SFFMP 60: Rocking the Charts in YA Fantasy with New Author Elise Kova

We interviewed new YA fantasy author, Elise Kova, on the show today, and I think you guys will enjoy the listen. At the end of the summer, she launched her first book, Air Awakens, and it’s done great in sales and earned a lot of positives reviews. She managed all of those sales with a full priced offering (3.99) and also without jumping into KDP Select. She’s done so well with it and the follow-up books in the series that she’ll be switching to writing full time soon.

We asked her about writing and marketing YA fantasy, launching a successful first book, accumulating a street team, getting bloggers to reveal your cover, and having paperbacks and hardbacks as well as ebooks made. (She uses Gatekeeper Press to handle the formatting and get physical copies made.)

Elise talked about getting custom cover illustrations done for her books, which have doubtless helped sales. Her artist is Merilliza Chan, whom she found on Deviant Art.

She also spoke about getting her start on FictionPress and whether that can be useful for building an author platform. Listen to the show because there’s a lot of great information in it!

Once you’re done, you can find Elise at her website, on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook.


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  • Ha, ha, ha. I stopped the podcast in midstream to leave this comment. Lindsay, we do like the parts about marketing–at least I do. Some people may not be bothered about writing something no one reads (because they don’t know it exists!), but I’m not one of them. I do love writing, but part of the satisfaction of writing comes from knowing someone is going to read it. So please keep sharing your marketing tips!

    This is a wonderful podcast.

    Eric M Hill
    Author of Christian Spiritual Warfare Thrillers

    • SFFpodcast

      Hey, thanks for stopping by, Eric! It’s definitely fun to find out that people are enjoying your worlds. 🙂

  • Look, a comment! I love the marketing part as well as the author process part!

  • Just discovered that you have a podcast (Lindsay mentioned it in an interview with Joanna Penn) and thought I’d check you out.

    Really enjoy your style – friendly yet professional, as well as informative.

    You’ve picked some great topics and it’s really nice that you dive straight in – I’ve noticed some podcasts spend about half an hour on general chit-chat before getting to the meat of the topic (whilst this may be fun to a degree, it’s a lot of time for us listeners who are trying to catch up on podcasts in our lunch breaks or a bit of free time in the evening).

    • SFFpodcast

      Thanks for checking out the podcast, Alannah! Yup, I usually end up skipping ahead on the chitchatty podcasts. 🙂 I just want the good stuff, hah.

  • Hi,

    Dropping a comment as I listen to the podcast. I found you through the Joanna Penn podcast & I’m loving your podcast, can’t wait to listen to the back issues.

  • Hey! Just wanted to say that I discovered this podcast a few months ago and it has kinda become my obsession. I really appreciate being able to watch these and am learning so much from you guys! You have awesome guests and ask great questions and I’m benefiting from these so much. Thanks for putting the podcasts together!

    • SFFpodcast

      Thanks for listening and for stopping by the site, Miriam! I’m glad you’re finding the podcast helpful. 😀