I’ve been aware of romance author Kate Kisset for some time and follow her on Instagram, where she has a distinctive style.
After observing her social media over the past year, I finally decided to interview her.
How long did it take you to write 13 romance books, and how long does it take to write one book?
The 13 releases are a combination of boxed sets, novellas, and novels.
I started writing my first novel, Love at Last, in 2013, and it took me two years to release it.
Back then, I had no idea what I was doing. As much as I tried to research and “do the right thing,” I can see now how clueless I was. And I took my own sweet time about it!
How long it takes me to write a book depends on the story. I thought for sure, by now, I’d have the process down pat, but every project is different.
An idea for a story will usually start in the “simmering stage.” If the concept stays with me and continues to invade my thoughts, then I’ll plot out the story.
The hardest part for me is the actual writing and making the commitment to sit in my office and get those words on the page. But once I start writing and the words start flowing, I can get a first draft written in about a month.
“Love at Last” was successful. And is still doing well. How do you compare that book’s ratings with your other books?
Love at Last was my first book. It’s been around the longest and has the most reviews.
I try not to compare my books. For example, one of my latest books, Heartbreaker, has far fewer reviews. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a strong book.
I devoted far less time to finding reviewers for Heartbreaker. At the time Heartbreaker was released, I was spending every moment writing the follow-up books, Love Maker and Dream Maker. There was only so much I could do. Unfortunately, finding reviewers came last on my “to do” list.
Luckily, I have a small (but mighty) band of readers who’ve been with me from the start.
How long have you been using social media to reach your readers?
I’ve been using social media from the beginning. I’m guessing around 2014, a year before I launched Love at Last.
I hear some authors complain that readers are unable to leave reviews on Amazon. Has that been a problem with any of your readers?
It has been a problem sometimes, but I try not to worry about something that’s out of my control.
I also make it a point to not to stress out my ARC team. I treasure these readers and know how dedicated they are.
If Amazon isn’t letting someone leave a review, there’s nothing they can do. They’ll usually update me on the situation and keep trying.
We hear that it’s essential to publish a lot of books as quickly as possible. How do you feel about that advice?
If readers want another story from you, I think it’s important not to disappoint them. That said, I wouldn’t suggest releasing book after book in an unpopular series.
It doesn’t matter how many books you release if the stories aren’t connecting with readers.
But there is a benefit to staying current and relevant to your readers with a steady stream of new releases. Last year, I released my Lonesome Cowboy trilogy over three months. But I’d been working on them all year.
At writer’s conferences, experts encourage writers to form a VIP list or street team and dedicated readers who will spread the word online about our new books. Do you have a street team?
I don’t have a dedicated street team, per se. I do have a private Facebook group, and my ARC team helps me get the word out. I think it’s important to be realistic about how many teams, groups, social media platforms, etc. you can manage. Every team created requires management, and I need to concentrate on my writing.
Love those opened shirts on your cowboy series. Where do you find the models? (Asking for a friend.)
Thank you! I absolutely adore those covers! You’d be surprised at how difficult it is to find hot models. They’re all stock photos that my cover designer and I spent hours finding. Shutterstock, Deposit Photos, and Fotolia are a few sites I use.
Your book photos aren’t lurid. Did you make that choice early on?
It wasn’t a conscious decision. The focus was to convey the story through the cover and to capture the reader’s attention. Love in the Vineyards has a different heat level than Lonesome Cowboy, and I think the covers reflect that.
On Instagram, you have a distinctive style. How did you arrive at that?
Thank you! I keep changing it up on Instagram, but I’m working on keeping a consistent color palate.
In January, I was in peach mode. If you scroll back, you’ll see all the photos in my feed have a peachy hue.
For February and the release of Love X 2, I changed my color scheme to red to take every advantage of my book cover and Valentine’s day. I posted a red heart, on February 1st to signal the change.
I’m always playing around with Instagram because it’s so pretty and easy to use. I’ve made genuine connections there.
Lately, I’ve been using the stories feature heavily. That area doesn’t necessarily “match” my feed. I use stories to post what I’m doing at the moment, or if I want to add music to a photo.
Instagram seems to come naturally to you. Is that true?
Out of all the social media sites, Instagram is, by far, my favorite. I absolutely love it. And as a former disc jockey, when they gave the option of adding music to your stories, it was a match made in heaven.
I could spend hours on Instagram, cruising my favorite authors. I also spend far too much time on animal posts. Without a doubt, I’m addicted.
I love this line in one of your Instagram captions: “And after secretly meeting Colt in Dream Maker’s laundry room, her desire for him is on the spin cycle.” Sometimes, I think Instagram was made for romance writers. What do you think?
Thank you! I had so much fun writing Colt and Mariah’s story. And, yes. I do think Instagram was made for romance writers and storytellers in general.
Posts can be short and sweet. The right photo can have a significant impact on your mood. In the words of Rod Stewart, if done right, “Every Picture Tells a Story.”
About Kate Kisset: She is a USA Today bestselling author known for crafting contemporary romances that are “unputdownable, heart melting, and sexy as hell.” Kate divides her time between Northern California wine country and the beaches of Southern California. When she’s not writing, Kate’s favorite job is being “The Mommy.” She enjoys hiking, eating chocolate, reading, listening to music, drinking wine, and walking her loyal companion, Luciana Parmigiana her rescue-dog-editor. Find a list of all of her books here.
About Frances Caballo: She is an author and social media consultant. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online and building their platform. She also provides content writing and email marketing services. Find out how you’re doing on social media.