Saturday, April 25, 2015

Quack-a-Doodle-Baa: iBook Readers Send it to the Top Ten

Michelle de Villiers is both the author and the illustrator of today's featured book, Quack-a-Doodle-Baa. It hit the number 6 spot in the Children's section of the iBook store on February 14th.

First, please tell us what Quack-a-Doodle-Baa is about.

Pierre's best friends in the whole world are Babaa, Chanticleer and Jemima. However, Christmas time is a dangerous time for farm animals. Pierre has to come up with a plan to save his animal friends' lives, which involves his papa's dreams going up in smoke at the same time...and so, three animals become part of the fascinating history of hot air balloon travel.

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

I have been writing stories since forever. I self-published QADB through Smashwords in 2010.

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

I am not sure just where it is right now! I read a lot and love finding articles that tie into one of my stories. I then comment on social media, which contributes to getting more people interested. One needs to be self-motivated, to make mistakes. I don't know if I'm doing it right.

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

I blogger, wordpress, tweet, tumble, blur, goodread, pin, flip, fb, scribd, g+, linkdin ... far too much probably! I love to experiment. I read other people's blogs and comment.

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

I try to post a cartoon or blog post first thing in the morning. After that I have my day in the studio, where I paint and write. I read every day. I find doing some exercise is essential to staying positive and energized. Currently I am working on a book cover for an adult non-fiction book (not my own), a few children's stories of my own, and a couple of paintings.

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

I think any reading is a good thing. 
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Learn more about Michelle and her books by visiting her website and blog, or by following her on Facebook and Twitter. If you like her illustrations, check out her Zazzle store.

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 Janet Lee Carey.

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, April 18, 2015

THE MERMAID'S SISTER Floated Right Up to Number One for Kindle Teens

Carrie Anne Noble is today's featured author. She wrote The Mermaid's Sister, which hit the number one spot in the Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store on February 7th. It stayed in the top ten for another five weeks, most of the time still in that number one spot.

The Mermaid's Sister also won the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in the Young Adult Fiction Category. I'm delighted that we get to hear all about Carrie's e-publishing success.

First, tell us what your book is about.


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When sixteen-year-old Clara discovers that her sister Maren is becoming a mermaid, Clara and her best friend O’Neill undertake a perilous journey to the sea—for a mermaid cannot survive long on land. Along the way, they’re entrapped by a wicked troupe of traveling performers and a potent potion. Clara must find a way for them to escape before it’s too late to save her mermaid sister from death.

How did you get published? Traditionally or independently?

My path was highly unusual! My book won the Young Adult category in the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. It was a big surprise, and allowed me to skip the whole querying process, which can take years. The editors and publishing team at Skyscape (Amazon’s YA publishing house) have been very good to me as a newcomer to the business, walking me through each step and cheering me on. The journey from first draft to published book took about two years and three months.

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

Amazon chose The Mermaid’s Sister to be a Kindle First book for February, which means Amazon Prime members have been able to read it as an e-book in pre-release. This gave the book a lot of momentum. I also use Twitter, Facebook, and my blog as marketing tools—although I’m still trying to learn the best ways to do so.

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 think that any reading children do is beneficial, whether they’re fully comprehending the text or not. Growing up, I read a lot of books that were “above me,” and I have no doubt that my vocabulary and writing skills grew because of that stretching.

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

My writing schedule is kind of messed up at the moment, as I’ve been trying to do more blog posting and social media stuff in the last couple weeks. I’m planning to re-focus this week on finishing my next novel. I do most of my writing while my kids are at school. My next book is also for young adults, and it contains leprechauns.
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Learn more bout Carrie Anne 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 Michelle de Villiers.

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, April 11, 2015

Kindle Kids Send THE VIRGINIA MYSTERIES COLLECTION into the Top Ten.

The Virginia Mysteries Collection hit the number 9 spot in the Children's section of the Amazon Kindle store on January 24th.  Author Steven K.  Smith calls his stories, "adventures with a twist of history." They are written for young readers, ages 7-12.

Steven, let's start with a description of your book.


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The Virginia Mysteries Collection is a box set of three mystery adventure books for middle grade readers. The stories follow brothers Sam and Derek and their friends on exciting adventures that often have a twist of history from local Virginia and American historical events, people, and places. The series has often been compared to the Magic Tree House and Hardy Boys books and the movies National Treasure and Goonies.

Book One, Summer of the Woods, follows the boys as they explore the deep woods around their new home in Virginia. When they find some old coins in the creek over summer vacation, they begin a search for a stolen treasure from the local museum. 

Book Two, Mystery on Church Hill, sends the brothers and friend Caitlin on an adventure tied to the American Revolution. When they find clues at historic St. John’s Church, the site of Patrick Henry’s famous Liberty speech, the kids embark on a race for a hidden artifact before it falls into the wrong hands. 

Ghosts of Belle Isle is book three in the series, and connects the kids to the Fall of Richmond at the end of the Civil War. They explore former prisoner of war camp Belle Isle, famous confederate soldier resting place, Hollywood Cemetery, and run into a biker gang led by the notorious Mad Dog DeWitt.

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

I decided early on to independently publish through my own imprint, MyBoys3 Press. I really enjoy the speed to market, the entrepreneurial spirit that comes with the process, and the opportunity to guide your own path. While there are still some inherent challenges with access to certain markets, mostly in print, I think the positives clearly outweigh the negatives. It’s been a fun process that I look forward to continuing for a long time to come!

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

I try to get my books and name out there as much as possible. I have a website and blog, although the deeper I get into writing books, the less I find myself having the time to blog. I try to post things fairly regularly on Facebook, and I have a mailing list that I use primarily to announce live events and new books. My recent ad in Book Bub worked very well, and I’m always on the lookout for new ways to market my books. Selling in middle grade has some unique challenges, in that your reader group is always changing as kids grow older, and often it is the parents that are your actual buyers, so it takes a multi-pronged approach. I’m also increasing my outreach to local elementary schools in my area for events like book clubs, classroom visits and connections to librarians as a way to become more entrenched in reading choices for kids.

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?

Most of the parents and kids that I speak to in what I’ll call late elementary school (grades 2-5) that are reading on their own, are still largely reading print books. That said, I see a lot of online Kindle sales. While not a scientific study, but is also supported by conversations I’ve had with readers, I think this speaks to two things. One, there are a good number of adults that still enjoy reading middle grade books, and two, parents are finding out about new books on kindle and either reading them to their kids or passing them along. While I think it will be a while until paperbacks disappear, I think ereaders will gradually seep into late elementary school and early middle school age reader habits.

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

As someone that has a very busy full time day job running a sales team in e-healthcare and three very active young sons, I try to fit writing in where I can, which is a lot less than I’d like. My schedule varies greatly from week to week, but I find that I go in waves of immersing myself in a book project a couple times a year and then have slower periods in-between. Right now I’ve just started a fourth book in the Virginia Mystery series and am also finding my  way through a new book that will either be young adult or adult, which is a new challenge for me and so far a lot of fun.
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Learn more about Steven and his books by visiting his website, the Virginia Mysteries website or his blog, or by following Steven 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 Carrie Anne Noble.

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, April 4, 2015

Nook Readers Send IGNITE Into the Top Ten

Today's bestselling author is Sara B. Larson. She's the creator of Ignite, which hit the number 7 spot in the Kids' section of the Barnes and Noble Nook store on January 3rd. And the following week it was still in the top ten! 

Ignite is a YA fantasy set in a medieval world, and it's the sequel to Defy, which was released by Scholastic in January, 2014.

Here's the full description of Ignite:


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Murder, abductions, and forbidden romance abound in this thrilling sequel to Sara B. Larson's acclaimed YA debut, DEFY.

Alexa remains by the newly crowned King Damian’s side as his guard, ever committed to helping him rebuild Antion and reclaim the hope of Antion's people, despite continuing to harbor a secret love for him. However, when another threat to Damian and his kingdom emerges, and blame is cast on their newly forged allies from Blevon, Alexa knows things are not what they seem. With the fate of her nation hanging in the balance once again, will Alexa be able to protect her king and uncover the true enemy -- before it's too late?

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

I was traditionally published by Scholastic Press with my first novel DEFY in January 2014. I spent quite a few years writing book and querying agents, before I connected with my current agent. He sold DEFY within a month of signing with him and DEFY came out just over a year later. After many, many years of rejections, it was amazing to have everything come together so quickly!

Is your book available in print format? Which came first and why?

Yes it is available in both hardcover and e-book. It was published simultaneously. DEFY and IGNITE were both intended to be both print and e-book from the beginning. I like that my readers can have the option to purchase either (though I must admit, the covers are SUPER gorgeous in person, which you don't get through e-book). 

Do you think e-publishing will eventually take over print publishing? Why or why not? How do you see the world of e-publishing for children within the next 5 years?

I don't think it will, honestly. I think it is definitely a huge part of publishing now, but i think that plenty of readers still prefer to have a tangible book in their hands. They love putting them on bookshelves, opening the pages for the first time, and being able to hold it in their hands. I think e-books and print books will continue to work in tandem with each other over the next 5 years.
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Learn more about Sara and her books by visiting her website or her blog, 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 Steven K. Smith.

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.