some day!" Nope, never crossed my mind. I just decided one day that I had an idea and if reading was enjoyable then writing would be, too. So I sat down and got to it. And then five books later, I decided to try to publish. After going through the rejection wringer with agents, I just figured it couldn't hurt to put them out as self-published. if they were as bad as I thought since no one wanted them, then I'd just take them down later if everyone hated them. But they didn't hate them, and more and more people started to buy them. It was amazing.

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

Oh, no, absolutely not. Now, you'd be a fool not to embrace the technological world we live in, which includes eBooks. But everyone loves paperbacks, and not just in protest of eBooks. We buy our favorites and line our shelves with them. We cherish them. eBooks are a more cost effective way for people to read so that they can read more books, but they will always still love paperbacks. It just feeds the mega reader a way to read even more and still be able to afford that wonderful addiction.

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

Absolutely not. Like I said above, it makes it more cost effective. But that doesn't mean that paperbacks will go away. Reading is a better vice or time-spender than XBOX or other things kids could be doing. Before eBooks, parents and teenagers could afford one or two books a week that can now afford much more for the same price. It not only saves money and increases volume, but it also gives someone the opportunity to branch out and take a chance on books they wouldn't normally take a chance on because of the cost.
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Learn more about Shelly and her books at her website or by following her on  FacebookTwitter or Goodreads

Stop back on Wednesday when we get to hear from author Maryann Macdonald. And have a look at today's updated Kids' EBook Bestseller List for all the top tens in e-format for children and young adults.  

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Jessica Verdi: Her Life With B & N Bestseller MY LIFE AFTER NOW

Jessica Verdi joins us today to talk about her e-pub success with her book, My Life After Now. On July 27th, it hit the number 10 spot in the Teen section of the Barnes and Noble Nook store. This book has had come fantastic reviews so I'm pleased that we get to hear all about it. 

First, let's find out what My Life After Now is about.

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Lucy Just had the worst week ever. Seriously, mega bad. And suddenly, it's all too much -- she wants out. Out of her house, out of her head, out of her life. She wants to be a whole new Lucy. So she does something the old Lucy would never dream of. And now her life will never be the same. Now, how will she be able to have a boyfriend? What will she tell her friends? How will she face her family? Now, every moment is a precious gift. She never thought being positive could be so negative. But now, everything's different... because now she's living with HIV. 

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

I have always loved books, but I didn't seriously consider a career as an author until about five years ago, when I got an idea for my first (unpublished) novel. From there, I went on to get my MFA in Creative Writing (concentration in Writing for Children) at The New School. That was a major step along my road to publication. Before I started my MFA program, I really had no idea how the publishing business worked. But I met people, made connections, learned a ton, immersed myself in the YA and MG genres, and by the time I was ready to start querying agents, I felt like I knew what I was getting into. I was lucky enough to land an amazing agent (Kate McKean at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency), and we worked together to revise the manuscript before sending it out to editors.

My Life After Now found its home at Sourcebooks, which is a midsize independent publisher. From my point of view, their acquisition and publication process is pretty much identical to the way the "Big Six" publishers operate, with one notable exception -- because of their size, the Sourcebooks team is able to offer more personalized attention to their authors, which is a huge benefit, of course! 

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 teen readers, ages 13 and up. I write about real life issues, and I know there are lots of teens out there who find comfort in reading about characters who are facing similar problems to their own, and getting that reassurance that they're not alone in whatever they might be going through. Sometimes those issues are very private and personal, and sometimes teens might not be ready to share what they're experiencing with the world. So eBooks are perfect, because teens now have total access to any and all books they may be interested in -- regardless of whether their school has "banned" the books or their local library doesn't carry them. eBooks are for everyone, in all parts of the world. Plus when you're reading an eBook in public, no one can see the cover, so it can be a much more private experience than reading a hard copy of a book. 

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

Absolutely -- one of the most pleasant surprises has been the appearance of My Life After Now on several eBook bestseller lists! Before I was published, I never really thought about how a book in eBook format is able to reach further than a print book might. Readers who buy and read books on their Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and other eReaders are generally pretty tech savvy -- so they're online a lot, with their fingers constantly on the pulse of what's new, what's hot, and what's on sale. Then, when they do see a book they're interested in, they are able to read it instantly, and recommend it to their friends (or review it online) just as instantly, which gets the word-of-mouth buzz about a book going much faster than the print route. I believe it's the combination of the online buzz, the eBook sale price, the accessibility of "what books are trending now" lists, and word-of-mouth recommendations that have brought My Life After Now to its eBook bestseller spot. 

Is your book available in print format? Which came first and why?

Yes! My Life After Now was released simultaneously by Sourcebooks in trade paperback and eBook formats. I'm super glad it's available in both print and eBook form, as that's the best way to reach a wide array of readers, regardless of their format preference.

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

Kids today are super tech savvy. I often see two-year-olds working an iPad like total pros. They're so intuitive about this stuff, and because they are growing up in a technology-submersed world, I think they'll probably gravitate toward eReaders more quickly than those of us who didn't grow up with cell phones, the Internet, iPods, etc. So I have a feeling the children's book ePublishing market is going to grow exponentially as kids become more and more technologically advanced. Plus it's sometimes really difficult for parents and childcare providers to keep up with kids' short attention spans, and so the easy accessibility of the world's library on an eReader helps keep kids not only entertained, but learning something new every day.
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Find out more about Jessica and her books at her website & blog, or by following her on Facebook or Twitter.

To read more fascinating interviews, click on the Author Index tab. You'll find a fairly up to date list of over a hundred authors who have been guests on this blog. And of course, keep an eye on the Kids' EBook Bestseller List, updated every Saturday morning with the top tens in the top stores.

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? 

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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!
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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!