The Building Blocks of Karen Kilpatrick
This month, we'll be highlighting the Donors from Our Rate Your Story *Build-A-Story* Contest (August 1 - 31st). Each will share a little bit about themselves and the building blocks of their career, tell you about their latest project and leave YOU a building block to help build your stories! Be sure to check them out! AND don't forget to enter our contest (more info here) to be eligible for prizes!
INTRODUCING KAREN KILPATRICK:
I’m an author, literary/licensing agent, and run my own publishing imprint. I come from the toy industry, and focus mainly on franchise and brand building through publishing. I love storytelling and helping others share their stories with the world! Please connect with me @kayppin on Instagram or @AuthorKarenK on X (formerly known as Twitter!).
ON THE HORIZON:
Right now I’m loving working on my P.I. Butterfly series. It’s the first time I’ve written early graphic novels (all my other books have been picture books). P.I. Butterfly is a spunky, precocious private
investigator who won’t stop until she flutters to the truth! I wanted to create a character who didn’t have to be perfect, wasn’t afraid to fail, followed her curiosity, and got paid for her work! The books are great for developing analytical thinking and problem solving skills, with a lot of fun and laughter along the way. Another one I’m excited about in the picture book category is SLEEP. It’s very different than anything I’ve written before, incorporated the letters and words into the art and story. It was a fun project!
My first picture book, When Pencil Met Eraser, was inspired by my daughter, who is an artist. She uses drawing pencils and separate erasers when creating art. One day, when I was watching her, I got to pondering when and why erasers ended up on top of pencils. So I wrote a story about it!
KAREN'S BUILDING BLOCKS:
ON A WRITING CAREER: Building a writing career takes time. The difference between authors who are successful and those who are not is a commitment to craft, perseverance, and an understanding that there will be a lot more rejections than offers. Believe in yourself and don’t give up. Your break will come in time.
While there is nothing more important than a well-written manuscript, if the query letter doesn’t catch my attention or isn’t professional, the manuscript will not be read. With the flood of emails that agents and editors receive all the time, it’s really important to stand out. Have a hook, be professional, don’t overpromise, include your comps, and don’t send form letters!
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA:
It can be really important or not important at all. Let me explain! Do you have social influence? Meaning, do you have a following that will purchase something you wrote or what you promote? If yes, that’s a thumb on the scale. Everyone is looking for authors with influence and a platform that converts into sales. It’s less risky that way! But not all large social followings equate to sales. I’ve worked with authors with over 13 million followers, and sales were slow, and then authors with tens of thousands whose sales were better. So it all depends. And, a lot of new and breakthrough authors don’t have any type of following. It’s great if you have it, but not a deal breaker if you don’t.
KAREN'S PRIZE(S): Karen has generously donated two (2) above the Slush Pile Opportunities to the Top Two Fiction Picture Book Manuscripts.
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