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Hello, I'm Cheri. I am an author of a self-published Christian YA novel and I'm working on my next. I've also spent a lot of time designing websites on Webs and GoDaddy for myself and a small business, managing social media, and marketing. Add to that anything creative: photography, drawing, and music and you have a weird combination! AMA

A. Cheri K
Aug 10, 2017

I have been a passionate writer of pretend people speaking of deep truths for over ten years now, and love every part of a good story. I read everything I see and write almost as often, whether fiction or non! With this comes lots of marketing savvy, with websites, social media, and promotional research. I couldn't call myself an expert, but I'd love to help you out if I can!

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Are you part of a writer's guild?

Aug 10, 7:39PM EDT0

I don't think I've heard of that before, so I'd have to say no. I'm a part of a few writers Facebook groups, though.

Aug 10, 8:31PM EDT69

i understand you,thanks

Aug 11, 5:36AM EDT0

What advice would you give to someone who's an aspiring writer?

Aug 10, 11:37AM EDT0

Hi, Brandy! :) My advice to you as an aspiring writer is to keep on writing every day and read a lot. I'm sure you've heard that advice before, but it's true. Practice, practice, practice. But the other thing I'd tell you is to not let anyone stop you. If you like to write, then be stubborn about it and make a point to keep on writing every day, even when others don't understand. And write what you enjoy writing. Don't try so hard to be someone else that it loses all enjoyment for you. Don't get discouraged at the odds, or when your words don't seem to be what you want them to be. Writing is a process and it takes time to learn to write well. Just keep on writing and ignore those voices in your head that make you want to stop. I hope that helps and wish you the best!

Aug 10, 5:18PM EDT1
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Would you share the websites you've worked on? What are they about?

Aug 10, 9:24AM EDT0

Sure. The websites I've done work on are my own website, http://www.acherikallner.com/ through Webs, which is about being an author. And then the other is Edify Health Foods, which my family runs, http://www.edifyhealthfoods.com/ through GoDaddy, which is a business website that is home to our health food business. Thanks for asking!

Aug 10, 5:21PM EDT1
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What made you want to get into writing?

Aug 10, 8:21AM EDT0

Well, that's a funny story, actually. I've lived with stories in my head for as long as I can remember. And when I was ten years old, I was telling my Grandma about one of the stories that lived in my head, and she said, "Wow, you should write that down." And that's what I did and I realized how much I enjoyed it, so I haven't ever stopped. :) Funny how things work out, isn't it? 

Aug 10, 5:25PM EDT0
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What made you get into website design?

Aug 10, 7:32AM EDT0

Necessity, honestly. I'm a self-published author, so after only a little research I realized that I needed to have a website and all that jazz. So I started with Webs and just jumped in and waded through until I figured out how. And then when my family decided to start a health food business, I was already in charge of all the social media for it and ended up designing the website, too. I really enjoy the creative side, so I haven't minded. Although, I'd say from my experience, that GoDaddy makes web design a lot easier than Webs.

Aug 10, 5:30PM EDT0
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How many copies of your novel have you sold so far?

Aug 10, 2:50AM EDT0

Not many. A few hundred I think. Unfortunately, the publishing house that printed it went out of business shortly after I published, and they were the ones distributing it to online stores, so it made it hard.

Aug 10, 5:37PM EDT0
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Do you have links to any good websites that offer advice to writers?

Aug 10, 2:12AM EDT0

These are a few that I've found helpful. I hope they help you! :)

http://www.eadeverell.com/

http://inkandquills.com/

https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/

All three of these have been really helpful to me. This last one should have a link somewhere to a free ebook called 5 Secrets of Story Structure that I have found super helpful in structuring my work in progress.

If you're looking for more resources, you can also follow me on Pinterest, where I have multiple topic-specific boards on the writing process and I am often there pinning helpful little tips and websites. Here's the link:

https://www.pinterest.com/cherikallner/

Aug 10, 5:50PM EDT1
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Do you have a blog?

Aug 10, 2:10AM EDT0

Yes, I do. https://acherikallner.wordpress.com/

I just did a redesign on it and switched the site I was using, so it doesn't have much on it yet, but I've been working on changing that. :) If you're looking for a host site for your own blog, I am personally a huge fan of Wordpress.

Aug 10, 5:53PM EDT0
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How long did it take you to write your novel?

Aug 10, 1:43AM EDT0

When I wrote my novel, The Despised Promise, I was still in high school, so a lot of the time I worked on it between classes and after school. That being said, it only took my about a year to get all the words down on paper, and then a few more months of editting.

Aug 10, 5:56PM EDT68
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How hard is it to write your first novel?

Aug 10, 1:26AM EDT0

It was hard but worth the effort. I learned more during the process than I ever had before, and yet looking back I realize there was a lot I didn't know. But everyone has to write their first book, or else you'll never get to your second! :) It took a lot of dedication, the sacrifice of other hobbies, and stubborn work even when I didn't feel like it. But the work pays off in the end. 

Aug 10, 6:02PM EDT0
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Would you say it's more important to have great grammar and spelling or a great imagination when writing your first story?

Aug 10, 1:24AM EDT0

By far imagination is more important! Anyone can write a good sentence, but it's the use of a great imagination that turns words into an awesome story. I think any successful author would agree that even after years of experience, they still have grammar and spelling errors in their first drafts. Imagination is what makes the story, and then rewriting and editing are where good grammar and spelling makes the story shine. Just get your idea down on paper and then you can go back after it's written and work on the grammar. :)

Aug 10, 6:07PM EDT0

Why did you write your book in the first place?

Aug 10, 12:55AM EDT0

Hmm, interesting question. I'm the type of person who has stories living in my head, whether I write them down or not. It's just the way I'm wired. I relate well to a quote by Franz Kafka, "A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity." The characters came first and then the story. Once I realized how much I enjoy writing, I realized that I loved it enough that I wanted to make a career out of my passion.

Aug 10, 6:28PM EDT20
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Is there a moral background to your story?

Aug 10, 12:47AM EDT0

Very much so. A lot of the focus of the story revolved around understanding obligation and preserving faith, even when bad things happened to the characters; about making the right choices even when there were good reasons not to, and about doing what's right, regardless of age or position. It was my way of understanding and processing the questions I had in my own life at the point that I wrote it. I hope that answers your question :).

Aug 10, 6:37PM EDT1
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What is your most successful marketing strategy?

Aug 9, 11:20PM EDT0

I've always seemed to get the most response out of Facebook. I think it's important to take the time to build a relationship with your audience and to be real with people. In my own experience, I'm more likely to buy a product from a person I genuinely like, than someone that made a really good add. Getting out and doing book signings is also really helpful for meeting new people. Look for nearby festivals, bookstores, or anywhere else you think might be an interesting location for a book signing and reach out to those in charge to see if they'd be willing to host you. You can have just as much success looking for free options for promoting the signing, than paying for adds: things like social media, giveaways, posters, and community announcements are great options. Hope that helps you :).

Aug 10, 6:45PM EDT0
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What's the theme of your novel?

Aug 9, 11:03PM EDT0

The theme of the book, in the shortest description I can give you, was that just because someone is young, doesn't mean they have no value or purpose. In fact, my main slogan for marketing was that "Youth is no guard against danger and destiny."

Aug 10, 6:47PM EDT44

What is the storyline of your book?

Aug 9, 10:47PM EDT0

It was the story of three young royals, triplets, that were called to end the war between their country and an opposing one and their journey to find the courage to fulfill this calling. If you want the full description, you can find it here: http://www.acherikallner.com/stories

Aug 10, 6:50PM EDT0
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Which is your favourite Social media platform?

Aug 9, 10:32PM EDT0

For reaching out to readers, I'd have to say Facebook and then Instagram close behind. I've had more experience on Facebook and a bigger following. But since I've started Instagram, I've found I really enjoy the visual setting of the site and the way it's set up. It's easy to meet and talk to new people on Instagram, too, which is nice for building a readership.

Aug 10, 6:52PM EDT0

Will your next novel also be for Young Adults?

Aug 9, 9:13PM EDT0

That's probably where my market audience will land, but I'm not writing it for the YA genre specifically. The characters are younger--early twenties--and I'm writing in the first person present tense, which is popular among YA. And it's more in the fantasy/sci-fi vein, which is also popular for that age range.

Aug 10, 6:56PM EDT0

Why did you decide to self-publish?

Aug 9, 8:26PM EDT0

At the time that I published, there was a lot of talk about publishing houses taking over books and creating terrible book covers and messing with the story. So I'll admit there was some fear involved in the decision. The publishing house I found was great; they designed a killer cover, gave me full control of the final product, yet they still helped distribute to online stores and had options for help with marketing as well. Of course, soon after I published, the house went out of business and I was left high and dry. You win some and lose some, I suppose XD. The next time I go to publish, I'm planning on trying the traditional publishing route.

Aug 10, 7:05PM EDT0

How do you overcome writer's block?

Aug 9, 7:55PM EDT0

It depends on what is causing it. Usually, if I'm having trouble writing, it means there's a problem somewhere. So if the words aren't flowing, the first thing I do is pull back and assess. Is there a problem with this scene? Is this situation something that wouldn't happen to these characters? Is there a clear desire being sought by this character in this scene? Is the character doing something they wouldn't really do? I find, most of the time, I'm either forcing an action into the storyline that doesn't belong there, or forcing an action on my character that they wouldn't normally do. If you don't know your story or your characters well enough to answer those questions, then it might be that you need to go back and do a little story/character development so you know what it is that you're writing about. Sometimes I simply need to leave what I have alone and move on. A lot of times, I try to stretch a scene out longer than necessary and that never seems to turn out well. If these factors aren't the problem, then it's time to get up, take a stroll outside, give your brain a chance to clear away the cobwebs for an hour, and then get back to it. It's very important to feed our creative juices with creative things, like reading novels by others, working on another hobby, or participating in a creative activity. But there comes a point where the only thing to be done is to sit down, put your fingers on the keys, shut out all the other distractions and voices, and put words to paper. Thanks for your question! :)

Aug 10, 7:33PM EDT42
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