SFFMP 136: Successfully Indie Publishing and Marketing While Running a Family

YA fantasy author Katie Cross joins us this week to discuss how she’s published eleven books while working and raising a family, and how she’s sold a lot of those books too!

Here’s a closer look at some of the topics we covered:

  • Finding time to write when you have a job and a family.
  • Whether YA ebooks do well and some of the challenges of self-publishing for that audience.
  • Some of the defining features of young adult fiction.
  • Keeping books selling when you’re not able to publish super frequently.
  • Selling well in the YA market.
  • Using Wattpad as a platform to gain readers and potentially get recognition.
  • Getting invited to the Wattpad advertising program and how much authors can make.
  • Getting more interaction and reads on Wattpad by asking questions at the end of installments and posting regularly (Katie was posting M/W/F for one of her books).
  • Tips for getting a Bookbub ad.
  • Facebook marketing and Facebook groups.
  • Determining which marketing is worth your time when your time is limited.
  • What Katie’s typical launch strategy looks like.

Visit Katie on her website or on Facebook and check out her YA fantasy books. You can also join her “indie author life” Facebook group for advice on self-publishing and marketing.

Note: Katie realized she had her numbers a little off in our chat about her Bookbub ad, so she sent me this correction to post here:

In the podcast I share my BookBub numbers several times and mention selling 3,500 books on Amazon with my recent ad, but I checked back on those numbers and it was close to 3,000 books WIDE on all distributors including paperback and audiobooks (which are also affected by BookBubs) and includes all sales overall (including spillover into the other books in my series). <— This encompasses just the first week. 

So it was not just my BookBub ad book that reached those numbers. I wish! Historically, however, by the end of the month, it’s likely I will reach 4,000—or beyond it—in sales from the BookBub tail. I have in the past seen upwards of those numbers from BookBub ads.

So sorry for that mess up! Transparency is really important to me so I wanted to add that caveat here. 🙂

 

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SFFMP 105: A Successful Stand Alone YA Fantasy Novel Launch and Building a Big Mailing List

This week, we chatted with Megan Crewe, a YA author who shifted from traditional publishing to self-publishing for her latest release, a contemporary YA fantasy with Asian flare, A Mortal Song. She was launching this as a stand alone, with no future series planned, so we asked her how she went about having a good launch with a single title.

** Note, we had a tech problem with Google Hangouts cutting the show out early. Sorry about that. It’s just the last few minutes that are missing.

Here are a few more details on what we covered:

  • Whether Asian-inspired fantasy is challenging to market since it’s a smaller niche.
  • The challenges of launching a stand alone novel versus a Book 1 in a new series.
  • Pricing strategies for launch.
  • Building up a big mailing list quickly with giveaways.
  • Doing mailing list swaps with other authors in your genre.
  • Megan’s KBoards thread about her launch and the sponsorship sites she booked.
  • Marketing for traditionally published books versus indie books.
  • Genre hopping under the science fiction and fantasy umbrella.
  • Pre-orders when launching a book that’s exclusive with Amazon (KDP Select), yay or nay?
  • Publishing a paperback ahead of time to enable early reviews on your Kindle book page.
  • Strategies for getting early reviews.

Interested in learning more about Megan or checking out her books? Visit her on her website or check her out on Amazon. You can also find A Mortal Song on Amazon.

 

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SFFMP 64: Rachel Caine Talks Urban Fantasy, YA, Traditional Publishing, and Rocking a Kickstarter Campaign

Today’s guest, Rachel Caine, has been publishing urban fantasy and YA fantasy since 1991. She’s been traditionally published throughout her career, but she recently decided to self-publish a new book in her long-standing Weather Warden series. She launched a Kickstarter to help finance the project, asked for $5,000 and ended up earning $18,000+. We asked her about the Kickstarter and also what she’s seen as far as changes in the industry, along with the differences in self-publishing and traditional publishing when it comes to marketing and more.

Some of the things we talked about were:

  • The state of urban fantasy today and how trends wax and wane
  • Creating a successful Kickstarter campaign (and some tips for how to save more of the money that people pledge to you).
  • Building a mailing list as a traditionally published author (she uses Mailchimp and has done giveaways with Rafflecopter).
  • Creating items for physical giveaways at signings and conventions (Rachel mentioned MakePlayingCards.com for doing character cards and ClubFlyers.com and Vista Print for bookmarks, postcards, and the like).
  • Visiting schools and marketing to librarians to help sell YA fiction
  • What kind of help you can expect from traditional publishers when it comes to marketing and what’s most likely going to be up to you.
  • The challenges of participating in such common self-pub marketing tactics as multi-author bundles and price-related promotions when your books are traditionally published
  • Whether social media and “having a platform” are important when it comes to getting a traditional deal
  • Being careful about signing a contract and watching out for rights grabs

You can find Rachel at her website, on Twitter, and you can visit her author page on Facebook.

She has lots of new books coming out for you to check out. She has a story coming out in the new X-files anthology, she has a collection of short stories from her Morganville Vampires series, and the next book in her Great Library series will be out this summer. Check out the first here (visit her site for more news and links to other stores).

 

 

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SFFMP 60: Rocking the Charts in YA Fantasy with New Author Elise Kova

We interviewed new YA fantasy author, Elise Kova, on the show today, and I think you guys will enjoy the listen. At the end of the summer, she launched her first book, Air Awakens, and it’s done great in sales and earned a lot of positives reviews. She managed all of those sales with a full priced offering (3.99) and also without jumping into KDP Select. She’s done so well with it and the follow-up books in the series that she’ll be switching to writing full time soon.

We asked her about writing and marketing YA fantasy, launching a successful first book, accumulating a street team, getting bloggers to reveal your cover, and having paperbacks and hardbacks as well as ebooks made. (She uses Gatekeeper Press to handle the formatting and get physical copies made.)

Elise talked about getting custom cover illustrations done for her books, which have doubtless helped sales. Her artist is Merilliza Chan, whom she found on Deviant Art.

She also spoke about getting her start on FictionPress and whether that can be useful for building an author platform. Listen to the show because there’s a lot of great information in it!

Once you’re done, you can find Elise at her website, on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook.

 

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