Kari lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter, who keep her grounded and make everything she does worthwhile…not to mention provide her with loads of material for her books. Kari is a longtime lover of reading and writing, with a masters in English education, who spends her days trying to figure out whodunit. Funny how no one at home will confess any more than the characters in her mysteries!
Kari writes fun and exciting stories for any age, set in small towns, with mystical elements and quirky characters as Kari Lee Townsend. Kari also writes romantic comedies and women’s fiction with the same sense of humor and quirky characters as Kari Lee Harmon.
Welcome to the Gem State Writers, Kari!
Happy New & Exciting Year…Now go Make the Most of it!
Thank you so much for having me here today. These are exciting times we live in. So many new possibilities. With the publishing industry changing so rapidly, our goals and dreams have to change along with them in order to survive.
When I got serious about my writing sixteen years ago, my dream was to walk into a bookstore and see my books on the shelves. These days, with bookstores closing, there are fewer opportunities for that to happen. Not to mention the way it affects traditional publishers. They are pickier than ever on picking up anyone, let alone a new author. And even if you do get picked up, the print runs are much smaller and advances have gone way down.
Indie publishing and self-publishing have opened up a whole new world for most of us. I still want to be in the traditional world of publishing, but I also want to be in this new and exciting world of self-publishing. I think authors need to evolve and change and be in both worlds in order to survive and achieve longevity. Your dreams don’t have to die, they just need to evolve.
I have so many readers who ask when my next book is coming out. Traditional publishing involves a lot of steps before a book is ready to hit the shelves: deadline, cover art, edits (sometimes a couple of rounds), copy edits, page proofs, ARC’s, author copies, and then finally the release date. Publishers like around nine months for that to happen. That’s a long time for readers to wait for the next book in a series. That’s the beauty of being in both worlds.
I love that fact that I can put up my backlist or even books that never sold. Just because a book didn’t sell, does not mean it wasn’t any good. It sometimes means the publisher did not have a need for a book like that on their current list. They might have loved it, but if they didn’t have a hole that needed to be filled, then they weren’t allowed to pick up the manuscript. With self-publishing, we are the ones who decide what we want to put out, and we can leave our books out for years. There is no shelf life. 🙂
I write in several genres, which brings up another thing to consider when venturing into publishing of any kind. What name you will use. My middle grade books as well as my cozy mysteries were already published under Kari Lee Townsend. Those series don’t have swearing or violence or sex. The last thing I want is to shock my readers if they pick up one of my romantic comedies or women’s fiction. My sense of humor and quirky characters are still there, so if readers don’t mind the “romance” angle, then they will love those. But if certain readers don’t want anything to do with romance, then they need to be given all the facts up front. They will respect you for that, rather than choose never to read anything by you again. Now, mind you, all of my books are pretty tame, but still. You have to be clear with your readers exactly what they are getting from you. Yet I’ve spent a long time building my original name, so I don’t want to lose that, either. I decided to use Kari Lee Harmon for my romantic comedies and women’s fiction. That way my readers will know exactly what type of book they can expect, yet they will still know it’s me.
Whatever you decide to do in this new and exciting year of 2012, don’t hold back. Don’t be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone and try something new. Published or unpublished, it doesn’t really matter. The point is there are so many exciting new opportunities in these changing times. Be an optimist, not a pessimist, and go for it! Yes, the industry is changing, but it’s not ending. The stigma that e-books, indie books and self-pubbed books had years ago is fading away. Everyone is doing it these days, and with the way the world is changing in general, I think you’re crazy not to jump on board and enjoy the ride.
To find out more about me you can check out my website at www.karileetownsend.com , sign up for my newsletter at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/karileetownsend like me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/karileetownsendAUTHOR follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/karileetownsend and finally, check out my group blog www.mysteriesandmargaritasblogspot.com