SFFMP 165: Relaunching a Series, Bookbub Ads, and Does Podcasting Help Authors?

A return guest joined us on the show this week, Bryan Cohen, non-fiction author, podcaster, and author of fairy tales and superhero fiction. We talked about the fairy-tale-writing pen name he launched in 2016 and the big relaunch (including edits, new covers, and new ASINs on Amazon) he did of his first fiction series in 2017, where he turned it from a sort-of-urban fantasy series to something clearly in the superhero genre. We also discussed tips for getting the cost per click down on Bookbub ads and whether podcasting can be useful for authors.

In the end, Bryan told us about the Sell More Books Show Summit, a conference he’s helping host the first weekend of May in Chicago this year, and what prompted him to start a new conference for authors. If you’re interested in going, tickets are still on sale (with the Early Bird price good through January 12th this week).

Here are some more specific details of what we talked about:

  • How Bryan’s foray into fairy tales and a new pen name went.
  • What he learned from launching into a new genre.
  • How organizing and putting together a fairy tale anthology with some other well-known authors helped earn a good amount through Kindle Unlimited and also drive readers back to his novel.
  • Some things he wishes he had done differently when launching the pen name.
  • How he juggles writing fiction, hosting a podcast, and working in the author services industry with having a family.
  • Whether it makes sense to be a podcaster as well as an author — ie. will it sell any books?
  • What kind of podcast would make sense if an author was interested in starting one?
  • Current events in the publishing world that authors may be overreacting to.
  • What made Bryan decide to not only relaunch his series with new covers, blurbs, titles, and in a new genre, but also why he went back and did some major editing on the early books.
  • Budgetary and time concerns to think about with a relaunch.
  • Whether to keep your existing Amazon ASIN and book reviews or to start from scratch.
  • Whether it’s necessary to clear a relaunch with fans or if Bryan dealt with any blowback from readers upset by the edits.
  • Bookbub ads and ways to tinker to get the CTR up (and the cost per click down).
  • Whether Bookbub ads are more effective in some genres than others.

If you enjoyed listening to Bryan chat, you can also check him out on two of our earlier episodes:

SFFMP 15: YouTube Marketing, Facebook Events, and Increasing Mailing List Sign-Ups

SFFMP 84: Creating Better Book Descriptions (Blurbs) to Improve Your Sales with Bryan Cohen

Also, make sure to visit his site, check out his books if you like superheroes or fairy tales, and the Summit if you’re interested in going.

 

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SFFMP 156: Finding Success with a Cross-Genre Book Launch with Chris Fox

One of our favorite guests, Chris Fox, returns this week so we can grill him about the success he had with his space-fantasy launch, Tech Mage.

Here’s some of what we covered:

  • What made Chris, the Write to Market guy, decide to take on a new cross-genre series that he wasn’t positive would sell well.
  • How you choose what to emphasize on the cover when your novel crosses multiple genres and could fit in a number of categories.
  • How Chris quietly put up a pre-order without mentioning it to fans, then used Facebook ads to see which ads and tag lines on the product page resulted in the highest conversion.
  • Choosing different audiences to target (via Facebook ads) for subsequent launches in a cross-genre series.
  • Whether anything different needs to be done with a launch for a book that spans multiple genres and isn’t necessarily written to market.
  • Advice for newer authors who don’t have a list already built that they can rely upon for early sales.
  • Keeping cover design simple, and whether it matters if you have a specific scene from the book illustrated for it.
  • For the first time, Chris registered a domain name and put up a lot of bonus content for his new series: https://www.magitechchronicles.com/
  • Why Chris plans to write ten books in this series rather than sticking to trilogies or smaller series as he’s often done in the past.
  • Who should consider relaunching a series.
  • Why Chris likes omnibuses as a way to kickstart a flagging series without redoing covers on all the original books.

You can buy or borrow Tech Mage on Amazon, or check out Chris’s Relaunch Your Novel for some tips on breathing life into a series that you felt underperformed initially.

Chris also has some great videos for writers on his YouTube channel. Of course, he’s on the web too at Chris Fox Writes.

Also, if you haven’t listened to them, check out the other episodes where Chris was a guest:

 

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SFFMP 146: Relaunching an Old Series to Success and Hitting Lists with a Multi-Author Boxed Set with Ella Summers

We recorded early today to accommodate our guest living in Switzerland, urban fantasy author Ella Summers. She has three paranormal and fantasy series that sell very well on Amazon: Legion of Angels, Dragon Born, and the recently relaunched Sorcery and Science. She was also a part of the big Dominion Rising multi-author boxed set that recently released and sold over 30,000 copies (we first interviewed the organizer, Gwynn White, about this boxed set back in April when it was on pre-order). We talked about tropes and expectations in urban fantasy, and also about rebranding and relaunching an old series that didn’t sell well originally.

Here are are few of the details we touched on:

  • Why Ella likes 60-70,000 words for her novels.
  • What readers of urban fantasy expect and when it’s okay to add non-standard elements (Ella mixes in science fiction and steampunk elements in her various series).
  • The strategy she recently used to relaunch her first series, which wasn’t a big seller and didn’t mesh with her existing brand.
  • Not being afraid to edit books in a series and do more than simply changing covers and blurbs when relaunching it.
  • Some popular tropes in urban fantasy.
  • How urban fantasy does in Kindle Unlimited today and if the niche isĀ getting too crowded.
  • The tactics the authors in the Dominion Rising boxed set used to get tens of thousands of sales.
  • Branding covers not just within a series but across an author’s entire body of work.

You can find Ella on her website and check out her books on Amazon, including the first book in her best-selling Legion of Angels series.

 

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