SFFMP 169: Writing Across Genres, Getting New Books to Stick, and Epic/Military Fantasy with David Estes

This week, David Estes–author of dystopian fiction, children’s fiction, and epic fantasy (with more genres on the way)–joined us to talk about jumping into epic/military fantasy last year, how he managed to launch well into a new genre, and how he’s kept his books in the category top 100s on Amazon for the last year. We also discussed how he got his books picked up by Podium Publishing for audiobook versions and some of the challenges of marketing audio.

Here are some of the specifics that we covered:

  • The various subgenres of fantasy and science fiction that David has written in and whether it’s been harder or easier to find success when he’s been “genre hopping.”
  • The relatively recent addition of “military fantasy” as a category on Amazon.
  • Common tropes or what readers expect from military fantasy as a subgenre.
  • Having audiobooks produced through a publisher verses producing your own through ACX.
  • Some of the challenges of marketing audiobooks and the importance of finding a good narrator.
  • How much better longer books often do when it comes to audiobooks (due to the Audible credit system).
  • Why David rapid released his first three epic fantasy novels and if he’ll do it again for his next series.
  • Keeping the momentum and publishing regularly even when you’re working a day job and writing long novels.
  • The advertising and group promos that helped David with his launch into a new genre.
  • How much he’s spending on advertising and what’s working best for him (hint: Bookbub’s pay-per-click ads) to keep his first book in the Top 100 for epic fantasy month in and month out.
  • Whether people are willing to tolerate a higher price point on longer novels.
  • Adding bonus content such as short stories to the end of novels (especially those in Kindle Unlimited) rather than selling them as 99-cent stand-alones.

Visit David’s website to see what he’s up to or check out his books on Amazon. You can also visit his Goodreads fan group, which he talked about during the interview, or follow his progress with his new Patreon page.


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