Monday, August 1, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with Paulita Kincer, author of 'Paris Runaway'

Paulita Kincer has an M.A. in journalism from American University. She has traveled to France 11 times, and still finds more to lure her back.

She currently teaches college English and lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her three children, two cats and one husband.

Her latest book is the women’s fiction, Paris Runaway.
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About the Book:

When divorced mom Sadie Ford realizes her 17-year-old daughter Scarlett has run away to Paris all
she can imagine are terrorist bombings and sex slaves. After learning her daughter chased a French exchange student home, Sadie hops on the next plane in pursuit. She joins forces with the boy’s father, Auguste, and the two attempt to find the missing teens. The chase takes Sadie and Auguste to the seedier side of Marseille, where their own connection is ignited. Since the divorce, Sadie has devoted herself to raising kids and putting her dreams on hold, but when her daughter needs her most, Sadie finds that concrete barrier to life beginning to crack. In her journey, she learns the difference between watching the hours pass and living.

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Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

My book required the best kind of research. I traveled to France, walking in the footsteps of my character who chased after her 17-year-old daughter. I spent some time in Paris, taking the Metro lines and walking along the Seine so that I could see the world through Sadie’s eyes. Next, I took the train down to Southern France and visited Marseille for a day. Things got steamy there for Sadie, but I won’t divulge whether I tried everything that she did in Marseille. 

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

I like the control of self-publishing and I’m lucky to have built up some loyal readers who support my books.  

If self-published, did you hire someone to format the ebook version for you or did you do it yourself?  Can you tell us what that was like?

I took an online class that explained the details about formatting for publishing. I do hire a professional copy editor to edit my books and I pay a graphic artist to create my book covers.

If self-published, how did you determine the price?

The price for an ebook, $5.99, is much less expensive than most publishers’ ebooks, but it seems like a fair price for reading the novel online rather than printing out the cover and all 256 pages. The paperback is $16, which gives me a small profit margin, but I understand that some people still love to hold a book in their hands.

Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

I released my book in June because the book is set in the summer, so it seemed perfect to have the book available as people started to look forward to summer vacations. Maybe some of the readers will be tempted to runaway to Paris too.

How did you choose your cover?

My novel focuses on a mother chasing after her teenage daughter who runs away to Paris. Luckily, I have a photographer friend who travels to Paris frequently. She gave me permission to look through her online pictures, and I found a perfect one. Virginia Kelser Jones publishes a blog called Paris Through My Lens, and she had this shot of a young woman running toward the exit of the American Cathedral in Paris. The picture was meant to be since the girl had red hair and the character has red hair.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went? Both. Revision for me takes places as I write and then again when I’m finished. So far, I’ve made major changes to all of my books, in spite of creating an outline. Some things work as planned and others need to be tweaked.

Did you consider making or hiring someone to make a book trailer for your book?  If so, what’s the link?

A book trailer is still in the works. I’m never sure how effective book trailers are, but I love watching them.

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

I give away copies for review, and I have contests to give away my book in order to gain attention. I don’t put the Kindle version on giveaway, but occasionally I will reduce the price to 99 cents and that seems to increase sales.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released? 

First, authors should create the best books they can. Even if they believe the books are perfect, there are still mistakes, so check again and have an independent editor read the book, as well.

Second, make sure you have the best book cover you can, which probably means you need to hire someone. That old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover” is totally wrong. Think about all the times you’ve been on Amazon looking for a book and you’re drawn in by a cover. Don’t clutter it up too much either. Remember that the reader will be looking at it in a tiny version. That tiny version needs to attract people before they open the big version.

Third, creating some buzz about your book will help it make a big splash. For me, I’ve been writing a blog for years. Three of my novels are set in France, so many of my blog posts focus on France and Americans or Brits who move to France. This helps to create an audience interested in my writing subject. When I heard many years ago that I should start building a platform, I really didn’t want to wait for a platform, but what I found is that life has continued and my platform has grown bigger. Time would have passed either way. So authors might as well start small and as their writing careers continue, they can continue building.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?

Book reviews are important. Convince friends, relatives, readers to post their reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
Giveaways help increase interest in books. I offer giveaways on Goodreads, on blog tours, and sometimes on Facebook, asking people to respond to a question and they’ll be entered to win. Recently, I asked people where they would run away, since my novel is called Paris Runaway. I got a number of likes and answers, and then I randomly chose one person to win a copy of the book. Hopefully, those who win copies, will post reviews.
Blog tours are another great way to spread the word about books. Organizers set up a number of tours on blogs that do book reviews or focus on a specific subject. Do some research to find out if there are blog tours for your particular genre. Check with authors who have toured with the organizer to make sure the tours actually help with book sales.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out? 

I planned a local book launch party. Even though I’m not a good hostess, I highly recommend a celebration of the finished book. People who attend the book launch generally expect to buy a paperback copy of the book – so have those on hand, along with a Square Reader to accept credit card payments. For my book launch, I ordered a lot of French food. I had macarons, cheese and French bread, margherita pizza. I also made sure we had wine for toasting and beer for drinking. The launch probably cost about $450 to host, and I made around $200 on book sales. More important than the money though, was the celebration of my accomplishment – a completed novel, Paris Runaway.
I also set up pre-orders on Amazon so people could buy the book and have it delivered on the day it premiered.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

I hope my novel transports you to Paris – on a vacation you might not have planned this summer. Isn’t that the purpose of a book, to help you experience something, to feel something that you hadn’t anticipated? Angst, joy, frustration, fear and sexual tension – I’ve tried to include them all in Paris Runaway


  1. Thanks so much for the interview. Your questions definitely made me think hard about my process.

  2. Paulita, good luck with your blog tour. See you around the web.