Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Socket Greeny Saga: A Cyberpunk Trilogy in the Top Ten for Kindle Teens

Today's featured author is Tony Bertauski. He wrote The Socket Greeny Saga, which hit the number 7 spot in the Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store on June 26th. The saga edition contains the entire Socket Greeny trilogy (Discovery, Training, and Legend). Tony's stories are science fiction, specifically cyberpunk. Let's hear all about his top ten success!

Tell us what The Socket Greeny Saga is about.

Socket Greeny is a white-haired outlier teenager that frequently wonders what life is all about. He soon discovers he's part of a technologically-advanced race of humans. While they protect the planet, he'll be asked to save the universe.

Tell us about your path to publication: Traditional or independent?

I started out as a technical writer, authoring textbooks and newspaper columns. I never planned to write fiction. But then I started writing stories with my kids and I caught the fever. I tried the traditional route but soon grew weary. Indie publishing is a perfect vehicle for me because I enjoy all the aspects of formatting, marketing and social media as well as writing. And I can do it part-time because I'm not about to quit my teaching gig.

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

Patience, time and editing. Those are essential. But without the desire, none of that matters. I really connect with my stories and characters. I don't know if that's by chance or something I cultivated, but I enjoy the process of writing as much as anything.

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

It's a slow build. I was active on Goodreads early on, but the indie pool has gotten very crowded. Nowadays, a Bookbub advert will move several thousand copies. If the story is good, it'll catch on. I'm also learning how to market on Facebook.

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 don't know if it's much different than when I was a kid (I'm 48). I had very few friends that read fiction. Harry Potter put reading back in vogue and I think it's continued with things like Maze Runner and Divergent. I volunteered at YA bookfest (YAllfest in Charleston, SC) and there were kids standing in long lines reading books. The paper kind.

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

I'm all over the map. Some of my series are YA, teen or adult. There is a lot of cross over. I don't write anything sexually explicit, but the cuss words vary. And ebooks are here to stay. I move very few paper books.

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

e-publishing got a bad rap early on because there wasn't a vehicle. Amazon, for the most part, changed all that. Now that everyone has a smart phone and likely a tablet, anyone can read at anytime. I love that I can pull out my phone and start reading my book if I get stuck in a long line at the DMV. And I know people that swear they have to feel the paper when they read. But many of them are converted when they try an ebook. It's just too convenient.

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

I do most of my writing before noon. I'm finishing the third novel in my Halfskin series (science fiction). Aside from cuss words, it's similar to other works I've written. I'll be taking a bit of a break to focus on marketing for a month or so before returning to my Claus series, a retelling of holiday characters in a science fiction genre.

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? 

It'll never completely replace paperbacks. We'll always have libraries and bookstores, but ebooks are here to stay.

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

I couldn't possibly reach fans with paperbacks the way I can with ebooks. I send out free copies everyday through email. And I send them all over the world. 

Learn more about Tony Bertauski and his books by visiting his website, or by following him on Facebook or Goodreads

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 Helen Grant.

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.