I recently had a chance to catch up with Krista Wash, author of the wonderful Meratis and Cardis Trilogies, The Invisible Entente Series, and the Witch Hunt Series. I asked this popular indie author a lot of questions, from how she shows up for her art, to how she prepares for launch, and even how she markets her books. This is part 3 of a 5-part series exploring how this talented author shows up for her art. I hope you enjoy it!
If you haven’t read Krista’s work yet, well, get to it – you won’t regret it. Now, let’s dive in!
Krista Walsh Bio:
Known for witty, vivid characters, Krista Walsh never has more fun than getting them into trouble and taking her time getting them out. When not writing, she can be found walking, reading, gaming, or watching a film – anything to get lost in a good story. She currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario.
Laura: What do you do to prepare for your book launch?
Krista: After I finish the necessary hair yanking, nervous eating, and unrelenting insomnia, I get down to business. First, I make sure the link is available on Amazon a few days prior to release to give time for ARC readers to leave their reviews. I put together teasers and do some blog posts that I do my best to make fun and engaging.
There are a few ad services that don’t require any or a lot of reviews for a new release, so I try to book them as close to the release date as possible to kick things off.
Laura: Where are you published?
Krista: My Meratis and Cadis trilogies are both wide across distributors (B&N, Kobo, Amazon, etc), while for now, The Invisible Entente is exclusive to Amazon.
I also have print version for all books through Createspace.
Laura: How do you determine your pricing?
Krista: On Createspace, I let myself be guided by the minimum amount I’m allowed to sell by, and then try to keep it consistent across a series.
For the ebooks, I look at other successful indie books in my genre, and also go by page count. So far, I’ve never priced a book above $4.99USD
Laura: How did you promote your first book, and how have you tweaked or changed that with more recent ones?
Krista: I didn’t do much with the first one. I didn’t know enough about it at the time. Now I try to get as many eyes on it as early as I possibly can and ask my street team to help spread the word. I also promote my backlist with each new release to raise visibility.
Laura: Do you hold a book-release party? Online? Live? Both?
Krista: I host FB parties for each release. I find they’re a great way to connect with readers, to offer something back, to meet new people and maybe make a few sales.
I also love in-person events, but with my release schedule as tight as it is, I don’t have one for each book. Instead, twice a year or so I’ll throw something together and try to make it as fun as my online events. A friend of mine is an incredible baker and she makes cakes. At the last one, I had colouring book pages another friend of mine made out of my book covers and had a few locally made creations to give away in a draw.
Laura: Wow! Those are some fun ideas! What do you feel creates a successful book-release?
Krista: Personally, if I gain a few new loyal readers with each release, I’m really happy, and for that, I find reader engagement plays a big role.
Laura: You mentioned making sure the link is working prior to release, so ARC readers can leave reviews. Tell me how you go about distributing ARCs, and getting reviews prior to release?
Krista: I created a review list out of my newsletter subscribers, and exclusive offer for my loyal readers. I send out a separate newsletter with Dropbox links to the ARC files, and then send a follow-up email when the link is live.
Laura: Do you also blog, guest blog, promote through websites, social media, etc, prior to launch?
Krista: I do blog, but more because I’m excited than that I find it works for marketing. The same is kind of true with social media. I don’t find many of my sales come out of what I tell people. But it does help to stir up interest, so I find it worthwhile.
Laura: That makes a lot of sense. What about promotional materials? What bling works best?
Krista: I go simple but fun. Some of my favourite swag items are my bookmarks and notebooks with the book covers on them. I also do postcards. With my latest series, I’m trying something new with the cards where I have character stats on the back. Extra details that aren’t mentioned in the books. Any reader who has all seven postcards at the end of the series can post a photo of them to social media and win a prize.
Laura: Oh, love that idea – how fun! What about book trailers, yes or no? If yes, what makes for a good one?
I’ve been experimenting with book trailers for my latest series with some success.
We have fun going through music to see what will fit best and choose the setting. Personally, I like short trailers that focus on the tone of the story with a general idea of what it’s about. If I get chills while watching a book trailer, I’m likely to grab the book.
Laura: Very cool, these are awesome! As we wind up this portion of the interview, any words of wisdom for someone looking to create a successful launch?
Krista: Get creative and try new things. Something no one has ever done before might be the edge that launches you into the Hot New Release category.
This is the end of part 3 of the 5-part interview with Author Krista Walsh on Showing Up For Your Art. Stay tuned for part four, where Krista answers questions about “Finding Readers, Getting Reviews.” If you missed week 1, you can read it here, and you can catch week 2 here.
In the meantime, find Krista – and definitely check out here wonderful work: