This week, we were joined by Will Turnage, the founder of the discount book promotion site, Book Barbarian (in addition, he runs Red Roses Romance and Book Adrenaline for mysteries and thrillers). He’s also the author of three science fiction and fantasy novels, and is a fan of the genre. We asked him about some best practices for authors using promotional sites.
Here are a few of the specifics that we covered:
What it’s like writing and running a business from Cartegena, Colombia.
How Will turned from author to founder of a book promotion site, one of the first devoted to scifi and fantasy.
The challenges of building up a subscriber base and keeping new people coming in (yes, these guys have some of the same challenges that we have as authors!).
Some trends that Will has seen — what sub-genres of SF&F tend to be most popular and what types of covers work well.
How many reviews you should have before submitting your book to a site like Book Barbarian.
Whether it’s necessary to have a high normal price and deeply discount to appeal to readers.
Best practices when it comes to free books.
Ad stacking across multiple book promo sites to sell/give away more books and in the hope that your book might stick on the store sites for longer.
How often one should submit books to promo sites and when one might experience diminishing returns.
Robert Bevan joined us this week to talk about writing in a smaller niche (one with no Amazon category) such as comedic fantasy inspired by Dungeons & Dragons. He’s published several novels and collections of short stories in his Caverns & Creatures world, with tongue-in-cheek titles such as Critical Failures, Clerical Error, and Multiple Orc Chasms. He started publishing in 2012, when he was happy to sell a few books a day, and is now able to write full time.
Here are some of the things we talked about:
Trying to publish wide but deciding on KDP Select.
Writing in a niche that isn’t well-served by traditional publishing.
Some of the challenges of writing humor.
Bucking the trend and doing unique covers versus what’s popular in the genre.
Publishing short stories and then bundling them to have more offerings out there (and more books to run promos on).
Combining Kindle Countdown Deals with Facebook ads.
How Robert chooses authors to target for his Facebook ads.
Doing Countdown Deals on multiple books at once to flood the charts.
Creating free adventures for the sole purpose of using sites like Instafreebie to entice readers onto your mailing list.