Happy New Year! The guys chatted amongst themselves on today’s show, talking about some of their predictions of where book marketing is going in 2018 (what’s making a return and what’s falling by the wayside?) and some of their own author resolutions. They also covered a number of listener questions on topics such as whether to advertise later books in a series, Facebook videos, and whether readers cross over to other genres and pen names.
Here are a few more of the specifics we talked about:
Jeff moving to Phoenix and leaving the day job to write full time.
Lindsay’s recent fantasy book launch and a few things that didn’t go as well as hoped.
Why Lindsay started a Patreon campaign for fans that want to get her books early.
When should you switch to advertising the newest in a popular series rather than the first book?
Some of the guys’ easiest and hardest sells when it comes to their own books, and what they leaned from the experiences.
Making sure not to continue to throw a lot of money at books that just aren’t able to sell on their own.
Why Jo and Lindsay are both planning to put out more free fiction (short stories) for their fans.
Whether it’s better to write and release more short novels or if longer novels give you an advantage.
Predictions that more authors will work to lessen their reliance on Amazon in the coming year.
Diversifying your author income.
Will we see a return of some popular book marketing tactics from a few years ago?
More and more authors writing in the same genre forming groups to help each other with promotions.
A possible return to an emphasis on finding your true fans and building a relationship with them rather than just worrying about scoring big with the Amazon algorithms.
The pros and cons of cross-over when you’re writing in multiple genres.
Whether video on Facebook ads will continue to grow and if there’s any use for authors.
Tonight we chatted with Ben Zackheim, middle-grade fantasy author, or “writer of smart books for smart children.” He’s worn a lot of hats in his working life and a few years ago switched from the game industry to self-publishing his own novels. He’s also a teacher at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, where he shows creative people how to market their work. You can say hi to him on Twitter and check out the first book in his Camelot Kids series on Amazon.
Here’s a little of what we talked about tonight:
The challenges of marketing middle-grade books
How independent publishing differs from film-making and video game creation
Working with artists for quality covers and possibly in-book material
Thoughts on blogging, social media, and “building a platform”
How many people are overlooking local markets in their marketing attempts
Utilizing visual artwork to help sell your books (Don’t have any? Commission some for your world and your character.)
Costly ads and other marketing schemes that should be avoided
Focusing on a series and publishing regularly
Is it worth trying to target fans of a popular series by writing something similar?
Getting a table at conventions and selling directly to your target audience
Amazon ads (and what analytics Amazon shares with authors) — will they be better in the future?