JESSICA THERRIEN

From Imagination To Publication

Thursday, March 3, 2016

MY PUBLISHING JOURNEY: Author KT Hanna


Have you ever wondered how authors get their start?
How do they get agents?
How do they get published?
Is it luck? Talent? Drive?


This segment is an attempt to satisfy my immense curiosity...to answer the one question I'm dying to ask every author out there: 

How did your book become a book?

Enjoy.


K.T. Hanna

Author of 
THE DOMINO PROJECT



AGENTS


Do you have an agent?

I’ve actually had two agents, but am currently without one.

How many queries did you send?

For my first agent I believe it was ten, and my second agent was basically through referral from the first who left the business and secured eight full requests before she left for me.

If you don’t have an agent, is it by choice?

Currently, it’s mostly by choice. I wanted to put this trilogy out there, and so chose to do this myself. It would have been my course of action if I had gained a new agent or not.

If represented, how long did it take to get your agent?


The first one took about thirty days between my first query and my offer. The second time the offer came within eight days.


PUBLISHING


What made you decide to self pub?
I was told by a few editors that there was no market for Chameleon. It didn’t come down to story or writing but to publisher’s marketability. I love this trilogy, the world and its characters. So, I bit the bullet and here we are haha!

Did you do everything yourself (such as cover design, formatting, etc.) or did you hire out?

Oh no way! I hired an amazing cover artist – S.P. McConnell, my longstanding critique partner Jami Nord did my content edits for me, I hired Becca Weston to do my copy edits, and Caitlin Greer formatted my books beautifully.

Which platform (such as Createspace) do you self-publish through?

Originally I used all of the platforms, but after a little while and some feedback from fellow self-published authors, I switched to Kindle Unlimited. I get far more revenue through reads than I was getting through the other channels. But I think that depends on your genre and reach too. It’s probably something I’d recommend testing out for yourself as your mileage may vary.

Have you researched or considered getting a hardcover printed of your book? What about audio?

I’ve looked at both. I had arranged for an audio book at one stage, but that fell through. I may do Amazon’s audio platform at some stage (ACX), but I’m just not there yet.

What do you like about self-publishing?
The control. I do get it content edited, and copy edited. I also have several beta readers. Eventually it gets to the point where I’m happy with the book. But every decision has been mine. No one gives me a MUST change anything. The cover is completely up to me, the formatting – everything. It’s an amazing sensation. 

What do you dislike about self-publishing?
That it’s hard to get publicity unless you pay through the nose. Or know someone in the industry who can either blurb or recommend you to their own audience. It’s a hard slog and while the quality is important, you have to realize that in self-publishing it ends up being quantity that will get your books and name out there more.

Looking back would you do anything differently?

I think I would have considered my original agent choices a lot differently. However, once I decided to do self publishing, the only thing I think I should have done differently is get my Kirkus Review immediately.

I would have made different choices on my agenting path. But over all I met some amazing people and I wouldn’t really want to change that. Otherwise, I would probably order less SWAG. That stuff is addictive haha.

I adore my covers, but next time I won’t go for a full wrap. Don’t get me wrong, I feel these books needed the full wrap cover because of the world the books are set in. But next time I might scale it back to just the front and spine.

MARKETING


What marketing tactics worked for you?

That’s a tough one. I believe as far as marketing works, blog tours aren’t very effective. So I’m probably better at telling you what didn’t work for me. Blog tours are very time intensive for little return. A blitz it far easier. A couple of options for posts, throw in some links and voila.

What has been good is setting up sales of my books. Lowering the price on the first book to promote the release of the next one. I’m about to do that with my third book – so I’m kind of nervous to see how well it goes this time.

Otherwise, just reach out to your local retailers – talk to local libraries, schools etc. Do all the legwork you can to get your name out there. If someone offers you an interview – never say no. If someone offers you a feature, never say no. Any person you can reach who you wouldn’t have been able to on your own, is one more person that might buy your book, or even pass on your name to another friend.

Word of mouth is your aim. But it requires a lot of effort.


ADVICE


What lessons have you learned? Any advice for those about to go down your path?

I’ve learned to always allow yourself an extra week or two in your timetable. Things will pop up that need you to deal with them, or that will take more time, and it’s best to have some padding there so you’re not stressing yourself to sickness.

Can you provide any names and/or contacts?
Agent:
Publisher:
Formatter: Caitlin Greer
Cover Designer: S.P. McConnell
Audiobook:
Hardcover printer:
Promotion/marketing: Suzanne Samin
Blog Tour Organizer, etc.: YABound Book Tours

Other: Content Editor: Jami Nord



Thank you so much for having me! This was a lot of fun!


GOODREADS
After Sai's newly awoken psionic power accidentally destroys her apartment complex, she’s thrown into an intensive training program. The only grades are pass or die. 

Surviving means proving her continued existence isn't a mistake--a task her new mentor, Bastian, takes personally. Her abilities place her in the GNW Enforcer division, which partners her with Domino 12, who is eerily human for an alien-parasite and psionic hybrid. When her assassination duties are revealed, Sai understands the real reason for her training.

On a mission to dispatch a dangerous Exiled scientist, she uncovers truths she never thought possible. Sai is unsure who to trust as her next mission might be her last, and a double agent seems to be manipulating both sides.

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