{Q&A} Tonya Kappes


And when I say, “week”… I mean 10 days.

When I set out to find the movers and shakers of the indie author movement, I knew I needed to talk with Tonya Kappes. Not only is she a huge social media presence in the indie book world, but she has topped Amazon’s Movers and Shakers list. She’s official! She’s also busy and energetic. You might want to drink a Red Bull while reading this Q&A.

Learn more about Tonya on her blog | See all of her books here

JULIE CHICKLITASAURUS: Tell a little about yourself. How many books have you published? Any awards or mentions? What is coming up next for you?

TONYA KAPPES: Wow! That’s a lot of questions in the first question. Long and short of it, I’m a mom to three amazing teenage boys, two crazy schnauzers, one ornery cat and wife. But my other daily activities include a day job as a Child Developmental Intervention Therapist where I work with children birth – three years old and their parents. My clients have developmental delays that include anything and everything that might be the cause of their delay. It may be as simple as speech delays to feeding issues, to diseases.

And I come home and find time to write as a full-time author. On any given day you will find me writing in my van while in car line, and I’m rarely seen at a sporting event without pen and paper in hand.

{There is something to be said for having total control of your career.}

This sounds exhausting, but I absolutely love my life. I have twelve novels published and four more coming out next year. I don’t have an end in sight.

This year has been especially good to me in my writing career. My paranormal humorous mystery “Splitsville.com” not only stayed at Amazon’s Movers and Shakers list at number one for three weeks, it double finaled in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. My humorous women’s fiction novel “Carpe Bead ‘Em”  won the eFestival of Words in the women’s fiction category. It is such an honor to get recognized for hard work and something that I love to do.

JC: In your opinion, are more authors publishing independently than before?

TK: There are so many more traditional authors that are dipping their toe in the indie world that it’s amazing. How do I know? They contact me. They want to real lowdown about the indie way. Unfortunately they have to publish under pen names due to contracts with their traditional publishers. Traditional publishers are putting a clause in the contracts telling them they can’t self publish or can only self publish one novel a year because it’s a compete clause.

On the other hand, to write a novel and self publish can be the easy part. The hard part is becoming successful at it.

Click the cover to buy Tonya’s book for $2.99 on Amazon

JC: What obstacles did you run into when you tried to be published through a publishing company?

TK: Timing. It tested my patience. I’m a pretty fast writer and my readers are fast! If you publish with a publisher, it can take up to a year or more before your book gets into the hands of the reader.

JC: What made you decide to publish independently?

TK: Originally, I asked for my rights back two weeks before the release of my novel because the publisher and I didn’t see the same vision for my novels. Same reason why I left my agent. I had to trust my gut and my gut was telling me not to stick with a publisher. I didn’t know what the heck I was going to do with a well written novel. Self publishing wasn’t even on my radar. I got in touch with my online buddy, Jessica Park, and she stirred me in the right direction.

It was a big learning curve, but it felt right.

JC: Why should others publish independently in today’s modern culture?

TK: Don’t get me wrong, I believe in traditional publishing under the right circumstances, but for me at this moment, self publishing is the best for my career. There is something to be said for having total control of your career. You decided how successful you want to be. You make all of it happen, and you get to keep the money from it.

Why do I want to do all the work and let a publisher get 75% of the money when I’m more than capable of doing it myself? I also get to do all the marketing I want to, set my own prices, and reach the target audience directly through the amazing effect of modern social networking.

But the one big aspect I truly love… I can write anything I want, even cross-genre, and my readers love it, plus no one tells me that it won’t sell.

I was told that chick-lit was dead! With “Carpe Bead ‘Em” winning the eFestival of Words….I prove them all wrong!

{Traditional publishers are putting a clause in the contracts telling them they can’t self publish or can only self publish one novel a year.}

JC: What pros are there to being an indie author?

TK: Total control and you get to write what you want. When you are able to write what you want, you write a much better story.

JC: What cons are there?

TK: Editing and a great cover! When you are with a publisher, you go through several rounds of edits and your book goes through several rounds after you have turned it in, catching the little mistakes here and there. When you self-publish, you better make darn sure that you find an excellent editor. An editor that gets your voice and understands how you write.

Covers are the first thing the reader sees, so it better be a good one!

Click the cover to buy Tonya’s book for $2.51 on Amazon

JC: What does it mean to you to be a part of the indie author movement?

TK: Am I? Really? I like showing people that if any everyday woman with so many other things in her life can do it, so can they. I love to pay it forward to the writing community, in which I do on my blog, Tonyakappes.blogspot.com.

JC: What advice would you give to those who are thinking about self-publishing?

TK: I would ask them one question, “How bad do you want it?” And send them to this post on my blog. You have to constantly market and promote! I even wrote a non-fiction book to help indie authors, “The Tricked Out Toolbox~Marketing and Promoting Tools Every Author Needs.”

JC: What advice would you give publishing companies so that they can adapt to today’s changes in publishing?

TK: I’d tell them to call me…..

JC: Do you think indie publishers will evolve literature over time? If so, can you predict how it will change literature?
TK: It already has. There are so many great authors out there that self publish that would have never made it past the gates of the publishing industry if it weren’t for self publishing.
Self publishing has given the readers new and fun things to read at any and all lengths. Writers don’t have to adhere to the 95,000 words is a novel rule. Not to mention the cross-genre that big publishers say won’t sell. I’m living proof that they do!


About julieschicklit

My book blog is dedicated to finding books, stories & ideas that redefine women's literature to be something smarter & funnier. More RAWResome lit for ladies. I am remaining some-what anonymous because I have a day job. My Man-Beast and I are soon going to live abroad in China, so that's why I'm a reblog-aholic.

One comment

  1. Thanks so much for having me! It’s a lot of fun!

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