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 the final installment 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: Thanks for participating in this long series. Let’s get down to it, let’s look at one of the bigger complaints of so many writers: So many loathe marketing and promotion. What’s your relationship to it?
Krista: I find it fascinating. I still have a lot to learn, but the possibilities are endless once you start getting ideas.
Laura: Great attitude! I suspect that’s precisely the attitude that helps create success. Would you say it’s easier to market when you love your story and/or characters?
Krista: That’s a tough call. When I’m excited about a story, I’m more passionate and enthusiastic about it in public, but the downside is that I jump into the dialogue in the middle of things, which doesn’t always give my audience time to catch up.
Laura: Ah, yeah, that makes sense. I’ve done the same thing myself. So, what are your marketing and promotion strategies?
Krista: I book ads, create teasers. Lately I’ve been playing with book trailers. I host FB parties and create book-related swag to send out as prizes.
Laura: I have to tell you, I’ve been really impressed with your efforts. Do you also use Amazon free or countdown promotions? If so, do you have a strategy for doing so? Have you experimented with timing?
Krista: I’ve used the Amazon Free promotions, but not the countdown. I stacked a bunch of ads for the free promotion, but it didn’t have the success I hoped for. I haven’t looked at timing yet, as the research I’ve read hasn’t been clear that there’s much of a difference, but it’s something to look at.
Laura: Have you discovered solid tools for making a best-seller category list?
Krista: I’m still searching for the perfect combination.
Laura: It does seem, at least in my experience, that what works one time, doesn’t necessarily work the next – but I think that may have to do with how the algorithm keeps changes. On another note, what are your favorite marketing tools? (social media, PR service or support, bookbub, etc)
Krista: BookBub is great, but now that they’ve opened their doors to Trad Pubs, it’s harder to get a featured deal for indie titles. When I do manage to get one, though, it’s by far the greatest bump to my visibility.
Social media is wonderful for connecting with readers, but for marketing, it’s not effective. Either people don’t see it, or you’re constantly plugging your works to people already in your circle.
Laura: Yes, that has changed this. Any insights into the world of Amazon algorithms or best-seller lists that you’re willing to share?
Krista: As soon as I’ve figured out the secret, I’ll be sure to share it!
Laura: Do you attend cons or other live events? If so, any recommendations as to events or strategies for promoting yourself while there? Also, I know you mentioned holding your own live events in an earlier segment, and I’m sure our readers would love to hear more about that, too.
Krista: I’ve hosted my own live events and have attended one small con. I’ve always had good success at these events. My strategy is simple: Make the table look pretty, and always appear engaged. The one con I attended, I looked around at the other tables and saw most of the vendors on their phones or wrapped up in their thoughts. They didn’t draw a lot of people do their tables. I try not to sit down, I don’t do a hard sell, but I make eye contact with people as they pass and always have free take-away swag people can take with them with ways to contact me or follow up with my books.
Laura: Wow, simple, but true – if you’re there to connect, and you’re in your own world, well, that kind of precludes connecting. Important observation, thank you for sharing. Do you employ giveaways, and if so, how would you describe the anatomy of a successful giveaway?
Krista: I occasionally try for a giveaway, but not often. There’s a danger of giving too many free things away – as I’ve learned the hard way. It’s a strategy I would look at again in future, though, to best learn how to go about it.
Laura: Excellent point. Any advice to authors struggling with marketing and promotion?
Krista: See what’s trending and figure out if there’s a way you can twist it to your own voice and audience. If something isn’t working, you’ll know pretty quickly, so change it up. And I would say focus on building your readers and forming connections over making quick sales. Loyal readers last longer.
Laura: Loyal readers last longer. That’s a terrific note to end this on – again, thank you so much for your time and wisdom!
This is the conclusion of the 5-part interview with Author Krista Walsh on Showing Up For Your Art. A big thank you to Krista for her patience with my many questions, and her willingness to share with other rising writers, the wisdom she’s learned along the way. If you missed earlier installments, you can find them as follows: week 1 is here, week 2 here, week 3 here, and week 4 here.
In the meantime, find Krista – and definitely check out here wonderful work: