Saturday, July 11, 2015

Rachel Van Dyken: Five Weeks in the Kindle Top Ten for Teens

The Consequence of Loving Colton by Rachel Van Dyken hit the number one spot in the Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store on April 25th. It proceeded to stay in the top ten for four more weeks.

This New Adult Romance story is the first book in Rachel's Consequence series. Book #2, The Consequence of Revenge, was released on June 9th, and it immediately popped up to the top ten for three weeks. Rachel is planning two more books for the series. 

Rachel joins us today to talk about her book and her e-publishing success.

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

The Consequence of Loving Colton is a story about a girl who's always been in love with her brothers best friend...she's returns home for her brothers wedding and decides to put the sad infatuation behind her, but a stolen kiss has her panicking, especially considering he APOLOGIZES for it in the first place, so she does what any desparate hurt girl would do...she lies...and throws her best friend Max under the bus. Max shows up for the wedding to save her, but his questioning acting skills and Milo's obsession with Colton are making things difficult. Throw in a horny grandmother, xanax, a trip to prison, dragons, and a few choice star wars analogies and you've got the makings of a fun weekend ;)

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

I started out at an indie publishing house and then from there went to self publishing and finally traditional. I'm what's called a hybrid author because I typically will do one traditional series a year and still self publish. I love having a big house back me but I also really love control of the creative process. I get the best of both worlds and wouldn't want it any other way!

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

I have an amazing publisher. I wish I could take credit, but I can't! They did a great job launching the book along with my PR team. TCOLC already had a fan base since it was originally published on watt pad for free, so I think that too contributed to sales.

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

I fully believe that a social media presence is huge for authors...I spend around 4-6 hours a day online, responding to readers, emailing people, posting snippets of my books, etc. It's a full time job, for sure.

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 fully agree that kids are reading ebooks more. I actually used to work at a learning center and at a school as a counselor and its incredible how many kids read on their phones or iPads now, especially younger children because they don't get as overwhelmed with how long or big the book is. Its amazing what giving an ebook to a child who struggles with reading does...all of a sudden they finish the book and go hey that wasn't so bad! :)

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

My target audience would consist of teens all the way up to my grandma ;) I want to make sure that my books are enjoyed by all ages. Thats the beauty of being with a traditional publisher, if someone isn't a fan of the ebook they can read the paperback.

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

I love e-publishing. LOVE IT! I would never go with a publisher who restricted e-publishing and I've never been hesitant about the process because that's where I sell the most books. It excites me to put new books out there and I'll continue to use that format.

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

I think the most unexpected thing I've noticed is that you can't predict it. Ever. Regardless of how many books you've sold or how well you've done, the ebook world is a constantly changing thing. Even genres that are popular change in a blink of an eye. You have to constantly be present to keep up.

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

I typically write around 5-6 hours a day, thankfully I have a babysitter come in twice a week so I can get my word counts up. I'm actually working on the third book in the consequence series. If I'm on deadline which I am right now AGH, then I typically write at night as well.

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? 

Oh wow! I don't think it will ever replace print. Readers won't allow that to happen and there's something very special about holding a book, however, I see it developing into something you see a lot more within the school system. It's cheaper than buying books and it teaches kids how to work with technology and as I said earlier, its not as overwhelming when you can't see how many pages you have left.

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

It helps because it broadens your audience.

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

I think it helps them...especially if they are home and need some entertainment, as a mother I'd much rather have my child read an ebook that costs the price of a cup of coffee then sit in front of the tv. 

Learn more about Rachel and her books by visiting 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. Check back next week when my featured author will be Matt de la Pena.

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.