YA fantasy author K.L. Kranes started writing as soon as she could hold a crayon, and has just released her first book The Travelers. A dedicated blogger, she loves connecting with YA writers and readers worldwide.
Could you share your background as an author?
I started writing when I picked up a crayon and never stopped. My mother still has a story I wrote when I was 5 years old about a bunny that’s on different colored construction paper. Since I grew up in a time before computers were commonplace (yes I’m dating myself) I’d fill notebook after notebook with my writing. When we got a computer, I taught myself to type immediately, hoping it would help me get thoughts out faster. Writing by hand slowed me down, although sometimes I still break out a pen and paper. There is something elegant and thoughtful about the handwritten word.
The Travelers is my first novel and I started writing it about 10 years ago. The initial writing process went quickly. After that, I’d pick it up, edit it, and put it away, afraid to show it to anyone. Finally, I decided a few years ago to try to get it published. I got lucky and found a publisher who saw some promise in the story. The book was just released in early October. It’s a young adult fantasy novel about two witches on the opposite sides of a Wiccan war. I prefer the YA fantasy genre because it has a sort of freedom of thought and ideas that are more realistic where non-fiction may not. It also helps encourage and develop young minds.
What do you use your mailing list for?
I actually don’t use a mailing list. Blogging and followers are the closest I have to an actual mailing list. Since this is my first novel, I’m trying to grow my brand, put my ideas and thoughts out in the world and hope they resonate with others.
For blogging, I try to write about concepts that speak to YA readers or other writers and bloggers. People who love to write, usually love to read and read about reading. Mailing lists, blogging, followers all come from that same idea – a way to connect with readers or potential readers.
Do you have any advice for aspiring or new authors?
As a new author, I found marketing to be a daunting task. I’ve come to realize people don’t just follow books, they follow brands and ideas. Looking at myself as a commodity took some adjustment and building a brand also takes time and dedication. You have to put in the work. I blog daily and in a little over a month since my book launched, I have accrued nearly 60 followers.
Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming, now verbs to me, became part of my daily outreach routine. Two months ago I didn’t even have a twitter account. Now, I’m connected to writers and readers around the world, building my brand and awareness of my book day by day. There is certainly more to marketing than social media. It’s only one facet of a much larger endeavor. However, as our world gravitates more and more to this type of communication as a centerpiece of our daily lives, I see it as a critical tool in the marketing arsenal for any author. Plus, not all new authors have the resources necessary for large marketing campaigns.
Social media is free. My advice would be to use it wisely. Use it to connect with other authors and readers. The writing community is supportive and wants everyone to succeed. Follow them, reach out to them. You’d be surprised how willing other authors and readers are to support you and help you increase awareness of your book and your brand.
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