Sep 28, 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.”
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!