SFFMP 138: Trad vs. Indie for New Authors, How Marketing Has Evolved, and Starting Your Own Press with Kevin J. Anderson

Long-time science fiction author and NYT best seller Kevin J. Anderson joined us on the podcast today to talk about his recent projects, how the industry has changed since 1988 when he published his first novel, and what made him decide to start his own press.

Here are a few of the specifics we chatted about:

  • How Kevin is continuing to learn and try new marketing things, even after almost thirty years of publishing novels.
  • A project he’s excited about where he’s sharing his new epic fantasy novel, Spine of the Dragon, with newsletter subscribers as he works on it. (If you’re interested in seeing his process and reading the story long before it’s published, you can visit his site to sign up.)
  • How the landscape has changed over the years, and how it can be tough to make a living as a steady, mid-list author in the traditional publishing scene now.
  • Kevin’s enthusiasm for dictating his novels as he hikes in the mountains of Colorado (Lindsay would try this while hiking if she wasn’t constantly stopping to whistle for her dogs and telling them to stop chasing squirrels).
  • Why he thinks more authors should try dictation, since he finds it a very natural way to get the story down.
  • What it’s like writing in established universes and doing media tie-in novels.
  • Why Kevin decided to start Wordfire Press to publish his out-of-print books that he had the rights to.
  • How he ended up taking on a lot of other science fiction and fantasy authors who wanted to breathe new life into their out-of-print titles.
  • What Kevin has learned about starting a press that might be helpful for other authors thinking of doing the same.

Visit Kevin on his site and check out his Spine of the Dragon project.


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  • I’m going to take his advice about dictating into my phone, and then when I transcribe it, it’ll be like running it through an edit. This is why audio books appeal to me; I can listen to a story while being up and moving around. Both reading and writing require me to sit in one spot and barely move for long periods of time. I hate that!

    • SFFpodcast

      I usually listen to podcasts or audiobooks when I’m hiking, at the gym, or on a road trip. Gotta love ’em for that! I did dictation long ago and hated it, but I also didn’t have anyone to transcribe my notes and add in the punctuation. I could see that making the editing a lot simpler. (I write pretty clean right now and don’t have to do much when I edit, so I would hate to make that process more laborious.)