About the Episode
Fiction writers can feel very lonely in this writing and publishing journey but today’s guest shares how her unique publishing journey is leaning on mentorship to launch her career.
Topics covered in this episode:
- Utilizing both self-publishing and traditional publishing routes
- Sunrise’s unique mentorship-based publishing model
- Treating yourself as a client and setting deadlines
- Utilizing podcasting as a fiction writer
- Book launching
- Using Scrivener for writing your book
GET CHRISTEN’S Book On the Golden Cliffs: A Big Sky Amish Novel
✅CLICK HERE 👉https://amzn.to/41da8st
Check out Sunrise Publishing to see if their unique publishing model is a good fit for you: https://sunrisepublishing.com
About My Guest
Christen Krumm is the author of the YA romcom, It Happened at Christmas, and her adult fiction debut On the Golden Cliffs. She probably drinks too much coffee and creating stories is her favorite. During the day she runs CK Productions — a virtual assisting business specializing in author assistants and podcast production. Her favorite color is green (or black). She likes big glasses, happy mail, and pretends she likes to run (she doesn’t). She lives with her husband and three wildings in a small Oklahoma town.
Christen’s Newest Release
Click for Transcript
Christen Krumm: [00:00:00] Spring of 2021, I heard about the opportunity with Sunrise Publishing, which for those of you who aren’t familiar with Sunrise, their publishing model is they have a mentor author, and they have auditions for you to write under that mentor author in that mentor author’s world.
Finally, it was the day of the deadline and I wanna say like the deadline was at noon, it was probably midnight. But I just remember like, okay, fine. I’m just gonna try and just see what happens.
Rachel Fahrenbach: Welcome back to the podcast. Today I have with me Christen Krumm. She is an author of a YA novel and has an upcoming contemporary romance novel coming out that is about the Amish. So those of you who like Amish Fiction, she’s your girl, you wanna go check out her new book. I’m so excited to have Christen on today.
She, not only is [00:01:00] she an author herself, she actually helps authors in that like virtual assistant capacity with her company that she runs. And we’re gonna talk a little bit more about that in detail. But I just love that because I was actually just on an interview with somebody else and she was talking about just feeling overwhelmed with all the things she, you have to do as an author.
And I was like, it’s time for you to get a virtual assistant. And she was like, where do I find one of those ? So for those authors who are listening today that just feel overwhelmed. You are somebody they can go to and get help from. So I am excited to talk about that. I’m excited to talk about your upcoming book, and I’m excited to talk about the publishing company that you are releasing that book through, because they kind of employ a different model of publishing than I’ve ever seen.
So I’m very excited to get into that with you today. So welcome, welcome, welcome. I’m so glad to have you here.
Thank you. I’m so excited to be.
So before we get into all my questions for you, why don’t you just tell us a little bit about yourself, anything that you [00:02:00] think we should know, where you live, why do you know, do you have family, all those little things.
Christen Krumm: So I’m Christen and I live in a small town in Oklahoma. Actually. My husband and I just finished remodeling the house that he grew up in. And we have three kids. Yeah, we have three kids that are actually going to the same school that he did, he graduated from, and my mother-in-law graduated from. So it’s really, really, it’s really fun.
That is fun. Yeah, I, during the day I. A VA business and I write in the early mornings and the margins of life in at night.
Rachel Fahrenbach: I love the bookshelves behind you. By the way, is that part of the remodel? Did you like specify it needed to have bookshelves in there?
Christen Krumm: yes. My brother-in-law actually made that
Rachel Fahrenbach: That’s gorgeous. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I love it. It’s, he did a great, So Well that’s, that’s [00:03:00] really a unique situation that you’re like in the house he grew up in that your kids are going, that’s so cool. Like, I don’t think we appreciate that legacy aspect of life that, you know, like we kinda are at this fast pace and sometimes we’re a little bit of island as families these days.
And so that’s just really neat that you, your family’s experiencing that. So Christen, you run this business to assist authors, but you yourself are an author and they both, both of those things kind of have an entrepreneurial hat. And I wanna start with how do, how do you navigate both of those, first of all?
And then how are they similar and how are they different from that like business perspective, that entrepreneurial hat? How do they, how are they similar? How do they differ?
Christen Krumm: Oh, that is a great question. . For me personally, it is always easier for me to do something for somebody else than it is for myself. Hmm. And . [00:04:00] A lot of, a lot of what I do would be something that I could also incorporate into my writing life as well, or at least when it comes to marketing and selling the books.
All that fun stuff that we’re just like, what? Mm-hmm. .
But. We also have to remember that like something that I might do for one of my clients might not translate and work well for me or work for another client or another author. So it’s kind of learning all that I can and figuring out what works best for the particular client I’m working for, or even for myself.
Rachel Fahrenbach: Do you find it easy to like navigate, like when you have a company where you have a client and you’re serving that client, is that easier for you to make like business decisions than it is for yourself with this like, novel
Christen Krumm: Yes.
Rachel Fahrenbach: How so? Like what? What, what trips you up when it comes to the now? Cause I’m guessing it’s [00:05:00] what a lot of us get tripped up by.
Christen Krumm: Yes. So, my, my problem is mostly just with like time. I would rather devote my time helping somebody else, but I would rather doing it for myself. So that’s kind of what trips me up. As far as like, when it comes down to it, if client A needs help or if I need to do it for myself, I’m gonna do it for client a all day long.
Mm. And then for me, I can’t, it’s. It’s honestly been that way in whatever aspect I’m doing, whether that is I’m selling something you, you know, they have all of these different businesses that, that mm-hmm. people could do out of their homes. Right. Right. And I can try to do that, and I could help somebody else with their business so much better than I could do mine.
Rachel Fahrenbach: Mm-hmm. Because sometimes it’s hard for us to see, there’s a phrase out there like it, it’s hard to see our own [00:06:00] label. Like it’s hard to like mm-hmm. look at ourselves and see what it is we can offer the world and, and we can contribute. And so sometimes we kind of devalue the work that we do ourselves. Unless it is for somebody else, it feels hard to put a, like, hard to value that thing outside of ourselves, you know?
And so, mm-hmm. I think a lot of people struggle with that tension of, well, this person’s asking this of me, or this person, you know, my kids need me to do this thing. Their school needs me to do that. My husband needs me to help ’em with this. And it’s so easy for us to just kind of put our own stuff that we have plans for.
It’s kinda easy to put those to the side and say, oh, I can wait. Because I think I know for myself, I struggle with it feeling selfish because it’s something I really, really enjoy doing. Do you struggle with that too? Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. So do you have. words of advice for the writer struggling with that?
Like is there something, some words of [00:07:00] wisdom you have for us to help us get over that and, and to make our work a priority and treat it like the business that it is?
Christen Krumm: Well, something that helps in my own, in my own life, which, it kind of translates because, you know, I’m doing it for clients and then, you know, I’m trying to do it for myself as well.
When I step back and I treat myself as a client instead of just like, oh, I’m doing this for me. It’s not, I’m doing it for me anymore. I’m like doing it for me, the client, if that makes sense.
Rachel Fahrenbach: Yeah, I think that’s really a really smart like distinction that we can give ourselves is to treat us like our, ourselves, like the client, like I am the publisher or the business owner with my book, and I have to figure out what the best route or way of getting this into the hands of the readers are the best way to market it.
All those things. But it’s not about me, it’s. , this person who created this thing, right? I need to serve them with this marketing business hat. So I think that’s really smart. So why don’t we go a [00:08:00] little bit into your writing journey, like how did you get to where you’re about to release your second book. How did you get to where you released your first one and you really, that you indie published that, right? You released it? Self-publishing. So tell us a little bit about that. How did you get to where you’re at right now? Because you’re not self-publishing the second one. Mm-hmm. So I started, way back when it was years ago and wrote a YA Dystopian. Type novel. Ooh. I was getting it out to all the agents and trying to get an agent, and I was getting a lot of bites, but then I wasn’t getting a lot of feedback. And it was in that point that I realized that I had gotten really comfortable in being rejected and I was like sending it out. but I really wasn’t expecting like to get anything. Didn’t really think that that was a great place for an author to be.
And so I tried to write the next book, but I [00:09:00] couldn’t get, like, I couldn’t get the, the dystopian story out of my head, like the, the characters and the flow. And so my critique partner was like, why don’t you try writing like contemporary romance?
And I’m like, that’s not gonna work. I like killing my characters and you don’t do that in contemporary romance, I can’t do that. And so I was like, okay, so I need to work on something else. Mm-hmm. I need to like build up my, I need to build up my writing. And so I was like, I will write like flash fiction and you know, have fun with that for a while.
Right. So I got this idea for flash fiction.
It just kind of kept growing. So I came up with the idea for the flash fiction, which turned into, it happened at Christmas. So I started writing it and I was like, wait, no, no, I really like these characters. [00:10:00] You know, we need to keep going. And it ended up being, I was like, I’ll just do like a short story and then it kept growing.
I was like, I’ll do a novel. And by the time that I finished it was like, a novel. So.
it’s funny how that happens, isn’t it, ?
Christen Krumm: I know, I know. So, I, I had talked with my local indie bookstore and we signed up, we scheduled a, a book signing. And so then I like had this hardcore deadline that I had to work up to and I had, cuz I couldn’t show up to a book signing without a book. So…
I self-published that first one. And then that was at the end of 2019 and then 2020 happened, and that’s kind of it. Just everything changed. Mm-hmm. Kids came home from school. Within a six month period, my husband and I decided that we were going to move, so we were living in Arkansas. We were going to to Oklahoma where he was from. We sold our house. [00:11:00] He retired from law enforcement. We bought an rv and we lived in an rv. So we went from a house to an rv. We changed states. Our kids went from public school to being homeschooled. And I was still working for all of my clients, so I was still writing.
It was just kind of not as quickly as I wanted to. Mm-hmm. And then at the beginning, spring of 2021, I heard about the opportunity with Sunrise Publishing, which for those of you who aren’t familiar with Sunrise, their publishing model is they have a mentor author, and they have auditions for you to write under that mentor author in that mentor author’s world.
So Tricia Goyer is my mentor author. She also happens to be a dear friend and one of my clients, and she had been telling me for weeks, you need to try [00:12:00] out, it’s not, it’s a blind audition too. So she wouldn’t have known that it was you. Had I, yeah. Thought it was me. She kept telling me, you need to audition, and I’m like, I don’t write Amish fiction.
I can’t write Amish fiction. I wrote YA. And so she kept telling me, kept telling me, kept telling me, well, finally it was the day of the deadline and I wanna say like the deadline was at noon, it was probably midnight. But I just remember like, okay, fine. I’m just gonna try and just see what happens.
Like I’m just gonna submit and see what happens. And so, right. I did. And a week later I got a call that, well, it wasn’t a week later, it was a month later, three weeks. I can’t remember. I, I know that it was quick.
Rachel Fahrenbach: Yeah. If it was, even if it was a month, that’s a lot quicker.
Yeah. I know somebody who, yeah, just recently had an agent ask her to resubmit something to him. Said, I am thinking about pitching it to these places. she submitted it to him [00:13:00] and it’s already been four weeks and she still hasn’t heard anything back. And so it just, I mean, they’re just, they’ve got a lot to work through, so it’s nothing, it’s not a criticism on the agent.
Mm-hmm. . It’s just that to get an answer in a month is like amazing. That’s so cool. Yeah. Yeah.
Christen Krumm: That’s what I really, really liked about Sunrise is that like you submit and then you don’t have to wait forever to find out are you moving to the next step. So I heard it was, Whatever the timeframe, the quick timeframe.
Mm-hmm. . I heard that I had moved on to the next the next round. And I had to submit a, like a scene from the book that I had pitched, what ultimately turned into the golden cliffs. And then I think it was, I wanna say it was another week, but it was probably another month. I’m probably rushing them in the timeline, but, but again, it was real quick.
Real quick. Yeah.
Rachel Fahrenbach: Yeah. So they, they accepted you, so now you have been working with [00:14:00] her, she, mm-hmm. , she wrote the first book in the series right? Is that how it happens? So she writes the first book, you write the second one, and she, on the cover, I notice it says like, she presents you like she’s, she’s saying like, yes.
Yeah. I kind of give my stamp of approval. Yeah. Which is a really cool, yeah. It’s like taking collaborative to the next level. It really is.
Christen Krumm: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. And when another thing that sunrise does that isn’t, Isn’t like no other publisher I’ve heard does this, is they will take their authors and with the mentor author and they will have a week of brainstorming the book.
So you meet, you brainstorm. I met with Tricia, Tricia Goyer, who is my mentor author, and then Susie May Warren, who’s the publisher. And we just, oh, it was like heaven,
Rachel Fahrenbach: cuz we just talked. I can’t, I’m sure. Yeah, exactly. Like what better thing to do than sit in the room with two other writers and talk about Yeah. Stories.
Christen Krumm: [00:15:00] Yeah. It was amazing. It was absolutely amazing. After that they gave me my deadline of, you know, here’s when we need the first draft done. And then they worked through you. Through each process. So they work through you with the line edits and the editorial letter and it’s, it’s, it’s really great. It’s awesome. I love the whole process that I’ve been through with them.
Rachel Fahrenbach: So can we go into a little bit of the specifics of that kind of, Book deal, essentially, because it’s, it’s a book deal, right? Like you probably had to sign a contract with them mm-hmm. And everything. Mm-hmm. . Yes. So how does that work for you as the author?
As far as like, it’s, is it just for this one specific book, or do you have like future books in, as part of the plan?
Christen Krumm: With this one, I actually signed a two book contract. Okay. So there’s on the Golden Cliffs and then the next book we’ll be releasing in 2024. And then I also signed another book, another contract for another single book in the same series that will also release in 2024. So.[00:16:00]
Rachel Fahrenbach: So my question to you about Sunrise and that kind of model of having the mentor author and and you do have to audition, so there is like an acquisitions process to it.
Is it set up like a traditional publisher where you receive royalties or is it more of hybrid where you have to pay into it and you buy your author copies?
Christen Krumm: Yeah, no, it is very much set up like a a traditional publisher. So you would get your royalties and your author copies.
Rachel Fahrenbach: Yeah, so that’s really fascinating.
That’s fascinating that, and it’s really cool that they’ve done that. So there’s no financial burden to the author to engage in this very cool model of publishing and kind of that mentorship aspect of it. Like I don’t think I’ve heard of another publisher doing that, and I just think that’s really cool for somebody to take another writer under their wing and say, okay, let’s do this together and collaborate.
And you’ll have kind of brand recognition with my name can now be associated with yours. And that only helps you. So that’s just [00:17:00] a, that’s a very cool collaborative offer that they’re doing. It really is. And another thing
Christen Krumm: too is that Sunrise Publishing is very much a family. Once you’re in, like you get added into a Discord chat, and I mean authors from season one and season, what are we on season?
Seven, nine. I don’t even know what season we’re, but we’re all together and we’re all like chatting and if we’re frustrated about something, I mean we can be chatted out if we need prayer. , we can bring it to the Discord chat and then you have all of your, your author family really lifting you up in prayer.
I mean, it’s just, it’s really awesome cuz it’s not like, okay, I got this deal and I wrote this book and now what? You know, it’s, you have all of these people coming around you, so it’s awesome. It’s amazing.
Rachel Fahrenbach: And I think that’s something that our listeners today, they really need to take into account making a decision about where their book is going to land.
If it is going to be with a traditional publisher, [00:18:00] maybe a smaller a smaller press. Just be really aware of the type of support they’re offering you, the type of communication they’re giving you. Those are just really key things in the publishing process that can make or break this experience for you as an author.
And so what it sounds like, Christen, is that they’re just really supportive and they’re really communic communicative. And those just add to that experience of like excitement over your book. I’ve heard too many stories of authors who are like, I sent off my book and then I didn’t hear anything about it for like six to nine months.
And you’re like, oh, that’s so sad, because this is your, the thing that you’ve been working on. You’re excited about this product and you wanna share it with the world.
So at what point in the process did they let, like, give you permission to start sharing it with your with your followers and people that you wanted to let know that there’s a book coming out?
Christen Krumm: Yeah, so one of the things that Sunrise does, which I think is really, really cool, is I think it was back in December, it was [00:19:00] me, Tricia, and then Ellie, who is the other author in our series. We got together to do Facebook Live to kind of announce to the world that the series was coming out and to show our book covers and kind of start hyping up the excitement that mm-hmm.
was coming. Because a big Sky Series, Tricia has three books previous in a series and it’s actually one of her best selling series. And she’s been having people ask for years, like, we want more stories in this, in this, in this world. And so we’re excited to be able to give them more stories in this world.
Rachel Fahrenbach: So that’s cool that you guys kind of utilize each other’s platforms is what it’s happening and announcing across that. Yeah. I think that’s when did you say that you, you got into the deal with, was it last year or the year before? Like how long has the process been for you?
Christen Krumm: 2021 is when I signed the contract and then 2022, like, okay. So yeah. And then at the beginning of 2022, I turned
Rachel Fahrenbach: [00:20:00] in my first draft. And I wanna, I wanna point this out. I think it’s an important distinction. They did not expect you to bring a manuscript. They expected you to bring the ability to tell a story, and that’s a huge difference. Like the no other traditional publisher treats you that way.
If at least, if there is one. I have not heard of them in the fiction world. They want you to have your manuscript completed first. If you of, I mean, I know you’ve already published one before, but for the most part, like unless you’ve been published with them or somebody else that they recognize they’re not gonna take you without having your manuscript done.
And I think that’s just such a disservice to fiction writers. I mean, the non-fiction world manages to pull it off just fine. Like I think the fiction world can too, and your proof of it, like find the book, have a goal, work towards it, develop the thing within the bigger context of like what we’re marketing, what we’re doing, what.
Goal is this. [00:21:00] And I think that just makes a much more successful novel. And would you agree with that? Yes, I would. Did you did you ever consider going any other route or were you like, Tricia’s like, no, you need to audition, and you’re like, okay, fine.
Christen Krumm: I have always wanted to be a hybrid author, so I’ve always wanted to be traditional and, and self-published. Right now in my life, like this, this model is working really well for me. Mm-hmm. But I mean, I have so many stories and I love story. I love telling stories, so, I’m up for whatever
Rachel Fahrenbach: and I, I think that’s an important thing to note too.
It’s like you gotta go with what works best for you in the season of life you’re in. And I think that you’re doing just that, so that’s awesome. Okay. I wanna pivot a little bit because I know part of your business is helping with podcasting and I think you have a podcast, right? And Yes, yes, yes.
Exploring the Blank [00:22:00] Page.
I am curious your thoughts on writers, specifically fiction writers, utilizing podcasts to help grow their platform. Do you have any thoughts on that?
Christen Krumm: think it’s really beneficial to help grow your Plat platform, because if you think about it, everybody’s always on the go all the time. And I mean, even we have this big boom with audiobooks, right? Mm-hmm. because everybody, they don’t have time to sit down and read a blog post or scroll through social media. Oh, true. Or, you know, read a book.
So it’s an audio book or podcasting. And I think that you can, it can be a higher reach because you’re tapping into that podcast’s podcast platform as well. And so, and you’re bringing in new readers that you might not be able to touch otherwise. So I think, well, I think it’s, it’s kind of new. Mm-hmm. , especially for fiction authors. But I think, I mean, I think it would, I think it’s like gonna be a new thing really.
Rachel Fahrenbach: So here’s the question, because every time [00:23:00] I tell an author this, they’re like, but what do I talk about? Like, what do I do as a fiction writer? Because I’m not a non-fiction, I’m not teaching them how to do something.
What do I talk about? Do you have any suggestions? Like if they wanted to start a podcast? Yeah. Like what would they do on, as a fiction writer, that’s what they’re always, that’s obviously that is like honestly, the number one objection that I get is I don’t wanna do a podcast cause I don’t know what it would be about.
Christen Krumm: Oh goodness. You could do, you could do a podcast on, I mean, you could write, you could write short stories and have the short and like read the short stories and have other authors write, kind of like a modern love podcast where people are writing love stories and then they’re having people read them.
You could talk about craft, you could talk about craft books. You could kind of do like a whole, this is how Stephen King says to write and I tried it for a week and this is what happened. Mm-hmm. And just kinda [00:24:00] talk through that. I heard of fiction authors kind of just jumping on and talking about, here’s what they’re working on and here’s what they’re getting tripped up over and here’s what they’re enjoying this week. And it doesn’t really sound like, oh, that would be a great podcast, but we’re in it, we’re in the thick of it every single day. And we have to remember that our readers we’re kind of like peeling back the curtain, right.
We’re kinda like showing them what it’s like to write the book, even though we’re like, I. , there’s, there’s nothing interesting about it, but for somebody who doesn’t do it every single day, right. It’s very interesting. I mean, I do it every day and I still like to hear about other people’s processes. Right. And what they’re going through.
Rachel Fahrenbach: So, yeah. And I think, I think sometimes we’re like, well, it would be so much easier if we like painted, or we, you know, did music or something. And it can be this like very, like, you make this thing and it, you can show it off. [00:25:00] I think there’s something to be said about showing off the creative process as well.
Yeah. Not just the end product.
Well I liked what you said there about, you know, like just, just sharing the behind the scenes, just peeling back the curtain for your reader and not devaluing that. I think that’s important. Mm-hmm. . So yeah, that’s good advice. And so if they wanna get started podcasting, do you have any resources that you would point them to?
Christen Krumm: Very inexpensively. They could totally get started podcasting using Anchor FM for a host, which is completely free and it’s put out by Spotify. Honestly, I haven’t really tapped into all that you can do in Anchor, but I know that they have music that you could use for your intro and your outro.
They have transition sounds. I think they even have Like add plots that you can add in, and so you can modernize your podcast like right out the gate, or you might have to have so many downloads first or something. But yeah, they make it [00:26:00] really simple. It’s really, really easy.
Rachel Fahrenbach: And it’s not as hard as, is that, is that what you use for your podcast?
Christen Krumm: Yes, it’s what I use for my podcast and I have a couple other clients that use it as well. Other podcast posts that I like are like lipson. I think that one is paid. But it’s really easy to use. And then like for audio editing if you have Mac, you can use GarageBand. That’s what I use for a long time.
I use Adobe Audition now. And that comes in an Adobe Creative Adobe package. That right, we get
Rachel Fahrenbach: So. . Yeah. I personally use Podcastics. It’s a, a paid program to host too. Mm-hmm. but it’s fairly inexpensive. It’s very simplistic to use. And then for my editing, I use Descript. And, and I personally like that because as a writer I tend to, like, it is easier for me to edit off of a script than it is for me to listen for than different nuances. And so, but [00:27:00] that’s just because I’m a visual learner. So for those who are listening, that I was very intimidated by podcasting before, because I have a hard time with audio. And so just know that there’s tools out there that are there for you and it just might take a little bit of digging. But there’s, there’s a lot of good resources out there once you do too.
So we’ve talked a little bit about your, your process of getting to where you’re about to release your novel. We have talked about the very unique publishing model with Sunrise, which is very cool and exciting. I just think, I think the publishing industry needs to be shook up a little bit and I think things like what they’re doing at Sunrise is gonna do that, and I think that’s exciting.
And then we talked a little bit about like podcast. Christian fiction writers, maybe. Maybe consider utilizing it. It’s a good thing. Yeah. Now I wanna get into marketing. Just, I wanna kind of go there a little bit. What mar, because I have seen your Instagram, it’s pretty rad and I like, I love your reel.
But I [00:28:00] just am wondering, you know, like social media, it seems like you’re using Instagram. Are there, are you anywhere else? And is that your primary marketing tool or have you done other things in addition to.
Christen Krumm: I would say right now Instagram probably is my primary marketing tool. I’m also on TikTok very badly.
I’m not very good at the whole TikTok thing.
Rachel Fahrenbach: Same, honestly. Same. I’m same, same. I’m on there, but I’m not .
Christen Krumm: Yeah. Yeah. I know people keep talking about like going viral and, and I’m like, yeah, I don’t know how , I’ve also been working on building my mailing list, my newsletter list, which I think is very powerful too, because you always hear the horror stories about what happens if Instagram goes down and then you lose all your followers, right?
When you, when you build that list, it’s, and two, when you build your list, those are your people, right? Mm-hmm. , you might not, you might not reach all of your thousand followers that you have on Instagram, but you will reach all your thousand. Followers on your [00:29:00] mailing list pending you don’t end up in their spam.
So those are like your people. And so I feel like it’s very, very important yes. To build to market towards building your, your Instagram platform. But don’t, don’t forget about your newsletter list, because that’s important.
Rachel Fahrenbach: So do, what do you offer for lead magnets? Because that’s another thing I always hear is like, I don’t know what to put on lead.
Christen Krumm: I don’t have a lead magnet.
Rachel Fahrenbach: Okay. So how are you building your, how are you building your list then?
Christen Krumm: So, right now my list building has been from giveaways on Instagram, like I do collaborative giveaways. I do, I do have a lead magnet during, I did have one during November for NaNoWriMo. I do. Hmm. I do it very badly cuz I’m not a very good NaNoWriMo, but I do what’s called backwards nano.
So you start the month with this outrageous, outrageous word [00:30:00] count goal. And by the day the, by the time that you hit November, 30th, the last day, you’re down to, you have to write one word for the day. So it kinda helps because when you, when you start at the beginning of the month, you’re super excited.
And you can write and you can write, write by the time of the’re, like words. I don’t know. So I do, I do offer that a principal of November for a lead magnet. And then what else has I done in the past? I’ve done a. I’ve done a like top YA romcom Christmas books. Mm. So that one was, that one was super fine.
But right now I don’t have a, so that’s kind of. Yeah. I did one. I know I need
Rachel Fahrenbach: one. . I know. It’s like, do what they’re say not as I do. Right. ? Yes.
Christen Krumm: Yes. Very much so. But I’ll say that. Ill say that when you get a lead magnet, make sure you keep it fresh. So I mean, if your lead magnet has been on there for two years,
Rachel Fahrenbach: probably time for [00:31:00] an update.
Christen Krumm: Yeah, yeah. Maybe switch some things up. And then you can constantly be building that one cuz you’re constantly giving something. Mm-hmm. free away.
Rachel Fahrenbach: True, true. So with your first book, did you try, did you have a book launch and did you do any kind of book marketing that was really useful for getting sales that you can share with us?
Christen Krumm: I launched my first book very, very badly because at the same time, two of my clients were also launching books. And it goes back to, oh, yep. It goes back to. Clients book or my book, you know, which one. Mm-hmm. which one wins. I did, I was able to schedule book signings, which I think were helpful. I did a few, I can’t even remember how many I did, but there was a couple of any bookstores in the small town that I was in, that I booked at, and then my library what else did I do? [00:32:00] I feel like I’m doing book launch a little
Rachel Fahrenbach: bit better this time. Okay, so what are you doing different and better? What? What’s the difference ?
Christen Krumm: Well, I think the difference is is that I don’t really feel like, oh, well it’s just my book. It’s books, so you know, it, it kind of. . At least that’s what I’m telling myself so that I don’t feel bad that I’m like promoting myself.
Rachel Fahrenbach: know, so there is a, there is a term for what you’re descri. I don’t remember the actual term of it. Mm-hmm. . But what it comes down to is like, there’s two ways people are motivated, either internally motivated or externally motivated. Yeah. And. you seem to be a person who’s more externally, and I am too.
It takes like everything in me to be more like I will put my stuff aside if something else is motivating me to respond. So it’s, I, yeah, I, I want, I want you and anybody else hearing it, like that’s, that’s actually I think probably a common thing for writers, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of, but what you can do is what Christen has done, put [00:33:00] herself in a situation that helps that and supports that and gives her guardrails to protect her time and protect her writing
Christen Krumm: well and Cause you don’t wanna come across either as like, oh my gosh, all I’m doing is talking about me and my stuff. Because think about it, other authors that you see doing it, you don’t think, oh my gosh, what are they doing? Why are they like pushing and talking?
Nothing about their book? You don’t say that. Mm-hmm. So, you know, stop telling yourself that. Yes, yes. This time around I’ve gotten really. Intentional about my social media, what I’m sharing, how I’m sharing. I have a pretty good, I think a pretty good pre-order incentive. I’m actually partnering with a local indie bookstore to make sure that any paper back, pre-orders that go through the bookstore, they’re all signed and personalized.
Oh, that’s cool.
Rachel Fahrenbach: Yeah. Yeah.
Christen Krumm: So super, super fun. What else are we doing? I’m actually getting on podcasts, [00:34:00] to talk about the book, which scares me to no end, which I know it’s funny because I’m a podcaster myself, but but yeah, I’m actually like booking out podcasts which I think like we talked about, is a really good way to get the word out about your book because, you know, people will be listening.
You’ll reach a different audience or you could potentially reach a different audience than just like who you have on Instagram. Let’s see, what else? I think, I think that’s probably it. Don’t start talking about it too soon. Mm-hmm. That, that would be a good tip because then you have, I mean, you’ll people.
people will get tired about hearing about it, and they will also, it’ll be so far out that they won’t remember that they can pre-order it. So make sure that you give yourself like mm-hmm. a good timeframe.
Rachel Fahrenbach: So what’s a good timeframe that you would suggest?
Christen Krumm: My sweet spot is like six weeks. Okay. I know [00:35:00] sometimes when you’re working with like a bigger publisher, they might have a different timeline
Rachel Fahrenbach: and you, you’re not talking about, you’re not talking about mentioning that you have a book coming out or talking about mm-hmm. like, oh, here’s the cover. You’re not talking about that. You’re talking about like hardcore selling. No. Right?
Christen Krumm: Yes, yes. Yeah, yeah. You don’t want a hardcore sell like eight months out because then people are gonna be like, wait, oh yeah, I forgot totally about that, but, and you’re not gonna wanna talk about it for eight months,
Rachel Fahrenbach: No. And if I had, no, I had a business coach once who told me, if you are not exhausted by the end of your launch period, you are not doing it right. And I was like, oh, okay. I’m not doing it right.
Christen Krumm: I think I’ve only been talking about it for two weeks. And I’m like, okay, I got four more. I can do this.
Rachel Fahrenbach: That’s a good timeline. Six weeks out. That’s good. That’s a good word of advice there. Speaking of words of advice, do you have any other tips or thoughts you want to share with those listening about the publishing [00:36:00] journey and writing and all the things?
Christen Krumm: I heard this quote today and I really liked it, and it was actually talking about mountain climbers but I think it can pertain to authors really, really well. And this comes from Alex Lowe. Don’t know who he is, but he’s, who said this and it. He said, the best climbers in the world is the one who is having the most fun. And I was like, that can so be related to the writing journey. Mm-hmm. , the best writer in the world is the one who’s having the most fun.
So That’s good. That’s, that’s what, it’s have fun. I mean, it’s, you’re creating and you’re bringing these stories to life and it should be fun. It shouldn’t be a drudgery. It shouldn’t be. Not enjoyable, right? Because if so, why are you doing it? We’re not in this to make money, right?
Rachel Fahrenbach: we, we want to make money. We’re okay with making money, but it’s hard to make money selling books. And that’s, so we have to come into it with [00:37:00] realistic expectations, but we can, can, we can hit goals, you know, as well. We can hit those things. Yeah. Yeah. And I, I liked what you said about like, have fun with it and not just the creative writing side of it. Like, have fun with the marketing side of it too. Like people wanna read your story like, and they are not gonna know about it unless you tell them. So have fun telling them because if you’re excited and having fun, they’re gonna get excited and have fun. Right. Exactly.
Christen Krumm: And you’ve worked really hard. It’s a hard thing to write a book, so be proud of that.
Rachel Fahrenbach: And even more so, cuz like we hear this often the non-fiction book coaching world, it’s like, it’s hard to write a book, be proud of yourself. Like fiction writers is even harder to write a novel. Mm-hmm. like, I mean, it’s hard to write a non-fiction book. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve done it.
It’s, it’s hard, but it is even harder to craft an entire new world with entire new people, with entire new experiences and like, have to make that make sense and do it in a way that somebody else can experience it too. [00:38:00] That’s an amazing skillset. You should celebrate it. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. So as we are wrapping up, do you have any tools that you’re like, make sure you get this tool?
Christen Krumm: I really enjoy writing in Scribner. Okay. And yes, and honestly I was super intimidated by it for a very long time and I never, like, I would get in there and I was like, I don’t know how to this. I don’t understand it. However, I finally, and the tutorials that they put out, I couldn’t watch cause I was like, I don’t understand what you’re saying at all.
Rachel Fahrenbach: They’re a little, they’re a little, yeah, they’re a little overwhelming. Yes. .
Christen Krumm: So I watched a tutorial by another YA author, Adrian Young. And she has a tutorial on her Instagram and she like just walked you step by step of how she sits up, like her document. Okay. And after I watched that and after I set up my Scribner like that, I was like, oh, okay, [00:39:00] I get this now.
I understand. So I, I like, I enjoy writing in Scribner. I know it’s kind of like a little controversial, you know…
Rachel Fahrenbach: some people like it, some people don’t. I think it’s pretty cool. I just, I’m like you, I was like overwhelmed by it at times, and so I just kind of haven’t really utilized it to its full potential.
Mm-hmm. But that’s a good point about like, hey, don’t give up on a tool. Like go, like, not just Google tutorials, but Google tutorials from other writers and see how they’re utilizing it. That’s really smart.
Christen Krumm: There’s another writer, and I can’t even think of her name. Abby Emmons, I think.
And I think she has a pretty good tutorial on YouTube as well.
So I mean, there are tutorials out there by other authors that make a lot more sense, especially like, especially fiction authors, because I think it’s originally a screenplay. Yes. Writing. I think you’re yeah. Yeah. So that’s what I would
Rachel Fahrenbach: say . Awesome. Okay. Well, you know [00:40:00] what, you have given us so much to think about.
I am so excited for people to listen to everything you had to share today. I think it was fabulous and so insightful. Can you tell us where to find you? Where can we hang out with you on Inst? Well, Instagram, I know for sure, but we’re at on the internet. Can we find you and remind us again when your novel is releasing?
Christen Krumm: So Instagram. Probably the biggest place that I hang out. I love Instagram. I love DMing with readers. So I other authors. So you know, drop me a dm, you find me there at Christen Krumm. And then my website is christenkrumm.com. I think I’m on Facebook as well. I’m not a big face the fan, but if you talk to me over there, I’ll talk to you
Rachel Fahrenbach: so I do think that this episode will probably air after your book comes out. So after it’s been released. Sure. Where can they find it?
Christen Krumm: They should be able to find it wherever they purchase books.
Rachel Fahrenbach: Okay, perfect. So, Amazon, [00:41:00] Barnes Noble, target, wherever they, whatever floats their boat, they can find it. Awesome. Yeah. Well, thank you so much, Christen, for being on the podcast today. I really appreciate it. I appreciate all your, your wisdom, all the things you had to share with us.
I’m looking forward to, to cheering you on as your book releases and just thank you again for being willing to share with us. Thank you so much for having me. This has been a lot of fun. And thank you for listening to today’s episode. Come back next week as we continue the conversation on the business of Christian Fiction. Bye.
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Hey! I'm Rachel and I'm so glad you're here today!
I help Christian fiction writers figure out how they can make an impact and an income from their storytelling while keeping rest a priority.
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And you can learn more about my personal journey here.
One last thing, if you’re looking for a bit more rest in your life, be sure to check out the Rest & Reflect guided journal.