First, let’s find out what Faery Realms is about.
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The ten books and their authors are:
- THE FAERIE GUARDIAN by Rachel Morgan
- THE WITHERING PALACE (A Dark Faerie Tale 0.1) by Alexia Purdy
- DARK PROMISE by Julia Crane and Talia Jager
- FEYLAND: THE FIRST ADVENTURE by Anthea Sharp
- BLOOD FAERIE by India Drummond
- HOOD & FAE (Daughters of Red Riding Hood) by Tara Maya
- THE DARK FAE by Terry Spear
- EHRIAD by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
- ONCE (Gypsy Fairy Tale) by Dana Michelle Burnett
- FAE HORSE: A Faery Tale by Anthea Sharp
Tell us briefly about your path to publication: Traditional or independent? Recently or further in the past?
Anthea Sharp says, “I put together this bundle as a way for all of us fae-themed authors to cross promote and reach new audiences who love fantasy with a modern fairytale twist. I'm a formerly traditionally published author now 100% indie.”
Terry Spear's answer is similar. “Both traditionally (for 9 years) and independently published (for 3 years).”
What top factors do you believe put your e-book where it is now?
Jenna Johnson says, “I think being part of Faery Realms with nine other fabulous authors, and Faery Worlds, another book bundle my novel Faelorehn is included in, has really given my books a lot more exposure. I also think that writing in a popular genre helps. My YA, paranormal books do a lot better than my middle grade fantasy series.”
How are people finding out about your book? Tell us about your marketing and use of social media.
Terry Spear says, “I have a big following on FB, my blogs, and website, so announcing on them really makes a difference.” She added, ““Working together to promote the book on networking sites, blogs, and emails.”
Anthea agrees. “With ten authors all using Facebook and Twitter and reaching out to our newsletter subscribers, we've been pretty effective in spreading the word so far.”
What is your target audience, and how do you believe the e-format works for that audience and serves their needs?
“In addition to younger readers,” says Anthea, “who may or may not have access to e-book readers, a large number of adults also enjoy YA books. Also, since ebooks don't have a limited-term shelf life, our stories will be able to reach readers for years, whether they read on tablets or phones, computers, or dedicated ebook readers.”
Terry says, “My audience is teens through all ages. Ebooks offer an alternative, affordable price compared to print books and for international sales, the ability to reach readers all over the world.”
What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? Have those initial thoughts changed now that you’ve done it?
“My first thoughts about e-publishing could be described as cautiously enthusiastic,” says Jenna. “I’m my own publisher, so all I had to do was convince myself it was the way for me to go. By the time I wrote the first novel in my Otherworld Trilogy, I had a little more knowledge under my belt and felt a little more confident when publishing my next series.”
Terry adds, “My first publisher was print only, and I was eager for her to begin to offer the books in ebook. My sales picked up considerably with the explosion of the ebook device market.”
Anthea says, “After my experiences with NY Traditional publishing (2 books) I've been consistently thrilled and delighted with the amount of control I have over my career as an indie author. It's also not difficult to get my YA fantasy in print, using POD (Print on Demand) technology. Although a bundle like Faery Realms is too big to go into print cost effectively (it would be over 1400 pages) and too heavy to lug around, it works wonderfully as an ebook.”
As you got into e-publishing, have you discovered unexpected things? Has anything happened that you wouldn’t have predicted?
Jenna says, “Well, I’ve discovered that my goal of becoming a full-time author, without a big publishing house to back me, is actually within my reach now. For years I’ve always dreamed about it and said to myself “one day”. As of right now, I’m so very close and some days it astounds me that I’m almost there.” And Terry added that she didn’t expect sales to international markets.
What does your writing schedule look like? What are you working on now?
Talia Jager says, "I have a constant stream of stories that flow through my head. I work on whatever is yelling loudest that day. Today it happens to be the third book in The Between Worlds Series. After doing my parenting duties for the morning, I sit down in front of the laptop and write for as long as I can. Sometimes it’s five minutes, sometimes a couple of hours. Then I go back to being a mom and wife until bedtime when I turn on some music or the TV and write some more. I write late into the night, get up and repeat the next day."
“My writing schedule is crazy,” says Dana Burnett. “I write every day from about 9am to about 2pm and then I edit in the evenings. I'm a widowed single mom so most of my evenings are spent running my daughter to her dance classes and then to competitions during the dance season. I wouldn't have it any other way, but there are times it's hard to cheer her on while my characters are screaming in my head. Right now my writing has taken a darker path which makes it even worse since my next project is more adult horror.”
Terry says, “I have 5 books I’m working on until the end of the year, 4 releases with a traditional publisher (1 that has already come out), 5 independent releases (2 that have already come out). Phantom Fae will be the 7th book in my The World of Fae teen series and I’m working on that as my next release in the series. I'm also working with narrators to put the whole fae teen series in audio book format, another new and exciting way for readers to enjoy books.”
And Jenna’s response is, “Oh boy. I have so many projects I’m working on I have no idea how I’ll find the time with my other job. My priority is to finish the fourth book in my Oescienne series. I also want to write more Otherworld books, as well as several other series and book ideas I have waiting on the back burner.”
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?
“I think that both will continue to be important,” says Terry. “Even though I get my ebook copies out first for my independent titles, I get lots of requests for the print books also. I also worked at a library for a number of years, and print books are still important there. Not everyone will have e-reading devices, and a lot of readers still prefer paper.”
Dana has a different view. She says, “In my Magic 8 Ball, publishing will eventually exceed and replace print publishing for most genres. It just makes good environmental and business sense. Much like the record stores of the past, bookstores will fade into more a "collectible" niche and most books will be published strictly in digital form. I can hear the outcry now, but the music industry didn't crumble with the advent of iTunes, it just had to adapt. The same will hold true for publishing.”
Do you believe the e-format helps or hurts you as an author? How?
Rachel Morgan says, “In South Africa, [where she lives] the publishing world is a small one compared to what you'd find overseas, and fantasy is a genre that not many publishers are interested in. If I'd searched for a traditional publishing contract here, I probably wouldn't have reached many readers. But the e-format allowed me to strike out of my own and distribute my stories across the entire world, reaching thousands of readers I could never have reached otherwise. I think it's safe to say that my dream of becoming a full-time author (which I have now achieved) would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, if it weren't for the e-format."
Talia says, "I believe it helps. It gets my books out there to people it otherwise wouldn’t. People can read on a device they carry around anyway. My own daughter brings her iPhone everywhere with her and on it, a large library of books. She’ll never be bored. The one thing I worry about is how flooded the market is with all the ebooks out there. Sometimes it seems like there are so many books, who is ever going to find mine? Somehow they do and for that, I’m thankful."
“The e-format definitely helps me as an author,” says Jenna. “Being independent, and like I said above, it is very tough selling books when you don’t have the finances of a large publishing house to help you out. With ebooks, I can set a competitive price and even make my books free to encourage readers to try them out. The vast majority of my sales are ebook sales.”
Dana agrees. “I think the e-format has been a blessing to me. If it wasn't for the e-format available today, I never would have had the opportunity to be in a collection like Fairy Realms.”
“It helps,” says Terry. “I’ve had readers tell me they don’t have room for print books, and so they are now going to ebook only. And the price for an ebook is often much lower than it is for a print book because of the cost involved.”
Do you believe the e-format helps or hurts your readers, specifically children and/or young adults? How?
Anthea says, “I am very interested to see when and how readers make the transition into digital reading. More and more young children are growing up using screens to interact with all their entertainment media. I think the next 5 years will be very interesting!”
Rachel adds another perspective. “For young readers in developing countries, the e-format has UNDOUBTEDLY helped simply by allowing children access to thousands of books they would never have had access to before. Organizations like Worldreader recognize that illiteracy is a major problem in low-income countries, and they're using e-readers and mobile phone apps to bring libraries right into the hands of children. The e-format is moving us towards a literate planet!”
“The popularity of e-books makes books more accessible to children and young adults,” says Dana. “ Almost every family has a computer, tablet, or smartphone and reading apps are available for any of these. Suddenly there is access to books from all over the world and now that it's tech based, reading is fun for them.”
And Terry says, “Anything that encourages reading is a good thing. I have a nephew who hated to read, but he loves sports, so his mother got him sports magazines. It really helped his vocabulary, reading skills, spelling, and reading retention. Also, one of the biggest things studies have shown that encourages children to read is if their parents read. With more parents reading—and again, I’ve had readers say they hated reading as a child, now read with the new format and can’t get enough—it encourages their children to read.”
Want to learn more about these authors and their books? Here are links to their websites:
JENNA ELIZABETH JOHNSON
DANA MICHELLE BURNETT
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