Friday, July 18, 2014

A CROWN OF WAR: Top Ten for Kindle Kids

On Saturday, May 31st Michael James Ploof took the number 10 spot in the Children's section of the Amazon Kindle store with his book, A Crown of War.  It's the fourth book in his fantasy Whill of Agora series. Michael joins us today to tell the oh-so-interesting story of his e-publishing success. It involves an un-cashed check, a winning lottery ticket, a casino management day job and a bit of Benjamin Franklin. Did I mention it was interesting? Read on and see for yourself.

First, Michael, let's hear what A Crown of War is all about.  

A Crown of War is the fourth and final installment of the Whill of Agora series. Whill of Agora is a coming of age tale full of magic, elves, dwarves, and dragons. The fourth installment finds Whill and his friends fighting to find a way back to the land of Agora after following a dark elf army through an ancient portal. Whill is in possession of an ancient blade said to be destined to defeat the dark elf Eadon. With it, prophecy says that Whill shall be victorious, however, he is beginning to belief the prophecy to be a lie.

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

I first self-published Whill of Agora on Amazon in the summer of 2011. I believe I sold 6 or 7 kindle copies. I still have that first check from Amazon for $15, I never cashed it. One year later I gave it a huge overhaul with the help of a friend who had just hit the lottery. (Life is weird). This same friend had actually been instrumental in getting me to finally write the final chapter after it sat for a year. The first month after republishing Whill of Agora it sold around 30 copies. I was overjoyed. When it sold close to 1,000 copies the next month I was floored. Suddenly I saw a future in self publishing where I had not before. The project had originally been just something I was writing for my kids in 2002 before kindles existed. I can honestly say I don't know how or why the book took off, but I can say that giving away 5,000 free copies helped to keep it going. 

What top factors do you believe put your e-book where it is now?

Having an ongoing series is a big factor for me. After I published book 2 of Whill of Agora last summer I started to seriously consider quitting my casino management job to pursue this 24/7. My wife talked me out of it...for 2 months. I resigned in August 2013 and have published 2 books since. I have another first draft done and am 10% through my current whip. BookBub and Kindle Countdown Deals are also a must in my opinion. 

What does your writing schedule look like?

When I'm writing I shoot for 2,000 words a day, 6 days a week. I often write more than that, for instance, I recently published Talon, Book 1 of the Windwalker Archive, which was written in 18 days. I averaged 4,000 words a day during that frenzy. That was in February 2014...what else is there to do when it's 20 degrees outside? Also, I had been thinking of the story for Talon for over a year, it was screaming to get out of my head. I also wanted to have it out in time to link it inside Whill of Agora #4: A Crown of War. Talon is the first book in another series set in the world of Agora, it is part of my ongoing series, Legends of Agora, which is similar to Dragonlance or Forgotten Realms. 

What are you working on now?

Talon Book #2 and The Orion Rezner Chronicles, a post apocalyptic urban fantasy about a wizard living in Boston, whose mentor is the ghost of Benjamin Franklin. Now that I'm writing full time I plan on publishing no less than 6 books a year.

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? 

I think that e-publishing will continue to give traditional publishers a run for their money.

Learn more about Michael and his books by visiting his website and his blog, or by following him on  Facebook

See the latest Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more top ten e-format authors and their books. It's updated every Saturday morning.

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