1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
In my debut novel, Because of Savannah, Dakota Buchannan believes there can be nothing worse in life than losing her mother until her father suddenly dies, leaving her orphaned at sixteen. As she attempts to muddle her way through the funeral, Dakota is introduced to a man twice her age who looks remarkably like her father. Moments later, it is revealed that Luke is the son her father never knew he had and her brother. Luke invites her to join his family with the option of returning to Fort Worth to live with her bachelor uncle if she is not happy. Despite influence from Luke’s narcissistic wife, it does not take long before their adorable four-year-old daughter, Savannah, captivates Dakota.
As things begin looking up for Dakota, she meets a college graduate at a barbeque, setting off fireworks in her love life. But when her uncle falls victim to a near-fatal hit-and-run, Dakota is compelled to revisit her old home where the past collides with the present as she comes face to face with a killer and a shocking secret. In this gripping story, an orphaned teenager is led down an unexpected path through pain, fear, and danger to the eventual realization that everything in life happens for a reason.
2. How have your sales been?
I have sold over 500 e-books and paperbacks combined since its release and supposedly this is good considering I self-published. But naturally I wish it were way more!
3. You’ve used both self-publishing and traditional publishing. Which do you prefer, and what are the pros and cons of each?
I used Archway Publishers to transform my manuscript into a novel. The positives were their efficient step by step directions and assistance and most of their staff were genuinely friendly and helpful. The negatives were their added fees with every little thing! I also hadn’t realized their marketing is zilch. I knew most of it was all up to me but didn’t expect them to completely go ghost on me!
Thankfully my sequel, Dakota, got picked up by Histria Books and will be placed under their YA label, Addison & Highsmith. They are releasing it in the Fall of 2021. Histria isn’t necessarily a “traditional publisher” but they aren’t initially charging me to publish as Archway did.
4. What sort of networking have you done as an author, and what have been the results?
I have been invited to be the guest author at a handful of book clubs in person and remotely after they read my debut novel, Because of Savannah. I have attended numerous “Meet the Author” events at book stores, libraries, restaurants, and private homes. The results were phenomenal. The well-known authors introduced me as an up and coming author! They all were so sweet and supportive.
5. Talk a little about the sort of marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been most successful?
I am most successful advertising on Facebook and the numerous Facebook book clubs I belong to (over 200). I always include my website, www.sarahpatt.com. And I include Amazon’s “buy my book” link: mybook.to/BecauseofSavannah. I also market on these links:
I always write reviews for other authors too and post them on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and Google after I finish reading their book(s). Spread the word and share the love is my motto!
6. Are there any marketing or networking techniques you’ve intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
Yes, the ones asking for money upfront!
7. What are the most important things you’ve learned about publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
I knew authors must always market themselves 24/7 because the world is inundated with books. If an author doesn’t speak up and share what he or she has written, then no one will know! It’s a highly competitive market and authors need to be on their toes always. What I didn’t know is authors make zilch unless they sell a million copies and it’s made into a movie!
8. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
I am still learning a ton and I am glad after receiving 50 rejection letters from literary agents that I didn’t give up. I still went ahead and published my novel even though I had to pay for it. And because I marketed the hell out of it, my sequel got picked up! Persevere, baby is another one of my mottos. Never give up!
9. New authors face the challenge of getting their books into the hands of readers. What advice do you have for an author just starting out?
New authors have to grow a thick skin because those who like to ridicule your debut . . . will! Feeling no remorse, either. And secondly, new authors have to build and maintain self-confidence promoting their book because no one else will! And thirdly, there are a plethora of new readers who will fall in love with your book and let you know so there is a light at the end of the rainbow.
10. What other projects are you currently working on?
When I initially wrote Because of Savannah I wrote all three parts together, but then decided to separate them into a trilogy and publish each book independently. As you know, Dakota will be published this fall. The third in the series titled Lucky is completed and also recently submitted to Histria so I pray they’ll accept it. I also am writing another novel entirely different from my Texan love stories! This new one is a time-traveling mystery/love story set in New England!
11. If you could market your brand – not just one particular book, but your overall brand of writing – in one sentence, what would it be?
Sarah Patt has a way of capturing your heart with her unique style of writing especially through her characters. Her stories will leave you feeling full of hope and isn’t that what we all need after surviving Covid 19?!
12. How can readers learn more about your books?
Please visit these sites and reach out to me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I promise to get back to you!