Psion Beta by Jacob Gowans rose to the #9 spot in the Children's section of the Amazon Kindle store on September 20th. This book is the first of four books in his Psion series, and according to his blog, he's working on the fifth book, due out in 2015. Jacob joins us today to talk about his e-pub experience.
First, Jacob, what is your book about?
Psion Beta is about Sammy, a 14-year-old fugitive, who accidentally discovers he has the powers of a Psion.
After being plucked off the streets, he is thrust into the rigorously-disciplined environment of Psion Beta headquarters. As a new Beta, Sammy must hone his newfound abilities using holographic fighting simulations, stealth training missions, and complex war games. His fellow trainees are other kids competing to prove their worth so they can graduate and contribute to the war effort.
But the stifling competition at headquarters isolates Sammy from his peers. Learning to use his incredible powers is difficult enough, but when things go horribly wrong on a routine training mission, he must rely on the other Betas to stay alive.
Tell us about your path to publication: Traditional or independent? Recently or further in the past?
I am both self-published and traditionally published. I self-published five books before one of them was noticed by a publisher and picked up. It was republished only three weeks ago. It's been an exciting experience, and I definitely recommend people consider both options because they both have their plusses and minuses.
What top factors do you believe put your e-book where it is now?
The key to success in self publishing is three things: 1. Writing stories with high marketability well. 2. Having multiple books available for readers to buy. 3. Discounting your books heavily every few weeks to spread the word.
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 ages 12 and up. The e-format works well for teens and adults who want to read on their devices. Not as much for middle grade and early-age readers. Teens are into devices like tablets and want to read books on them. I am very happy about the success of the e-book.
What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? Have those initial thoughts changed now that you’ve done it?
Initially, I felt that I was "resigned" to self-publishing. This was in the early days of doing so, in 2010. However, self-publishing is now a booming industry. It's nothing to be ashamed of and people can do very well in it. I was nervous and excited to self-publish, and things started slowly. Now that I've done it, I have no hesitancy to do it again if needed.
What does your writing schedule look like?
I am a full time dentist, four days a week, so I write on the weekends and evenings. Some days I have a bit of time during the work day, but nothing I can count on. I try to write about 10K words a week, but I don't always succeed. My goal is to someday write full time or at least 4 days a week.
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 e-books are the future and that we'll see less and less print publishing. I think it's okay that this is happening. People can buy books at less of a cost and publishers will find new, exciting ways to incorporate media into e-novels like sound effects, short films, and other ways to dramatize the novel reading experience.
Learn more about Jacob and his books at his website & blog, or by following him on Facebook or Twitter.
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 D.J. MacHale.
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