Bestselling authors have “been there and done that”. They know how much work it takes to hit a bestseller list and they are here to share their wisdom (and wit). Today I’m featuring USA Today bestselling author Misty Evans. Misty writes dark romantic suspense and sexy paranormals. Welcome Misty!
JD: What was your first book that hit a bestseller list? What was the list, where did the book rank when it first hit, and how high did your book get?
ME: Oh, gosh, I suppose my first “bestseller” was Operation Sheba. My publisher did a promo on it in 2010 and it went to #1 on the Amazon Romantic Suspense list, #2 in Romance, and #3 in overall Kindle books. The other two books in the series at that time did well too, ending up high in the RS list. I’ve had two books hit the USA TODAY list, Deadly Pursuit, and The Secret Ingredient. Both were in boxed sets and there was much celebrating by all of us.
JD: What were you doing when you found out you hit the bestseller list? And how did you celebrate or mark the occasion?
ME: With Operation Sheba, it was huge. My first published book…I was over the moon. I had been watching the Amazon lists the first day of the promo, but it was an email from my editor later that evening that told me I’d reached so high. There was Snoopy Happy Dancing and champagne the next day from my hubby.
What does being a “successful author” mean to you?
ME: Success isn’t about lists or royalties or rankings to me. It used to be, and I made myself a ver
y anxious and not very happy author. I had to change my thinking. Success is about what’s inside you, not what’s outside. Are you happy? Do you look forward to sitting at the keyboard everyday? I can’t control numbers, algorithms, or new technology. What I can do is love my job, write the books fans adore, and find ways to help other authors make their dreams come true. That is true success to me.
JD: Some authors are great at it, while others can’t find the right formula, but in order to be a success in today’s market, you have to do promotion. So, what are the top three things that you do consistently when it comes to promotion?
ME: 1.) Write the next book—you absolutely can’t do any better promo than putting out the next book in a series and having the links to your other stories in the back matter. 2.) Nail your keywords and categories. When a potential reader searches by subject matter on any retailer, you want to be sure your book comes up in the appropriate category. 3.) Put out a quality newsletter with behind-the-scenes snippets, recipes, and engaging content, not just “Buy My Book” messages. This goes hand-in-hand with social media as well. Engage your readers, don’t just preach to them.
JD: What is one thing you absolutely LOVE about being an author and one thing that makes you BONKERS?
ME: I love creating stories and seeing how they resonate with readers. In January, with the release of DEADLY FORCE, the fourth book in my SCVC Taskforce series, I raised money for Paws & Stripes, an organization that rescues shelter dogs and trains them to be service companions to veterans with PTSD. My fans loved the idea and really got behind it, sharing our Operation Freedom Dogs campaign and I recently mailed a check for over $2000 to P&S.
What drives me bonkers is trying to find enough hours in the day to write and promote!
JD: Who are some of your favourite authors and why?
ME: I have too many favorite authors to name them all, but my favorites tend to be the ones who create fascinating worlds I can sneak off to whenever I want and forget the real world for a few hours . . . for a few days!
ME: I’m writing the next SCVC Taskforce novel, Deadly Intent, and editing the next Justice Team Series book, Exposing Justice, with Adrienne Giordano. Both books release in July.
JD: In your daily work routine what do you do first and why?
write/plot/creative – I definitely write first thing in the morning. That’s when my creative energy is high. I often write later in the day when I can, but I’m most productive first thing in the morning. My best plots come in the evening or at night. I don’t know why, but that’s how my brain works!
social media/promotion – Social media is so much fun, I have to save it for a treat after the work is done. Usually that means waiting until lunch time or later.
email/admin – This area is best handled after the work is done, too. It takes me too long to get the right energy flowing if I start with email or admin duties first thing in the morning. They tend to suck my creative-self dry.
JD: What would I find on your desk at this very moment?
ME: I don’t have a desk anymore. I write on my laptop, often in bed or sitting at the kitchen table. I’ve found I’m more motivated and inspired if I move around and don’t confine myself to one set place. I’m definitely a minimalist these days! The clutter-free zone frees up my mental space.
JD: Finish this sentence: I’m a writer because . . .
ME: . . . it makes me happy!
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Misty Evans has published twenty-eight novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life.
The books in her Super Agent series have won a CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award, CAPA nominations, the New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2010 and the ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2011. OPERATION SHEBA has been a military romance, action-adventure, and romantic suspense bestseller on Amazon.
Her Witches Anonymous series was dubbed a Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read. The Super Agent Series, Witches Anonymous Series, and the Kali Sweet Series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle bestsellers lists. Her culinary romantic mystery, THE SECRET INGREDIENT, and the first book in her Deadly series, DEADLY PURSUIT, are both USA TODAY bestsellers.
Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled puppies. Learn more and sign up for her newsletter at www.readmistyevans.com. Like her author page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.