SFFMP 16: Marketing and Promotion for Traditionally Published Authors with Beth Cato

Today we had Beth Cato on the show. Her steampunk novel, The Clockwork Dagger, is published with Harper Voyager, and she’s had numerous short stories published in semi-pro and pro magazines, including Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. She’s also sold numerous non-fiction tales to the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. We chatted with her about what her publisher brought to the table, in terms of marketing and selling books, and also what she’s done on her own to help promote her stories and her world.

Here are a few of the topics we touched on:

  • How and why Beth got started with short stories and how writing and selling them helped her improve her craft, gain confidence as a writer, and eventually find an agent and a publisher.
  • Selling stories to popular fiction podcasts as well as magazines and anthologies.
  • How her publisher helped get her books off on the right foot (she has awesome covers, so take a look).
  • What promotional expectations publishers have from an author when it’s time to release a new book.
  • Book signings, yay or nay? (Here’s the link I promised to Parnell Hall’s musical rendition of his book signing experiences)
  • Whether publishers ever lower prices for sales/promotions and if authors have any say in that.
  • The pros and cons of having a new book included in Amazon’s Vine Program (where it receives pre-release reviews).
  • The Holy Taco Church and networking Beth has done with other authors.
  • Beth’s stance on social media and how much marketing she does there.
  • Tips for new authors.

Click to download the mp3.


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For more about Beth’s books, you can visit her website. You can also download some of her shorter works for free. Red Dust and Dancing Horses is a story delivered in podcast format, and Stitched Wings is a free steampunk story up at Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

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