Saturday, July 25, 2015

Kindle Teens Kept SUGAR in the Top Ten for Months!

Sugar, by Deirdre Riordan Hall, hit the number 1 spot in the Teen section of the Amazon Kindle store on May 2. Then it proceeded to stay in the top ten for TEN more weeks, through July 11th. This story is contemporary fiction for young adults. Deirdre joins us today to talk about her e-publishing experience and the success of her book in e-format.

First, tell us what your book is about.


For seventeen years, Sugar has been told she's too much, yet not enough. Through an empowering friendship, she learns she's more than a worthless daughter, an annoying sister, and the target of the senior class prank; Sugar discovers hope is indomitable and so is she.

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

I wrote several young adult manuscripts, but they weren't published before I detoured into independent publishing with my new adult series titled, Follow your Bliss over the course of 2014. In the middle of my that year, I was contacted by Skyscape Publishing with interest in SUGAR. I jumped in with both feet, becoming a hybrid author. Although writing NA is a lot of fun, YA is my literary home and I'm so fortunate to call Skyscape Publishing my family.

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

As I mentioned above, I embarked on e-publishing as an indie, so I was familiar with the process, pleased with the widespread availability, and enthusiastic about SUGAR being available to people with e-readers. SUGAR will also be available in paperback and audio book (read by the fantastic Tara Sands) on its general publication date of 6/1. All in all, I feel optimistic about e-publishing, but am very grateful to have had a team of people doing the formatting this time around! For the Follow your Bliss series, I was a one woman show, on top of writing, so although independent publishing provides a great opportunity to get books out there, going with a traditional publisher also means I have more time to write.

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


When I started as an indie-publisher, I discovered an amazing community of writers, readers, and bloggers who were surprisingly supportive and helpful for those of us newbies. As a hybrid author now, I appreciate the connection with my online friends whose careers I've watched bloom and grateful that I had their support while I was starting out.

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

I firmly believe in the adage, writers-write, so I'm a Monday-Friday, nine-to-fiver. Although, since I have flexibility in my schedule, sometimes that fiver gets pushed to eight or midnight if I have to rearrange things when the non-writing life calls. And as you can probably imagine, the bonus, writing-related activities like social media, promotion, blogging, and interviews all get penciled in there too.

I just finished the rough draft of a young adult ms, today in fact! (*Doing a little celebratory dance!) But I'll soon be diving into revisions on my next YA project, PEARL, to be published by Skyscape in 2016.

Time to pull out your Magic 8 Ball: Do you think e-publishing will ever exceed or replace print publishing?

I think it will continue to succeed, but as for it replacing print publishing? Who knows, maybe they'll invent another format that will take its place before then. Lol.
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Deirdre has provided loads of links where you can find out more about her and her books. Check these out:

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 Amber Argyle.

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 18, 2015

THE LIVING: A Number One Hit with Kobo Teens

On May 2nd, The Living by Matt de la Pena hit the #1 spot in the Kids & Teen section of the Kobo.com store. The Living was originally released in 2013, and this year it was followed by a sequel, The Hunted.

Matt is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult novels and picture books, and he joins us today to share about his e-publishing success.

First, tell us what your book is about.

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The Living is a survival story. My main character Shy gets a summer job working on a luxury cruise ship. It's his first real exposure to people with money. He works hard and has some fun in his off hours (he especially likes hanging with Carmen, a beautiful girl from a neighborhood quite a bit like his). But soon he finds himself in extremely rough seas. When the ship goes down in the middle of the Pacific, Shy is in a fight for his life. It's during this fight that he uncovers an even deeper secret.

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

I write Young Adult novels, which are stories driven by teens. Shy is 17. I love my teen readers so much, but I also love the adults who read my books. The Living, I've found, has been very popular with adults. The e-format is exciting to me for many reasons. First of all, teens read on iPads and their phones. But it's also exciting that folks can download a book the second they hear about it. Also, I'm currently traveling, and I love that I can have six books on one device. When I teach, I find that it's great to be able to search for a key section instead of randomly flipping through pages. It's truly an honor to have an e-book that is widely read. It makes me so proud to think that there are people possibly reading my work on a device right this second, maybe a few rows behind me on the plane I'm currently on.

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

Because I'm traveling so much these days, I've learned to write on planes and in hotels and on the train. I have deadlines that do not allow me to wait for the perfect setting. I have to make the best of whatever situation I find myself in. Currently, I'm waiting for the sequel to The Living, The Hunted, to come out. It's the end of Shy's story, and the book officially comes out May 12th, which is so soon. So I've been doing a lot of publicity for the book and meeting with readers. It's great. And tiring. And it makes me nervous. I hope people like how the story ends!

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

As a reader of both traditional books AND e-books, I think reading is reading. Kids are shifting toward e-books these days. I think it's great. I'm happy they're reading. And if they're anything like me, I bet some of them go out and buy the hardcover of the books they like best. I know I do. I just love that there are so many way to experience a story these days. That's the most important thing. Because I believe narrative is vital to our culture.
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Learn more about Matt and his books by visiting 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. Check back next week when my featured author will be Deirdre Riordan Hall.

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 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. 

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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. 
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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.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

ILLUMINATE Shines in the Teen section of the Barnes & Noble Nook Store

Today we get to hear from Aimee Agresti, author of Illuminate. Her book hit the number 8 spot in the Teen section of the Barnes and Noble Nook store on April 18th. 

Illuminate has been featured in such popular magazines as Seventeen, Justine, Entertainment Weekly and US Weekly. CafeMom.com even included it in their list of "10 Best Vampire & Supernatural Books to Replace Your ‘Twilight’ Obsession." Welcome, Aimee!


In a few sentences, tell us what your book is about.

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ILLUMINATE is the first book in my "Gilded Wings Trilogy" about a teen angel who's forced to battle a pack of gorgeous, soul-stealing demons in order to earn her wings...and of course she falls in love with one along the way. But wild paranormal elements aside, it's really the story of a girl learning to have confidence in herself. What could be a better metaphor for growing up than earning your wings and learning to fly, right?

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

I have the best readers! Their word of mouth has made such a difference and it means so much to me. It's the ultimate compliment when I hear that someone enjoyed the book so much that they mentioned it to a friend. I've gotten so many sweet emails and tweets from readers. I don't think they even realize how much I treasure their notes! Speaking of, I always love to hear from folks so feel free to write to me through my website aimeeagresti.com. I may be slow but I do write back!

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

I love interacting with readers on Twitter and Facebook, doing interviews with bloggers and doing giveaways on my own blog. And stay tuned: the third book in my trilogy comes out soon and it takes place in a fabulous location so I'm planning to post photos and videos from my research trip. It'll be a fun way to make readers feel like they're there! 

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

My target is anyone who loves to escape into a good story with romance, mystery, adventure, fantasy and above all, a strong heroine! I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read and since it's so fun to tote e-readers around, it's easier than ever to fit reading into a busy schedule whether you're a teen trying to read between classes or a busy mom swiping through a few pages after the kids go to bed. Personally, I LOVE my e-reader, it's changed my life!

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

I'm absolutely thrilled that the third book in the trilogy will be coming out this year--yay! I hope to have news of the release date very, very soon. I can't wait to hear what readers think of the finale. It was a ton of fun to write and also bittersweet after spending so many years with these characters I love so much!
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Learn more about Aimee 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 Rachel Van Dyken.

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.