Please help me welcome K.A. Linde to Six Question Saturday! She is the author of the Breakout novels Avoiding Commitment and Avoiding Responsibility.
Her approach to writing and publishing are different from many of the authors that I follow. But, whatever she's doing, she's doing something right. She has a legion of fans who love/hate her characters passionately.
Published is such a loose term for Fictionpress. For those who don’t even know what Fictionpress is, let me tell you about it. It is a huge website where you can post chapter by chapter of stories that you are working on. You build a fan base through reviews of each chapter, by favoriting authors and stories, and through SKOW awards (Some Kind of Wonderful Romance Awards). I started on Fictionpress when I was a sophomore in high school. I fell in love with Sarah J. Maas, who just recently published her novel, Throne of Glass with Bloomsbury, and I started writing my own high school novels.
Flash forward about five years later and I started writing and posting Avoiding Commitment. I had no followers. I had no fans. I basically started from scratch, and built a fan base on the website. I LOVE Fictionpress. It is really encouraging for first time writers to be able to build a network of reviews for their work anonymously. It helped shape and build my stories when they were in their infancy. Plus, it’s where I met S.C. Stephens!
2. Did you put Avoiding Commitment up on multiple platforms? (ie Smashwords, Nook, iBooks)
Yes! I strongly believe it opening your book up to multiple venues. Amazon may have the strongest following thanks to the Kindle, but it by all means does not make up the entire market. I published for Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords, which feeds directly into iBooks and Sony. I also created paperbacks through Createspace.
3. Did you hire a professional editor before publishing your books?
I actually didn’t hire a professional editor for Avoiding Commitment and Avoiding Responsibility. I had a team of editors do a full edit of the book, then I did a content edit, and then they all went back and proofed the book after I completed it. I have since looked into hiring a professional editor from then on. Editing is a lot of work, and I have a lot of experience in it from my professional background, but I think it doesn’t hurt to hire someone to take out some of the grueling work from me.
4. You have developed a really large fan-base, what are some of the things that have worked best for you when connecting with readers?
I think the most important thing for me was actually talking to my readers. Not just responding to their facebook posts on my author page, but actually digging into the discussion groups with readers, being responsive to their emails, and answering their direct questions about the book. I always make sure to include multiple ways to approach me in the back of my book. Social media is an incredible thing. I’m able to talk to readers through email, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, my blog…it really broadens the number of people I can contact about the books!
5. What is the best tool for authors to get the word out about their books?
There is no one tool that works best to get the word out. Use every method to get the word out, but don’t shove it down people’s throats. Try joining some writing groups and making friends with the people in there. Become a critique partner or beta read for someone else. Post it on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, a blog, create teasers for the book. There are so many avenues.
Also, book bloggers! Never underestimate the book bloggers! They are the most amazing enthusiastic fans out there. They love reading so much that they have dedicated their lives to making sure other people read the amazing works they have discovered. People trust the bloggers opinions—I trust bloggers opinions. I have one or two where I will read whatever they recommend to me, because I just know that they will pick something I’m interested in. That is the power of book bloggers!
6. How did you come up with the cover designs for your books?
Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations. Sarah designed my author cover photo at the beginning of July. When I was looking for a cover designer, I had another person in mind, but she happened to be out of town that week. I came to Sarah and asked if she had ever designed a book cover. She said she’d give it a shot. We scoured the internet for stock photos that matched what I envisioned Lexi & Jack to look like. After about 2 weeks of me being really annoying and Sarah destroying her eyes, Chrystle at The Indie Bookshelf magically appeared with the perfect photo. I told Sarah kind of what I wanted something along the lines of, “make it pretty,” and Sarah worked her magic. We wrestled with it for a week or so until it turned into Avoiding Commitment. When Avoiding Responsibility came around, the hardest part was finding a matching photo and picking out the color to go with AC. I had already decided I wanted them to match.
What other authors do you know that are doing things differently, but having fantastic results?