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.

 

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SFFMP 62: Anthologies, New Covers, and Creating Boxed Sets to Increase Sales with C. Gockel

We had our first repeat guest on the show today, urban fantasy author Carolynn Gockel (writing as C. Gockel) from Episode 19, where we chatted about permafree books, getting started on fan fiction sites, using Tumblr to promote, and where to buy sponsorships. Carolynn has been busy with a lot of marketing stuff in the last year, and she’s also jumped into science fiction, so we talked about some of what she’s done and learned recently.

We discussed:

  • The promotional (and monetary) perks of putting a short story into an anthology with other authors in your genre, all of whom throw their marketing weight behind the release.
  • Starting your own multi-author boxed sets and whether it’s better to do permafree sets or 99-centers.
  • How to snag a Bookbub ad on a multi-author anthology.
  • The challenges of launching a new series in a different genre from your flagship series.
  • Having one series in Kindle Unlimited (KDP Select) and one wide (she recommends that new authors start out in KDP Select right now).
  • Getting approached by audiobook producers and if it’s better to sell your audio rights versus spending the money producing your own audiobooks.
  • Whether investing in new covers resulted in an uptick in sales and was worth it for Carolynn.
  • Her adventures in Facebook advertising — is it worth using Facebook to promote permafree Book 1s? Boxed sets? Multi-author boxed sets?
  • Lastly, she let us know that she writes because, “If I wasn’t an author, I’d probably be a nasty internet troll.” We all have our motivations!

Grab her first book in the I Bring the Fire series for free from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, or Apple. You can also check out the first ebook in her science fiction series, Archangel Down.

Visit her online at C. Gockel Writes.

 

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SFFMP 48: Facebook Advertising That Works with Mark Dawson

We chatted with indie thriller author Mark Dawson today, someone who found success before he started tinkering with Facebook advertising, but who then really ratcheted up his sales and earnings by figuring out what’s working over there. He now runs a course to help other authors and has several free instructional videos up at Self Publishing Formula. If you like what you hear in the interview, you may want to check them out.

Here’s some of what we covered:

  • Setting up advertising campaigns versus running boosted posts (Mark doesn’t bother with boosted posts)
  • Sending people directly to Amazon to buy books or, even better, sending them to a mailing list sign-up page and giving them free books (i.e. your starter library or series starter) in exchange for an email address (never advertise just for likes to your Facebook page)
  • Setting a bid price for ads versus letting Facebook choose in order to optimize clicks
  • Choosing a target audience (i.e. as a thriller author, Mark targets fans of Lee Child) based on interests that are likely to make them fans of your work
  • Does it matter if you’re in KDP Select and your books aren’t available everywhere? Will fewer of your clicks convert?
  • Do certain genres perform better than others with Facebook advertising?
  • How much can a new author just jumping in expect to spend?
  • Using Chrome and the Facebook Power Editor for greater control over your ads
  • Taking your existing mailing list, importing it into Facebook, and creating an all new custom audience to target based on the interests of your current subscribers
  • Advertising consistently, day-to-day, versus just advertising when you’re doing a book launch or a sale
  • Tips for making it work even if you’re in a small niche without any big-name authors to target

 

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