SFFMP 118: Writing Longer Books, Pricing Higher, Web Serials, and Generating Multiple Streams of Income to Go Full Time

Drew Hayes, superhero/litRPG/urban fantasy author, joined us for this week’s show. He got his start with web serials before Wattpad was ever a thing, and he grew a fanbase so that when he launched his first ebook a few years ago, it did great right out of the blocks. Since then, he’s started several series, including urban fantasy with a small press, and gone full time as an author.

Here are some of the details of what we talked about tonight:

  • How Drew started publishing his work on the web and wrote the first year of his Super Powereds story before ever creating an ebook.
  • Are web serials still popular, and would it be worth starting one as a new author coming in now?
  • Can a podcast be useful for growing a fan base?
  • Writing longer books (of 200,000 words or more) and pricing a little higher — will the market accept that?
  • Succeeding as a full-time author on about three releases a year.
  • Why Drew decided to sign with a small press after he’d had success as a self-published author.
  • How long books can be great for the audio format, since some listeners buy the longest books they can get for their monthly credit at Audible.
  • How Drew uses Patreon to bring in extra income and also keep in touch with his fans.
  • Why he’s stuck with going wide and hasn’t joined Amazon KDP Select for more than a brief trial.
  • His thoughts on advertising (he hasn’t done much of it!) and what’s working for others he knows who do more.
  • His interesting launch strategy to get a lot of reviews on release day…

Drew’s blog post on the basics of advances.

You can visit Drew on his site, check out the Authors & Dragons podcast, or find his books in any of the online stores including Amazon. You can also check out his Patreon campaign or the new book he has coming out later in February: Forging Hephaestus (Villains’ Code Book 1).

 

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SFFMP 99: A Quick Release Schedule with Traditional Publishing + Rocking Patreon with Seanan McGuire

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

For a limited time, grab Seanan’s first October Daye urban fantasy novel for 1.99 at Amazon. Visit her anytime at her website or on Twitter. You can also take a peek at her Patreon campaign.

 

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SFFMP 50: Patreon, Audiobooks, and Diversifying Your Income with Abigail Hilton

Tonight we chatted with fantasy author Abigail Hilton about making money from Patreon, audiobooks, and web comics as well as full-length novels. She doesn’t write in the most popular subgenre of fantasy, and she creates anthropomorphized characters for her adventures, but she’s diversifying her income and making notable money from her work.

Here’s a bit of what we covered:

  • Supplementing your monthly income with Patreon
  • What Patreon is exactly and how it works
  • Patreon versus Kickstarter
  • Getting people to sign up for your Patreon page and asking for tips versus monthly payments
  • Choosing rewards that don’t require extra work on your part, because they’re things you would do anyway
  • Using Podiobooks to find an audience versus publishing audiobooks straight to Audible
  • The expense of doing full cast recordings for audiobooks and is it worth it?
  • Finding artists to illustrate your world (and to create extras for Patreon rewards)
  • Creating web comics as an add-on for your regular fiction series
  • Hiring reliable artists and whether the expense can be worth it
  • Facebook ads when you’re an author in a small, less popular niche
  • Split testing Facebook ads for covers (figuring out which is your most popular cover option before even publishing the book)

Thanks to Abigail for all of the great information. You can visit her website, where she has free ebooks and audios available, and check out her books on Amazon.

 

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SFFMP 20: SFWA for Indie Authors and Making Money from Patreon and Kickstarter with MCA Hogarth

You may have heard that the SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association) is now allowing small press and indie authors in, so long as they’ve made the earnings requirements. We invited MCA Hogarth onto the show to talk about some of the changes and what they mean for indies, as well as why you might want to join.

After that, we talked a little about marketing, but Lindsay was curious about some of the extra ways MCA is making money from her work, so we also jumped into Patreon, Kickstarter, Paypal tip jars, and coloring books!

Here’s a list of what we hit on:

  • The SFWA, which has been around for 50 years, is now accepting small press and indie authors.
  • What does the organization offer and why might authors want to join? (Networking, invitations to anthologies, legal help, and more.)
  • What are the requirements to join?
  • Can you join if your book had a successful Kickstarter campaign?
  • Social media for marketing — Twitter, LiveJournal are MCA’s preferred spots.
  • How she uses her mailing list and how often she sends newsletters
  • How she’s making money with Patreon
  • How she’s making money with Kickstarter — she’s run 8 campaigns and even written a book: From Spark to Finish: Running Your Kickstarter Campaign.

If you would like to learn more about MCA Hogarth, you can follow her on Twitter or Livejournal, and be sure to check out one of her more popular novels, Mindtouch.

You can also check out this article about her in Publishers Weekly: Blazing the Self-Publishing Path.

 

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