Mon, 18 January 2016
Is your work managing the business side of your publishing taking away from your time writing your next book? Are you feeling overwhelmed? It might be time to hire an Author Assistant. In this episode of the KWL Podcast, US Manager Christine Munroe interviews Kate Tilton, founder of Kate Tilton Author Services, LLC. Christine and Kate talk about:
- What do author assistants do, exactly? Kate says, “I give authors more time to write and spend with their family, by doing tasks that they may be able to do themselves, but they don’t have time for.”
- Kate started as an author assistant in December 2010 – it was her first job, while she was still a high school student.
- A typical day for Kate might include these tasks: organize email inboxes, send review copies, run to the post office to mail out prizes, scheduling their blog posts and social media, beta reading, matching audiobooks to the written text. It’s a diverse job; every day is different.
- Why should an author hire an author assistant? Every one could use help in some capacity. If you feel overwhelmed and work is piling up. Willing to delegate. Have the finances to afford the help.
- What projects can be outsourced? Anything, really, that is taking up time that you wish you could be using to write. You can also consider hiring a personal assistant instead, who will help with non-publishing daily chores (picking up dry cleaning, grocery shopping) to make your life more manageable.
- The job is really flexible – you make your own schedule and choose your author clients.
- It’s great to work with multiple clients, because authors are not in competition with one another. Kate can bring them together for joint efforts like prize giveaways, and each is helping the other find new readers.
- How much should authors expect to pay for an assistant? Rates vary greatly, depending on the assistant’s experience. For example, you can get a college-level intern and pay very little, but you’ll need to take the time to teach them how to do what you need. With an experienced assistant, you’ll pay around $40/hour, but it may be more efficient because they’ll draw on their expertise to get the job done quickly. It’s a decision to make based on your budget, time, and needs.
- For someone hoping to become an author assistant, check out Kate’s resources on her website: http://katetilton.com/author-assistants/
- For an author looking for an assistant, start with word of mouth – ask your author friends who they work with. There are many resources online, for example http://www.authorsatlas.com/
- Kate recently contributed two sections to The Self-Publisher's Ultimate Resource Guide, edited by Joel Friedlander and Betty Sargent, which is available for pre-order on Kobo.
- Her biggest advice for tackling social media and marketing: figure out who the #1 die-hard fan of your book is going to be, and market to that kind of person. This thought process will help you really appeal to your ideal market.
- Kate also teaches by doing; she works on her own social media and branding to exemplify what she thinks authors should do. Her brand: Books. Cats. Tea. Nerdy stuff. Food.
- One great resource for learning more about marketing is CopyBlogger.
- You need to build a group of people who “know, like, and trust you,” because those are the people who are going to help you grow (and buy your books).
- #K8Chat is Kate’s weekly Twitter chat, with the goal of connecting authors and readers. Every Thursday 9-10PM EST.
Direct download: Kate_TIlton.mp3
-- posted at: 10:13am PDT
Wed, 6 January 2016
Kobo recently held a special event in downtown Toronto for some of its best customers, avid readers and fans of Michael Connelly. Special guests had a chance to meet one another for cocktails and snacks, mingle, get books signed, and listen to an on-stage interview with Michael Connelly, who was interviewed by by Johanna Schneller.
Some of the fascinating things you'll find out in this entertaining interview with Michael Connelly include:
- How Michael's mother gave him his first book to read, how, as a child he was introverted and loved to read and earned the nickname "the book addict"
- The perspective that a writer's job is often being "the observer"
- Michael's role as a journalism and crime reporter, including the months he spent interviewing survivors of the Delta 191 Crash (131 people died and 29 people survived) and the quote from one of the survivors that still sticks with Michael today
- The first two books that Michael wrote, which he considered part of the learning process before crafting his third novel, which was the one he knew was good enough and was sent off to be published (and which ended up winning the Edgar Award for best first novel
- The advice from Michael's agent and editor to keep his head down and write his next novel, which allowed him to have his second novel already turned in by the time the first novel (The Black Echo) came out
- How Michael waited until several novels had been published before quitting his day job
- Michael's thoughts on the 150 newspapers that ran stories on then president Bill Clinton walking out of a bookstore carrying his novel The Concrete Blonde
- Having an iconic actor like Clint Eastwood involved in the creation of the movie Blood Work, based on one of Michael's novels
- The "fourth wall" mention in The Crossing of the movie version of The Lincoln Lawyer
- Reflections on being one of the guest authors (along with Stephen J. Cannell, James Patterson, and Dennis Lehane) who makes semi-regular appearances on the ABC television series Castle as one of Richard Castle's poker buddies
- The mosaic by which Michael's most popular character, Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch is, in many ways, similar to the complex and multi-compositional paintings by the famous painter of the same name
- Michael's approach towards writing every single day, particularly when he is going through the process of a first draft
- The casting of Titus Welliver in the lead role as Harry Bosch in the Bosch series, Michael's role in suggesting him, and the manner by which Welliver may not "look" like the outer Harry Bosch Connelly has written about, but how he definitely looks like the "inner" Harry Bosch and how he very effectively displays the angst and internal turmoil that makes Bosch who he is
- Collaborative writing and Michael's reflections on having done that in the past (both in text writing as well as in working on the Bosch series)
- Where Michael writes most often and the answer to the question of whether he prefers a typewriter or a computer when writing a novel
- How Michael knows the beginning and has a really good sense of the end when he sits down to write the first draft of a novel, and the intriguing discovery process that the writing becomes for him
- The fact that Michael is a major re-writer, who usually writes three drafts of a novel
- How he knows whether a novel will be a "Haller" or a "Bosch" novel
- The aural inspirational process that Michael uses to write.
- How Michael has aged Harry in real time, leading to natural progressions, such as his recent retirement
- The reason why Harry Bosch continues to remain alone and single, despite many highs and lows of relationships over the years
Kobo Writing Life Director Mark Lefebvre then talks about Michael's mention of one of his sources of inspiration by connecting with lawyers and police officers. He reflects on how a writer who is open to connecting with and listening to professionals not only has the resources to create better writing, but also brings a sense of community to the overall writing and overall proces
Link to Michael Connelly's books on Kobo
Michael Connelly's Website
Direct download: KWL_EP048_MichaelConnelly.mp3
-- posted at: 8:37am PDT
Mon, 21 December 2015
For the month of November, a brave team of Kobo staff joined forces to give NaNoWriMo a shot. We blogged about our efforts throughout the month, then several of us (Mark, Christine, Bessie, Sophie, and Wendy) sat down to chat about our experience. Listen to this week's episode to hear our roundtable discussion about how Team KoBoWriMo fared in 2015.
- How many of us “won” by writing 50k words in 30 days?
- What are we writing about? Everything from epic fantasy, to a horror novel about an abandoned hippie commune, a thriller about a bitter author, race car driving, and an animal migration.
- Why did we take on this crazy challenge?
- What worked for us, and what didn’t? Wendy did all of her writing within GoogleDocs, so she could write on any device throughout her day, especially during her commute. Mark gave dictation a try, so he could write as he drove (!) to work.
- Dealing with avoiding cross-contamination when a book with a similar subject or approach is published while you’re still writing yours. Sophie’s book has parallels with Andre Alexis’s FIFTEEN DOGS.
- Would we do it again?
Our goals as writers, and with these projects specifically. We represent a broad range of perspectives. Wendy is keeping her work very private, especially in its current, raw state. Bessie is motivated by public/social media feedback.
Kobo Writing Life is a proud sponsor of NaNoWriMo. We love that it inspires writers of all levels to try to sit down and write, set word count goals, and prioritize making creativity a part of your everyday life.
As we reach the end of the year, we want to take the time to thank all of you so much for tuning in to the KWL podcast. It's given us the opportunity to interview amazing authors and service providers, and share their stories with you. We love hearing your feedback. If there is a topic you'd like us to cover or writer you'd like us to interview next year, let us know in the comments or email email@example.com
Direct download: NaNoWriMo_roundtable.mp3
-- posted at: 7:00am PDT
Tue, 8 December 2015
US Manager Christine Munroe interviews Ashleigh Gardner, Wattpad’s Head of Writer and Publisher Partnerships. Wattpad is a social media app with over 40 million monthly users around the world and growing. How can you take advantage of this community as a writer and reader? Listen in to learn about:
What is Wattpad all about? A social media app for telling stories, all user-generated content.
Currently attracts 40 million users per month, growing at a rate of over 1 new user per second.
It’s mostly readers – 90% of site users. Writers can use it to build reading communities.
The longer a user is onsite as a reader, the more likely they are to become a writer.
User demographics: 45% of users are 13-18. 40% are 18-30. Fastest-growing segment is women 25-35. A common misconception is that it’s just teenagers.
Wattpad is strong internationally. #2 country is the Philippines, where Wattpad is the #1 website and they have their own TV show 4 nights a week.
A lot of the content is unfinished when it’s first uploaded. The encouragement and acknowledgement from the Wattpad community inspires writers to keep going.
It offers a very supportive, encouraging environment and culture. Readers are used to a rawness – think of it as a “digital campfire” more than a digital book – so they aren’t critical in the same way as you see on other social media platforms.
Why should authors post free content? Learn your audience. Grow your audience. Post a portion, or the first book in a series, then encourage readers to buy the rest elsewhere.
What is a Wattpad success story? It’s different for everyone, as every author is writing for different reasons. The most traditionally successful author is Anna Todd, who has become an internationally bestselling author. Tons of other young writers are gaining confidence every day from having tens of thousands of followers encouraging them to pursue writing opportunities. Brands are sponsoring stories, for example SourPatch Kids and Ouija Boards.
How to succeed on Wattpad: follow other writers in your genre. See what they’re doing, how they talk to their fans. Find your network – share on other social media outlets that you’re posting on Wattpad.
What does Wattpad do to combat piracy problems? They don’t allow copy/pasting. Duplications are detected, reported, and removed quickly. Everything on Wattpad is date and time stamped, so it’s very easy to prove the origin date.
Ashleigh’s favourite kind of fan fiction: high-brow commentary on contemporary events. Finding that line between real life and fan fiction when the line starts to blur is really interesting.
At the end of the episode, we showcase a speech that Michael Tamblyn, Rakuten Kobo President, delivered at FutureBook 2015. FutureBook is an annual digital publishing conference that took place last week in London on December 4th. Tamblyn outlines what he sees as a "reader’s bill of rights." We should be able to read: 1. Easily 2. Shamelessly 3. Freely (not meaning no cost, but in terms of time - free time to read in the midst of the distracting world) 4. Publicly 5. Privately In addition to analyzing, trying to understand, marketing to, segmenting, collecting information about readers, publishing professionals (including authors!) need to step back and think about how readers want to read. “Earn the right to the reader’s attention… and we’ll get to keep doing what we love.”
Direct download: Wattpad_episode_final.mp3
-- posted at: 12:13pm PDT
Tue, 24 November 2015
Episode 45 features an interview with USA Today Bestselling author Julianne MacLean, author of THE COLOR OF HEAVEN series, THE HIGHLANDER series and THE PEMBROKE PALACE series. Julianne is interviewed by Mark Lefebvre, Director of Kobo Writing Life and they discuss:
- Julianne's first visit to Kobo HQ in Toronto, Ontario
- How Mark fell into Julianne's first contemporary novel, THE COLOR OF HEAVEN during a flight, and could not put the book down
- The manner by which Julianne adapted what she learned from James Patterson in structuring THE COLOR OF HEAVEN and her desire to create a book that was suspenseful on an emotional level, producing what she likes to think of as: "Women's Fiction for Thriller fans"
- The fact that THE COLOR OF HEAVEN was released in 2011 and how Book 9 in the series (THE COLOR OF TIME) was coming out in September 2015
- How, immediately after the success of THE COLOR OF HEAVEN Julianne couldn't immediately return to writing in that universe in order to fulfill a traditional publishing contract
- How Julianne is breaking things up in 2015 and writing both historical romance and contemporary fiction
- The fact that THE COLOR OF HEAVEN was originally written with the intention of being sold to a traditional publisher, that it was meant to be a stand-alone, and how readers often assumed that the novel was based on a true story
- The very "meta" manner by which the rest of the novels in THE COLOR OF HEAVEN series are about fictional characters reading the book THE COLOR OF HEAVEN
- How a traditionally published series Julianne had written was cut-off by the publisher before the end of the series (The Pembroke Palace Series), and how, to please fans, she continued the series. That's how the first three books were released by the publisher and books four and five are controlled by Julianne.
- How, on release day of Book Five for The Pembroke Palace Series, Julianne made Book 4 FREE, which not only boosted sales of the new release: Book Five, but how the publisher also sold a signifiant amount of Books 1 through 3, backlist titles that hadn't been expected to see such a dramatic increase in sales.
- Julianne's perspective on how her "New York Published" titles can help lend credibility to an author's platform
- The adoration JUlianne has for her agent, who she has been with since 1999 (Paige Wheeler)
- Interesting facts about Julianne including the fact she was a dance club DJ in the 1980's (and the only female dance club DJ in Halifax at the time), how she has to dance when she hears the song called "Cheerleader" and what she is listening to when she wears headphones while writing
- Julianne's thoughts about the cadence and rhythm of the sentences while she is writing
- The fact that Julianne still enjoys writing the first draft of novels in long hand, how, when starting a novel she always has to write the first sentence long hand in pencil and the way she uses different forms/methods of writing to help "unstick her wheels" when in the process of writing
- How she will sometimes set a book up for pre-order before a book is even started in order to keep her on track
- What she might do differently if she were starting again but without any regrets
Mark then talks a bit about some of the new features on the KWL Dashboard, specifically, Author Services and the two new types of Notifications added.
Direct download: KWL_EP045_JulianneMacLean.mp3
-- posted at: 7:44pm PDT
Mon, 9 November 2015
This episode features Mark Dawson, the bestselling UK author of the John Milton and Soho Noir series. Mark has become a go-to expert on Facebook ads and building your mailing list, so we dig into each of these topics and more. Listen as Mark and KWL Manager Christine Munroe discuss:
In 2001/2002, his first novel was published traditionally in the UK and Russia. Mark secured nice advances, but no marketing from sale date onwards. The whole experience soured him to writing – he stopped for 6 years.
Given what happened, would he do a traditional deal again? “All options are on the table.” But he can work out with relative accuracy what the books are worth, and it’s hard to imagine a traditional publisher delivering that amount upfront.
He is, however, interested in working with publishers in foreign markets. Mark is currently lining up translation deals with the help of an agent. Translations are expensive and time-consuming, and he's not confident in his knowledge of each foreign market to recoup the loss of time and money.
The benefits of BookBub. The day of this recording a BookBub ad landed Mark at #8 in his category in the Kobo store. He does them as often as they’ll take him.
His extensive knowledge of Facebook advertising. Spends $600 a day on Facebook ads, earns $750-$800 back per day, every single day. To find out more about his strategies in this workshop website, www.selfpublishingformula.com
Advice for facebook advertising: use it for two objectives 1) build your mailing list 2) sell books
Study carefully. Use Power Editor and figure out the intricacies of how it works - it's not an easy process. Dawson worked tirelessly at it for 6 weeks, losing money at first as he learned how to calibrate the ads. Starting at $5 a day, invest the profit, growing gradually and reinvesting as you go.
The strategy behind his recent cover redesign. His designer looked at trending designs for his comp titles, and created several options within that spectrum so his books will both fit in and stand out alongside authors like Lee Child.
When he writes about a city he hasn’t visited himself, he uses resources like Google street view to make it as accurate as possible – when his books say a building on a certain corner looks a certain way, that’s factually correct.
How he uses free today. It is a fundamental part of his sales strategy. First in each series is a free novella. That free novella also includes a call to action to join his mailing list.
Speaking of mailing lists...a mailing list is the most important marketing tool an author has today. You can get a free package from a service like Mail Chimp.
For those just starting, or hoping to grow your list: Broadcast a call to action as widely as possible. He advises giving away a free book—even if you only currently have one book ready—so you can build your platform and have a few hundred people on deck to buy your next book. A subscriber is worth more for your career than one sale. Competitions and giveaways are not a very good way to build a quality mailing list. You want your mailing list to be people interested in your books, not in a free eReader.
Dawson doesn’t message his mailing list very often. Only messages when he has a new book out, or if there’s a significant deal happening.
How his craft has developed. In the early days, he desperately wanted to win literary prizes, and was much more immature as a writer. Now his goal is creating page-turning books that readers can’t put down. The best validation he gets is notes from readers saying they love his books. ]
Last advice: you cannot just upload your book and leave it there. You have to put your business hat on. Build your platform, build your readership. If you’re diligent, the book will stand a much better chance of getting discovered by additional new readers. "It’s an amazing way to make a living."
Mark Dawson's books are available on kobo.com. For more information, visit www.markjdawson.com or www.selfpublishingformula.com.
Direct download: Mark_Dawson.mp3
-- posted at: 6:02am PDT
Tue, 27 October 2015
Marie Force, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of more than 40 contemporary romance novels was recently in Toronto and spent an evening with Kobo, Harlequin and an intimate group of lucky fans to celebrate Marie.
Mark Lefebvre, Director of Kobo Writing Life, interviewed Marie in front of the group. In the conversation, Mark and Marie discuss:
- How Gansett Island, a fictional island is based on Marie’s favourite real island, Block Island, is a spot that Marie goes to regularly
- The next Gansett Island book (Celebration After Dark - coming December 1st) which will feature Big Mack and Linda
- The READER WEEKEND summer retreat that Marie runs for her fans, (limited to 300 people) which is co-ordinated and plann by Julie, Marie's Executive Assistant
- How Marie has been with a Harlequin imprint (Carina Press) since 2010 when Fatal Affair was launched and the recent deal for books 10 through 13 which is, so far, the biggest deal of her career
- A reveal that Sam is not going to get pregnant any time soon in the Fatal series (because of how significantly that might change everything in the series)
- How new ideas are constantly flowing through Marie’s mind and the amount of time she ends up spending thinking about fictional people in her life
- The six people that Marie employs full time
- The fact that Gansett Island is Marie’s favourite series and how Sam from the Fatal series is her favourite character to write.
- The manner by which Marie embraces both traditional publishing and self-publishing and how she enjoys the collaboration of working with publishers
- How self-publishing allows her to do things such as bring out three books in three weeks (something that is a rare feat when it comes to traditional publishing)
- The reality of the punishing writing schedule (writing 8 or 9 books in a year) that Marie keeps in order to meet the demands of the publishing that she does
- How the first books from the Fatal series sat on the shelf for a full year before Carina Press came along, wanting to do something different about the way that romance was presented to readers
Marie also answers questions from her fans about:
- If Skip might ever recover from his paralysis
- Whether or not she will write until Scotty becomes an adult
- Her most memorable fan interaction
- Whether or not fans will see more of Shelby and Avery
- The hardest part of writing romance
- The best ways to keep informed about Marie’s new works and the new Marie Force app that is available to keep fans informed and connected
- Whether or not she plots out books ahead of time
- Where she writes most often and whether or not she writes longhand or via a computer
- If Doctor Harry Flynn might ever have a love interest
- Her influences for writing
After the interview, Mark goes over a few tips for those about to embark upon NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), conjuring up a few tips derived from articles on the Kobo Writing Life blog by Kevin J. Anderson and Chris Mandeville.
Direct download: KWL_EP043_MarieForce.mp3
-- posted at: 8:59am PDT
Sun, 11 October 2015
Kelley Armstrong, New York Times Bestselling author Kelley Armstrong is interviewed by Kobo’s Nora Parker about the hot serialized summer release CITY OF THE LOST.
In the discussion, Nora and Kelley discuss:
- How Kelley has always enjoyed the serialized format and how the project came about at the request of her Canadian publisher
- The changes required to the finished manuscript in order to optimize it for the serialized format (including the fun “previously on” snippets that Kelley has always enjoyed that are like the one minute clips you get on a serialized television program)
- How Kelley credits her agent for the underlying idea behind CITY OF THE LOST with the comment “enough people in the US go missing each y
ear to populate a small town”
- Kelley’s preference for setting and how if she CAN logistically set something in Canada, she will. (ie, in the setting of this novel in the Yukon rather than Alaska)
- Building a character like Casey Duncan who is both sympathetic and complex by using such an intriguing opening line “I killed a man.”
- The emphasis on the different forms of female relationships in this novel rather than just a simple BFF type friendship and how that made the book more interesting to read
- How CITY OF THE LOST began as a NaNoWriMo project about 3 years earlier and the various re-writes Kelley engaged in to get the novel to its final state
- How Kelley LOVES writing and has become accustomed to write every single day, even when she is on vacation
- The “Secrets” YA project and Kelley’s continued experimentation with form, including novels, short stories, novellas, graphic novels
- The manner by which characters and their background come to Kelley as she is building characters and their back-story
- How writing characters who are not similar to Kelley has become easier over the years (and, for example, how Elena, the hero of her first novel, was similar to Kelley in many ways) and the original fears of whether or not she could get the POV correct
- How Kelley uses the writing of short stories between novels as a pallet cleanser for getting into a different character’s perspective
- Her love of research and how it can be something Kelley gets willingly lost within
The interview is followed by a commentary discussion between Kobo Writing Life Director Mark Lefebvre who interviews Director of Merchandising, Nathan Maharaj regarding the huge success of CITY OF THE LOST. Nathan breaks down the various elements that made it such a hit and the two talk about:
- What Nathan does at Kobo and the responsibility of the global merchandising team
- How Penguin Random House Canada approached Kobo with the idea for promoting a new serialized Kelley Armstrong novel and why the pitch was appealing to the merchandising team (Six parts published in six consecutive weeks from a key name Canadian author)
- The permanent low price of Volume 1 at 99 cents as “on ramp pricing” and a way to get as many people into the series funnel and the remainder of the volumes (5 through 6 at $2.99)
- How the cover design’s strong visual coherence established an extremely strong branding
- The importance of metadata in setting up a series, including the “series drawer” on Kobo’s item page and the automated guidance that allows Kobo to help readers move along to the next book in a series
- How, prior to the launch of this series, the entire series was produced to completion and ready to go and set up for pre-order, so once it was launched all of the calls to action to keep readers going through the series were all in place
- Stephen King’s unfinished serialized “The Plant” which he released in 2000 via six blog installments
- How, if you consider CITY OF THE LOST as a single volume in terms of sales, it sits among one of the most bestselling titles on Kobo in Canada this year
- How the branding on this project down-played the “brand” of Kelley Armstrong and played up the branding of the series itself, so as not to confuse Kelley’s existing fans and to entice completely new and unique fans
Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. She's the author of the NYT-bestselling "Women of the Otherworld" paranormal suspense series and "Darkest Powers" young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the hugely popular "City of the Lost" series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets. You can find out more about her on her website, Facebook and Twitter.
Direct download: KWL_EP042_KelleyArmstrong.mp3
-- posted at: 6:42am PDT
Mon, 28 September 2015
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
-- posted at: 10:54am PDT
Tue, 8 September 2015
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.
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
-- posted at: 3:45pm PDT