Thursday, June 14, 2012

Interview With an EPublishing Pioneer

Last winter, at the SCBWI NY meeting, I heard numerous agents, editors, and writers buzzing about major literary agencies like Book Ends, LLC, Dystel & Goderich, The Waxman Agency, and a gazillion more jumping into the epublishing arena. Today, the great Trident Media's epublishing division launches its first middle grade book, Evertaster, into cyberspace so I thought I'd snag an interview to see what the author, Adam Sidwell, had to say about his experience delving into these unchartered waters...

***Update: Success for Sidwell & Trident! The surge of their "lunch launch" (strategery at its best: let your followers know exactly how, when, were, etc. to make the biggest impact) was successful & they made Amazon's #2 "movers and shakers" list & #2 in their demographic overall in just a few hours. Let's see what they do by the end of the day. Unsurprisingly, it looks like literary agencies do know what they're doing :). Nice work Adam & Trident.*****

1) When you connected with the prestigious literary agency, Trident Media, did you apply to be the first author they represented in their new epublishing division, or was that a happy accident?
That was a happy accident. I queried Alyssa Henkin of Trident a few years back with the Evertaster manuscript. She loved the story and the concept and the writing, so we worked on it together over the next 2 years. Previously she worked as an editor for Scholastic, so she really knows what she’s doing. It was great to work with a pro like her. We shopped the manuscript around, and ultimately decided that the best home for it was right there with Trident. I’m very happy with how it all worked out. The book is available in paperback todayand the ebook will follow shortly. Look for it on Amazon!

2.    A) It seems that you’re at the cusp of a new wave of publishing, what has surprised/delighted you most on this journey?
I think the freedom and speed with which we are able to get the book out. Depending on which publisher you go with, you might have to wait a whole year or even two before your book comes out. That’s a long time to wait when you need reader feedback and want to write stories that are current. With Trident the process has taken less than 6 months. Also, I’ve had incredible freedom with cover art direction. I am a professional artist for feature films, so of course I wanted to be involved in that.
B) As we have established that you are a pioneer, have you ever felt the urge to don a hat and push a handcart? Ha ha! Well, not really. This is my first experience with publishing, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. I’m just happy that I can finally give my book to readers.
3.    You’ve done a great job marketing Evertaster. What marketing strategies have you found have worked the best? I think that reaching out to people is really the best, in as personal a way as possible. Things are extremely busy right now, but I try to reply to anyone who has questions or comments on the facebook page, or tweets, or anyone who sends me a message. I enjoy connecting with readers. People are really excited to celebrate, so it’s actually a great excuse to get in touch with old friends and make new ones.

4.    You’re a brilliant designer who has worked on blockbuster films; how has that impacted your writing and/or your promotional work?
Thank you. That is very kind. When you work on films for a living, and you’re surrounded by top animators and concept artists and designers in the industry you absorb that visual language. It becomes a part of you. The comment I constantly get back from editors is “The story is so cinematic!” Without even realizing it, I’ve written what reads like a movie on paper. I always see the scenes playing out in my head, and I think that comes from working on films for the last decade.  That’s also what led me to Goro Fujita, the amazing designer from Dreamworks who did the cover art. He designed sets and concepts for the films Megamind and Madagascar, and he did an amazing job with the cover. Come check it out and feel free to like us on facebook.
5.    Where do you see epublishing heading in the next year?
Five years? What have you found to be its strengths/weaknesses?
Epublishing is growing. I think that we’re going to see shorter, almost novella size books rise in prominence. They will be very current. They will also be somewhat disposable in a sense that you’ll read it and expect to see what the author writes next, instead of lingering on a book like we do now.
Bonus Questions: When is Evertaster released? Who is your target market? How do I get a copy?
Evertaster is for ages 8 and up. I think it will also appeal to food-loving adults who like adventure; it’s really a delicious story. You can get your paperback copy today, June 14th: Super Evertaster Thursday. 
We’re having an Evertaster Lunch Launch; it will be discounted for a few hours today so I recommend you buy it at high noon before the price goes up! The paperback book will be for sale on Amazon exclusively for the first few weeks.

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