Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chasing Rainbows and Finding Success: Meet Bestselling Romance Author Kathleen Long

This weekend it is great to welcome another wonderful romance author, Kathleen Long. First of all Kathleen, congratulations on the huge success of your bestselling novel, Chasing Rainbows, an Amazon, USA Today and WSJ bestseller! Obviously you won’t want to give too much away, but for people who haven’t read it yet, could you tell us a bit about it?

Thank you, Katheryn! The past several weeks have been a humbling, exciting time in my life.

Chasing Rainbows is the story of Bernadette Murphy’s journey out of a life that’s stagnated into a life brimming with possibility.

Here’s the blurb:

What’s that saying about the devil you know? For Bernadette Murphy, it's the devil she never expected that changes everything. Her father’s sudden death leaves a gaping void in her life and is one in a series of events that rock her world. But with the discovery of her father’s book of cryptograms, Bernie realizes his encoded lessons in living may be exactly what she needs to survive.

When Bernie finds herself in trouble at home, out of work and banned from the mall after a confrontation at the cosmetic counter, she discovers what her father always knew. In life, you either choose to sing a rainbow, or you don’t.

For Bernie, the singing is about to begin.

What do you think have been the biggest factors in the success of Chasing Rainbows?

Without a doubt, the biggest factor in the success of Chasing Rainbows was a giveaway done on Amazon during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Over the course of four days, the Kindle version was listed as free, and the volume of downloads was incredible. Chasing Rainbows moved as high as #2 on the Top 100 Free Kindle list and held there. When the price was returned to a discounted holiday price of $0.99, Chasing Rainbows climbed the Top 100 Paid Kindle Bestseller list, reaching as high as #4. The visibility was priceless, and the book’s sales kicked in beyond my wildest dreams.

In addition to the giveaways on Amazon, I’ve pursued a mix of marketing avenues—online advertising, direct email to my readers list, facebook and twitter postings. Additionally, I have a blog tour scheduled to run for two weeks beginning in late February.

I’d like to think another reason for the book’s success is the story itself. The protagonist confronts issues which will face many of us sooner or later—loss of a parent, divorce, career reinvention, etc.

You published Chasing Rainbows for $2.99 as an ebook, while many other bestselling authors, such as John Locke, have published their books for 99c. Did you consider selling yours for 99c?

I decided to use $0.99 as a sale price during special promotions. For example, from December 1st through January 15th, Chasing Rainbows was part of the Book Lovers Buffet promotion. During that time, the list price was reduced to $0.99. I’m sure this played a part in the success of the title during the days following the free listing. That being said, I’d always intended to list Chasing Rainbows at $2.99, a price I feel more than fair for a women’s fiction novel.

You have also published over a dozen other romance novels mainly with Harlequin. Why did you decide to self-publish Chasing Rainbows?

Deciding to self-publish was a big step for me. I’d published thirteen books the traditional way—two for Kensington Publishing and eleven for Harlequin. Because of that, my brain was fully wrapped around the way New York publishing worked. Then I hit a dry spell and saw three proposals make the rounds and remain unsold. All the while, Chasing Rainbows sat on my computer and waited.

Chasing Rainbows was my first women’s fiction, and as such, my agent hadn’t wanted to shop the project. At the time, she’d wanted me to focus on building my romantic suspense career, so I had.

I began to see friends and acquaintances have decent success with self-publishing, and I began to think...and think...and think about putting Rainbows out into the world. I gave Bernie’s story one last edit and had the book professionally formatted. I’d designed the cover months earlier when I’d started thinking about self-publishing. Within a matter of days, the book was live. I’m so glad I took the plunge.

I think self-publishing has definitely been a factor in the book’s success. Self-publishing allowed me to make Chasing Rainbows available quickly, across multiple formats, at a low price. All of those factors most certainly played roles in the book’s sales.

What are you working on at the moment and will you continue to self-publish?

I’m currently working on a suspense novel. Vanished is scheduled for release on Kindle this April. I’m also working on a series of small-town contemporary romances and have a second women’s fiction title planned for the second half of 2012.

I will continue to self-publish, but I am also considering a publishing contract at the time of this interview. The beauty of today’s market is that authors are able to pursue both avenues to delivering new content to their readers. I’m very excited about the coming months. Please keep an eye on my website for the latest news and release info.

When you are not writing, what do you like doing in your free time? 

In my free time, I love nothing more than spending time with my family. I have a young daughter and treasure these years of wonder spent watching her grow and learn. I love to read, study movies and experiment with jewellery design. In the spring and summer, you can find me at the beach more often than not. I find a walk along the ocean the most powerful way to refill my creative well.

What advice do you have for other authors out there? 

My advice for writers is always the same. Learn your craft. Study the markets. Educate yourself. Network. Read. Write. Most importantly, never quit.

Finally, do you have any parting comments that you would like to share with us?

Yes. It’s never too late to find your dream and chase it!

Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

Readers can find me at my Website:, on facebook:, or on twitter:!/KLWords.

Thanks for letting me visit, Katheryn! Warmest wishes.

Thank you so much Kathleen for taking the time to come here and tell us about yourself and your wonderful, bestselling book.  


  1. Hi Kathleen, Bernadette Murphy is a very Irish sounding name. Does the character have Irish roots?

  2. Hi Emma. Yes, she does have Irish roots, much like my own family. Her character is actually named for our first daughter, who was named for her very Irish grandmother.