Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Tale of Two Sisters - Two Weeks - Top Ten!

On Saturday, Feb 1st,  A Tale of Two Sisters by Melissa Lagonegro hit the number 8 spot in the Children's and YA section of the Amazon Kindle store. And last week it was still there! Melissa joins us today to share her thoughts about the e-publishing journey. 

First, Melissa, please tell us what your book is about. 

A Tale of Two Sisters is a simple retelling of Disney's movie Frozen. It introduces beginning readers to the exciting tale of Elsa the Snow Queen and her sister Anna. Readers see the magical journey unfold as the sisters learn about themselves, each other, and the meaning of true love----and they're lucky enough to meet some fun loving characters along the way.

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

I was a children's book editor for a number of years before staying home to take care of my children. I did a ton of freelance writing for licensed and non licensed childrens' books and continue to do so as a stay at home mom.

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

The target audience is boys and girls who are just beginning to read on their own. Exposing kids to e-formats is just another great way to get children to grow a love of reading.

What does your writing schedule look like? What are you working on now? 

I have well over 60 titles published for young readers and I continue to work with publishers on up and coming projects. Right now, I'm working on a story for the next Barbie DVD release.

See Melissa's full list of books at her Amazon author page. And she has more books written under the author name of Melissa Arps.

Check out this week's updated Kids' EBook Bestseller List to see all the latest top tens in the top stores!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

THE GREATSHIP: Rockets Into the Top Ten on

Last Saturday, February 1st, author Robert Reed showed up on my Kids' EBook Bestseller List. His book, The Greatship, hit the number 5 spot in the Children's and Young Adult section of the store. Good news--this week it's still there! Bob is an award winning author with over 200 professional writing sales to his name including 11 novels and many published shorter stories. He joins us today to share about his path to e-book success.

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

THE GREATSHIP is an ancient, derelict starship larger than worlds and as old as the universe. Found drifting between the galaxies, humans claim it as their own, and in the tradition of doomed voyages, they set out on a tour of the Milky Way. The book is a collection of previously published stories, partly rewritten and arranged in some vaguely meaningful order, with new material strung between each standalone tale.

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

I have published science fiction for nearly 30 years, with well over 200 short fiction titles and almost a dozen novels to my credit. Everything felt traditional, right down to the difficulties of being a mid-list author in this world. I wasn't getting interest in any new novels. THE GREATSHIP began as a personal project, an attempt to make sense of a series of connected, prepublished stories inside a universe that I own and that I know better than anyone else. I considered an e-pub route. I didn't know anything about the process and put the manuscript aside. Then my agent and agency made arrangements with an e-publisher. "Do you have anything to offer?" I was asked. Yes, I did. Which means that others have done most of the work, outside of the actual writing.

I still know almost nothing about e-publishing.

As it happens, I also was working on a YA novel in the same Greatship universe. And it has sold, along with two sequels, all of which are on the traditional shelves in March, '14. THE MEMORY OF SKY is a trilogy in one volume, published by Prime Books.

It too will be available as an e-book. 

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

"Target audience" implies a gun. I have no gun. I wrote what interested me, in a universe that has proven to be my most popular by a long stretch. That's as far as my marketing-mind could reach. My working assumption is that a set of popular stories, put together and with fresh material, might entertain my nine or ten fans around the world.  

What does your writing schedule look like? What are you working on now?

I work at home, I work most days. Right now, I'm doing some contract work for a game company, which is nice, since they pay well and the work is usually challenging/fun. I also have a story about cyborgs due at the end of the month. And in my head, I'm working on a sequel to THE MEMORY OF SKY.

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

I have many opinions, conflicted and uninformed opinions. But undoubtedly, I find that being freed of the need to satisfy a book editor and a publishing empire is a blessing. I can write what I want to write. 

Learn more about Robert Reed and his books by visiting his website or by following him on Facebook. And don't forget to check the updated Kids' EBook Bestseller List for the latest top ten authors in the top online stores.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

ANGELBOUND Found Heavenly Success in the Barnes & Noble Nook Store.

Last Saturday, January 25th, Angelbound by Christina Bauer hit the number 9 spot in the Teen section of the Barnes and Noble Nook store. When I contacted Christina to tell her, she said the news "made her year!" Sounds like she's off to a super start for 2014. She joins us today to tell the story of her e-publishing success.

Let's start by finding out what your book is about.

Angelbound tells the story of Myla, a part-human, part-demon girl who fights evil souls in Purgatory's Arena, falls in love with a demon-fighter Prince, goes on a quest to discover her father, and battles Armageddon, the King of Hell. The book's a rollercoaster ride of kick-ass fantasy, adventure and romance for teens.

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

I loved Lord of The Rings when I was a teen, but it always bummed me out that there weren't more strong female characters. So Angelbound grew out of that early desire, along with the years I had crazy-fun kicking ass and taking names at Microsoft. I took a draft of Angelbound to traditional publishers, who said Paranormal Romance was dead. I saw that as an opportunity to respond to an unmet market need, so Ink Monster publishing was born! From a company perspective, I run marketing and sales, while my business partner Aileen Latcham leads editorial.

Some studies say children reading e-books are reading more, while other studies say they comprehend less of what they read. What’s your opinion or experience?

Speaking as a parent, you had me when I saw the words 'children' and 'reading' in the same sentence. I try not to participate in the developmental Olympics, if you know what I mean. If my kid loves to read on his iPad (which he does) then color me happy. 

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

At Ink Monster, we focus on what we call the girl geek market. Women make up one-quarter of tech workers, 40% of Comic Con attendees, and a third of tech degrees. They're consuming massive amounts of storytelling with main characters that look nothing like them. I'm an avowed girl geek, as is my partner Aileen, so we thought we'd create stories that appeal to us. What's been a pleasant surprise is the number of male readers who love this content, too. At one point, we have more male Facebook fans under 30 than women. A nice stat for all of us, I think!

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

Given our target market, there was no question that ebooks were the way to go. Girl geeks reading on paper? Not really. So digital was a no-brainer for us. Today, I think our strong results are from a combination of a vibrant ebook-saavy target market, along with fresh content in an area that's under-served.

Time to pull out your Magic 8 Ball: How do you see the world of e-publishing developing for children and young adults over the next 5 years? Do you think it will ever exceed or replace print publishing?

For our target audience, ebooks are already the standard. That said, our top readers almost always buy a copy of the printed book so they can have it on their shelves as well. Geeks likes to collect things around a series that they follow, so I see all sorts of stuff surrounding the ebooks: t-shirts, posters, action figures, that kind of thing. In terms of printed books, I'd eventually like those versions to be high-end collector's editions with leather covers and lots of high-quality illustrations. We make so little margin on a paperback version, so that it's really only out there to build audience share. I think the high-end versions, if done right, would be much more satisfying to our readers as well as a more profitable for us as a company.
Learn more about Christina and Angelbound at the Ink Monster website or by following her on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads.

And take a moment to check out this week's updated Kids' EBook Bestseller List. You'll find more interesting authors who've found e-pub top ten success, and plenty of books to add to your "Gotta Read" list!