SFFMP 126: Breaking Out, Five Figure Months, and Writing in Someone Else’s World

Fantasy author Justin Sloan joins us this week to talk about why the traditional “just write the next book” advice may not always be the right tactic for every author in every stage of his career. He also discusses how he broke out and went from small successes to big ones when he started reaching out to other authors for collaborations. He ended up working with Michael Anderle and co-writing a series with him in his popular Kurtherian Gambit world. Since then, he’s started selling a lot more books, and he just quit his day job to write full time.

Here are a few more details of what we covered:

  • Why Justin thinks some of his series have done significantly better than others.
  • The challenges of writing series in lots of different subgenres of fantasy instead of sticking with one.
  • How he reached out to other authors and was very proactive in finding people to collaborate with.
  • How he got into co-writing a series with Michael Anderle in Michael’s world, and what it’s meant for his career.
  • Whether face-to-face or phone meetings are necessary for co-writing or it can all be done through email and Google Docs or some such.
  • Managing the finances and accounting when writing with several different authors on different projects.
  • Why Facebook can be such a powerful marketing tool and what to post on your page.
  • Posting snippets of up-coming books to get readers excited before the release.

Please visit Justin’s website to learn more about his work and grab some free books, or like his author page on Facebook to see what he’s doing there.

Justin is also the co-author of the Creative Writing Career Podcast. Check it out if you’re looking for another show to listen to.

 

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SFFMP 38: Writing 5,000 Words an Hour and Selling Zombies and Werewolves with Chris Fox

On today’s show, we chatted with Chris Fox about marketing zombies, werewolves, and vampires, and also about how he writes incredibly quickly. He holds down a 60-hour-a-week day job as an app developer and doesn’t have a lot of time to devote to fiction, so he’s learned to be productive, logging 5,000 words in an hour. He’s even written about it in a book designed to help other authors: 5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter.

Here are some of the highlights from the interview:

  • Using the start-up mentality for indie publishing
  • Investing in your product (including scouring DeviantArt for hours to find just the right artists!)
  • How audiobook sales (from Audible) can help Kindle sales on Amazon
  • Is it helpful to use popular tropes, such as werewolves, zombies, and vampires? Or do readers have expectations that can be hard to meet if you’re doing something slightly different?
  • What advertising Chris has done and what’s been effective
  • Why it doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend much time and money on marketing when you only have one or two books out
  • Utilizing a mailing list to make promoting future books easier
  • How Chris is writing so darned many words in an hour
  • Addressing the argument that writing faster means writing poorly
  • Using voice recognition software effectively as a fiction writer

If you’re looking for more information on marketing, you might want to visit Chris’s site and check out some of the articles he’s written for writers:

If Chris’s fiction sounded interesting to you, give his first book, No Such Thing as Werewolves, a try.

 

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