SFFMP 140: Publishing in an Underserved Genre and Helping to Build a Community with Veronica Scott

On today’s show, we talked about publishing in an underserved niche that’s too small to attract the attention of the Big 5 but that could potentially be lucrative to authors. Our guest was paranormal and science fiction romance author, Veronica Scott, and we also discussed some of the many things she’s doing to foster growth and awareness of the SFR genre among readers who might be interested. Even though we talked about scifi romance specifically, the interview might be of interest to other authors writing in smaller niches or doing cross-genre fiction. We discussed some of the challenges of marketing these types of books.

Here are some of the specifics that we covered:

  • The challenges of marketing books that don’t fall into the main categories on Bookbub and other promo sites.
  • The opportunities that indies have by writing in sub-genres or niches that are too small to interest traditional publishing.
  • Surfing through also-boughts on Amazon and also using the YASIV tool for finding related books and authors to target as keywords for ads.
  • How scifi romance has gotten more competitive over the last few years and whether it’s still possible for new authors to break in and reach the Top 100.
  • Some of the key reader expectations in SFR and differences between romances and scifi with “romantic elements.”
  • Common mistakes authors make with covers.
  • The blurb-writing service that Veronica uses: Cathryn Cade.
  • The cover designer that she uses: Fiona Jayde.
  • Why fostering a community can be useful, especially in a smaller niche, and how Veronica has gone about doing it.
  • Veronica Scott’s USA Today Happy Ever After blog column.
  • Her stance on newsletter swaps and newsletters in general.
  • Whether permafree series starters are viable in this genre.

You can find Veronica on her website, on Amazon, and on Twitter, and also check out her book inspired by the Titanic, Wreck of the Nebula Dream, or her latest release, Danger in the Stars.

 

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SFFMP 94: Putting Together an ARC Team, Getting Lots of Reviews, and Publishing More Often with Anna Hackett

Science fiction romance and adventure romance author, Anna Hackett, regularly has 80-100 reviews on her books within a few days of release. We asked her about how she created a great team of reviewers who get early copies and leave prompt reviews. She’s also increased her productivity substantially in the last couple of years and often publishes a short novel each month now, so we asked her about that too.

Here are a few more specifics on what we covered:

  • Mining your existing readers/newsletter subscribers to find people for a review team (and how to get started building that mailing list if yours doesn’t have many subscribers yet)
  • The logistics of contacting reviewers with advanced review copies and making sure they can download the ebooks to their readers of choice.
  • How many reviews you should be shooting for with a new release
  • Increasing productivity by giving yourself deadlines (even if you don’t have to publish on a certain day)
  • Writing shorter novels, if it makes sense for your style and your genre
  • Keeping all the balls in the air when juggling multiple series
  • Tips for newer authors trying to get those early reviews
  • Focusing on writing and publishing books as the most effective form of marketing
  • Whether there’s a downside to giving away review copies to readers who likely would have purchased the books
  • Do book giveaways and contests help garner more reviews?

If Anna’s books sound interesting to you, she has several permafree adventures that you can check out:

Among Galactic Ruins (Phoenix Adventures — space romance)

Marcus (Hell Squad, Book 1 — dystopian romance)

Time Thief (Anomaly Series, Book 1)

Anna also has a boxed set available for free if you visit her site and sign up for her newsletter.

 

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SFFMP 30: Writing and Selling Science Fiction Romance with Anna Hackett

Tonight we interviewed the prolific Anna Hackett, a science fiction romance author from Perth Australia, who has a number of series going. She started with traditional publishing but soon shifted to self-publishing, and she has plenty to talk about for folks who are thinking of adding romance to their science fiction or fantasy.

Here’s some of what we touched on:

  • Working romance into your science fiction/fantasy — any pitfalls or advantages?
  • Going from traditional publishing to self-publishing
  • The benefits of writing in a small niche
  • Watching successful authors in your niche to see what they’re doing for marketing
  • Advice for new authors looking to self-publish
  • Tips for being prolific
  • What kind of cover art works best for science fiction with romance in it?
  • Using a free novella to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter
  • Are blog tours ever worth it?
  • The challenges of advertising “science fiction romance” when there’s never a category for it on the sponsorship sites such as Bookbub and Ereader News Today
  • Marketing tips for those who don’t have a big advertising budget

If you want to learn more, you can find Anna on her website, Twitter, and Facebook. If you like romance in your science fiction, you can check out the first book in her Hell Squad series for free. You can also grab one of her Phoenix Adventures novellas, Beneath a Trojan Moon, for free.

 

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