Kathy, you are very busy and talented–a BA in Management Information systems, vocally gifted, you love of football, basketball, and exercise. Where does your passion of writing fit on your scale of things to do?
I didn’t begin writing until late 2006. But it became quickly apparent to me (and my disgruntled husband) that this was something important. I completed approximately 5 manuscripts within two years. Not that I knew what I was doing at the time. However, time is your friend when you are learning. I now have nine books out and five open projects. Three of which I hope to complete in the next six months. Uh. . .I guess that does make me a teeny bit of an over-achiever. Of course, I have six months to go before I see if that comes to pass or not.
Wow! That’s quite an accomplishment. In addition to a great imagination, what do you think attributes the most to your love of writing (and reading) romance novels?
I’ve always loved reading. I spent my senior year of high school hiding out in my room reading. I never dreamed I’d be among the writers! Mostly, however, I demand a happy ending. So. . .I write my own.
What do your future long term goals include, whether related to writing or not?
Long-term goals include writing for a living. I already get to travel thanks to having a decent job and manageable bills. But to be able to earn my way through writing would be the ultimate!
I agree that being a full-time writer sounds like an appealing goal. What advice would you give to first time authors who have yet to become published?
My advice is to sit your ass in the chair and just do it. I can’t tell you how many people say “I’ve always thought of writing a book.” My response is “Then why don’t you?” Or they say, “I have a great story for you to write.” My response is “Why don’t you write it? I have plenty of my own.” Of course, I hope I sound nicer in person when I say it. You know. Laughing as I say it.
Now, for writers who feel ready to be published, what has been your most successful marketing/promotion tool(s)?
I just wrote a post on this very thing over at http://thewritersvineyard.com/2014/01/marketing-should-be-its-own-curse-word.html —appropriately titled, I might add. In essence, Bookbub was by far the most successful. Though my ad came out in late October, I am still seeing the benefits. It was quite shocking, breathtaking and overall unbelievable. This is what happened:
I have a Cinderella Series. The basic premise is that Cinderella’s glass slipper fits one of her evil stepsisters’ foot. This is book i, The Wronged Princess.
This book had been available on both Amazon and Smashwords for years. I did a “permanently free” through Smashwords in which Amazon price-matched. It did okay. The downloads were fairly steady over time.
I should add that there are two other books in the series. They were not on sale. The Unlikely Heroine – book ii and The Surprising Enchantress – book iii.
One Friday in late October I somehow got accepted at bookbub.com. (I will tell you—they are expensive.) Every morning I checked my downloads on Amazon. On that particular Friday (9:30a), there were approximately 1800. Not too bad. Sales on the other two books equaled around 30. Bad. However, right before lunch, the bookbub email hit. And for some reason, I happened to look the downloads again. 3574!
My stomach hit the floor. I thought something was wrong. I came back from lunch (1:20p) and the downloads had risen to 7500. Now I’m nauseous. I have a group of friends we call the Martini Club. We meet every Friday night, schedules permitting.
I got there at 4:30 and checked the downloads again from my Kindle Fire—15,000. Now I know I have actually died and gone to book download heaven. By the time I went to bed that night, because I can’t keep from checking, it’s up to 21,000 downloads. All through the next day, I can barely speak from the shock, it reach over 27,000! And for me, that’s saying something.
In any event, by the 31st (Halloween) there were over 35,000 downloads of The Wronged Princess – book i. The side effect was the sales of the other two books in the series. Sales jumped from around 30 to 270. That was October. In November, the first book was still free for a week or so. I eventually raised the price but the sales reached over 700 that month.
The kicker here is that BookBub decides if they will accept your book or not. I’ve submitted three others since then that have been rejected. So I’m unsure of the criteria involved. I would say BookBub has been by far the best of my marketing efforts.
Thank you, Kathy, for the excellent interview and great sales tip! Here are a few of Kathy’s wonderful books available for sale:
Genna Lyndsey is not a people person, but a wild haired waif with sturdy nerdy glasses who lives through books. Obscure quotes spew forth when people get too close like Rick Johnson, Fraud Insurance Claims Investigator, assigned to look into an unusual number of claims filed by Genna. He suspects her of sabotaging her property for the money, but his investigation uncovers an adorable introvert determined to keep everyone at bay, while someone else resolves to put her out of business—no matter how great the risk.
How can a girl who’s been rejected by Once Upon A Time ever believe that happily-ever-after even exists? Abandonment issues surface when she finds herself falling in love, totally pissing her off.
Ashton Turner III was nobody’s Knight In Shining Armor. He’d jumped off that horse a long time ago. And when Lorianne’s grandmother delivers Ash life-altering news, his past explodes into the present.
Would a modern day woman marry for convenience to protect the identity of her child? Hell yes! Kelly Mancer doesn’t want a man. Any man. But danger has a way of changing a woman’s mind.
Alex Gentry needs Kelly, but convincing her to help in his pursuit of a dangerous enemy who’s enamored his younger sister would not be easy. The tables turn and Kelly becomes the prey. Alex may save his sister, but at what cost?
About Kathy L Wheeler:
Kathy has a BA degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in Management Information Systems that includes over forty credit hours of vocal music. As a computer programmer the past fifteen years, she utilizes karaoke for her vocal music talents. Other passions include travel, fantasy football, NBA and musical theatre. She is a long time member of several RWA Chapters, including OKRWA, DARA, and The Beau Monde. As an avid reader of romance and patron of the theatre, her main sources of inspiration come mostly from an over-active imagination. She currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma with her musically talented attorney husband, Al, and their bossy cat, Carly.