Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ten Faery E-Books by Ten Authors, Bundled Together for Top Ten Success!

On Saturday, April 19th, Faery Realms hit the number 9 spot in the Teen section of the Barnes and Noble Nook store. Faery Realms is a bundle of ten novels and novellas, all by different authors. Six of those ten authors have responded for this interview, each choosing whatever questions they wanted.

First, let’s find out what Faery Realms is about.

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Enter the magical realms of Faery with these ten award-winning, bestselling fantasy authors. Each title in this sample collection offers a new and different world full of mystery, love, and most of all, fae enchantment. Together, these books have over 250 5-star reviews on Amazon and 150 5-star reviews on B & N. They are best for ages 13 and up.

The ten books and their authors are:
  • THE FAERIE GUARDIAN by Rachel Morgan 
  • THE WITHERING PALACE (A Dark Faerie Tale 0.1) by Alexia Purdy  
  • DARK PROMISE by Julia Crane and Talia Jager
  • FEYLAND: THE FIRST ADVENTURE by Anthea Sharp
  • BLOOD FAERIE by India Drummond 
  • HOOD & FAE (Daughters of Red Riding Hood) by Tara Maya 
  • THE DARK FAE by Terry Spear 
  • EHRIAD by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson 
  • ONCE (Gypsy Fairy Tale) by Dana Michelle Burnett 
  • FAE HORSE: A Faery Tale by Anthea Sharp

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

Anthea Sharp says, “I put together this bundle as a way for all of us fae-themed authors to cross promote and reach new audiences who love fantasy with a modern fairytale twist. I'm a formerly traditionally published author now 100% indie.” 

Terry Spear's answer is similar. “Both traditionally (for 9 years) and independently published (for 3 years).” 

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

Jenna Johnson says, “I think being part of Faery Realms with nine other fabulous authors, and Faery Worlds, another book bundle my novel Faelorehn is included in, has really given my books a lot more exposure. I also think that writing in a popular genre helps. My YA, paranormal books do a lot better than my middle grade fantasy series.” 

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

Terry Spear says, “I have a big following on FB, my blogs, and website, so announcing on them really makes a difference.” She added, ““Working together to promote the book on networking sites, blogs, and emails.”

Anthea agrees. “With ten authors all using Facebook and Twitter and reaching out to our newsletter subscribers, we've been pretty effective in spreading the word so far.” 

What is your target audience, and how do you believe the e-format works for that audience and serves their needs? 

“In addition to younger readers,” says Anthea, “who may or may not have access to e-book readers, a large number of adults also enjoy YA books. Also, since ebooks don't have a limited-term shelf life, our stories will be able to reach readers for years, whether they read on tablets or phones, computers, or dedicated ebook readers.”

Terry says, “My audience is teens through all ages. Ebooks offer an alternative, affordable price compared to print books and for international sales, the ability to reach readers all over the world.” 

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

“My first thoughts about e-publishing could be described as cautiously enthusiastic,” says Jenna. “I’m my own publisher, so all I had to do was convince myself it was the way for me to go. By the time I wrote the first novel in my Otherworld Trilogy, I had a little more knowledge under my belt and felt a little more confident when publishing my next series.” 

Terry adds, “My first publisher was print only, and I was eager for her to begin to offer the books in ebook. My sales picked up considerably with the explosion of the ebook device market.”

Anthea says, “After my experiences with NY Traditional publishing (2 books) I've been consistently thrilled and delighted with the amount of control I have over my career as an indie author. It's also not difficult to get my YA fantasy in print, using POD (Print on Demand) technology. Although a bundle like Faery Realms is too big to go into print cost effectively (it would be over 1400 pages) and too heavy to lug around, it works wonderfully as an ebook.” 

As you got into e-publishing, have you discovered unexpected things? Has anything happened that you wouldn’t have predicted?

Jenna says, “Well, I’ve discovered that my goal of becoming a full-time author, without a big publishing house to back me, is actually within my reach now. For years I’ve always dreamed about it and said to myself “one day”. As of right now, I’m so very close and some days it astounds me that I’m almost there.” And Terry added that she didn’t expect sales to international markets.

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

Talia Jager says, "I have a constant stream of stories that flow through my head. I work on whatever is yelling loudest that day. Today it happens to be the third book in The Between Worlds Series. After doing my parenting duties for the morning, I sit down in front of the laptop and write for as long as I can. Sometimes it’s five minutes, sometimes a couple of hours. Then I go back to being a mom and wife until bedtime when I turn on some music or the TV and write some more. I write late into the night, get up and repeat the next day."

“My writing schedule is crazy,” says Dana Burnett. “I write every day from about 9am to about 2pm and then I edit in the evenings. I'm a widowed single mom so most of my evenings are spent running my daughter to her dance classes and then to competitions during the dance season. I wouldn't have it any other way, but there are times it's hard to cheer her on while my characters are screaming in my head. Right now my writing has taken a darker path which makes it even worse since my next project is more adult horror.”

Terry says, “I have 5 books I’m working on until the end of the year, 4 releases with a traditional publisher (1 that has already come out), 5 independent releases (2 that have already come out). Phantom Fae will be the 7th book in my The World of Fae teen series and I’m working on that as my next release in the series. I'm also working with narrators to put the whole fae teen series in audio book format, another new and exciting way for readers to enjoy books.”

And Jenna’s response is, “Oh boy. I have so many projects I’m working on I have no idea how I’ll find the time with my other job. My priority is to finish the fourth book in my Oescienne series. I also want to write more Otherworld books, as well as several other series and book ideas I have waiting on the back burner.” 

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?

“I think that both will continue to be important,” says Terry. “Even though I get my ebook copies out first for my independent titles, I get lots of requests for the print books also. I also worked at a library for a number of years, and print books are still important there. Not everyone will have e-reading devices, and a lot of readers still prefer paper.” 

Dana has a different view. She says, “In my Magic 8 Ball, publishing will eventually exceed and replace print publishing for most genres. It just makes good environmental and business sense. Much like the record stores of the past, bookstores will fade into more a "collectible" niche and most books will be published strictly in digital form. I can hear the outcry now, but the music industry didn't crumble with the advent of iTunes, it just had to adapt. The same will hold true for publishing.” 

Do you believe the e-format helps or hurts you as an author? How?

Rachel Morgan says, “In South Africa, [where she lives] the publishing world is a small one compared to what you'd find overseas, and fantasy is a genre that not many publishers are interested in. If I'd searched for a traditional publishing contract here, I probably wouldn't have reached many readers. But the e-format allowed me to strike out of my own and distribute my stories across the entire world, reaching thousands of readers I could never have reached otherwise. I think it's safe to say that my dream of becoming a full-time author (which I have now achieved) would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, if it weren't for the e-format."

Talia says, "I believe it helps. It gets my books out there to people it otherwise wouldn’t. People can read on a device they carry around anyway. My own daughter brings her iPhone everywhere with her and on it, a large library of books. She’ll never be bored. The one thing I worry about is how flooded the market is with all the ebooks out there. Sometimes it seems like there are so many books, who is ever going to find mine? Somehow they do and for that, I’m thankful." 

“The e-format definitely helps me as an author,” says Jenna. “Being independent, and like I said above, it is very tough selling books when you don’t have the finances of a large publishing house to help you out. With ebooks, I can set a competitive price and even make my books free to encourage readers to try them out. The vast majority of my sales are ebook sales.”

Dana agrees. “I think the e-format has been a blessing to me. If it wasn't for the e-format available today, I never would have had the opportunity to be in a collection like Fairy Realms.”

“It helps,” says Terry. “I’ve had readers tell me they don’t have room for print books, and so they are now going to ebook only. And the price for an ebook is often much lower than it is for a print book because of the cost involved.” 

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

Anthea says, “I am very interested to see when and how readers make the transition into digital reading. More and more young children are growing up using screens to interact with all their entertainment media. I think the next 5 years will be very interesting!”

Rachel adds another perspective. “For young readers in developing countries, the e-format has UNDOUBTEDLY helped simply by allowing children access to thousands of books they would never have had access to before. Organizations like Worldreader recognize that illiteracy is a major problem in low-income countries, and they're using e-readers and mobile phone apps to bring libraries right into the hands of children. The e-format is moving us towards a literate planet!”

“The popularity of e-books makes books more accessible to children and young adults,” says Dana. “ Almost every family has a computer, tablet, or smartphone and reading apps are available for any of these. Suddenly there is access to books from all over the world and now that it's tech based, reading is fun for them.”

And Terry says, “Anything that encourages reading is a good thing. I have a nephew who hated to read, but he loves sports, so his mother got him sports magazines. It really helped his vocabulary, reading skills, spelling, and reading retention. Also, one of the biggest things studies have shown that encourages children to read is if their parents read. With more parents reading—and again, I’ve had readers say they hated reading as a child, now read with the new format and can’t get enough—it encourages their children to read.”
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Want to learn more about these authors and their books? Here are links to their websites: 

RACHEL MORGAN 
ALEXIA PURDY  
JULIA CRANE  
TALIA JAGER
ANTHEA SHARP 

INDIA DRUMMOND 
TARA MAYA  
TERRY SPEAR  
JENNA ELIZABETH JOHNSON 
DANA MICHELLE BURNETT 

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

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.

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.

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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.
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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.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Take a Stroll Down Witch Avenue With Nook Top Ten Author Karice Bolton

On Saturday, April 19th the Witch Avenue Series was #3 in the Teen section of the Barnes and Noble Nook store. The following week it was still in the top ten. Karice Bolton is the author of the collection, which includes four books: Lonely Souls, Altered Souls, Released Souls, and Shattered Souls.

Karice has been on the Kids' EBook Bestseller List before. I featured another interview with her back in April of 2012, when her book Legions was a bestseller. I was delighted when she agreed to join us again. 

Welcome back! Let's start with a description of the Witch Avenue Series. 

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Every town has its mysteries. Every avenue has its secrets... The Witch Avenue Series follows a young witch named Triss as she uncovers deadly family secrets, falls in love, and explores the darker side of magic. But it is up to Triss to fight for what is right and save the covens around the world.

What is your target audience, and how do you believe the e-format works for that audience and serves their needs?

I write in several different genres and age ranges, but my audience tends to follow. I’m very grateful to my readers for their willingness to follow me as I cross those genre boundaries. I believe the e-format does serve their needs, but I also think paperbacks are a nice compliment. Many of my readers start with the ebook(s) and then purchase the paperback for their shelf. I tend to do the same.

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

My writing schedule is pretty packed, which I love. I’m currently working on a New Adult suspense-romance and also the fourth book in the Beyond Love Series, which is also a contemporary romance series. I also have the Afterworld Series that I’m focusing on this summer. The first book, RecruitZ, is out now, and I’m looking forward to writing the second book in the series, AlibiZ.

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

I think whenever an opportunity exists to ignite the love of reading in someone, it is an exciting thing—regardless of format. I know some of the most amazing messages I receive are when someone tells me that they weren’t into reading and then one of my stories sparked that love of reading in them again. I have had a passion for reading ever since I was a little girl, and it’s thrilling when new readers find that same love of storytelling, regardless of age. I think the convenience that ebooks offer is an awesome thing! 
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Find out more about Karice and her books at her website or by following her on Facebook , Twitter, or on Pinterest.  See the updated 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.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

KILLING RUBY ROSE Came Alive on Kindle, Hitting the Top 10 for Teens

Today, author Jessie Humphries joins us to talk about her e-book success. On April 5th, her book Killing Ruby Rose hit the number 5 spot in the Teens & YA section of the Amazon Kindle store. Then it showed up again, two weeks later, at number 6.

Jessie's top ten success is especially amazing because these were pre-orders. Her book was not even available until May 1st!

Killing Ruby Rose is a Young Adult contemporary thriller, and it will be followed by a second book due out in October, Resisting Ruby Rose.

Let's start with a description of your book.

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In sunny Southern California, seventeen-year-old Ruby Rose is known for her killer looks, her killer SAT scores, and even her killer taste in shoes—but only her victims will know how killer she really is. Not that child rapists and murderers who beat the system every time deserve to be called “victims.” 

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

"Traditional." I signed with my agent, Sarah Davies about eighteen months ago, and she sold two books in the Ruby Rose series to the semi-"traditional" publisher Skyscape/Amazon Children's Publishing, which I've found to be an innovative and exceptional publisher to work with.

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

I have a blog where I post regularly. I tweet a lot, I Facebook every day, I Instagram occasionally, I YouTube from time to time, and I've hired an independent publicist, Elana Johnson, to do a 40-stop blog tour. That can't hurt. 

Some studies say children reading e-books are reading more, while other studies say they comprehend less of what they read. What’s your opinion or experience?

My four kids all have tablets and yet still do most of their reading paperbacks. But three out of four of them are still reading picture books. So...I'm not sure. 

As you got into e-publishing, have you discovered unexpected things? Has anything happened that you wouldn’t have predicted?

Because my book was chosen for the Kindle First program on Amazon.com, I knew I was going to have the benefit of access to millions of Amazon readers right off the bat. But nothing could have prepared me for how well such a targeted e-book approach could change the game for me. To debut one day and the next day watch my Amazon ranking go all the way to #1 on the Teen/Young Adult Bestselling List and as high as #4 overall, that was mind blowing!
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Learn more about Jessie and her books  by visiting her website  or her blog.  She's also on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr and Goodreads.  


See the updated 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.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

TIMEBOUND: Spending Plenty of Time in the Top Ten for Kindle Teens.

On April 5th, Timebound by Rysa Walker hit the number 8 spot in the Teens & YA section of the Amazon Kindle store. Five weeks later and it's still in the top ten, taking the number 6 spot today!  

Timebound is the first book in Rysa's CHRONOS Files series, with book #2 expected to be out by October of this year. It was the 2013 Winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in the Young Adult Fiction category AND it was the Grand Prize Winner! Rysa joins us today to tell all about her book and its success in electronic format.

First, what's the story of Timebound?


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If not for the odd blue medallion around her neck, sixteen-year old Kate would simply cease to be. And if she cannot learn to use that medallion to prevent her grandmother's murder at the 1893 World's Fair, billions of people will meet an identical fate at the hands of the Cyrists, a time-traveling cult planning a drastic form of environmental defense. With so many lives at stake, Kate has no choice. But changing the timeline is not without cost. Kate will remember the past few months with the guy she loves, but when he looks at her, he'll see a total stranger. 

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

Timebound was originally self-published (as Time's Twisted Arrow) in October 2012. It did okay, but the book really took off after I entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. In June, 2013, the book won both the YA and, thanks to the online voters, the Grand Prize, which led to a publishing contract with a $50,000 advance on royalties. That allowed me to quit the day job (teaching college online) and focus on my writing. Timebound was then republished by Skyscape with a new title and cover in January 2014, but it was also selected as a Kindle First selection for December. That meant that thousands of ebook readers were able to access the book a month in advance and this resulted in a large number of reviews--over 2000 now-- and I think that's something that many readers look for before taking a chance on a debut author. 

How are people finding out about your book?

Skyscape is an imprint of Amazon Publishing, which means that I have a top notch marketing team to help me reach readers. The contest and Kindle First placement have definitely helped people find Timebound, but nothing can substitute for a good story that can be appreciated by both young adults and older readers who haven't lost touch with their sense of wonder. I think the majority of my readers to this point have been adults--but many of them are passing the book along to the younger readers in their lives. Word of mouth has also been important and I'm active on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. 

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 14 and up, but I've gotten positive responses from readers as young as ten and as old as eighty-four, both male and female. Timebound doesn't have much adult language and the romance sections are fairly tame, so younger teens aren't a problem in that respect. Two of my beta-readers are middle school students, actually, but preteens who aren't advanced readers would probably find it a bit challenging. We've had a lot of cross-over from adult readers who enjoy light science fiction and historical fiction, and I think that's been instrumental in our success so far. Basically, anyone who can follow "Doctor Who" without getting a headache from the "wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff" will probably enjoy Timebound. 

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing?

I have been a Kindle user for several years and I rarely read print books. I often joke that the Kindle may have the been the result of a deal between my adolescent self and the devil, because I would probably have sold my soul as a twelve-year-old for a device that let me download a new book instantly. I lived ten miles from the nearest library (which was and still is sorely underfunded) and thirty miles from a bookstore. My kids read almost exclusively on their devices, and so I am a strong supporter of the ebook format. The self-published version of Timebound was published first as an ebook and the vast majority of my sales before and after ABNA [Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award] have been ebook. To be honest, I would never sign with a publisher of YA books that emphasized print sales over ebooks or who put ebooks at the same price as print, because I don't believe that company will be around for the long haul.

What are you working on now?

Timebound is part of a series (The CHRONOS Files). I'm working on editing the second book (Time's Edge) which will come out in October, and also putting the final touches on an e-only CHRONOS novella planned for early summer. The third book and a second novella will follow a similar schedule for 2015. So, a very busy couple of years ahead!
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Find out more about Rysa and her books at her website and her  CHRONOS Files blog, or by following her on Facebook or Twitter.  See the updated 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.