Welcome back readers! With Halloween just around the corner, we wanted to stay in the spirit of the holiday and keep the creative juices flowing. Not to worry, we aren’t looking to give anyone the heebie jeebies. Just wanted to catch back up with our less than ghoulish friend Karen Roberts.
In the second installment of our dialogue with The Little Blue Dog creator, we examine the publishing side of things. The author relays some of her most beneficial moments when promoting her first book as well as her experiences transitioning from print to digital.
Recall, Karen’s efforts are purely for the betterment of responsible pet ownership and function in a way that encourages empathy for all living creatures. 100% of all profits from the book and products will be donated to The Little Blue Dog’s animal rescue and shelter partners. For more information on this title, please visit www.thelittlebluedog.com, or get your paws on it today! The Little Blue Dog is available for purchase digitally through iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo, OverDrive, and eBooks2go.com.
Please enjoy this treat from us here at eBooks2go.
eBooks2go: Probably safe to say that you enjoyed some very positive success, both with The Little Blue Dog and your other books/ventures. We work with independent authors all the time, and one of the most prevalent issues is getting their books out the public and promoting them effectively. Is there a specific aspect that you concentrate on when you are publicizing your books?
Roberts: Because the goal of my books is to be able to give back to the rescue community, the greatest success has been pairing my efforts with certain rescue groups. For example, I did a promotion this year with Beagle Freedom Project, donating 100% of the profits of my book The Gentle Beagle for a certain period of time. So I was able to leverage their wonderful, compassionate, beagle loving community on Facebook, and they received a $3,000 donation to support their amazing organization. It’s a win/win.
eBooks2go: Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
Roberts: Fund raising events with rescues has been my most successful marketing effort to date, but there are no shortcuts. You have to have a presence through every social media outlet available, and it’s a long, slow ladder with a lot of rungs. Determination is key, along with believing in your work.
eBooks2go: Conversely, have you made any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
Roberts: As far as mistakes go, I have made them all! But that’s how we learn best I suppose.
eBooks2go: There will always be a battle for supremacy when it comes to physical copies versus eBooks. This was your first experience going digital. How would you describe the overall experience?
Roberts: My personal experience into the digital world couldn’t have been better! The relationship I have with eBooks2go has been wonderful. Prior to going digital, I have worn every hat and taken on every aspect of this effort on my own. So having the support and additional PR has been incredibly valuable to me. I am learning new aspects of how to achieve success all the time, and the experience helps me refine my goals and find my voice in a whole new area of the market.
eBooks2go: Being an independent author who has now published both physical and digital copies of your work, is there any preference you have between either formats?
Roberts: I am split down the middle on this topic. There is no denying technology – technology always wins. Being able to store hundreds, even thousands of books on one portable device is simply amazing. Kids today are so tech savvy. They use technology and interface with each other through apps in amazing ways. So to have a presence in the eBook world with the kids, giving them access to my stories that promote animal kindness and a variety of rescue related topics is crucial to my mission. I am so excited about the upcoming animated version of The Little Blue Dog, and the app we are working on. That will greatly expand my reach and hopefully make Louie, an adopted shelter pet, a recognizable image to the kids.
eBooks2go: And physical?
Roberts: On the flip side of the coin, I personally love physical books and I hope they are always part of our culture. I think they are especially important for kids. There is a statistic that shows when children grow up in a home with books they do better in school overall than kids without books in the home, even if they never read them. It’s amazing, really. But learning to value education from a young age, and understanding the relationship of letters, words, sounds, language, all of that is so crucial to early childhood development and I think we need physical books because of that. Not every child will have their own iPad or Kindle. It’s not realistic at this point. But every child can have a stack of books in their room to read. Every child can visit a library. There is so much value in having a parent read a bedtime story to their kids every night. I hope that tradition never goes away.
eBooks2go: You definitely sound like an author with those responses, which there is no shame in. We understand the business side of the equation, especially from an author’s perspective. That being said we will still chalk up your neutrality as a victory for the digital side…at least on our scoreboard.
Roberts: I feel very fortunate to have a presence in both formats, and I hope to continue to grow, reach more children and help more animals.
eBooks2go: What is your biggest takeaway from being an author?
Roberts: There is an amazing quote from Jane Goodall: “The greatest threat to our planet is apathy.” These words resonate with me. So if I can help empower the younger generations to lead with their heart and know that it’s okay to care, I will feel like I’m making a contribution. Being a children’s book author has given me the opportunity to influence children in a positive and meaningful way. To say I’m grateful for that is an understatement.
eBooks2go: Well we are certainly glad and privileged to have played a part in your career and wish you nothing but the best on your future projects. We appreciate you sitting down with us to discuss the origins of The Little Blue Dog and what it has developed into today. Hope we can do it again sometime Karen. Thanks so much.
Roberts: Thank you.