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!