Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Guest-Blogger Mary Lynn Patton on "iWorld Is Upon Us"

The latest in interactive ebooks
Methinks children's book author and fellow Mexico aficionada Mary Lynn Patton's ears must have been burning because-- I didn't tell her-- I mentioned her book, Sounds of Mexican Beaches / Sonidos de las playas de México in my talk about travel writing and interactive books for the "Publish Now!" digital publishing seminar at the Writer's Center in Bethesda MD (just outside Washington DC) last Saturday. In fact, I had printed out a copy of her book's page on the iTunes bookstore to show people-- I'm guessing there were about 75 -80 in the audience. (I'm very down on audio visual presentations, by the way; I much prefer the old fashioned speaker at a lectern plus handouts-- but I digress. More on that anon.) Certainly, this question of digital publishing and interactive ebooks is a fascinating, timely, and pressing topic. By the way, yes, when you download Mary Lynn Pattons' books, you will see, they are bilingual, interactive, and include audio. For little kids, this is a total yay!

Lo, upon returning home and opening my inbox, I find Mary Lynn Patton's chock-full-of-links report on her experiences at recent literary conferences. She offered to share it, so herewith:

I’ve just returned from the Vancouver Writer’s Fest held on Granville Island and I’m so thankful to the Mexico Canadian Cultural Festival held every February in Tepoztlan for waking me up to this great event. This year’s agenda included an event titled “The iWorld is Upon Us” that I knew was on the program for me. I’ve written three bilingual iBooks for young children set in Mexico so insights into the world of self-publishing and marketing is my major interest at the moment. 
And here is what I learned in a nut shell: blogging and social media are how we get readers in the iWorld. The moderators discussed iBooks versus eBooks which was interesting and brought clarity on the pluses and minuses of each. However, the second part of the presentation was made by three successful authors of young adult (YA) fiction with reader numbers in the millions who built their community of readers on Wattpad, a Canadian company online that allows YA readers to access books for free. 
Then how do the sales occur? The books are put up in chapters and the reader can get the whole book now from Amazon if it is too good to wait. Plus readers write in to recommend books which passes the great books on to new readers. The key is to build a community of readers in the genre of your writing. For me that might mean a Mom’s blog on Baby’sFirstBooks! The Cybil’s Awards is another great discovery since it is for children and young adult fiction from blogger’s of these genres. 
All of this resulted in my coming road trip to Austin, Texas for the Kid’s Lit Conference, a conference for bloggers on young adult and children’s literature. If this is your writing genre, check out their conference agenda with keynote speaker Cynthia Leitich Smith and her blog Cynsations I will be in touch with new learning from Austin. 

-- Mary Lynn Patton
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>>Check out Mary Lynn Patton's previous guest-blog for Madam Mayo here, and the archive of all Madam Mayo guest-blogs here.