Today we chatted with Liana Brooks and Amy Laurens, sci-fi and fantasy authors who both got their start with short stories and have branched out into novellas, novels, and creating their own press: Inkprint Press.
Here’s some of what we covered today:
The differences in marketing when you’re indie published, small press published, and traditionally published, including how much work you can expect to do on your own.
The importance of networking with other authors, especially as an indie author.
Participating in anthologies (bonus points if you can get into an anthology with a bigger name author)
Getting the rights back to previously published short stories and self-publishing them
The challenges of marketing novella-length fiction
Getting custom business cards for each of your series, so you can tailor what you’re trying to sell to the individual you meet (they use Moo.com NFC-chip cards to allow people to hold the card up to a smart phone and automatically get a free download delivered right to the phone)
Aspects of social media that they’ve found useful
Are blog tours still worth it? And organizing one as an indie
Do you run into problems when cross-promoting between indie and trad pubbed books?
World building tips from a science stud (Amy) who has a book on world building coming out in 2016 — you can sign up to hear when it’ll be out on her site: From the Ground Up, notification list.
Tonight, after dealing with a few technical difficulties, we interviewed up-and-coming epic fantasy author Claire Frank. She got started in December, 2014, and did well enough to attract a publisher (Realm Walker Publishing), and we asked her about what it’s like for new authors getting started today. When our guest went AWOL briefly, Lindsay started talking about pre-orders and some of her notes from panels at the big RWA Con; we’ll continue discussing pre-orders, iBooks, Facebook advertising, and some of those other interesting topics in next week’s show.
Here are some of the highlights from Claire’s interview:
Finding time to write when you’re homeschooling three kids and working a part time job
Some of the perks of bouncing ideas off your Lego-loving significant other
What made Claire decide to sign on with a small press versus sticking with indie publishing
What can a small press offer, and are they more flexible with contracts than the Big 5 publishers?
Getting invited to cons and onto panels with a publisher’s help
Getting reviews as a first-time author
Finding cover art designers and how a good cover can help with everything from reviews to sales
Participating in anthologies to increase awareness of all authors under a publisher
Who should consider a small press publisher, and how do you get in touch with one if you’re interested?
Tonight we talked to AW Exley, the author of the popular steampunk adventures, The Artifact Hunters. She hails from rural New Zealand and signed on with Curiosity Quills, a small press, to start out. She’s since started publishing some of her work independently and spoke to us about the differences in marketing and control. Here’s a quick look at some of what we covered:
Advantages of going with a small press when you’re starting out
Why AW Exely decided to self-publish her more recent books
Spending time on social media and marketing versus just writing the next book in a series
The challenges of growing a private mailing list when a publisher is handling the backmatter (and putting their own newsletter link in)
The advantages of wearing a corset when pimping books to the steampunk audience. 😉 (And will Jo buy a corset or will he not?)
Tips for new writers
Dealing with bad reviews
Thoughts on what makes a good cover in the steampunk genre (and overused images/ideas)
Being the big fish in the small pond and choosing a smaller category on Amazon