Hi all, I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by Cheryl Bradshaw for unearththeclues and thought I would share it with you here….
Guest Post by Heather Killough-Walden
Heather Killough-Walden is the author of several novels which you can find HERE on Amazon.com. She is also the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the Big Bad Wolf series and The October Trilogy.
Her novels are fantastic and offer readers that rare opportunity to step out of their lives for a moment and to be swept away into a world of fanstasy and suspense. All of her books are well written and appeal to a multiple of audiences.
To give you an idea of her current success, check out these numbers on Amazon from just a few of her novels (current as of this moment):
#98 paid in Kindle store
#4 in Romance Vampires
#4 and #5 in Romantic Suspense
#114 in Kindle Store
#6 in Romance>Vampires
SAM I AM
#180 in Kindle store
#7 Children’s Fiction>Love and Romance
#14 Children’s eBooks
#165 in Kindle Store
#9 Fiction>Action Adventure
THE CHOSEN SOUL
#559 in Kindle Store
#10 in Fantasy>Epic
#11 Science Fiction>Adventure
And that isn’t even the best part. All of Heather’s novels are only $1.00 on the Kindle right now.
I had the chance to interview Heather and I asked her to share some of the secrets of her success with other writers.
1. How long did it take you to achieve the success you are having with your books right now?
It took quite a while. I did the query letter routine for ten years without success and publishing houses almost never accept unsolicited manuscripts any longer. I have more than 300 rejection letters in my closet. Finally, Amazon Kindle came around, providing for people like me a venue and platform through which to share their work with the world. I hastily posted a vampire romance I wrote called The Third Kiss: Dorian’s Dream. It shot to #1 in vampire romance on Amazon and prompted a call from an incredibly prominent (and very good) agent. That agent, the CEO and chairman of Trident Media Group, managed to secure a number of publishing deals for me in record time. I have the best agent in the world!
The entire process, from the time I finished my first novel to the time that I signed my first deal took approximately ten years. I felt like giving up a hundred times. Maybe more. But Churchill’s famous speech kept ringing in my head and I hung in there. I’m very, very glad that I did.
2. What was the best thing you did marketing wise that you believe helped you get where are you today?
Again, that would have to be simply posting my work on Amazon. Amazon also possesses a number of blog sites and lists that you can join as an indie author in order to promote your work. I have to admit that I’m relatively shy, so I only posted on one or two of these. However, I priced all of my books at $1.00 and that, combined with the incredibly popular paranormal genre and (I’d like to think, lol) my writing skills, ensured that the books sold anyway, thrusting me into the top ranks on Amazon. I recently made it to the USA Today Bestsellers List, in fact. It’s an incredibly momentous occasion for me.
3. What do you do to market yourself? What works, what doesn’t?
At the moment, Trident Media and my print publishers are in charge of a lot of the marketing for my upcoming print publications (The Lost Angels series, due out in the UK in July and here in the US in November). However, for my electronic works, I have created a number of mild marketing techniques.
Once I had enough readers, I developed a newsletter through which readers learn of upcoming releases, contests, awards, etc. A good friend of mine handles the list for me. I also have a Facebook page and I love to friend readers and carry on conversations with them; they’re all very unique and precious individuals and I am more grateful for their loyalty than I can say. I have a website as well, and through that website, I keep readers informed of what is going on in my literary career, I have a blog, and I thoroughly enjoy feedback. Now that my books have sold a good number of copies, Amazon also does a bit of marketing on my behalf by suggesting my books to readers for me. That’s a big, huge help.
4. What tips/advice do you have for other writers?
I have very often felt like giving up on pursuing my writing career. The rejections really hurt, and when you get enough of them, no matter how good you are, a part of you begins to believe them.
Plus, if you’re not selling books, then you’re not making any money, and in so many people’s terms, that means you’re not “successful.” Like it or not, you’re judged on your financial worth. Add to that the fact that being poor can be literally painful at times, and you have one disheartening situation.
So, to those writers out there struggling day after day, rejection after rejection, Ramen meal after Ramen meal, I take a page from Winston Churchill and say this:
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty. Never give in….”