Saturday, July 26, 2014

MONUMENT 14: A Top Ten Apocalyptic Super Story, Set in a Superstore

On Saturday, May 10th author Emmy Laybourne hit the number 5 spot in the Kids & Teens section of the Kobo.com store with her e-book, Monument 14. This was Emmy's debut book, and since its release in 2012, the story has developed into a trilogy with the third book released just last month. She's here to tell us all about her e-pub success.

First, Emmy, please tell us what your book is about. 

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Monument 14 tells the story of fourteen kids from Monument, CO who get trapped in a superstore while civilization collapses outside the gates. Outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world apart. And inside the store the group of kids, who range in age from 18 to 5, must find a way to live together if they are to survive. 

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

One of the things that I love about having the Monument 14 series available as e-books is that each book ends in a way that really leads the reader to the next book. It's simply easier for excited, engaged readers to get their hands on a sequel in electronic format than in print! In other words - the books in this series have a real velocity to them - so the e-book format allows a reader to maintain speed when tearing through the books. 

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

In 2012 Macmillan chose me along with three other debut authors to launch an initiative known as Fierce Reads. We toured the country for two weeks and had a wonderful time! Now the Fierce Reads initiative has grown to more than 12 titles this year alone. Macmillan features me and my books on FierceReads.com as well as MacTeenBooks.com. I feel incredibly lucky about all they do for me and for my books! That said, I try to pull my weight on Twitter and Facebook. I really love interacting with readers via social media and there's nothing like the feeling when someone I know from Twitter shows up at an event! It's so cool when a digital friendship turns into a face-to-face meeting.

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

I've been so thrilled with the success of down-pricing initiatives. When it was first pitched to me I was unsure about it - I thought that we'd be selling the same amount of books for much less money. But wow! It really works. And in the end, it's much more valuable (and gratifying) to have more people reading your work. I appreciate each and every reader of my books - and down-pricing allowed me to reach so many more of them than I would have otherwise.

Thanks so much for having me here on Kids Ebook Bestsellers. I invite all your readers to hang out with me on Facebook and on Twitter.
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And you can find out more about Emmy and the other books in the Monument trilogy at her website. 

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? You can sign up HERE to get my newsletter and stay up to date with the blog and my books.

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.  

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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.
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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.

Want a sneak preview of the rest of the authors I'm featuring for the next few weeks? You can sign up HERE to get my newsletter and stay up to date with the blog and my books.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Daniel Arenson Hit the Kobo Top Ten for Kids With His Epic Fantasy MOTH

On Saturday, May 17th, Daniel Arenson took the number 3 spot in the Kids' and Teen section of the Kobo.com store with his book Moth.  It's the first book of his epic fantasy four-book series, THE MOTH SAGA, and (spoiler alert) he discloses below that he's currently working on the fifth book.

Welcome, Daniel. Let's start with a description of Moth.


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They say the world used to turn. They say that night would follow day in an endless dance. They say that dawn rose, dusk fell, and we worshiped both sun and stars.

That was a long time ago.

The dance has died. The world has fallen still. We float through the heavens, one half always in light, one half always in shadow. Like the moth of our forests, one wing white and the other black, we are torn.

My people are the fortunate. We live in daylight, blessed in the warmth of the sun. Yet across the line, the others lurk in eternal night, afraid... and alone in the dark.

I was born in the light. I was sent into darkness. This is my story.

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


I try to build a group of loyal fans, book by book. Whenever I release a new novel, I hope the reader enjoys the story enough to become a fan and read another book. To keep in touch with these readers, I maintain a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a mailing list, and a website (DanielArenson.com).

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

MOTH is a novel that, I hope, can be enjoyed by both teens and adults. I wanted to write a novel that appeals to readers of all ages, fans of all genres. I think you can enjoy the novel whether you're a fan of fantasy or just a casual reader of the genre. 

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

I usually sit down at the computer at around 9 am and write for the next twelve hours or so -- though I do take lots of breaks in the middle. I just recently released Daughter of Moth, the fourth Moth book, and I'm currently working on the fifth.

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?

As far as I know, e-publishing has already exceeded print publishing in many markets (such as at Amazon). That's fine. Novels are still novels, even if the medium has changed. It doesn't matter whether we're reading engraved tablets, parchment scrolls, printed books, or ebooks. Technology always changes and will keep changing; this has always been true. But stories remain stories; those are eternal. 

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

It absolutely helps. When I was a kid, I was limited to reading whatever was at my (very small) local library. I lived overseas and there just weren't many books available. An e-reader opens up the entire world of literature to anyone who owns the device. This might be the best thing that's ever happened to readers. Consider how amazing this is. With one small device, which can fit into our pocket, we can access the entire literary works of mankind. We're so fortunate to live in this era; this is the golden age of reading.
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Learn more about Daniel and his books at his website  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.

Want a sneak preview of the rest of the authors I'm featuring for the next few weeks? You can sign up HERE to get my newsletter and stay up to date with the blog and my books.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fans Drove LUNA OF MINE by Quinn Loftis into the Top Ten, Two Months Before It Was Published!

Quinn Loftis is back!  She was interviewed here last summer when Blood Rites, book #2 in her Grey Wolves series, hit the top ten in the iBookstore. (See that interview here.

The series continues and book #8, Luna of Mine, hit the top ten in the Kids and Teens section of the Kobo store back on April 12th, when it was still on pre-order! Quinn asked me to delay posting this interview until the book was out.  Luna of Mine was finally released last Sunday, June 29th.  I won't be surprised if excited fans drive it back up into the top ten. Stay tuned here to see.

Welcome back, Quinn. Please start with telling us what your book is about.

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Every life leaves behind a legacy. Every story has a beginning and an end. The Alpha of the Romania Grey Wolves knows this better than most. He also knows it’s the things that transpire to create that legacy and the experiences, triumphs and failures that happen in the middle of the story that matter. His story began a century ago and now a tragedy has led him to his rightful place as Alpha of the Eastern Romania pack. Before he led hundreds, he had to learn to lead a few. Before he sacrificed for all, he had to be willing to sacrifice for any. Before he could be the man destined to save his race he had to be willing to serve them. In order to be raised up he had to first be torn down. There was only one who could do this and live, only one who could light his way when the darkness closed in; his mate, his Luna. This is the building of their legacy, the middle of their story. Their triumphs, their failures, and their tragedy’s that would one day make them strong enough to restore a race torn apart by greed, envy, and fear.

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

I have self published all of my 10 novels, and I'm working on self publishing my 11 and 12th novels now. I have been approached by an agency but don't feel it's in my best interest at this time to pursue traditional publishing. 

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?

I definitely think they are reading more and reading more means learning how to comprehend more of what you read. I've seen first hand what happens when a person fails to read on a regular basis and I can't see how a child reading more whether it be ebooks or paper back could hinder their level of comprehension. 

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

I was very excited about e-pubishing. It opened a whole new world for me and a career I had always wanted to pursue. It was very scary, but I am so glad that I did it and wouldn't change anything I have done.  

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

I never could have predicted that my books would have done as well as they have and I am so thankful that readers have taken a chance on my books.  

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

I write every day, try to get 3,000-5,000 words done. I just finished Into the Fae which is the first book in a series that is a break off from my Grey Wolves and that is due out in about a month. Now I am working on Luna of Mine which is due out July 2, 2014. 

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

HELPS! So many people can afford books now and that has definitely increased the consumer market for books, that is good for those of us who are primarily e-book published.

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

I don't think it hurts. As I said before an increase in reading increases the ability to comprehend what is read. I think parents need to be wise and help their kids pick good books, and I think that we as authors have an obligation especially if we write in the YA genre to make sure we are putting material out that sends a good message, it can be real, it can be tough but it needs to build them up not tear them down.
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Find out more about Quinn and her books at her website or by following her 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.

Want a sneak preview of the rest of the authors I'm featuring for the next few weeks? You can sign up HERE to get my newsletter and stay up to date with the blog and my books.