Collette Cameron: Creating Sigh-Worthy Escapes in History

Collette is an author InD’tale has been lucky enough to watch grow from her very first book  to the  successful, multi-award winning author the world knows today.  Her love of history and her ability to create heart-warming, relatable characters draw us in and teach us that love can blossom anywhere, and dreams  really can come true.  In person, she has a heart so big and a personality so sweet and kind that all who know her can’t help but love her.  Read on and we’re sure you will agree!

InD: Has 2020 been a really hard year for writing?
Yes, it has been really hard to not be able to go anywhere or do anything. I have two adult children living at home right now. My daughter also works from home, and so does my husband part of the time. It messes up my whole routine! And we won’t even talk about the health issues and the weight gain. But a lot of people are in a lot worse shape than we are, so I can’t complain too much.
InD: [laughing] Oh, I hear ya! I think everybody can relate, we are all frustrated and gaining weight but we are all in this together.
There are so many people in dire financial circumstances, so I have been trying to go through my books and put one book a month either free or on sale for $.99. That way, people who are on really tight budgets can grab them. There are people in the industry who say don't devalue your books by pricing them low or free. I understand and respect that point of view, but I have all of these readers, some of whom literally don't have a dollar to buy a book right now. To help them, I put the books I can up for free. Of course, I can't always do that because there are costs involved in publishing. Kindle Unlimited page reads are crazy right now because Kindle Unlimited is such an inexpensive way for people to read.
InD: I have always wondered what the pros and cons are of having books on Kindle Unlimited. What do you think is the difference between having a book on Kindle Unlimited and selling it outright?
: I think it depends on the author. An author earns much less money per book with Kindle Unlimited because the payment per page read is so low.
Authors earn considerably more per book, even if their books are with a publisher, than they do per page read in KU. With KU, however, there are more people reading the book.
I have readers who really have to watch their pennies or who are on fixed incomes, and they only read KU books. I also have readers who do not like Amazon at all and won’t to do business with them. Those readers are purchasing books through Google Play, Nook, Kobo, or iBooks. That’s another reason I try to switch up the books I have available widely and those in KU.
I have a series that was in KU for a year and a half, then I published it wide. I have another series that was wide and I recently put it in KU. The KU only readers will get a chance to read the series that way. I think each author has different reasons for why they choose to publish wide or stay exclusively with KU. It just depends on what the author's goals are and whether they prefer profit or visibility. Many authors write really fast, so either way it isn’t a problem for them. However, I am a slow writer. On a good day I average 2500 - 3000 words.
InD: Yet, you have written 44 books in only 9 years and published 42 of them, in the last 7 ½ years. That’s a lot of writing!
My first book came out in 2013, but I started writing it in 2011. I had just finished my Masters in Teaching and was substituting. My youngest had gone off to college, and I had empty nest syndrome so, so bad. I was depressed and moping around. I had thought about writing a book for years, but never a romance. I believed there was too much dialogue and I couldn’t pull it off. I was also worried about the stigma that is attached to writing romance, especially since I was teaching at that time.
However, I had a scene pop into my head that’s in "Highlander’s Hope" and it would not go away. I decided to give writing a historical romance a try and sat down at my computer not knowing what I was doing. That book was a monstrosity! But I learned a lot. I sent the manuscript to publishers, entered contests, and received a lot of helpful feedback. I rewrote the book twice. The second time, I submitted it to Soulmate Publishing and they offered me a full contract within four days. I ended up publishing nine books with Soulmate Publishing.
InD: So, if on a good day you only write 2500 to 3000 words and you have that many books, you have to write consistently every day.
: Yes, I have to write every day, and if there is a day I don't write, I have to double up the next day. I also have to plan around upcoming events—for instance if I have to be gone for a weekend for a conference. Some authors can write anywhere. I am not one of them. I write best in complete silence, though with a houseful right now, I’m learning to tune noise out. I try to write most days, and I have a system in place on the weekends that I use to catch up with the business side of writing and publishing.

Read the entire interview in the Dec/Jan 2020-21 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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