SFFMP 90: From Struggling to Find an Audience to the Top 1000 on Amazon with John L. Monk

This week’s guest, John L. Monk, is the author of The Jenkins Cycle and Thief’s Odyssey, cross-genre books that never sold as well as he wished, despite marketing efforts. About six weeks ago, he published Hell’s Children, a book firmly entrenched in the post-apocalyptic genre. He took some ideas from Chris Fox’s Launch to Market book and managed to release into the Top 1000 on Amazon for the first time, and his book has stuck and continued to sell well even after the dreaded “30 Day Cliff.”

Here are a few things we touched on:

  • The challenges of marketing cross-genre fiction
  • Making life (and marketing) easier by writing in specific genres with commercial appeal
  • Why John chose post-apocalyptic fiction for his new book
  • Staggering your book launch so that you’re selling some copies every day instead of firing everything off at once
  • Making acquaintances with other authors and networking so that they might mention your book to their Facebook followers or mailing lists
  • Launching into KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited and at 99 cents for the first week
  • Why putting fancy new covers on books that weren’t well targeted in a specific genre might not make much of a difference
  • Keeping readers interested in older titles
  • John’s experience with being wide and having an Apple rep and why he ultimately enrolled in KDP Select
  • Working with other authors on an anthology or joint project to spread the word about your work to new readerships

You can find John at his website, on Facebook, or check out his books on Amazon. You can also look into his new joint project, American Demon Hunters. Thanks for listening!


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  • Loved hearing about John’s path to success! Not only does he obviously learn from his experiences, as well as learn from others (including great podcasts like this one 😉 but he clearly is well-read, and knows what he loves as a reader, which helped him decide on something to “write to market.” We don’t always stress the need to read fiction as a writer, and I was glad John (following Chris Fox stressing that very thing last week) show that he has just by the references he made.

    Also: I loved him mentioning Yocla Designs for his covers–she’ll be working on the cover for the first novel in my new series next month; very excited about that 🙂

    Thanks for another great episode!

    • SFFpodcast

      Cool, hope you get some great covers, Dale! 🙂 Yes, it’s definitely important to keep reading!

  • Good show, useful info and a good philosophy of helping other authors.

  • Fab episode, and also agree that following on from Chris’s interview, it helps this all make more sense. Maybe “write to market” is a dirty phrase in some corners (not for me), but writing what you love to a hungry audience HAS to be a winning strategy!

    Keep up the great show!

    • SFFpodcast

      It definitely seems a smart way to go if you can make it work with your muse! Thanks for stopping by, Robert!