Welcome to Day 6 of #NJ12DaysOfAuthors (May) Series! @KarensStories #RaceIntoMurder @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC
At the end of this series, 1 lucky visitor will win a (12) Kindle e-book pack which will include a copy of each book featured in this series + a $10 Amazon gift card! Simply leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing!
On the 6th day of the May “12 Days of Authors” Series… Nonnie’s gift to you…
AUTHOR, KAREN BLACK!
A former professional dog trainer and thoroughbred race horse owner, the author has a degree in Criminal Justice, and a fascination with the supernatural. She draws from experience and imagination to create stories that are usually within the realm of possibility, but never turn out quite the way you would expect. Most of them have a four-legged character and many include a touch of the paranormal. Black lives in the United States with her husband, and two alien creatures disguised as cats. Each of the furry critters is unique, but one is rumored to be ET’s second cousin. The rumor has not been confirmed.
NJ: Hi, Karen! Let’s get right down to business. Tell us, is your author name a pen name or your birth name?
Karen: My birth name.
NJ: Where can readers purchase your book and how much is it?
Karen: RACE INTO MURDER is available at Amazon.com. The paperback is $11.95 and the Kindle version is $3.99. It is free on Kindle Unlimited.
NJ: I have been in this business long enough to know that quite a few readers have a purchase price point and will only spend so much on an e-book. How do you price your books and what is your logic behind the pricing?
Karen: I try to price my books so that they are affordable to the majority. Compared to similar publications, mine are generally at the low end of the price scale.
NJ: Karen, I got on Twitter many years ago because my social media manager at the time, told me that I needed to be on Twitter. He did not give me an actual reason as to why (I had to learn my “why” on my own), just that I needed to be there. What was your main reason for getting on Twitter? For support? For fun?
Karen: Twitter is a marketing tool. There are many authors publishing a myriad of books, and networking with them, sharing information with readers and other writers made sense.
NJ: What other social media platforms do you use to market your book(s), and have you found them to be beneficial?
Karen: Because of the advertising offered by Facebook, and the ability to reach thousands of people via their campaigns, I believe Facebook is the most effective of the three. I do, however, occasionally update LinkedIn and have made some contacts through that platform. I don’t see much of a marketing benefit for Instagram. I also use Amazon’s KDP advertising.
NJ: Supporting others is a huge part of my identity. I believe that when you invest your time and support in others, you find that your circle grows by leaps and bounds of others giving the same to you. When I first got involved heavily on Twitter, I was pushing others more than I was pushing myself – I continue to do so. Do you support others on social media? If so, how?
Karen: Absolutely. My Twitter account is filled daily with other authors’ profiles, book reviews, new releases, etc. I promote my work once or twice a week, and depend on reciprocal support the rest of the time.
NJ: Do you actually take the time to read tweets from others before you retweet them, or do you just hit “retweet” without ever engaging in the tweet?
Karen: I read the tweets. Most of my tweets, however, are about books, authors, book reviews, book recommendations, writing contests, and football. I stay away from politics and religion on line.
NJ: If you could map out the perfect way that you would want others to support you on social media, how would you ask your followers to support you? Just imagine that everyone who reads this interview will run out and follow you. How could they best support you? What would you have them do?
Karen: I’d ask them to read one of my books, and post a review, not only on Amazon, and other book review sites, but also on their Facebook page. Most people connect regularly with face-to-face friends and family on Facebook. A recommendation from a friend or family member is more likely to get attention. Family members also interact more often on Instagram, and so an Instagram recommendation would also be helpful.
With so many books on the market, some outstanding books get lost. The best advertising is a recommendation, from one reader to another, and that is the most appreciated support anyone can give to an Indie author.
NJ: You’re right about that, Karen, but, Indie authors aren’t the only authors who need that kind of support. Traditionally published authors, unless they are well-known celebrities, have the same struggles that we do, although, they don’t have the same perks. They don’t have total control of their work. They don’t get to make the final decisions regarding their books, but the hard work, they have to put it in the same way we do. We all learn something new almost every day while on social media and I like sharing what I have learned with other authors, in hopes that it will benefit them in some way. Have you come across any writing resources that might benefit other authors? If so, share 2 or 3 of them with us, please.
Karen: Writers Digest and RWISA
NJ: Authors are always seeking good formatting services. Who do you use to format your books, and would you recommend them?
Karen: I use the Kindle Direct Publishing template.
NJ: Can you share with our audience 2 or 3 of the top methods you use to market your books?
Karen: Facebook advertising and Amazon KDP advertising
NJ: What is the one bit of writing advice you would give to any author, experienced or newbie?
Karen: When your book is ready to publish, edited, proofread, and perfect in every way, read it one more time.
NJ: Is writing only a hobby for you or do you write full time?
Karen: I write as full time as I’m able. It’s more than a hobby, but not my primary source of income.
NJ: Is your reputation as a writer important to you, OR might we look up one day and find that you are in a Twitter brawl with someone?
Karen: Without reservation, I can assure you that I will never be found in a Twitter brawl.
NJ: In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between the writers you see today around social media, versus the writers of old? (Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, even Stephen King)
Karen: Unfortunately, since publishing has become easily accessible, many of today’s writers are simply putting a book on sale to say they have published a book. While I have no doubt there are current authors of the same caliber as those you mention, I believe a lot of excellent writers are lost in the hundreds of thousands of writers, who are listed on Amazon.com, and are therefore never discovered.
NJ: Do you value professionalism in the literary arena and worry that the lack thereof makes it harder for those of us who wish to be taken seriously in this business? Or, does the unprofessional behavior of some around social media not bother you at all?
Karen: I have seen many cringe-worthy posts on social media over the years, and find it sad that some of them are written by people who consider themselves professional. On more than one occasion, I have purchased a book that sounded like an excellent prospect, but when I started reading it, saw that it could have been written by a grade school student, whose strong suit wasn’t the English language.
NJ: If you have ever received any, how do you handle not-so-flattering reviews of your book(s)?
Karen: I have definitely received some less than stellar reviews. As long as someone has a reason they didn’t like the book, the reviews don’t bother me, and I try to find something positive in the negative. My favorite example is a two-star review for RACE INTO MURDER. It is a total of six words, “I like racing, not the book.” I was happy that he gave me two stars instead of one. He must have liked the racing scenes. Authors truly need thick skin.
NJ: Do you appreciate honesty regarding your writing because you know that only honest feedback allows you to grow as a writer, or are you one of those who would prefer that others lie to you and tell you only what they know you want to hear?
Karen: While I love hearing what I want to hear, without question I appreciate honest feedback and prefer it.
NJ: Karen, if only everyone felt the same way that you do about honest feedback. Thank you for being so amazing!
OTHER QUICK FACTS ABOUT KAREN…
- Published first book in 2014, but wrote first story around 1960.
- Writes under Mystery and Paranormal as primary genres, but has one short story that is Literary.
- Indie published
- 6 books published to date: Long Stories Short, Race Into Murder (her favorite), A Candle In The Darkness, Mountain Justice, Treacherous Love & The Hunted
- “Seldom blogs, but when I do the topics are random.”
FOLLOW KAREN ON…
Facebook: Stories by Karen
Guests, thank you so much for dropping by to support Karen on Day 6 of the May “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” Series! It would be awesome if you would pick up a copy of her book above, and after reading, share your review to Amazon. Ensure that you leave her a comment below, and also LIKE her feature before you leave, for your chance to win the grand prize package listed above! We’d both appreciate it if you would share her feature to Twitter and Facebook, as well.
To follow along with the rest of the features in this series, visit the “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” home page! There will be a new feature tomorrow! I’d also love it if you would #follow my site, as well as following me on Twitter @NonnieJules, as my truest joy is in service to others. I’d love to support you, too!
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN MY #NJ12DaysOfAuthors Series? Click HERE to sign up!
DISCLAIMER: Any guest material appearing at WATCH NONNIE WRITE! is not edited, proofed or changed in any manner by the the owner of this blog. Material is posted as it is written and submitted. It is not my place to make changes to someone else’s writing, as what I view as needing correcting, just might be the way the author intended the material to read.