Saturday, May 24, 2014

OLD STORY NEW by Marty Machowski: A #1 Hit with Kindle Kids

On April 19th, the Kindle #1 book for Children was Old Story New: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God. The author, Marty Machowski, joins us today to share about his book and its success in electronic format.

Marty, start by telling us what your book is about.

Old Story New is a New Testament family devotional that only takes ten minutes a day for families to complete. There are 5 days of family devotions for each week, with fun activities and creative illustrations to draw the interest of children and help them understand the basic gospel message of the New Testament. The book covers the gospels, Acts, the epistles, and Revelation, providing families with 18 months of devotions. The goal of the book is to help Christian families pass on their faith to their children in a way that is doable in the midst of our busy lives. 

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

I began writing Sunday school curriculum for our church and companion devotions to provide a tool for families to use at home. Other churches started asking for the curriculum and devotions and that is when New Growth Press found out about our program and offered to publish it to make it available to a larger audience. 

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing?

More and more people are using tablets for reading so making Old Story New available on that format made sense.

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

New Growth Press offered special promotions for the release of each of my books. I believe these promotions encouraged more people to give them a try. Families are discovering my books when either their churches start using the curriculum or by word of mouth, when folks celebrate finding a family devotional that is easy to use. 

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?

While e-publishing a static book enables people to take it wherever they go. I would like to explore moving to interactive e-book apps that allow the user to interact with the material in a more creative way. I believe we will see more of this in the future.

I believe e-publishing is perfect for a books that you are going to read a little each day and need to keep your place bookmarked. E-publishing reference books or books you want to mark up is not yet as advanced as it needs to be to make the physical books obsolete. I love to mark up the books I read. I am waiting for the day when you can scribble notes on the e-book page and they become a permanent part of the document in your tablet. I would also love to see a feature that mimics thumbing through the whole book looking for a mark you made on the lower right. The day I can do both of these is the day I stop buying paper books all-together. 

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

I write each morning from 5:30 to 6:30. While a piece-by-piece routine for writing doesn’t fit everyone, I find my most creative moments are first thing in the morning. I love taking advantage of the quiet my home provides before my six children wake up and start their day.

Currently I am soon to release a Christmas devotional for families to help them teach their children the real meaning of Christmas. The devotional is packed with ideas for family Christmas traditions and includes a Christmas short story I’m hoping every family will want to read each Christmas season to their children. In addition to that project I am writing a Sunday school curriculum on the book of Proverbs and just completed an illustrated theology book for young children that will be release in 2015. I would love to see all of these published as e-books and perhaps have the theology book turned into an app you could download onto your tablet and interact with.

Find out more about Marty and his books  at his website and blog. See the latest Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more top ten e-format authors and their books. 

Want a sneak preview of the rest of the authors I'm featuring for the next few weeks? Check out my latest newsletter. You can sign up HERE to get the newsletter and stay up to date with the blog and my books.