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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Click to download the mp3.

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Tips for a Successful Book Launch

Today we interviewed each other and talked about what each of us does for a book launch these days. Jo and Jeff talked about how things go now as authors with established fan bases, and Lindsay talked about her recent pen name launch, where nobody knew about the books, and she was essentially starting from scratch as a new author.

We covered a lot, but here are some of the topic highlights:

  • What’s changed in the last four years (book launches back in 2010 versus book launches today).
  • What we do pre-launch to build buzz and make sure readers are interested
  • Continuing with a series versus publishing a stand-alone book
  • What we do on the social media sites
  • How having a mailing list helps with increasing visibility at Amazon
  • Whether we send out advanced review copies or lobby for reviews
  • The advantage that KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited authors have right now
  • Whether we believe in going wide or being exclusive with Amazon and the pros and cons of each
  • Should new authors consider launching in KDP Select?
  • Why, if you’re starting from scratch or starting a new series, you might want to wait until you have the first two books ready to go before publishing
  • Some launches that have gone well for us and some that have flopped (and why)


Click to download the mp3.

Also, for anyone who might want to hear more about the specifics of Lindsay’s pen name launch, I did a detailed write up on my blog at the one-month point.