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Monday, November 30, 2015

MEMBER INTERVIEW - Cait London

Cait London
Please welcome one of our most well known authors, Cait London.
Thank you, Sleuth’s Ink for inviting me. I’m a happy member of this mystery group, which presents unusual, helpful programs and good fellowship. For years, Shirley McCann, V.J. Schultz and others have built and maintained this writer's group. I enjoy it very much.

Tell us about your writing journey.

2016 will be the 30th anniversary of my first published book. I started with an agent, Ray Peekner, and with Berkley Publishers in a category line called Second Chance at Love. From there, I had 4 more agents, including Curtis Brown and Wm Morris. Several historical romances for Berkley and Dell followed. At the same time I wrote category romances for Harlequin.
While still writing for Harlequin, I wrote romantic suspense for HarperCollins. Most of my career has been writing for two traditional publishers at the same time. With copy edits and galleys going back-and-forth, this was not easy. Add in the old-style promotion we used to do, such as traveling to speaking engagements, signing books, etc. and it’s a busy schedule. Some writers are still doing this now, but the Internet has changed that picture dramatically. During this frenzy of writing, publishing, promoting, I was also a single mother raising 3 daughters.

Over the years, I've had best sellers and received awards. Harlequin and HarperCollins are still selling my Cait London books.
Can you tell us a little about what you are doing now?

I am now dealing with my back list and working on new projects. 

Acquiring back list rights is not easy, yet it is like real estate and valuable in different ways. Publishers want to hold rights and so do some agents. This is why I recommend scanning legal agreements for later reference. Moving forward with your back list needs to be considered carefully. Choices have to be made: Do you update older books, spending time and money on them, or leave them and move forward. I love my books and I wanted them out in readers' hands.

I am a DIYer. Learning and doing self publishing took time. I’ve always been regimented, but shifting lanes to Indy publishing hasn’t been easy. Taking on the business end of publishing is a big job; it isn’t for everyone. The learning curve is steep. “Each to his own” rule applies. However, services can be hired. If you do hire, make certain those services are the quality you need and deserve. 
 What has inspired you lately? 
In early October this year, I attended a professional’s only conference, Novelists Inc. {http://ninc.com}This conference is unusual because it’s all leading edge information. It’s mostly Indy geared now, though many members are “Hybrids” writing for traditional/legacy houses and Indy publishing; no agents or traditional publishers are featured.
 NINC impacted my plans for 2016 and forward. Right now I’m listening to Joanna Penn’s The Creative Penn {http://TheCreativePenn.com} podcast, and give it high marks. This podcast does not deal with how to write, but how to market and balance your creative times with necessary promotion. There are also interviews with people who are successful in promotion/copy writing (blurbs/ads etc.) One of the sessions dealt with dictating your books. I’ve used Dragon successfully with my PC for articles and blogs. (At one time, I had 3 blogs AND a full blown website.) I’m in a creative/fertile “nesting” period right now, writing away and learning.

What does the future hold for Cait London?

My plans for 2016 include:

  1. Get back into dictation.
  2. Collect all the articles I’ve written in the last 30 years about how to write and stash them in a folder for a potential book. We need more of those, don’t we? (To understand that last question, know that I have won awards for humor.) However: I highly recommend Dwight Swain’s Techniques of Best Selling Writers. Study it, mystery writers.
  3. Complete my book list {http://caitlondon.blogspot.com/p/books.html} up on my website {http://caitlondon.com} and linked. This is challenging.
  4. Switch my full website name domain to something I can manage for now.
  5. Indy publish a new completed book that is currently with my copy editor. Finish the WIP. Write the 3rd/4th Novelette in a series, lift a free short series to Wattpad. (Thank you, Shirley McCann, for pushing me into Shorts.)
  6. Publish more back list. This includes getting ISBN, formatting, and covers.
  7. Covers: More consistent looks. Work with designers (I like artistic filters).
  8. Review of my current published books’ metadata. I just heard this: Constantly review. We learn as we go. Or we should. Makes sense.
  9. Redo my Amazon author profile and link my out of print/reverted rights - traditional/legacy books with my own Indy books.
  10. Do some i-Book coupons, some free books, and some Goodreads giveaways.
  11. Take more online courses, re: marketing on Facebook.
  12. A friend and I are considering meeting for a formal brainstorming session. Each brings to the table 5 things about their WIP for which they need help. Time is equalized. That equal time is an essential agreement, or someone dominates and someone comes away frustrated.
  13. More stepping outside the usual, i.e. attending NINC - testing what works. I might even draft up a business plan. (A little humor, you know.)



Now let me ask you: What are your writing/publishing plans for 2016?

Thanks Cait for sharing some of your insights and knowledge with us.  
Please visit her website {http://caitlondon.com} and join her e-newsletter
{ http://mad.ly/signups/105014/join}. Giveaways and contests, you know, plus what I’m doing—like crocheting and painting, which will turn up in new books/shorts.
Link to her Amazon Author page


5 comments:

Susan Keene said...

Very good interview. I was enlightened. Cait is a big plus to the organization.

Tierney James said...

Wow! You are a lot to live up to, Cait. Thanks for the chance to get to know you better.

Cait London said...

Thank you, Susan and Tierney. And Tierney, I usually travel at double speed until I can't. :) Lots of family, lots of crafts/painting, just lots. I've already started some of this list. Writing for 2 publishers and especially in fast moving Silhouettes are really a workout. I do so enjoy this group.

Shirley said...

And cooking. You forgot to mention that you like to cook, Cait. I have my 2016 goals ready to go. Just gotta get into the mode again. Great interview.

Cait London said...

I'm a "do-er". I'll bring some of those rolls and butter to our coming up "do". :) My granddaughters in California loved my mixed grains whole wheat bread. The next good movie, I'm making potstickers to freeze and use in rice noodle bowl with fresh bean sprouts and basil. We had that at an Asian restaurant, Mays in Redwood City, CA. A lot of that goes into my books, i.e. series-- The Basket Maker's Wife (1), The Egg Basket (2) at the proofer now.