Tonya Kappes, who lives in the US, is an indie author. She has recently self-published the first in a new series of ebooks called 'A Charming Crime'.
You are an indie author. Why did you choose that route?
Originally I was with a small publisher, but I quickly realized that there was nothing I couldn’t do that they were doing and keeping the money for myself. After I left the publisher, I tried my hand at it and haven’t looked back. BUT I’m a big believer in doing it all. I call it the Hybrid Author. I will always self publish and will entertain any deal my agent brings me.How long did it take for your first ebook to become a success? (I’ve read it can take up to three years).
I’m a little different than the average. My first book hit Amazon’s movers and shakers list in under three months. I sold 52k books in three months which includes 5k print copies. With that said, I went without sleep and marketed until my eyes were popping out of my head! All of my novels have become best sellers within the first eight hours of release. But I contribute that to my marketing and promoting plans.
Everyone continually asks me about how I did it, so I wrote a non-fiction book, The Tricked Out Toolbox ~ Marketing and Promoting Tools Every Writer Needs that has every tip and trick I use to market every single one of my books.
Tell us what ‘The Charming Crime’ is about?
Here is the blurb:Bubble... Bubble...
June Heal has nothing to lose when she relocates her homeopathic cure shop, A Dose of Darla, from the flea market booth in her home town, to a quaint shop in the cozy but unusual little town of Whispering Falls, Kentucky. Or so it seems.
Cures and trouble...
Whispering Falls has a lot of secrets. From talking snow globes to whispering animals not to mention a few sprinkles of fairy dust, June realizes Whispering Falls is more magical than she thought. . .literally.
June discovers she was born into a family of psychics, and her homeopathic cures truly are magical. Unfortunately, they are not magical enough to save her from being the number one murder suspect when a member of the community that she had just had a disagreement with shows up face down in the lake with June’s lucky charm in the victim’s grasp.
And troubles double...
Add to that an attraction to her high school best friend, Sheriff Oscar Park and Mr. Prince Charming, her cat, is stealing charms from Belle’s Baubles, June is forced to clear her name in more ways than murder. After all, they don’t have cauldrons in jail.
It was a really fun novel to write because everything in it is made up in my own little world. I’ve never made up a place before and this was really fun!
Have you thought of being a ‘hybrid’ author? One that gets traditionally published and self-published.
I sort of answered that above, but one of my biggest pet peeves are the writers who say, “Traditional publishing is a crime! I’ll never do it! I want to be in control of my career! I don’t need a gatekeeper!” Those writers drive me BONKERS!!! And vice versa with writers saying that about self-published authors. I’m a BIG believer into do it all! Why not? I was already with a small publisher and I won’t do that again, but I do want a traditional book because it was my original dream. I know there is a lot more money in self-publishing (most of the time) and I will never stop self publishing, but my goal was never to become a millionaire. My dream was to reach readers with my stories, help them escape the day-to-day grind. I love my readers. I cater to them on my STREET TEAM by hosting weekly prizes that range from gift cards to books. We have become a great group of friends.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an indie author? And to someone who has just started out on their indie journey (like me)?
Keep writing! Keep reading! AND start marketing yourself TODAY even if you don’t have a book out there. I started marketing myself three years before I put a book out.
The obvious question. Where do you get your ideas from?
I get my ideas from EVERYWHERE. I know every writer says that, but since I write a lot of mystery, I hear a quirky story and think, “hmmm. . .that would be a funny character in my book. What would happen if their quirk was related to a murder but they aren’t the killer?”
7. Are you a plotter or a pantser? I write an outline of each chapter first, then write the ms.Planter....combo of both. I always know the beginning, middle, and end. Since I write mystery, I write backwards. You have to start with the murder and why they were murdered. I write and write until about halfway through, then I will start loosely outlining the final chapters so I don’t miss a clue or red-herring to solve the crime.
Thanks, Tonya, for your insight into being an indie author. I shall certainly go and buy your ebook, it sounds like a fun read.Thanks so much! I really enjoyed being here. Cheers!