So, this week has been pretty amazing! 😀
I had the blessing of interviewing Kristen Martin, the author of The Alpha Drive trilogy. This woman is so awesome! In the last few years, she’s written and published The Alpha Drive, The Order of Omega. Her newest novel, Restitution, is set to release in April.
In addition to all this, she maintains a YouTube channel dedicated to helping aspiring authors learn the tricks of the trade. There, she uploads tips for writing, editing, self-publishing and everything in between.
Her videos have been a huge help to me during my novel-writing journey; so naturally, I was super excited about corresponding with her. She was kind enough not only to let me interview her for my college assignment but also agreed to me publishing her interview here on my blog.
So, without further ado, the wonderful Kristen Martin, everyone:
What are the first few steps of your planning process (book planning, publishing planning or both)?
Both. I tend to plan for my books by creating an outline indicating what will happen in each chapter. Along with that, I will also make a publishing plan, which includes deciding on the launch date, gathering promotional materials, creating press releases, scheduling marketing and PR ad campaigns, finding book bloggers/reviewers, etc.
How did you choose an editor?
Reputation is huge for me when it comes to editors. I like to ask other writers and critique partners of mine to recommend reputable editors they’ve used in the past. I will then narrow my list and reach out to the editors with my writing project and ask a few questions to get to know them better. In the end, it comes down to reputation, how well we get along, and cost.
How do/did you finance your project(s)?
Outside of being an author, I have a full-time job, my career, so my income is what I use to pay the bills, as well as finance my writing projects. I feel very fortunate to be in the position I am where I can fund my passion while still making a comfortable living. Of course, it’s the dream to become a career author and have the books pay for themselves! Hopefully, this will happen one day soon.
What are your tangible and intangible rewards (i.e. tangible – profit, intangible – satisfaction, and joy)?
While it’s always nice to see your books sell, I’m more about the intangible rewards. I love to write and always have. Being able to share my stories with others is hands-down the most rewarding part of being an author. Receiving glowing reviews and emails from readers saying that my book inspired them to write or that I am their role model truly warms my heart. The feeling I get is indescribable. Becoming an author is something I dreamed about as a child, and to know I’ve made it a reality is still mind-boggling to this day!
How do you use social media?
The social media platforms I most frequently use are YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. I post all of my writing advice videos and vlogs on YouTube, pictures and inspirational quotes on Instagram and Snapchat, and ramblings on Twitter. I aim to post at least 3 times a day on each platform to ensure I’m reaching my entire audience.
What was your best marketing technique?
Starting my YouTube channel has been the best technique for marketing my books and myself as an author. I garner thousands of subscribers each month, which subsequently leads to more book sales and more people subscribing to my monthly newsletter. It has allowed me to build my platform in ways I never thought possible. I have also run ad campaigns on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve had more success with Facebook ads, especially around the holidays, but YouTube is my #1 marketing technique.
Did you write a business plan? If not, do you wish that you did?
Since I majored in Business in college, I most certainly did write a business plan. And I still use it to this day!
How do you think your voice is different from other writers in your genre?
This is a difficult question to answer, but I’d like to believe I have a knack for building suspense and tying things together in unexpected ways. I also try to put my characters in immensely difficult situations and always ask myself, “How could I make this even worse for Character X?” It sounds cruel, but it makes for a really good story (or so I’m told)!
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
To be honest, I am very happy with my writing and publishing journey. There is very little I would change and that’s because I truly believe I’m meant to be where I am today. All of the mistakes and errors I’ve made were learning opportunities and things that needed to happen in order for me to grow, not only personally, but also in my brand and my writing. The only thing I would do differently is start my YouTube channel earlier. Now that I know the type of response it’s received, I feel silly for being so nervous about starting one in the first place!
What is/was your favorite part about writing your first novel or current novel?
The actual “writing” part. I’m not a huge fan of outlining or editing – but physically writing the story gives me such a rush! I get so lost in the world I’ve created that I’ll be in my office for hours at a time without even realizing how much time has gone by. As an author, writing the story is the best part!
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Don’t wait to start. Start now. There is never going to be a perfect time for anything. If you wait for the right time, you’ll be waiting for forever. I would also say that doubting your writing is completely normal and that the best thing you can do is take a step away from it for a few hours, take a walk, then come back to it. Sometimes all it takes is fresh air and a little time away to breathe new life into your manuscript. Keep going! Make time for it every day. The hardships and struggles are worth the reward.
If you’d like to learn more about Kristen Martin and her series The Alpha Drive, you can find more information on her website, http://www.kristenmartinbooks.com/.
Both The Alpha Drive and The Order of Omega are available on Amazon now, and Restitution is set to release in April. All of her social media pages are linked below.
Thank you, Kristen, for interviewing with me! I can’t wait for Restitution to release!
Kristen’s Social Media:
**This is NOT a sponsored post. Ms. Martin was kind enough to interview with me, and I wanted to return the favor 🙂 **