Saturday, November 8, 2014

39 CLUES: COUNTDOWN -- Unstoppable on its Rise to #1 for Kobo Kids

Today we get to hear from Natalie Standiford, author of The 39 Clues: Countdown. It's book 3 in the Unstoppable series for middle grade readers. (So far there are four Unstoppable books, each written by a different author.)
On September 6th, Natalie's book hit the number 1 spot in the Kids and Teen section of the store. Let's hear all about her path to e-pub success. 

Natalie, what is your book about?

THE 39 CLUES: COUNTDOWN is the third book in the Unstoppable series. Relentless media tycoon and presidential candidate J. Rutherford Pierce has Amy and Dan Cahill on the run as they search the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal for a crucial ingredient needed to counteract Pierce's power. When Dan's life is in danger, Amy does the unthinkable to save him--and now the clock is running out for both of them.

Tell us about your path to publication: Traditional or independent? Recently or further in the past?

My first book was published in 1987, so my road to publication started a long time ago! Soon after graduating from college I landed a job as an editorial assistant in the children's book division of Random House. I started writing licensed character books in-house, as all the assistants did. I published my first book, THE BEST LITTLE MONKEYS IN THE WORLD, while working at Random House. Working in publishing was a big advantage, because it taught me how the industry works and because I knew lots of editors. That's one way to go about getting published, but it's not for everyone, obviously.

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

The 39 Clues series is "multi-platform," meaning the books are paired with a strong online component of games, message boards, and so on. I think that helps make e-books a natural format for the series.

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

Each 39 Clues book comes with collectible cards relating to the books which also send readers to a web site, . The site keeps readers coming back with games, message boards, news of the series, and so on. Scholastic has created a community of 39 Clues readers through the internet, which is great for marketing. I also tweet news about the series and post information on Facebook and on my web site, 

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

I try to write every day, usually in the morning until mid-afternoon. I write on weekends too. I often get more writing done on weekends because there are fewer distractions.

Right now I'm working on a new middle grade novel. It's in the early stages, too soon to say much about it, but if I stick to my schedule it should be published in 2016. 
Find out more about Natalie and her books at her website, or by following her on Twitter or 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. And check back next week when my featured author will be Gwenda Bond.

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