We switched things up this week and had a guest come on and interview us. Lindsay, Jeff, and Jo did their best to answer questions on marketing and publishing from science fiction author (and contest winner) Lon Varnadore.
Here are some of the questions he asked us:
Is permafree still viable? What about the 99-cent model?
Are there any sub-genres where indies aren’t well-represented?
Are authors still publishing serials and how well are they working now?
When does it make sense to make the jump to being a full-time author?
Are you guys using “reader magnets” to get people onto your lists, and how effective is this?
Kindle Unlimited or wide?
Has your marketing advice changed from when you started this podcast in September 2014 to now?
And the most important: if you could switch place with one of your characters, which would it be?
This week, we chatted with epic fantasy author Garrett Robinson (http://garrettbrobinson.com/) who got his start with genre hopping and serialized fiction before deciding to settle in and focus on epic fantasy. Several novels later, he’s selling a lot of books and making a great living.
Here’s some of what we talked about:
Outlining and planning when you’re building a big world with multiple series and storylines
Juggling multiple series and having publication schedules that satisfy the readers and make marketing doable
Why it took three books and a boxed set before the ball really started rolling for Garrett
What kinds of book covers are expected for epic fantasy
Live vlogging a novel as a way to interact with readers and also as an accountability tool
Creating a YouTube channel where videos actually convert to book sales
Why Garrett is sticking with KDP Select for the time being
The perks of getting a Bookbub ad while in Kindle Unlimited
Why he’s enjoying Tumblr as a social media platform
Author Platform Rocket — a resource Garrett uses for generating Facebook leads for his mailing list
Tips for Facebook advertising (don’t be shy — imagine yourself as a marketing firm that was hired to plug your books)
If you want to get Garrett’s first book for free, stop by his page and sign up for his newsletter.
Tonight we discussed Lindsay’s foray into serialized fiction, how it went, what she learned, and whether it’s better to go wide right now or stick that serial into KDP Select so it earns money for page reads in Kindle Unlimited. Some of the specific questions: are serials trickier than novels, should new authors avoid them, and what do you do for cover art when you’re publishing in installments?
We also talked about when it makes sense to quit the day job and become a full-time writer. Jeff is thinking of making the jump soon, so we asked Jo questions about his experiences, how much he saved up, setting aside money for quarterly taxes and health insurance, and how long you should wait, even after you’re earning a good income from your writing.