New York Times bestselling steampunk/fantasy author Gail Carriger joined us this week to talk about writing and marketing for traditionally published novels as well as her experiences self-publishing novellas and short stories. She’s very proactive in interacting with her fans and had a lot of great information for listeners.
Here’s some of what we touched on:
Gail’s path to traditional publishing and how her books came to find an audience.
What her publisher has done as far as marketing and what she’s been expected to do on her own.
Why she decided to branch out and start self-publishing some of her novellas and short stories.
How she uses social media and her newsletter to interact with readers between releases and keep them excited about being a part of her fandom.
Using Amazon affiliate links to monitor what other things your readers are buying after they pick up your books (and why it might be useful to know that).
Gail’s experiences with book tours and whether it’s worth it for newer authors to try to arrange local book signings.
Is there anything you can do to make a publisher want to spend more money on you when it comes to their marketing/advertising budget?
Suggestions on what to watch out for with cover art.
Adult fiction versus young adult fiction.
What to watch out for when signing a traditional publishing contract, especially if you think you’ll want to self-publish on the side.
Today, Seanan McGuire joined us on the show to talk about her urban fantasy and her science fiction, her rapid releases (under two different names) with traditional publishing, how she got started, and what led her to explore Patreon, where she is currently earning nearly $8,000 per short story.
**Note: a few curse words slipped out during the interview, so you might want to listen to this one with your earbuds in!
Here are a few more details on what we covered:
How writing Buffy porn led to Seanan landing an agent
Publishing quickly even with traditional publishers
Why she has two pen names (Seanan McGuire and Mira Grant)
Seanan’s experiences with two different publishers, each with different ways of going about the business (she’s with Daw and also with Orbit)
What kinds of marketing things she does on her own, what she pays for, and what the publisher pays for
Why she decided to start a Patreon campaign and how she got the word out
Why she feels like you should submit to agents and try to make it through the gauntlet of traditional publishing even if you don’t ultimately sign
What a launch of a new book looks like for Seanan these days
Marketing venues you can get into with a traditional publisher behind you (and the challenges of getting into the same spots as an indie).
Giveaways and contests and what kind of prizes she uses to inspire fan art.
Beth’s tips for getting an agent and a publisher (she recommends batch querying to test your query letter, sample pages, etc. before flinging your queries out to everyone in the database)?
Using QueryTracker to find agents suitable for your genre (newer agents may be quicker to respond and more eager to find clients than established veterans)
How Beth decides if a project is more suitable for self-publishing or if it might appeal to a traditional publisher.
Getting involved with more than Facebook when it comes to social media (she recommends Instagram and Tumblr especially for YA authors).
Occasionally Tweeting or Facebook posting about the perks of being on your mailing list (such as that you’ll debut book covers or teasers to subscribers)
Using apps like Word Swag and sites like Canva.com to take fun quotes from your book and turn them into graphics that are more shareable on social media.
Using Wattpad as a way to organize non-fiction projects and also to get exposure to the YA readers out there.
If you’re interested in Beth’s books for writers, the links to all three are up above. If you want to check out her fiction, you can find her novels and short stories on Amazon or get more information on her website. Her latest novel, A World Without You, will be available in July (you can pre-order it now). She’s on social media in all of the usual places too, so stop by and say hi!