Our guest this week launched her first novel in April of 2017 to great success. Amanda Milo’s science fiction romance, Stolen by an Alien, stuck in the Top 250 overall in the Amazon store for months and remained near the top of the scifi romance Top 100 too. She’s since published two more novels in the series for the rabid fanbase that she’s already established.
We brought her on to ask about how she launched to such success, why she’s continued to launch her books at 99 cents, and how she used some atypical (for the genre) cover art to find her target audience.
Here’s some of what we covered in more detail:
How Amanda launched her novel without professional editing or a cover that she loved but made it work anyway.
Combining 99 cents, Kindle Unlimited, and a story written for a niche audience to find success.
What level of sex readers are looking for in the science fiction romance category.
Some popular story types in the genre.
What readers expect from the alien abduction trope.
The challenges of writing strong female characters and balancing them with some of the romance tropes of rescues or abductions.
Using the cover, especially in romance genres, to signal to the reader what to expect as far as heat level, in particular.
Why Amanda has stuck with 99 cents so long for her books.
Whether novellas and shorter stories can work in scifi romance.
Using a Facebook page and Facebook groups to connect with readers.
Tonight we had dark fantasy author Becca Andre on the show. She’s a relatively new author with three novels and two novellas out so far in her Final Formula series (the first ebook is free at Amazon, Smashwords, and other retailers if you want to check it out), but she’s gotten off to a great start.
Here’s some of what we talked about with her:
Writing and publishing while working a full time job and being a mom
The usefulness of writing workshops when you’re getting started
Branding the covers in a series and choosing an Amazon category (and even cover design) based on what’s less competitive (assuming a couple of options would work)
Novellas related to one’s main series and whether they’re worth doing or if readers are mainly interested in novels in the SF/F genre
Pricing for novellas versus novels
Effective ways of marketing a series, such as whether to focus on advertising the first book all the time or whether to spend money on plugging new releases too
Writing to a “key demographic” versus just writing what you want
Launching your very first novel at 99 cents so there’s less of a barrier to entry for potential readers
What to do as an author on Twitter and Facebook (i.e. posting snippets, updates, book news, etc.)
Using a Goodreads Giveaway (of a physical paperback) to get people to add the book and leave reviews there
Trying giveaways at times other than during a book launch, such as between books to generate interest and keep your name out there
Giving away a free “alternate PoV scene” to entice people to sign up for your newsletter