Kylie Chan – On Writing, Publishing and Marketing

Author Kylie Chan is steadfast that no amount of publicity will fix a bad storyline, or a poorly written good one.

Author Kylie Chan and the front cover of Dark Serpent.

From Taoist immortals to distant galaxies, Kylie Chan writes Fantasy based on Chinese mythology. She’s had 10 novels published by Harper-Collins, and 3 novellas self-published. In a hybrid mix, her manga/text combined novel ‘Small Shen’ (manga by Queenie Chan) was published in Australia by Harper-Collins and self-published in the US and UK with Ingram Spark. That’s a range of experience all wrapped up in one author.

Q&A with Author Kylie Chan:

Who are your readers and why do they connect with your books?
I have readers from thirteen to ninety. One of the best things that happened was at a signing, and the bookstore manager, her mother, and her grandmother all came to get the books signed. Her grandmother was in her nineties and was a huge fan of the ‘White Tiger’.

In terms of process, are you a plotter or do you wing it?
I do both: I have a big story arc idea in my head, and then release my characters into the world and gently steer them in the direction I want them to go.

Sometimes they refuse.

What are the hardest lessons you’ve learned?
That the income isn’t nearly as much as I thought it would be. I would be making far more as an IT consultant.

But writing gives me freedom and happiness that I wouldn’t give up for anything.

Do you enjoy promoting?
I love it! I love getting out and meeting the fans, and talking to everybody.

Catching up with my peers at events is the best thing ever.

Going to conventions is super fun, I adore the cosplay and because I have a nerdy background I can relate to my fellow nerds!

What marketing channels are worthwhile for authors, and what’s over-rated?
‘Building your author platform’ is seriously over-rated. It’s more important to produce quality stories.

Having a terrific marketing effort and online presence will only work ONCE if your books aren’t fun to read or poorly edited; your readers will go to your work, see that it’s of poor quality, and never return.

They’ll tell their friends, too.

The biggest reason people buy books is because someone they trust has told them the book is good.

No amount of the author telling them to buy their stuff will work (more than once).

Go to the Hawkeye Bookstore to browse Indies that that have quality vetted by our team.

Carolyn Martinez

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