SFFMP 64: Rachel Caine Talks Urban Fantasy, YA, Traditional Publishing, and Rocking a Kickstarter Campaign

Today’s guest, Rachel Caine, has been publishing urban fantasy and YA fantasy since 1991. She’s been traditionally published throughout her career, but she recently decided to self-publish a new book in her long-standing Weather Warden series. She launched a Kickstarter to help finance the project, asked for $5,000 and ended up earning $18,000+. We asked her about the Kickstarter and also what she’s seen as far as changes in the industry, along with the differences in self-publishing and traditional publishing when it comes to marketing and more.

Some of the things we talked about were:

  • The state of urban fantasy today and how trends wax and wane
  • Creating a successful Kickstarter campaign (and some tips for how to save more of the money that people pledge to you).
  • Building a mailing list as a traditionally published author (she uses Mailchimp and has done giveaways with Rafflecopter).
  • Creating items for physical giveaways at signings and conventions (Rachel mentioned MakePlayingCards.com for doing character cards and ClubFlyers.com and Vista Print for bookmarks, postcards, and the like).
  • Visiting schools and marketing to librarians to help sell YA fiction
  • What kind of help you can expect from traditional publishers when it comes to marketing and what’s most likely going to be up to you.
  • The challenges of participating in such common self-pub marketing tactics as multi-author bundles and price-related promotions when your books are traditionally published
  • Whether social media and “having a platform” are important when it comes to getting a traditional deal
  • Being careful about signing a contract and watching out for rights grabs

You can find Rachel at her website, on Twitter, and you can visit her author page on Facebook.

She has lots of new books coming out for you to check out. She has a story coming out in the new X-files anthology, she has a collection of short stories from her Morganville Vampires series, and the next book in her Great Library series will be out this summer. Check out the first here (visit her site for more news and links to other stores).



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  • Very interesting. It’s always especially illuminating when there’s someone on who has had, or still has, a traditional publishing deal.

    It seems Jo’s pretzel stash has outgrown the jar and now has to be stored in a cupboard! 😉

  • Steve

    Dumb question: If I have English speaking people on my FB page, or on my mailing list from another country, will they be able to buy my book from Amazon (in the US)? My FB page for some reason has a bunch of people from Asian countries.

    • SFFpodcast

      People in other countries will be rerouted to their own Amazon stores, I believe just to the front page where they can search for your book. Some authors will put the links to all of the main Amazon stores on their site, and I believe you can use sites like SmartURL to reroute people to various specific links, depending on what country they came from. I know I’ve seen authors do that with book links. https://manage.smarturl.it/