Tips for a Successful Book Launch

Today we interviewed each other and talked about what each of us does for a book launch these days. Jo and Jeff talked about how things go now as authors with established fan bases, and Lindsay talked about her recent pen name launch, where nobody knew about the books, and she was essentially starting from scratch as a new author.

We covered a lot, but here are some of the topic highlights:

  • What’s changed in the last four years (book launches back in 2010 versus book launches today).
  • What we do pre-launch to build buzz and make sure readers are interested
  • Continuing with a series versus publishing a stand-alone book
  • What we do on the social media sites
  • How having a mailing list helps with increasing visibility at Amazon
  • Whether we send out advanced review copies or lobby for reviews
  • The advantage that KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited authors have right now
  • Whether we believe in going wide or being exclusive with Amazon and the pros and cons of each
  • Should new authors consider launching in KDP Select?
  • Why, if you’re starting from scratch or starting a new series, you might want to wait until you have the first two books ready to go before publishing
  • Some launches that have gone well for us and some that have flopped (and why)

 

Click to download the mp3.

Also, for anyone who might want to hear more about the specifics of Lindsay’s pen name launch, I did a detailed write up on my blog at the one-month point.

Creating Bundles, Advertising, and Targeting Higher Paying Readers with Jason Chen from StoryBundle.com

We had our first official guest on the Science Fiction & Fantasy Marketing Podcast tonight! Jason Chen, the founder of StoryBundle.com, joined us to talk about how he started the site, how he’s gone about creating book bundles full of awesome titles by traditionally published and indie authors, and how he sells upwards of 3000 bundles in a 3-week period over and over again. And these are not 99-cent bundles, my friends. People often pay over $10 for the collections on his site, meaning a nice cut for the authors and also for the charities that Jason works with.

We pumped him for information on:

  • Creating bundles, including approaching big-name authors
  • Marketing bundles and ebooks in general
  • Finding ways to promote on tech sites, as opposed to the usual book venues
  • Choosing cover art for bundles
  • His experience with advertising on Google, Facebook, and other sites
  • Whether StoryBundle still accepts submissions (the answer is yes, but many of their collections are curated by authors who know other authors)
  • Lots more — check out the show!

 

 

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Download the mp3.

 

Find Jason at StoryBundle.com, Twitter, or Facebook.

Facebook Marketing: Selling Books, Building a Community, and Does Advertising Ever Help?

Today’s show is dedicated to Facebook marketing. How do you use the popular social media platform to sell more books and keep current readers engaged? We took turns answering questions, based on our experiences. We may not be gurus, but we’ve all been on Facebook as authors for 2-4 years, and we had quite a bit to say!

Here’s a little of what we covered:

  • Separate author page or personal page, what’s best?
  • One page or one for every series?
  • How do you get readers to find you and like your page?
  • How important is interaction, and how do you get people to engage with you?
  • Facebook advertising, pay-per-click and boosted posts, are they ever worth it?
  • Groups, can they help with anything?
  • What about events?
  • Has there been a decline in the effectiveness of Facebook over the years?
  • What’s the future going to bring, and how will it impact authors?

 

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Click to download the mp3.

Talking Copyright, Publishing Contracts, & KDP Select with Lawyer Turned Author Laura Kirwan

Do authors need to file for copyright? What should you look out for when it comes to contracts with publishers? Do you need an agent to handle foreign rights and contracts or is it better to hire an ip attorney? What should you establish upfront before co-authoring a book or series with another writer?

We talked about these questions and more tonight with our guest, urban fantasy author Laura Kirwan. Laura used to be an attorney but is now focusing on her fiction. We pumped her for lots of information on the legal issues authors (especially independent authors) often wonder about, and we also discussed her experiences with KDP Select and writing for (and marketing to) a specific age group with your fiction (hint: Laura’s protagonist is not an 18-year-old orphan destined to save the world).

 

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Download the mp3

Some of the specific legal issues we covered:

  • Do you need to file for copyright for your novel, and if so, how do you do it?
  • For indie authors, should you create an LLC or other entity to “protect yourself” or are you OK writing and publishing as yourself?
  • If you decide to take a traditional publishing contract or pursue a hybrid model (some books traditionally published and some books self-published), what should you look out for on those contracts? (i.e. getting rights back in the future, non-compete clauses that could prevent you writing in the same genre, what happens if you don’t earn out your advance?)
  • If someone comes along and wants to buy your foreign rights in such-and-such-country, do you need to hire an agent or is an IP attorney a better choice?
  • Do you have any legal recourse if you sign with a publisher or business partner in a foreign country and they don’t follow through?
  • The things you want to establish before co-authoring a book/series with another author.

Also, on the marketing side of the house, we talked a bit about getting into those tricky Amazon categories that aren’t listed on the KDP dashboard. Here’s the link to a post with more instructions on that: How to Get Your Book into More Categories on Amazon with Keywords.

Make sure to check out Laura’s work on Amazon: Impervious (City of Eldrich Book 1).

Interview with Lindsay Buroker!

Last Tuesday we hosted our first live event on YouTube!  Indie author Lindsay Buroker takes the spotlight as three other authors ask about everything from marketing to writer’s block!

Here’s the audio-only MP3 file.

 

 

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