My second novel, Catchpenny, was released in serial format. After studying market trends and considering my young adult audience, I designed Part One: Wicked Lover to win fans and get them hooked. It worked, and audience interaction was the best part. I also produced my first book trailer, teaming up again with the band Her Last Boyfriend for the music.
My leading male had stolen more than a few hearts. I was even asked for pictures, and was demanded to continue the story. My favorite response was a fan’s interpretation of a scene after the school Homecoming dance…
Main character Meg Shannon was equally popular as an outspoken, intelligent, rebellious teenager in a small mountain town, and I quickly understood that I was writing a book on slut shaming. I didn’t share my sketches of Meg, because so many people seemed to identify with her and I wanted them to own that. I did have her in mind, though.
Suddenly, I was faced with a very new feeling–responsibility to deliver for fans, while keeping true to my own story. I worked closely with my editor, keeping audience feedback in mind as I released each part. Writing the rest of the book became more of a conversation than a product.
I joined a collective of over a hundred indie authors, YAAR (Young Adult Author Rendezvous), and began attending book fairs across the country. Meeting my readers in person was quite a treat, especially when they requested a selfie with the author.
I became the lead designer for YAAR, and the first project was a logo update.
The cover art of all our books made it fun to design banners and giveaways like bookmarks and stickers.
I used common design elements to unify the group during Facebook launch parties, and online contests.
The most interesting part was meeting authors from all over the world, and finding common ground in our love for literature. Although, our launch parties crossed every time zone, from Hawaii around the globe to New Zealand, many of us became great friends through hosting online events together.