Saturday, March 22, 2014

DEAD GIRLS DON'T LIE: 4 Weeks as a Nook Top Ten for Teens

On February 15th, Dead Girls Don't Die by Jennifer Shaw Wolf hit the #6 spot in the Teen section of the Barnes & Noble Nook store. Then Jennifer's book stayed in the top ten for three more weeks after that!

Jennifer was a guest on this blog back in January of 2013, when she found e-book success on Amazon with Breaking Beautiful. (See that interview HERE.) She's back today to share more about her path to the e-book top ten.

Let's start with a summary of Dead Girls Don't Die. 

Jaycee and Rachel were best friends. But that was before. . .before that terrible night at the old house. Before Rachel shut Jaycee out. Before Jaycee chose Skyler over Rachel. Then Rachel is found dead. The police blame a growing gang problem in their small town, but Jaycee is sure it has to do with that night at the old house. Rachel's text is the first clue starting Jaycee on a search that leads to a shocking secret. Rachel's death was no random crime, and Jaycee must figure out who to trust before she can expose the truth.

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

I hope that a lot of my sales come from word-of-mouth and people who read BREAKING BEAUTIFUL, but that’s hard to track. In many ways I’ve done less social media outreach with DEAD GIRLS DON’T LIE than I did with my debut. I did a blog tour through Book Nerds tours and I did a trailer “blast” a few weeks prior to the book’s release. My publisher, Walker Books for Young Readers did the $1.99 promotion for February and March, as well as getting BREAKING BEAUTIFUL up again as a Kindle Daily Deal. I think those things have helped push the book toward the top of the list and have (hopefully) generated more word of mouth.

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 made up of teens, almost teens, and those who remember their teen years fondly (or not). I have three teens in my home and I’ve seen a lot change in the e-publishing realm of young adult fiction. When I first sold BREAKING BEAUTIFUL in late 2010, I knew very few teens with e-readers. Now almost every teen I know, including my own kids, have some sort of e-reader or access to an ap that lets them download and read e-books.

I think that e-books in the YA market are a pretty natural fit. Teens are very tech savy and slightly impatient when it comes to getting what they want now. With e-books, you can own almost any book you want pretty instantly and you can carry it with you on your phone to read anywhere.

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

I love e-publishing both as a reader and as an author, but I wasn’t prepared for the level of piracy that goes on when books are available electronically. The most unexpected thing was finding almost my entire manuscript (in a format I didn’t even own) on the internet a week before it was due to release. It’s probably the biggest risk you run with the convenience of both receiving and delivering books electronically. 

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

My goal for 2014 has been to write something every single day. So far I’ve only missed one day. I didn’t even have a good excuse, I was busy, then was tired and just kind of forgot that day.
I know there are different opinions on the productivity of writing every day, but it works for me. The farther I get from the story and actually putting words up on the screen, the harder it is to pick back up. I recently found this quote from Ray Bradbury, “Just write every day of your life, read intensely. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” I especially like that part of the diet is more reading. 
As far as my current project…it’s a cold-case murder mystery about Justice, a 16-year-old girl stuck spending her summer in a lake house with her mostly-normal aunt. Looking for a little excitement, she teams up with the hot life guard from across the lake to teach the rich kids a lesson, but their harmless prank turns into a tragic accident and unearths a long-buried family secret. Justice has to figure out what happened at the lake eighteen years ago before it happens again.

Learn more about Jennifer and  her books at her website or by following her on Facebook or Twitter.  

Check this week's updated Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more top ten authors for children and teens. Note: There have been some changes to the chart. First, Amazon now has a bestseller list for Children, separate  from the YA books. Formerly, they bunched both together. This change, in my opinion, is long overdue. Second, the Sony EBookstore is now closed and has merged with Kobo, which has been added to the chart. These changes give us a more dynamic list and many more authors to hear from in the future! So keep checking back every week for the latest stats and interviews.