Kobo Writing Life Podcast

Episode 39 features the one and only... Bella Andre! Bella is a self-publishing superstar, one of the original KWL beta testers when we started off in 2012, NYT and USA Today bestselling Romance and New Adult author, and all-around lovely and fun person to talk to. Christine Munroe hosts this episode and chats with Bella about her publishing journey, including (listen up!) her secrets for success. In this can't-miss episode, Christine and Bella discuss:

  • The turning point in Bella's career in April 2010, when she put eBooks up for sale and several days later checked and realized she had sold several hundred copies.
  • Her work creating the visual brand of Bella Andre. She recommends that authors treat themselves like the bestseller they want to be. In her case, that started with making her name prominent on her covers.
  • Bella's learn-by-doing approach, including creating her own covers, which she does to this day.
  • There is a great virtue in putting in blood, sweat, and tears and understanding how to do everything yourself before passing it off and outsourcing part of the publishing process.
  • The origins of the pen names Bella Andre and Lucy Kevin.
  • Her promise: she will never disappoint her readers.
  • Bella's unique 7-figure, print-only deal with Harlequin MIRA.
  • Her translation partnership with KWL, creating French editions of five Lucy Kevin titles.
  • The opportunities Bella says no to - including a reality TV show.
  • Why Bella enjoys collaborating with other authors (including Melissa Foster and Jennifer Skully), and her best advice for making a collaborative relationship work: "always be nice."
  • Will she ever run out of Sullivans? (Thankfully, no!)

At the end of the episode, Christine catches up with KWL Director Mark Lefebvre. They discuss why it's so important for authors to network with retailers - from the very beginning, Bella impressed Mark and he wanted to help her succeed on Kobo. They also talk about KWL's recent third birthday and the most exciting new projects we have in the works for our authors.

Thanks for listening!

Direct download: Bella_Andre.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:17am PST

KWL EP 038 - Angela Bole from IBPA

For this episode, we focus on small presses and the business side of publishing. US Manager Christine Munroe interviews Angela Bole, the Executive Director of IBPA (the Independent Book Publishers Association), about everything from distribution to metadata. As a bonus, we include excellent advice from Kobo's Canadian Merchandiser, Sarah Smith-Eivemark, who recently joined Kobo from a small press. She shares the most important advice she's learned from her unique perspective of this transition from small press to digital retailer. You don't want to miss it!

Tune in to hear about:

  • IBPA's history and mission. It was founded in 1983 – one of the oldest trade associations for publishing in America.
  • Most of its members have come in as self-publishers, even as early as 1983. Many of them learned the trade, then took on the work of others.
  • IBPA is a publishers’ association, not an authors’ association. They serve the publishing side of the business. IBPA won’t take a point of view on authorship, editorial, craft. Instead, it focuses on marketing, publishing standards, covers, etc.
  • Who should join? Those working independently – that is, outside of the Big 5. Small presses, university presses, even aspiring authors considering self-publishing. Anyone wanting to learn more about the market and business of self publishing.
  • It's $129/year to become a member. Benefits: receiving a monthly magazine and email newsletters, and IBPA acts as a bullhorn sharing good news and success stories of its members. Additionally, it’s a connection to the community going through the same process, helping each other succeed by sharing best practices, sharing warnings.
  • Publishing University is their annual conference, which has been happening for 27 years. In line with IBPA's mission, it focuses on publishing and marketing books. 30 expert speakers come, 300 attendees. 2016 will be in Salt Lake City for the first time.
  • Publishing University also offers an opportunity for feedback and workshopping on your content, cover, and more, adding an experiential element.
  • Best practices for getting a distributor: transition from pitching a book, to pitching your business. Publishers need a 6-month plan for your business and book, editorial calendar with more books in the pipeline, and marketing plan.
  • Why Angela keeps talking about metadata and its importance.

Find about more about IBPA at www.ibpa-online.org.

Direct download: angela_bole.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:32am PST

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