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.”

  •  

    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 PST

While every author has heard the age old advice that it's important to have a professional looking and beautiful cover that appeals to the target audience, not as much attention has been paid to the blurb, description or "sales copy" that helps inspire the potential reader to click that all important BUY button.

This interview with Bryan Cohen, author of the TED SAVES THE WORLD series, podcast host and man for all seasons includes an in-depth look at the importance of a strong and solid blurb. Also included are two different amazing prizes for writers.

Contest 1 -- Win one of three carefully crafted book description services valued at $149 USD. Giveaway ends Sept 31, 2015. ENTER HERE

Contest 2 -- $1000 Copywriting for Authors Giveaway. Giveaway Ends October 9, 2015 - ENTER HERE

 


Bryan is interviewed by Kobo Writing Life Director Mark Lefebvre. During their chat Mark and Bryan discuss:

  • The great work that Bryan and Jim Kukral do putting together the SELL MORE BOOKS SHOW podcast and how that keeps Bryan on top of things for his own writing
  • The non-fiction works that Bryan has written to help prompt writers to get started, which include the first one that Bryan wrote in 2010 (1000 Creative Writing Prompts), and how these books are still often among his best-selling titles
  • How, if Bryan himself is ever stuck doing his own fiction writing, he can often turn to his own prompts
  • Bryan's site Build-creative-writing-ideas.com which has about 700 articles and sees significant traffic on a daily basis
  • How writing something timeless will ensure its long term viability and sales
  • Bryan's YA podcast co-hosted with Robert Scanlon about reading and writing called The Split
  • The work that Bryan does writing "sales copy" blurbs for writers (BEST PAGE FORWARD) -- and how the demand for those services has recently exploded
  • How a solid writing blurb can work as effectively as a good cover at helping convert those looking at your book's landing page into buyers
  • THE CONTEST BY WHICH a KWL LISTENER CAN RECEIVE A FREE BOOK BLURB FROM BRYAN
  • How Bryan is looking into also helping writers with drafting email campaigns for auto-responders, helping with Facebook ad copy, author bios and similar communications
  • The importance of priorities when it comes to maintaining a balanced life while producing as much content as Bryan produces
  • Knowing your own strengths and weakeness for performing different types of tasks at certain times of the day and what makes Bryan a fantastic husband (he may love his readers, but he loves his wife more)
  • How TED SAVES THE WORLD came from watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and asking the question: "What if Giles and Buffy were the same person? (ie, combining the intelligence & wisdom with the power and ability)"
  • When Bryan, who used to do improv comedy, changed himself from a "panster" to a "plotter" while developing TED SAVES THE WORLD from a novella into a full novel and series. And the seeming contradiction in how Bryan often feels like he is "pantsing" in the discovery process of plotting out a novel.
  • The replacement of the original terrible cover and the local photo shoot with actor friends that helped Bryan to produce a well-branded and consistent series. http://robotbraindesign.com/
  • Bryan also shares his favourite advice for beginning writers

 

Mark then provides a quick summary of some of the advice and examples regarding a strong professional product as gleaned from the interview and then provides further details about the aforemention contests.

 

Other links:

Bryan's website

Bryan on Twitter

Bryan's TED SAVES THE WORLD BOOKS on Kobo

Bryan's non-fiction writing on Kobo

Sell More Books Show Podcast

Direct download: KWL_EP040_BryanCohen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:45pm PST

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