We had a full house tonight with Jo, Jeff, and Lindsay talking to J Thorn, J.F. Penn, and Zach Bohannon, three authors Lindsay is currently collaborating with for a dark fantasy project. Not unexpectedly, our show topic is collaboration, something we’ve talked about before but not for a while. We also discussed networking with other authors and even store merchandizers and how you can get more eyeballs on your work by doing some of these group projects or participating in group promotions.
Here are a few of the details of what we discussed:
Some of the benefits of collaboration, both from a writing perspective and from a marketing perspective.
Growing your audience through exposure to other authors’ audiences.
Leaning more about your craft through working closely with other authors.
Approaching people you might be interested in working with.
How accounting works when you’re splitting the earnings and expenses among two or more authors.
Handling differences that might come up during the project.
Marketing the finished project and what to do when some of the authors usually write in different genres and have different kinds of lists.
Networking with other authors for marketing opportunities that don’t involve actual writing collaboration.
Going to conventions, book expos, etc. to meet other authors and also store merchandizers to get on their radar.
You can check out more on the collaborative project (American Demon Hunters: Sacrifice) right here.
New York Times bestselling steampunk/fantasy author Gail Carriger joined us this week to talk about writing and marketing for traditionally published novels as well as her experiences self-publishing novellas and short stories. She’s very proactive in interacting with her fans and had a lot of great information for listeners.
Here’s some of what we touched on:
Gail’s path to traditional publishing and how her books came to find an audience.
What her publisher has done as far as marketing and what she’s been expected to do on her own.
Why she decided to branch out and start self-publishing some of her novellas and short stories.
How she uses social media and her newsletter to interact with readers between releases and keep them excited about being a part of her fandom.
Using Amazon affiliate links to monitor what other things your readers are buying after they pick up your books (and why it might be useful to know that).
Gail’s experiences with book tours and whether it’s worth it for newer authors to try to arrange local book signings.
Is there anything you can do to make a publisher want to spend more money on you when it comes to their marketing/advertising budget?
Suggestions on what to watch out for with cover art.
Adult fiction versus young adult fiction.
What to watch out for when signing a traditional publishing contract, especially if you think you’ll want to self-publish on the side.
This week, we chatted with Barry Hutchison, a full-time author who started out writing children’s books for a traditional publishing house and who is now dabbling in self-publishing with adult science fiction. After a bumpy start with his first self-published project, a serial called The Bug, he learned the ropes and had a successful launch for his Space Team comedic SF series. With the release of the fourth in the series coming, he expects to hit his first five-figure month in June.
Here are a few more details of what we talked about:
Why Barry chose to self-publish his adult fiction after working with a traditional publisher for so many years.
Not being discouraged by a less-than-stellar launch with his first self-published project.
Why he went into the Space Team series bootstrapping it by doing his own cover art and handling his own editing.
Launching at 99 cents and into Kindle Unlimited.
Differences in marketing between traditional publishing and self-publishing.
Writing quickly and launching subsequent books in the Space Team series with only two months between releases.
What kinds of covers make sense for comedic science fiction.
The importance of a mailing list over social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Whether holiday stories can make sense for writers of space opera.
How Barry used a preview of his first Space Team novel on Instafreebie to get people to sign up for his mailing list before the book launched.
How promoting other authors on Instafreebie ended up with him being featured by the company.