Kobo Writing Life Podcast
KWL EP 041 - Barbara Freethy

Christine Munroe interviews #1 NYT bestselling author Barbara Freethy in this episode, which is filled with stories about Barbara's publishing journey and great advice for new authors:

  • How Barbara came to publishing as a voracious lifelong reader, then decided to try writing in her late twenties.

  • How she carved time out when working and raising small kids. She dedicated small chunks of very focused time every single day - if you just write a page a day, at the end of the year you’ll have a book.

  • Getting through the writing process is hard work, and unfortunately it never really gets easier. Leaning on other excuses can be a way of coping with fear of the blank page. You have to persevere and work through it.

  • She remains very involved in every aspect of the self-publishing process, because she knows her brand better than anyone.

  • Barbara's 80/20 rule: Spend 80% of your time writing, and 20% on everything else. Marketing takes up a huge amount of that 20% - so you shouldn’t be spending all of your time on every single social media outlet available.

  • “Once you have a stack of books to sell (5-6), you can do so many things. You can change your prices, do free giveaways.”

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    New writers: the best thing you can do is write 3 books. Don’t even waste time really marketing the first one, until you have the next books available.

  • Writing is not a get rich quick scheme. Building your brand and developing a following takes a lot of time.

  • The digital revolution has brought many people back to reading, and made it easier for them to enjoy great books.

  • Barbara’s unique print partnership with Ingram.

  • She usually publishes 4-5 new books per year. However, she advises, “Everyone should set their own expectations for their own process. It just doesn’t really matter what other people are doing.”

  • “You can’t sell something that isn’t good.” Worry about the craft, don’t forget about your writer self – then think about discoverability. Take a breath, slow down, think about the long term. This is a viable publishing path that will be around for many many years to come.
  • Participate in writers groups, attend writers conferences, try to connect with retailers. “Retailers are your partner. We’re all doing the same thing. We’re all trying to sell books, and that’s a great relationship to have.”

  • Her author mentors: Debbie Macomber and Susan Elizabeth Phillips both helped her early on in her career.

  • “I think writers are better served by going wide… really what you want to do is spend a lot of time and build your network and your relationships and reader base at every single retail site that you can.”

  • Plus: What you might not know about Barbara!

     

After the episode, Christine talks about Kobo's great program with indie bookstores that's happening right now: eReadLocal. US readers and authors, check out www.kobo.com/ereadlocal to sign up and get $5 credit when you affiliate your Kobo account with an independent bookstore. The bookstore also gets $5, and will be eligible for great prizes like free eReaders and a party featuring a bestselling author. From that point onward, the bookstore will get a percentage of every eBook you buy! The $5 credit offer ends November 29th, so sign up today.

Please help us spread the word on social media with #ereadlocal. Thank you!

Direct download: Barbara_Freethy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:54am PDT