Crafting an Amazon Success with C. A. Klug
How confident would you say you felt about “The Sought Six: The Sterling Cone” during the writing process?
Well, since I started with the idea when I was only 10 years old, I’ve had plenty of time to feel all the emotions! Confidence played a supporting role, but I’d say the lead performer was imagination. Not a day has gone by since the year 2001 that new ideas haven’t popped into my head. That is what has kept me going. If I may say so, the world that I created is so visually stimulating, so I’m constantly imagining new happenings for it, even now that the rest of the series is already planned out!
Did you expect to get the results (rising on the Amazon bestsellers list and receiving “Pick” status on TaleFlick) that you started to see from “The Sought Six: The Sterling Cone”?
Yes and no. I had every faith that the book had potential and merit. What I doubted, I suppose, was myself. I’ve never won anything in my life (not even those raffles at school that everyone wanted because the prize was a big basket of candy or something). So, being praised so consistently from multiple channels is really humbling. I got the Amazon bestseller badge only two months after the book’s publication, which was incredible. Becoming a TaleFlick Pick was also amazing because I had only ever dreamed of something like that. To know that real Hollywood producers have read my book and given it the “consider” label for screen potential… as I said, it’s all very humbling.
How did it feel to see your book start growing on the charts (#1 in the US and UK, and Top 5 in Canada on Amazon)?
It felt like the most wonderful frying pan to the face ever. I say that because it happened pretty much overnight. I woke up one morning to a note from my publisher saying that it had reached #1 in the US and the UK and #5 in Canada. My first thought was “What? I’m Canadian, how is it only #5 in Canada??” Just kidding. I was absolutely gobsmacked by all of it. Still am.
Was the process of topping the charts gradual or more of an immediate happening?
More of an immediate happening. Like I said before, it was pretty much overnight. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing because it fueled sales for a while, but one never wants to peak too early. And now with these wild and uncertain times we’re living in, nobody was buying anything for a while. So, here’s hoping that over the next little while I can climb up and top those charts a second time!
Do you feel any pressure when writing the second novel in this series after seeing such good stats from the first book?
Oh yes! Major pressure. I shouldn’t, because the novel is already finished in my head (I just have to get it all on paper), but yes, I do. Hearing such good reviews not only from places like Amazon and Goodreads but also from my most important critics – my readers – is a lot to think about sometimes. My readers are the most amazing group. They have all been at pains to tell me how much they love Book 1 and they can’t wait for Book 2. While that excites and motivates me, it also kind of terrifies me! I sometimes cripple from the pressure and get blocked, but I do my best to push past those feelings and just write. I have a feeling my readers will really love Book 2 and that keeps me going.
Have the achievements you’ve gained changed the way you feel about “The Sought Six: The Sterling Cone”?
Not really. If anything, the achievements and accolades have only confirmed what I already knew about the story. I feel like a proud parent talking about their child, but it’s true. I see “The Sought Six” the same way I always have.
What do you think was the biggest contributor to your success?
Relentlessness. Seriously! I haven’t given up on this story from the day I came up with the idea in my grade 5 math class. During those years, I made sure the story and the setting and the characters were all fully formed and ready to make their debut, so by the time I started looking into publishing options I knew exactly where I wanted to take it. (I’ve also come up with a bunch of other story ideas over the years, so stay tuned!)
Is there any advice you’d like to share with other authors hoping to do what you have done?
In terms of the writing process, write every day. Even if it’s not part of your novel, or if you end up deleting it the next day. That’s okay. It’s all part of your process. Don’t give up. Market, market, market. Everyone knows how to write a Tweet these days, right? A Facebook or Instagram post? Do it. Put your name out there any way you can. The biggest thing is convincing yourself that you’ve got a product worth buying and that people should listen to you. Once you’re able to do that, the rest should start falling into place.
C.A. (Catherine) Klug