Saturday, November 29, 2014

THE MERCHANT OF DEATH: A Top Ten Hit With Kids in the Nook Store

Today's featured author is D.J. MacHale. On September 20th his book, The Merchant of Death, hit the #9 spot in the Kids' section of the Barnes and Noble Nook Store. It's the first book of ten in his bestselling book series, called "Pendragon - Journal of an Adventure Through Time and Space."

First, let's find out what your book is about.

The Merchant of Death is about fourteen year old Bobby Pendragon who is taken away from his perfect suburban life by his adventurous uncle on a mission to save an oppressed tribe on the other side of the universe. It is the first book of ten in the bestselling PENDRAGON – Journal of an Adventure Through Time and Space series.. Over the course of the series, Bobby learns that he is a Traveler, and must protect the ten territories of Halla from the evil Saint Dane.

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

I have written and produced many television shows for young people With the kid-TV landscape changing and the elimination of dramas produced specifically for kids, I took my storytelling to books. Since I already had a reputation in the entertainment world, I went the traditional publishing route and was able to secure a deal. I have since published 17 books plus another dozen or so spinoffs.

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

The Merchant of Death was originally published in 2002. The world of ebooks has exploded since then. Where I used to see maybe 1% of my sales from ebooks, it has now grown significantly, mostly with my backlist. One of the beauties of ebooks is that you don’t have to rely on a publisher to print more books and for stores to stock them.

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

My publishers promote extensively on-line, reaching out to bloggers. I also tour quite a bit and visit schools. I also have a presence on-line with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as my website. [Links to all of these are provided below.]

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 anyone who loves to read an exciting adventure. My readers range from 9-90. I don’t write for any specific age, I just write what I like. However, the vast majority of readers are in the 10-16 range. With tablets becoming common in schools, I see more young kids enjoying stories that way.

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? Have those initial thoughts changed now that you’ve done it?

As I said, the idea that my backlist will always be available through ebooks is a wonderful thing. I can’t speak to pricing because right now that’s still being debated. My one big concern with ebooks is piracy. I’ve gotten emails from kids asking: “Where can I can find your books on line for free?” My answer is always: “Nowhere, I hope.”

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

Right now I’m finishing up the first book of the Voyagers series that Random House will publish next year. The third book in my trilogy “The SYLO Chronicles” titled STRIKE will publish next month and I’ll be touring for that. I’m also taking a break from books and writing a screenplay as well as a new TV show. It’s good to stretch in different areas. It keeps things interesting!

Do you believe the e-format helps or hurts your readers, specifically children and/or young adults?

In the end, it’s all about the story. Whatever means works to get a book into the hands of a kid, in my opinion, is a good thing.

Learn more about D.J. MacHale and his books by visiting his website where there is a blog and fan forums. You can also follow him on Facebook, on Twitter or on Instagram.

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 Brian Spangler.

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