Tips for a Successful Book Launch

Today we interviewed each other and talked about what each of us does for a book launch these days. Jo and Jeff talked about how things go now as authors with established fan bases, and Lindsay talked about her recent pen name launch, where nobody knew about the books, and she was essentially starting from scratch as a new author.

We covered a lot, but here are some of the topic highlights:

  • What’s changed in the last four years (book launches back in 2010 versus book launches today).
  • What we do pre-launch to build buzz and make sure readers are interested
  • Continuing with a series versus publishing a stand-alone book
  • What we do on the social media sites
  • How having a mailing list helps with increasing visibility at Amazon
  • Whether we send out advanced review copies or lobby for reviews
  • The advantage that KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited authors have right now
  • Whether we believe in going wide or being exclusive with Amazon and the pros and cons of each
  • Should new authors consider launching in KDP Select?
  • Why, if you’re starting from scratch or starting a new series, you might want to wait until you have the first two books ready to go before publishing
  • Some launches that have gone well for us and some that have flopped (and why)


Click to download the mp3.

Also, for anyone who might want to hear more about the specifics of Lindsay’s pen name launch, I did a detailed write up on my blog at the one-month point.

Creating Bundles, Advertising, and Targeting Higher Paying Readers with Jason Chen from

We had our first official guest on the Science Fiction & Fantasy Marketing Podcast tonight! Jason Chen, the founder of, joined us to talk about how he started the site, how he’s gone about creating book bundles full of awesome titles by traditionally published and indie authors, and how he sells upwards of 3000 bundles in a 3-week period over and over again. And these are not 99-cent bundles, my friends. People often pay over $10 for the collections on his site, meaning a nice cut for the authors and also for the charities that Jason works with.

We pumped him for information on:

  • Creating bundles, including approaching big-name authors
  • Marketing bundles and ebooks in general
  • Finding ways to promote on tech sites, as opposed to the usual book venues
  • Choosing cover art for bundles
  • His experience with advertising on Google, Facebook, and other sites
  • Whether StoryBundle still accepts submissions (the answer is yes, but many of their collections are curated by authors who know other authors)
  • Lots more — check out the show!



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Download the mp3.


Find Jason at, Twitter, or Facebook.

Facebook Marketing: Selling Books, Building a Community, and Does Advertising Ever Help?

Today’s show is dedicated to Facebook marketing. How do you use the popular social media platform to sell more books and keep current readers engaged? We took turns answering questions, based on our experiences. We may not be gurus, but we’ve all been on Facebook as authors for 2-4 years, and we had quite a bit to say!

Here’s a little of what we covered:

  • Separate author page or personal page, what’s best?
  • One page or one for every series?
  • How do you get readers to find you and like your page?
  • How important is interaction, and how do you get people to engage with you?
  • Facebook advertising, pay-per-click and boosted posts, are they ever worth it?
  • Groups, can they help with anything?
  • What about events?
  • Has there been a decline in the effectiveness of Facebook over the years?
  • What’s the future going to bring, and how will it impact authors?


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Click to download the mp3.

Increasing Word Count, Productivity Tips for Authors, and Beating Writer’s Block

For our fifth episode, we didn’t interview anyone. Instead we talked amongst ourselves about our experiences with improving our productivity. Since it’s the beginning of NaNoWriMo, we thought it might be useful for some listeners. We all have several novels out, and Jo and Jeff have written most of theirs while working a full-time job. I (Lindsay speaking) have been full time for longer, but I’ve definitely improved my own productivity over the years, going from 1-3k a day to 5-10k words a day.

We referenced (awkwardly) Rachel Aaron’s 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love, a book you should definitely check out since I kind of mangled the tips from it in the show (I know, you’re dying to watch/listen now, aren’t you?).


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Click to download the mp3.