SFFMP 132: Are Spinoffs a Good Idea, Costs of Cover Art, & Marketing Unique Stories

For the first time in a couple of months, Jeff, Jo, and Lindsay didn’t have a guest tonight. They answered listener questions and talked about their own experiences with spinoffs and the pros and cons of doing them from a financial and creative standpoint.

Here are a few specifics that they talked about:

  • Kindle Worlds and whether Jo’s experience writing in Lindsay’s world was worth the time that was invested.
  • Whether book trailers ever work and are worth doing.
  • How much to expect to spend for the various types of cover art (i.e. illustrated, photoshop/illustration combination with stock art or with models and photo shoots of your own).
  • The challenges of using stock photos and finding good images when you’re writing people of color (or just need period-appropriate clothing for fantasy/science fiction).
  • Whether it’s possible for an epic fantasy story that’s not in a traditional setting or not a traditional story to do well.
  • Whether you need to create a DBA or anything special when you start publishing under a pen name.
  • Advice for getting Amazon to make an ebook free when it’s already free in other stores.
  • Some of the reasons that writing a spinoff might make sense if you had a series that did well (i.e. an almost guaranteed audience, no need to start from scratch with world-building, easier to guess how much the books will earn, based on the sales from the past series).
  • Some of the reasons you may not want to do a spinoff (i.e. may only appeal to readers of the original series, may lose some of the magic of the original, may be constrained by events that happened in the original).

 

| Open Player in New Window

Click to download the mp3.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on iTunes.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on YouTube.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast via RSS.

Like us on Facebook.

SFFMP 79: Epic Fantasy, YouTube Marketing, and Finding a Route to Success with Garrett Robinson

This week, we chatted with epic fantasy author Garrett Robinson (http://garrettbrobinson.com/) who got his start with genre hopping and serialized fiction before deciding to settle in and focus on epic fantasy. Several novels later, he’s selling a lot of books and making a great living.

Here’s some of what we talked about:

  • Outlining and planning when you’re building a big world with multiple series and storylines
  • Juggling multiple series and having publication schedules that satisfy the readers and make marketing doable
  • Why it took three books and a boxed set before the ball really started rolling for Garrett
  • What kinds of book covers are expected for epic fantasy
  • Live vlogging a novel as a way to interact with readers and also as an accountability tool
  • Creating a YouTube channel where videos actually convert to book sales
  • Why Garrett is sticking with KDP Select for the time being
  • The perks of getting a Bookbub ad while in Kindle Unlimited
  • Why he’s enjoying Tumblr as a social media platform
  • Author Platform Rocket — a resource Garrett uses for generating Facebook leads for his mailing list
  • Tips for Facebook advertising (don’t be shy — imagine yourself as a marketing firm that was hired to plug your books)

If you want to get Garrett’s first book for free, stop by his page and sign up for his newsletter.

 

| Open Player in New Window

Click to download the mp3.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on iTunes.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on YouTube.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast via RSS.

Like us on Facebook.

SFFMP 72: Selling More by Writing to Market + A Novel in 21 Days with Chris Fox

Our guest this week is Chris Fox, author of Writing to Market, the Deathless Series, Hero Born, and more. You might remember him from our show in July of 2015. Now he isn’t just encouraging you to write 5k an hour—He has a new nonfiction book out that will help redefine the way you look at writing to make a big splash in the market with potentially less work. Writing to Market shows you how to examine marketing trends and write books that give readers the experiences they want.

Here’s a taste of what we discussed:

  • The troubles of writing a book that doesn’t quite fit into market—With elements that might be like ‘mixing peanut butter with pickles.’
  • How it can be easier to establish a presence in the market if you write something a little more mainstream. It should be something that you enjoy writing, but something that offers a more ready market.
  • That going into publishing with eyes wide open about the market and genres can have a tremendous effect on your career.
  • The importance of writing to the market and taking care to pay attention to details like word counts for specific genres.
  • How a writer can succeed even if their original works aren’t very good.
  • How to ensure your backlist doesn’t go stale.
  • Ways to figure out if combining specific genres can be a good or bad ideas.
  • Learning methods to use keywords to help you learn both how successful different genres are and how to find an underserved market.
  • Tips and tricks for switching genres as an already established author.
  • Taking on an intense challenge—A 21 Day Novel Challenge. Possible? Tune in—You won’t want to miss it or what he would say to someone wanting to undertake it.

If you enjoyed the show, please visit Chris on his site and check out his Deathless series and books on writing there and on his Amazon page.

 

| Open Player in New Window

Click to download the mp3.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on iTunes.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on YouTube.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast via RSS.

Like us on Facebook.

SFFMP 58: Marketing Stand Alone Novels and Different Types of Series

Today, we answered some reader questions/comments about bank accounts for your self-publishing business and making your author site mobile friendly, and then we jumped into discussing marketing strategies for stand alone novels, as well as several different types of series.

The main types of series we discussed are:

  • Series with continuing characters where each novel is a complete story
  • Series where there is an overarching storyline with multiple plot threads that only get wrapped up in the final book
  • Series with major romance elements that have different characters and happily ever afters in each novel.

Naturally, we spoke of everything in a science fiction and fantasy context. Even though some of these series types are more popular in other genres, there are definitely plenty of examples in SF & F. We talked about the pros and cons when it comes to marketing each.

Here are the links that listener Will Norman gave us for checking to see if your website is mobile-friendly (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/) and also for getting pop-up newsletter forms to add to your website: https://sumome.com/

Don’t forget to check out Jo’s first book… in German!

 

| Open Player in New Window

Click to download the mp3.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on iTunes.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on YouTube.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast via RSS.

SFFMP 54: Marketing Books on a Long Release Cycle with Moses Siregar III

We chatted with Moses Siregar III tonight, a busy epic fantasy author with two novels out. Like many folks in our audience, he has a lot on his plate, and it takes a while for him to write, edit, and publish new books. We talked about whether it’s better to self-publish or seek a traditional deal with this kind of schedule and what kind of marketing you can do when you don’t have the momentum of frequent releases behind you.

Moses also talked about his experience with podcasting (he was a host on Adventures in SciFi Publishing for some time) and how he met other authors and made some helpful contacts through seminars and conventions. When trouble with wrist problems bothered him, he became a fan of walking around the neighborhood and dictating his story. He used a service called iDictate which, for a reasonable fee, transcribes what you dictate into your phone.

We discussed some of the challenges, both of marketing and keeping the momentum going, when you write long epic fantasy novels. Since he doesn’t release his novels that quickly, Moses decided to make preview novellas for both of his books, as a way of getting something out there during the in-between years.

Check out the rest of the interview for more!

When you’re done, you can visit Moses’s SciFiFantasyBooks YouTube Channel or stop by his blog and visit him on Facebook. Grab The Black God’s War on Amazon or Smashwords, or try out his latest, The Ninth Wind.

 

| Open Player in New Window

Click to download the mp3.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on iTunes.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on YouTube.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast via RSS.

SFFMP 39: Creating Successful Series, Permafree Boxed Sets, and Epic vs. Urban Fantasy with Robert J. Crane

On today’s episode, we chatted with successful epic and urban fantasy author, Robert J. Crane. He’s sold more than a million books and was able to turn writing into his day job early on. Now, he has four successful series going, including his well-known Girl in the Box books.

Here’s a little of what we covered:

  • Productivity — how Robert has written and published 26 novels in the last four years
  • Writing books as a business and to make money versus treating this as an art and doing it just for the love
  • Cliffhangers and planning out a series
  • How series have been the key to Robert’s success and thoughts on writing/publishing multiple series at once
  • Audience size for epic fantasy versus urban fantasy (stuff set in our world)
  • Is it easier marketing contemporary sci-fi/fantasy versus secondary world stuff?
  • Having a social media presence, since not everyone will sign up for your newsletter (or filters might keep messages from getting through)
  • Doing not only a perma-free Book 1 for marketing but a perma-free boxed set (books 1-3) in a longer series
  • The “Big Name” approach for cover art — is there a point at which the author name should be larger than the title?
  • Getting fantasy maps done at The Cartographers’ Guild.

If you would like to check out Robert’s books, you can jump into his world for free with The Sanctuary Series (Books 1-3) or Alone (The Girl in the Box, Book 1). Find out more about all of his books on his site.

Robert also has some great and solid advice for indie authors on his blog, well worth the read.

 

 

| Open Player in New Window

Click to download the mp3.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on iTunes.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on YouTube.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast via RSS.

SFFMP 33: Selling Tons of Urban Fantasy Books with Annie Bellet

We interviewed Annie Bellet, author of the very popular 20-Sided Sorceress urban fantasy series this week. She’s also written epic fantasy, dark fantasy, science fiction, sold short stories to numerous magazines, and participated in various writing workshops. Here’s a little of what we talked about:

  • How Annie got started self-publishing and found that it’s much easier to rock it with an ongoing series than with short stories or series starters (that never get followed up)
  • When it’s worth having audiobooks of your novels produced
  • Tips on writing short stories (and why you might like to write short stories)
  • Covers — should you model yours after an existing (and popular!) series in your genre?
  • Launching the first book in a series at 99 cents (even if you don’t have others out yet)
  • Pre-orders, why Annie isn’t doing them any more
  • Amazon KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited, yay or nay?
  • Are awards useful in marketing?
  • Annie talks the stages of being an indie author and how to move from the beginning struggle to selling more books and gathering a regular audience of readers
  • Advertising, which sites deliver the best bang for her buck?
  • Mistakes some people make when they actually do have early success (and mistakes people have when they don’t have early success).
  • Common themes among indie authors who are failing to break out.
  • Treating your writing like a business (assuming your goal is to make money)

Check out the show, and pick up the first in Annie’s series for 99 cents: Justice Calling (The Twenty-Sided Sorceress Book 1).

 

| Open Player in New Window

Click to download the mp3.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on iTunes.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on YouTube.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast via RSS.