Interview with Jennifer Klepper, USA Today Best-Selling Author of Unbroken Threads.
If you haven’t read Unbroken Threads, I suggest you pick up a copy. It’s timely, an extremely well-written story of trust and fear and bias that reminds us we are all human, no matter what part of the world we come from, and I promise you’ll love it.
I first met Jennifer in 2016 at the Women’s Fiction Writers Association Regional Writer’s Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She’s like most writers in that she’s friendly and on the quiet side. She’s more likely to talk up someone else’s book than her own, so I’m pretty happy that I got her to devote a few minutes to talk about what it’s like to have her debut, Unbroken Threads, become a USA Today Best Seller.
How does one become a USA Today Best-Selling Author?
I wish there was a magic formula! For Unbroken Threads, I had steady growth in terms of exposure and word of mouth for the book after launch. This all helped when my book was featured on BookBub. BookBub is an incredible tool for readers to learn about new books and promotional sales, and having a book featured in BookBub’s newsletter can help an author reach countless new readers.
Was this a goal when your book was published?
It wasn’t something in my mind, no. I came into publishing a little blind to goals. I still don’t really set them. I think writing a novel is a huge accomplishment in and of itself. Everything else--whether it’s getting a publishing contract, getting great trade reviews, or hitting a bestseller list--is icing on the cake.
What was your first thought when you found out? Were you surprised?
I was on my way to visit with a book club that had read my book, and I thought it was kind of perfect to have gotten the news then, because book clubs have been a huge part of my book’s success. My second thought was, “How can I possibly thank everyone who has been a part of getting me and my book to where it is now?”
As far as whether I was surprised. I was shocked, really. I’ve always considered my book a small book and kept my expectations in check. But my publisher, Red Adept Publishing, while a small independent, has a number of USA Today Bestselling and NY Times Bestselling books. I just didn’t plan on mine becoming one of them.
Can you tell us anything about what you’re writing now?
I am working on a novel inspired by something my husband and his friends did in college, except that in my version the cast is all female and things do not go as planned.
What’s your best piece of writing advice for new authors?
Find a writing group--a group of other writers in your genre. There’s a lot to learn from others who read and critique your work. But I think there can be even more to learn by reading and critiquing the works of others.
How about marketing advice?
Build your writer network and share what you know. Book marketing is a necessary, time-consuming, and always changing evil. Having a support group of other authors who can share what they’ve done, including what has worked and what has not, is invaluable. On the marketing sanity front, I’m a strong believer in boosting other authors and not focusing only on your own book. There’s big joy in watching your friends’ books soar, why not be a part of making that happen?
Thank you, Jennifer, for giving us Jessica Donnelly and Amina Hamid! I look forward to your next book.