The Self-Publishing Podcast Classics

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  • On-Topic 71%
  • NSFW 82%
  • Focused 54%
  • Helpful 86%
  • Stupid 92%
  • Hilarious 92%

#169 The Best of Self Publishing Podcast

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/SPP_Best_Of_2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThe Best of Self Publishing Podcast episode is the last of SPP Classic. Audra went through over 100 episodes to find the most informative, dynamic and interested segments for this final send off. Get a taste of the new intro and enjoy the best of Johnny, Sean and Dave! Next week, we start anew. If you are subscribed, you won’t have to do anything to make sure you get SPP 2.0. It’ll still be in your favorite podcatcher, only...

#168 Ten Big Self Publishing Lessons from SPP 1.0

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_168.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadAfter 167 episodes, Johnny Sean and Dave talk about what they’ve learned from three years of writing, interviewing and recording the Self Publishing Podcast. Today’s special episode includes: The value of talking things out with others. Branching away from Amazon The Benefit of community Understanding the importance of a list The Value of haters — Katt Williams Haters gonna hate Nurturing your list and letting your list nurture you Audiobooks The US and the UK isn’t the world Diversification Patience Ends v....

#167 The Miracle Morning For Writers With Hal Elrod

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_167.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadToday Hal Elrod joined Johnny and Sean to teach Dave how to improve his productivity by using a specific morning routine. Now, night owls don’t turn SPP off yet, because these techniques can be used regardless of when you wake. Live purposefully, create a morning routine and learn what many of the most successful people due to improve their productivity and creativity. In this episode Hal talks about the six practices he does every morning based on the practices of the world’s most successful people. You can find Hal’s book The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)...

#166 – Is FREE Still a Viable Strategy?

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_166.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadAfter many changes in the Amazon logarithms we must ask ourselves, is free still a viable strategy? While free used to be an easy button to improving sales, it now has a more nuanced benefit. What may work for one author or even one book, may not work for another. Choosing free is both about the sales, but also the message you are sending about your books and the expected hits to reviews. While still great, it is no longer that automatic advantage. In this episode, see how Sterling and Stone is using free for some books and not for others. We also learn some of the thought processes that went behind those...

#165 Finding New Angles on Old Ideas

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_165.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadEpisode164? Nah, this is episode 165. This week the guys tackle a discussion of being influenced by other works without plagiarizing. It has been said that there are no new stories; attacking an old story is a novel way is a crucial topic for writers. We can be influenced by anything from movies, the news or other books. Johnny, Sean and Dave discuss attacking ideas from new angles, sampling from multiple ideas and attempting to create something...

#164 Trusting the Process to Get Through Tough Writing Snags

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_164.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadIf you’ve ever questioned your writing or wondered whether you were ready for your dream project, this inspirational episode is for you. As Dave said, sometimes writing something smaller and more personal will give you the lessons to attack the big stories. Fresh on the heels of finishing The Beam and Yesterday’s Gone, listen to Johnny, Sean, and Dave get into the emotional part of writing. Having faith in yourself and trusting the process in crucial, whether it’s the struggle to beat insecurity, starting earlier than you want or wrapping up loose ends. Some of the best artists are the best because they are willing to take the time and even trash entire projects. That was the biggest take away for me. What is your biggest take...

#163 Video Game Writing and Writing While Keeping Your Day Job with Justin Sloan

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_163.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadJustin Sloan joins us to talk about video game writing and writing while keeping your day job. He a novelist, game writer for telltale games, and screenwriter. This episode is full of information on the differences in structure between novels and games, how he started and what is required to think outside the box when considering a career as a professional writer. Some of the things covered: Justin’s writing process Educational opportunities What the collaborative process is like when writing for games and how to break into the industry while you still have a day...

#162 Selling More Books with Autoresponders, List Segments, and Email

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_162.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSelling more books with autoresponders goes beyond a simple newsletter list. While Sterling and Stone requires detailed segmentation, you can learn tools and techniques for you own list regardless of size. This episode covers: What is the purpose of an autoresponder How to use broadcast and autoresponders for maximum effectiveness What you should put in an email newsletter How to make them happy to open your emails and much more Master Beats Forum Scrivener for Beats class aka How to Plan and Outline Novels (Using...

#161 Building Unstoppable Street Teams with JA Huss

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_161.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadJohnny and Sean brought JA Huss on to talk about street teams after they read her popular book 321. In addition to being the first romance book that Sean told Johnny to read immediately, they were impressed by the number of her day one verified reviews on Amazon. This interview took an amazing left turn as she disclosed the small size of her unstoppable street team and ferocious Advanced Reader Copy list. She is inspiring as you see how doing the work and being prepared for success pays off. Listen as she talks about her off typical pricing and sales strategy, success with Facebook ads, and how she uses back matter to create superfans that will buy a book just to see what she says next. This episode is all about being unapologetic and true to your...

#160: Multi-Platform Distribution with Draft2Digital’s Dan Wood

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_160.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week we welcome Dan Wood, Director of Author Relation’s for Draft2Digital, to talk about how to make the most of a multi-platform distribution with Draft2Digital. The result is an intense episode packed with actionable information that should not be missed. In fact, you may want to listen to this episode multiple times if you are serious about your own multi-platform approach to self publishing. One of the biggest take-a-ways is the fact that Draft2Digital doesn’t use the same systems to deliver content to retailers that an individual author does. As a result, authors can bypass some of the short comings of working directly with providers like iBooks and Nook. Dan discusses: How subscription services like Scribd and Oyster pay differently than Kindle Unlimited and may be more author centric. Where to focus when going international. How to get promotions in the iBooks store. Yes you can have free books on Barnes and Noble. What you might be doing that’s causing lower numbers on non-Amazon retailers. How Draft2Digital can help you get higher royalties and much...

Self Publishing Podcast #159 – Selling on Barnes & Noble with Nookpress’s Julia Coblentz

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_159.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadOnce you’ve decide to step outside Amazon, you need to understand the best ways to market for each platform. This week we delve deep into Nookpress, and who better to learn to tips and tools to succeed on Nook from than Julia Coblentz, the senior marketing manager for Nookpress. Julia discusses: Why 3D box images don’t work well on nook Best tips to get traction Specific nook marketing promotions for Independent authors Then, just when we thought we’d heard it all, Johnny blows us away with the idea of segmenting their list by reader platform. This is an information packed episode that should not be...

Self Publishing Podcast #158 – How to Sell Big on Apple iBooks with Julia Kent

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_158.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadOne of the biggest strategies we push here on SPP is “go wide,” and for good reason. Select may make you more money in the short term, but nothing beats getting a foothold in your as many markets as possible, earning readers Amazon can’t deliver. But how can you get that foothold in other platforms if you can’t figure out how to sell BIG on those platforms, platforms like Apple iBooks? Enter Julia Kent. She was sent our way by Apple to explain how she got started selling HUGE in their store. Much of her advice is valid, even if you aren’t a Romance writer like her, and even for platforms other than Apple. To listen closely and take notes! Find Julia online at: http://www.jkentauthor.com/ One question answered in this episode: Should I include invented names and words in the titles of my...

Killer Publishing Apps with Seth Atwood (Self Publishing Podcast #157)

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_157.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadMasterbeats—a new apps for writers, which will be finished and out sometime in the near future—is probably the best thing to happen to indie authors since Write Publish Repeat hit the stores. You’ll love all the features this baby will have, as explained by none other than Seth Atwood, the developer spearheading the app’s creation. Seth has some amazing ideas for this app. Here are just a few features mentioned on this week’s show: Templates for story structure Accessibility on line and as an app for just about any device, so you can beat on the go Default character pictures and actors’ headshots, so you can cast your characters Sample questions that come to you randomly, so you can “interview” your characters and get to know them better. The ability to collaborate and share beats with others, right in the app Totally stoked to see this app come to life? Join the club! We’ll have periodic updates on the show and on our site, so you can stay in the loop as Masterbeats is developed! Also, you should check out strangewindstudio.com the the latest on what Seth is up to! Here are some of the questions that were answered: How viable is Rain Maker for authors? Do the guys recommend it? Is using Amazon’s advertising services a good idea? If you get a cover at 99 Designs, can you reuse the cover for other...

Self Publishing Podcast #156 – SPP’s 3-Year Anniversary Bash!

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_156.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadAfter three years of sterling professionalism, the Self-Publishing Podcast is as strong as ever! This week, we celebrate our three-year anniversary—36 months of pure awesome as we watch Johnny, Sean, and Dave change the face of indie publishing. Even if you’ve been a fan of SPP for all of 5 minutes, you’ve probably already fallen in love with the immature banter mixed with not-officially-advice advice about how to make a success in self publishing. How can you not jump for joy with us? And, you’ll totally enjoy the special treat about halfway through the show, dedicated to everyone’s favorite grouch—Dave! You won’t want to miss...

Self Publishing Podcast #155 – Supercharging Your Writing Business

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_155.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadStill swimming in enthusiasm from the Colonists Summit in Austin, Sean and Johnny have all kinds of awesome new projects and ideas. This week’s episode was basically a super-enthusiastic rundown of all the cool stuff that they guys talked about and did in the summit, as well as all the new ideas they came back with. They talk about things like: The new mastermind: The Stone Table! Next Year’s Summit (It’ll be bigger and better!) An upcoming app The Idea of a Street Team …and so much more! Here is the comic the guys talked about: selfpublishingpodcast.com/comic And here is the new editing service they guys are suggesting:...

Self Publishing Podcast #154 – Breakout success with “The Martian” author Andy Weir and narrator R. C. (Bob) Bray

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_154.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadHugh Howie, John Locke, Amanda Hawkins… these are writer that are known for something we all wish would happen to us. They all started out self publishing their books and ended up becoming household names (well, if your house is full of voracious readers, I guess). This week (or, actually last week), the guys talked to another writer who went from indie author to author superstar—Andy Weir. Andy wrote The Martian as a serial on his blog (OMG!), and that same story is now being made into a movie. You’d be completely bonkers to now pay attention to his story. One thing that really made The Martian blow up is the audio book, read by R. C. (or just Bob) Bray and produced by Podium Publishing. That why the guys had Bob on along with Andy, and the group quickly plunged together into the immature depths of dick jokes, so you can tell they all got along really well! You can see Andy’s original website here (not the Random House version, which is flashier but boring):...

Self Publishing Podcast #153 – Promotions, Bundles, and More with Kobo’s Mark Lefebvre

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_153.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadEverybody loves Kindle, or at least they are trained to think that they have to love it. KDP Select is just making publishing exclusive to Amazon more and more tempting, but not any less frustrating to Johnny (or anyone else with a strong, and reasonable, revulsion to having all your eggs in one basket). If only there were a publishing company that offered enticing deals, custom coupons, and an otherwise business-savvy setup to help authors sell books. Wait, that sounds like Kobo! Mark from Kobo came on today to tell us about all the awesome stuff Kobo Writing Life has going on, stuff that will make any indie author start salivating for sure. You’ll have to listen to the show to hear all the benefits Kobo can offer, plus some hot tips for improving your international sales in Kobo (and everywhere else!). Questions answered in the show: How safe is Scrivener compared to typing directly in the cloud? Where can I find a collaborator/writing partner? Can/Should I package a bunch of short stories of different genres...

Self Publishing Podcast #152 – Building Your Own Bookbub with Mark Dawson

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_152.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadAs most of us know, the current promotion atmosphere is a little frustrating. Bookbub is the big man on campus, and yet trying to get your book accepted there is about as easy as getting Dave to use his Nutribullet. But is using a promo site like Bookbub the only option we indie authors can use? Could there possibly be another option? Enter Mark Dawson, who, as this episode’s title points out, uses Facebook and his own mailing list to make his own Bookbub-level promos. Whether you’re just starting out with your first book or you’re already fleshing out an impressive funnel, you’ll want to check out Mark’s list-building skills here! Also, if you want more great advice from Mark Dawson, you should check out...

Self Publishing Podcast #151 – Audiobook launching with David H. Lawrence XVII

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_151.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThe audiobook market is unquestionably becoming more and more a thing, and indie authors would have to be totally bird-brained to not be interested in turning their written words into bundles of audio goodness. This week, the guys had audio-book legend David H. Lawrence XVII (and don’t forget the XVII!!) back on to talk about how to choose the best narrator, what to pay them, and how to work with them to make an audio masterpiece you can be proud of (and that will sell). Definitely a must-listen! And, if you want more advice from David, head on over to vo2gogo.com and get even more audio-book-related advice. Oh, and here’s the audio clip from Buck Books that Johnny mentioned. This is some important stuff about how you can promote an audiobooks with those amazing guys! (For the audio clip, go to:...

Self Publishing Podcast #150 – Story Research Made Awesome

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_150.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThe dreaded “R” word, the one task that sends some writers away screaming just at the mention of it—RESEARCH. Do you shy away from research? Do you hate it? Do you avoid writing certain yarns in your story garden just because you’re paralyzed by the gobs of research you know you’ll have to suffer through? Or, on the flip side, do you love and embrace a deep and wondering investigation, so much so that you may never get around to actually writing anything? Either way, this episode may be just what you need. It’s fascinating to see how Johnny, Sean, and Dave see research in a very different light, and how researching a story may not be nearly as scary as you think. And, even if you don’t care about research as a topic, this episode is worth listening to just to hear Dave’s giddy ayahuasca...

Self Publishing Podcast #149 – Creating “Gotta Buy It!” blurbs with Libbie Hawker

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_149.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadProduct descriptions—an aspect of your publishing/marketing plan that many writers either do half-assed or ignore completely—are more important than you might think. As this week’s guest, Libbie Hawker explains in the show, you may pay for (or otherwise wrangle) a good deal of traffic to your book, but if your product description (sometimes called a “blurb,” although that is really something else) isn’t optimized to intrigue readers and convert that curiosity into a sale, you’ll be missing out on tons of possible sales and new readers. And nobody wants that, right? This week’s guest, Libbie Hawker, was amazing. Not only did she give all kinds of great information about how to write an outstanding product description for your book, but she also managed to compare Dave to one of the weirdest-looking animals in existence—the Tapir. (Check out a picture of a tapir at: http://sterlingandstone.net/creating-gotta-buy-blurbs-libbie-hawker-self-publishing-podcast-149/ ,along with video embeds, transcripts, and comments.) Pretty strange-looking creature, right? This episode was thoroughly entertaining, just as much as it was incredibly instructive, a must-listen for anyone that wants to start crafting better product descriptions for their books. Learn more about Libbie Hawker, and her books, here: http://libbiehawker.com/ Check out her books, Gotta Read It, here: http://www.amazon.com/Gotta-Read-Simple-Steps-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00OI9HHQY/, and Take Off Your Pants, here: http://www.amazon.com/Take-Off-Your-Pants-Outline-ebook/dp/B00UKC0GHA/ Oh, and here’s the hilarious Honey Badger video that was mentioned on the show:...

Self Publishing Podcast #148 – Scrappy Networking for Authors with Donovan Scherer

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_148.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadJust what does it mean to be “Scrappy” when it comes to networking as an indie author? And how can an author make a success, not just with online networking (via, blogs, email, or social networks), but also with face-to-face networking (like going to conventions and other live events)? This week, Donovan Scherer came on to share his experiences with us, and there was a lot to absorb here. First of all, we want to remind you to pick up Monica’s new book about writing, Write Better Faster. It’s amazing! I, Jacob, have read it already, and I can say it’s absolutely fantastic. You’ll certainly learn a lot from Monica’s experiences, failures, and successes, and her tips will definitely help you improve your writing speed. My speed improved the first day after finishing the book! We can look forward to Sean’s fuller endorsement of the book next week, after he’s had a chance to read it, but if you want to know more about the book, and Monica’s other work, in the meantime, hop on over to Prose On Fire (http://proseonfire.com) and see her books plus some free resources for writers. Or you can click here to see the book right in amazon: (http://proseonfire.com/writefaster/) As another note, we will soon be sharing updates on the Twelve cover, which Dave is doing through 99 Designs. You’ll be able to follow that progress by going to selfpublishingpodcast.com/12cover. (That link may not go anywhere yet, but it will soon!) Finally, Donovan came on to talk about his success in marketing face-to-face at conventions and live events....

Self Publishing Podcast #147 – Selling on Apple, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_147.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadFinally, the episode we’ve all been waiting for, the show Johnny and Sean have been teasing us about for weeks, the unveiling of a project that has, until this week, been known only as “The Beyonce.” Invasion is here, and it’s not only the latest and greatest story to spring from the creative Engine of Platt and Truant, but it’s also a revolution in just how optimized a book launch can be. In the episode, Johnny refers to Invasion as the match that just might light the fire of S&S’s overall optimization, the first of several projects we can look forward to over the course of this year that will set the S&S catalog ablaze. And we get to see it all unfold! Invasion was introduced to the SPP community almost as a kind of case study, where we’ll get regular updates of how the series sells and succeeds in attracting fresh readers, sending sales of other, also optimized titles, skyrocketing. If you’re not a Platinum Reader (And if you’re not, why the heck not? Click here to become one now: https://sterlingandstone.net/sterling-and-stoner/), then you may want to buy Invasion from one of the below retailers: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Invasion-Alien-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00TADUV1Q/ Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Invasion/book-YWJ71632_UWxtg-CC_iKPA/page1.html?s=U5HAHE1sdU6SXd43xUSJ3A&r=1 Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/invasion-sean-platt/1121177401?ean=2940150069367 Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/invasion/id965405561?mt=11 In what way is Invasion optimized for success, both short term and long term? What makes it different and superior to the average book, even to many of Realm & Sands’ previous titles? (As far as optimization goes; not to say R&S hasn’t put out other amazing reads, like Axis and The Beam) Here are a few of Invasion’s major...

Self Publishing Podcast #146 – Using KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited as a Tactic

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/SPP_episode_146.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week, the guys had Lindsay Buroker on to talk about how you can use KDP Select as a tactic to sell books and make money, while not endangering your overall sales strategy long term. Lindsay seems to know exactly how to work KDP Select for her advantage, since last year she revealed a pen name experiment that made her over three grand in the first month! She wrote a blog post about that, which caught the SPP guys’ attention. Check out the original article here: http://www.lindsayburoker.com/amazon-kindle-sales/pen-name-launch-first-month-earnings-marketing/ Before having Lindsay on and talking about KDP Select, the guys talked about how awesome Scrivener is, which is the writing tool just about every writer serious about their craft uses. They’ve learned a lot from the “Learn Scrivener Fast” course. They recently did a live webinar about the tool, and they plan to do another one soon, so stay tuned for that if you’re interested. To get Scrivener, go here for Mac: http://get.esellerate.net/get/ALP877983468/default.htm?skuid=SKU81634174866&affid=AFL6778979386&at= And here for Windows: http://get.esellerate.net/get/ALP404895636/default.htm?skuid=SKU82916413320&affid=AFL6778979386&at= To learn about Learn Scrivener Fast, go here: http://sterlingst.jarono.hop.clickbank.net/ When Lindsay did come on the show, she started by talking about her point of view regarding Select, and how she used a pen name and Select to get fairly decent sales in a short period of time. The secret, it turns out, is a combination of things, including choosing the best categories for your book, not being afraid to jump into a specific fiction niche, and publishing books often, so you never really feel that 30 day drop. You’ll want to check out the above article, as...

Self Publishing Podcast #145 – Self Publishing Questions Answered

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_145.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week, the guys caught up on questions from you, our dear viewers/listeners, about self publishing. That wasn’t supposed to be the actual topic, but we’re pushing back the topic that the guys were SUPPOSED to talk about for another week or two. (But the topic that was postponed should be awesome when they finally are able to start talking about it, so stay tuned for that!) First, something of HUGE note: Both Yesterday’s Gone and The Beam have been nominated for the Audies, which is like the Academy Awards of audiobooks. The guys don’t realistically expect to win, but still, two Audie Nominations is a huge win for both the S&S team and Podium Publishing. Get more info about the Audies here: http://www.audiopub.org/audies-contest.asp Once the guys got onto the main topic (answering your self publishing questions), here are the questions that were covered: Is it better to wait a while (6 weeks of more) between your draft and your first edit? What to do with a sudden inflow of new email subscribers (via a site like Noise Trade). If you’re interested in Noise Trade as a list-building option, go here: http://noisetrade.com/ Would it be advisable to have the same photo on a series of books, just with the titles changed? Do the guys ever have more than one first draft going at a time? Are euphemisms on the cover (or in the title) of a book a good idea, especially in the case of a YA book? Is releasing books at 99 cents a good idea, in order to build a bigger...

Self Publishing Podcast #144 – Networking and Author Landing Pages with Matt Gartland

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_144.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week the guys sat down with Matt Garland, host of the Author MBA podcast and networking genius. It’s a hard fact in life that we all must face: It’s not always just what you know; it’s who you know that get’s you places in life. That is absolutely true in the world of publishing (and indie publishing), much to the dismay of all of us introverted, strike-out-on-our-own, put-the-indie-back-into-indie-publishing writers. But have now fear! Matt Garland came to all of our rescue this week to talk about how networking (with a lower-case “n” instead of the capital one) with other authors isn’t near as painful and social as it sounds. Matt Garland also talked to us about the importance of having good landing pages for our books, something even fiction authors can steal from nonfiction authors, who have been using this tactic successfully for a while now. Also be sure to check out Matt’s own podcast Author MBA here:...

Self Publishing Podcast #143 – What Readers Really Want, with Matt from Buck Books

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_143.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadIf you’ve been faithfully watching the show for a while, then you might remember the guys wondering out loud about this mysterious website called Buck Books. They wondered what the company was all about, and they puzzled about how legit it was. (Because how do you take someone with the name Buck Flogging seriously, really?) Since then, the guys have come to terms with the funky name and even funkier profile picture (seriously, go here to see the profile pic for Buck: http://archangelink.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/bucks-pic.jpg) and they’ve come to see Buck Books as a tool many authors should know about. Enter Matt Stone, who came on the show to tell us about what Buck Books is and to share some insights into how to make a book more appealing to readers. There are some very good tips here, so don’t you dare miss the show! Visit Buck Books Here: http://buckbooks.net Visit Matt’s Other Site Here:...

Self Publishing Podcast #142 – How to Use Amazon Instead of Amazon Using You

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_142.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadLet’s face it–exclusivity sucks, and having “all your eggs in one basket” when it comes to where your books are available isn’t a smart idea at all. But… But Amazon’s KDP Select just keeps winning us over, tempting us with new benefits and goodies for staying exclusive. So whatever should an indie author do? Swallow the pill and go exclusive? Or play the long-term game and go wide? In this week’s episode, the guys talked about how maybe there’s another way to think about your relationship with Amazon, and maybe there’s a way to make Amazon work for you instead of the other way around. This week, the guys talked about how much they’re using Select and why. This is more than simple experimentation; it’s about making a cost-benefit judgement. KDP wants exclusivity, but what does it give in return? The guys suggested a completely new way of looking at KDP, a way that just might keep us from feeling abused. More importantly, this attitude is essential when working with any platform, and it’s necessary to future-proof your business. Also this week, we get an update on how “optimization” is working out for S&S, and we all get some tips that could help us optimize, too. Among those tips were some pointers about covers. Go to sterlingandstone.net to see the covers discussed on the...

Self Publishing Podcast #141 – How to Blow Up Your Email List with Nick Stephenson

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_141.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadYour list, your email list, where readers can stay connected with you and get notifications of your latest releases, is probably the single most important thing any indie author should have in order to be a self-publishing pro, except for maybe a well-written book, of course. We’ve heard the guys talk before about how important having an email list is, as well as them lamenting how they slacked off in that area for most of last year, but we haven’t yet really dug into how to build your list and keep your readers opening your emails, even months later. Enter Nick Stephenson, email marketing extraordinaire and author of both fiction and nonfiction. He was a charming and knowledgable guest who definitely had a thing or two to say about how to build and sustain an email list, for either fiction of nonfiction authors. Among the things Nick talked about were: How he built his list to incredible number in a matter of months How he handles both his fiction and nonfiction lists How he keeps his open and click-through rates high for his different lists There is so much great info here, you’ll probably want to listen more than once, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to keep a notebook handy so you can jot down some email list ideas for your...

Self Publishing Podcast #140 – Nonfiction with Steve Scott

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_140.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThe vast majority of SPP episodes so far have been applied mostly to fiction authors, which makes sense because Johnny, Sean and Dave are all primarily fiction authors and most of us watching/listening at home are the same. But, still, with Smarter Artist (Sterling & Stone’s nonfiction imprint) constantly growing and succeeding and more and more writers either dabbling in nonfiction or fully embracing it, it’s about time to show nonfiction some more love on SPP! Enter Steve Scott, habits expert, kindle marketing superhero, and nonfiction-writing extraordinaire. And he had some wonderful tips and tricks to share with us SPP listeners on how to outline, write, launch, and market a nonfiction book. Of course, no matter what you write, this episode has plenty of gems that make it well worth listening to. Of special note, among other things are: How Steve comes up with his nonfiction book ideas What his new daily podcast is all about, and why you may want to check it out What’s working for Steve in the area of marketing, and what’s not, and why How Steve uses his email list and the 99-cent price point to sell more books How he uses his habits expertise to help him improve as a...

Self Publishing Podcast #139 – Self-Publishing Goals for 2015

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_139.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThe first episode of the new year, we’re starting things off right by talking about goals for 2015. The guys really shaped the year to come (until something shiny distracts them and everything changes) by laying out some benchmark outcomes and concepts. The new word for the year is either “harmony” or “optimization,” at least for now, since it will likely change a few times in the months to come. Now that S&S has a massive catalog of titles to play with, in Johnny’s perfectly articulated words, “it’s time to make our books work for us.” A few things you’ll probably be looking forward to especially: A return to form for Collective Inkwell, meaning more words and more amazing stories Fiction Unboxed 2, which the guys are promising will be game changing and jaw dropping A return to fiction as the main focus for S&S That last one is good whether you read their fiction or not. We’ll all likely see a huge improvement in the usefulness of SPP if the guys are producing more fiction and promoting it more. After all, most listeners are fiction writers, so if the guys do more cool stuff with their fiction, we’ll all benefit more from lessons learned from their experiments, failures, and successes. All in all, if you’re not excited about SPP and Sterling and Stone for the new year, what’s wrong with...

Self Publishing Podcast #138 – Self-Publishing Predictions for 2015

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_138.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week, the guys wrapped up the year by meandering around a couple of different amazing topics. The voicemails supplied fantastic questions, which lead to interesting mini discussions. The main topic, the guys’ predictions for the indie publishing world in 2015, was definitely more a wish-list than a try at fortune-telling. Will any of them actually come true? I mean, who wouldn’t love for Amazon to improve their dashboard? And wouldn’t it be great to have another indie hit Howie-levels of success? Will any of those things actually come true? Only time will...

Self Publishing Podcast #137 – Biggest Self-Publishing Lessons Learned of 2014

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_137.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadIt’s a true mark of wisdom to be able to learn from your own experiences and mistakes. As 2014 draws to a close, it’s the perfect time to stop and think about what we did best, what we can work on, and what mistakes we can take lessons from to make the next year stronger than the last. That’s exactly what the guys did this week, and the episode that resulted was solid gold. A few key topics that were covered (and you won’t want to miss): Sending emails regularly Having pro covers Not releasing single episodes (well, for now, anyway) Constantly getting better (iterative growth) Trimming you tribe and getting closer to your truest fans And all kinds of smaller points we can’t even list here. All in all, there were a lot of fantastic lessons hit here, and listening to this episode will no doubt help you think of what lessons you can learn from this year to help you start 2015 with a...

Self Publishing Podcast #136 – How to Stay Motivated and Produce

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_136.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week the guys talked about how to stay motivated… well, at least for the last 20 minutes, anyway. As usual, the off-topic stuff was actually as fun as the topic itself. They talked about email for a while. As any long-term listener probably knows, we’ve been slacking on email for most of this year. But now that we’re taking advantage of email again, a lot of fans are responding very positively. Finally, the central topic, how to stay motivated, was nothing but gold. If you’ve ever stalled while writing, if you’ve ever hit writer’s block or lost all motivation in writing halfway through the project, then the second half of this episode should really help...

Self Publishing Podcast #135 – Forging Unbreakable Bonds with Readers Who Love You

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_135.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week, the guys talked about how to bond with your readers. This is definitely one of the top ten most useful episodes of the year, in my book, so you should absolutely check it out. There is a lot of emphasis these days on producing more and writing faster, and indies often focus on two main tricks to sell more books: price and promos. But also incredibly important is finding ways to connect with your readers, to slowly win them over, build a lasting relationship, and make them your true fans. How do you do that? The guys talked about a few fantastic ways they’ve used in the past, such as: Author’s notes Development diaries Author-read audio recordings Newsletters and autoresponders Giving bonuses and finding other ways to surprise your readers (in a good way) Even if you have very few readers really following your work right now, and even if your writing time is limited and you feel you don’t have time for all that extra work, coming up with ways to bond with readers is an essential part of building you tribe, which will be nothing but profitable in the...

SPP #134 – Marketing Your Books with the Help of an Audio Partner (with Rachel Fulginiti)

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_134.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadWe haven’t talked about audiobooks near enough yet! This week, the guys sat down with audiobook narrator Rachel Fulginiti about storytelling through audio and using popular narrators to magnify your marketing reach. Any long-time listener of the show will know that the guys haven’t been big fans of audio in the past. They didn’t have anything against it; they just didn’t really consume books in audio so they saw narration as very 20 percent. More recently, Sean has been binging on audio content, and his appreciation for fine narration is only growing week to week. Add to that the fact that many narrators have their own tribes, true fans of their voice and storytelling style that follow them from book to book, no matter the author or genre, and the guys are certainly thinking that the right author-narrator team can go a lot of good. Rachel was a charming guest, and her thoughts on audiobooks and the relationship between author and narrator were refreshing and insightful. This is worth listening to more than once, for...

SPP #133 – Spinning Off a New Series with Ed Robertson

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_133.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week the guys talked with recurring guest Ed Robertson about branching off from one series to a new one in the same world. On paper, the idea seems to be pretty sound. If you’re coming off one series that already has a sizable following and sales, like Ed is with Breakers, doesn’t it make sense to start a new series in that same world? Not only would the second series promote crossover—with some readers jumping over from one series to the next—but it would also start with a rich and textured world to grow from, saving you work and allowing you to jump right into a more interesting story. Well, thats the idea, anyway. A good portion of the show was spent talking about how Sean and Johnny didn’t make it to the bestseller lists they were shooting for, which gave Ed a chance to rub his credentials in their faces. But he was able to give some great advice regarding how to use promos and box sets to multiply...

SPP #132 – How to Find Your Ideal Reader

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_132.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis is a question/issue that many writers never even really address, which can set their growth back big time. You’re writing your guts out, and you’re incredibly proud of your story. But who is that story really for? This week, the guys talked about how you can identify your ideal reader, and why that is so important. This is some great stuff. They ask questions like: Who is reader our work now? Who will be reading in the near future? And who do we ideally want to read our work? They consider demographic stuff, and they use their imaginations to come up “ideal reader profiles,” many of which seem to hate on Unicorn Western for some...

SPP 131 – Creating a New York Times bestseller with Joanna Penn and David Gaughran

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_131.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week the guys talked about something new and exciting they’re doing. Sean and Johnny have teamed up with David Gaughran and Joanna Penn to shoot for the New York Times bestseller list. Learn all about their box set and how they just might make the cut and forever become “NYT bestselling authors” for the rest of eternity! Now, there isn’t a lot viewers can directly lean from this, unless you also plan to team up with other writers and make a box set, too. But some of the basic principles are extremely valuable. Listening to these five talk about their business strategy and mindset will do nothing but help your self-publishing business. Plus, you have to see David Gaughran’s amazing beard! If you want to be absolutely awesome, go out and buy the box set now! Not only do you get three amazing books for indie authors, but you also get a bonus hour of the authors talking about their business! Think of it as SPP 131-B (B as in BONUS). Buy the box set...

SPP #130 – The Pre-Production Process

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_130.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week, the guys talked about the pre-production process. The way Sean and Johnny develop their stories with beats has evolved constantly with each project, and it’s always getting better. We also had tons of great questions from viewers about how Dave handles pre-production. With Sean and Johnny always going on and on about THEIR beats and production process, it seems everyone (myself included) was very interested in what Dave does on his end. Some very interesting stuff came out of the...

SPP #129 – NaNoWriMo (and How to Get Yourself Off Your Ass and Start Writing)

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_129.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadWe’ve been talking about Fiction Unboxed 1.5 on the blog for a while. One key aspect of the project is that Sean and Johnny will be writing the sequel to The Dream Engine during NaNoWriMo. But what exactly is NaNoWriMo? Why do so many writers take up the yearly challenge? How can a writer take some of the underlying principles of NaNo and apply them all year to keep a daily writing habit in all the months that aren’t November? That’s what the guys talked about this week. (Well, except what NaNoWriMo is, because they didn’t really touch that.) They actually spent most of the show trying to help Dave become a more driven writer. In the end, they decided that collaboration and working with a partner is a major motivator for Dave, and perhaps for many other writers like him. This is good stuff, and I can’t agree more with what they came up with by the end. If you ever wish you could write more (or enjoying writing more), this show could really help! WE’VE MOVED! From now on, the show notes and comments for each episode will be at SterlingAndStone.Net, the new digital home for EVERYTHING Johnny, Sean, and Dave do creatively. Click here to see this episode’s show notes, transcript, and...

Self Publishing Podcast #128 – Maintaining Integrity of a Series

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_128.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadLet’s say you hit it out of the ballpark with your first book in a series. How do you follow that up? Do you up the ante? (Bigger and badder action!) How to you make sure the series doesn’t jump the shark or (worse) just fizzle out? This week, the guys talked about how to continue a series and make sure it stays awesome. They had the topic on their mind because Sean and Dave just finished Yesterday’s Gone Season 5, and there was a lot of pressure to keep the series interesting and just as addictive as the earlier seasons were. They have a lot of cool stuff to share about this. Even if you’re not continuing a series (yet), there is a lot of good info here. WE’VE MOVED! From now on, the show notes and comments for each episode will be at SterlingAndStone.Net, the new digital home for EVERYTHING Johnny, Sean, and Dave do creatively. Click here to see this episode’s show notes, transcript, and...

Self Publishing Podcast #127 – Is KDP Select Worth Using Again?

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_127.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadPreviously on this show, KDP Select was compared to an abusive boyfriend that keeps begging you to come back, only to be beat down again. Exclusivity is a tough pill to swallow even if you can make a little more money in the short term. On this week’s episode, the guys discuss the ups and downs of Select, and they describe why they’re putting Yesterday’s Gone in the program for 90 days, as well as some Lexi titles and possibly more titles to come. So is select worth it? Is it okay to make a purely tactical decision, maybe just sometimes? What if you already have your books uploaded somewhere else? There’s a lot to think about, and the guys hash out their thinking live on the show. Great stuff! WE’VE MOVED! From now on, the show notes and comments for each episode will be at SterlingAndStone.Net, the new digital home for EVERYTHING Johnny, Sean, and Dave do creatively. Click here to see this episode’s show notes, transcript, and...

Self Publishing Podcast #126 – Why Indie Authors Should Attend Live Events

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_126.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week (which was actually last week—welcome to the time warp!), the guys talked at length about their recent live events, namely the Author Marketing Live event and the Worldbuilders’ Summit in Austin. There are a lot of benefits to meeting live with other authors, whether it’s at an event like the Summit or at a local coffee shop with some friends. Nothing beats the face-to-face communication, the energy and creativity you feel when everyone’s in the same room, bouncing ideas back and forth. This episode is definitely worth the listen just for all the fun and energy you can feel from the guys coming off the...

Self Publishing Podcast #125 – Bookstrapping Your Way to a Bestseller with Tucker Max

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_125.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week the guys talked to Tucker Max about his new book, “Bookstrapping Your Way to a Bestseller.” Whether you’ve read the book or not, there was a lot of good stuff in this episode. First, the show began with the new SPP intro, along with an explanation for why SPP needed a new intro. The key difference is the disclaimer (“…mileage may vary…”). Always keep in mind that the decisions these guys make in their self-publishing business isn’t necessarily the best decision for everyone. Pay more attention to why they do what they do and never follow blindly. A bit of news: The “Scrivener for Beats” videos are up on Udemy, and the folks who supported Fiction Unboxed at a level high enough to get that will also get a code to see the videos directly from Udemy. Why use Udemy? The guys are hoping to have a lot more stuff up there in the future, so they’re racing to break into the new market now. While waiting for Tucker to appear, the guys also talked about the restaurants they went to at last week’s summit, a conversation that only turned into a rant when Tucker got on. His opinions about restaurants are as ranty as they are entertaining. Ah, finally, the guys started talking about self-publishing half-way through the episode. Tucker told the story behind his new “Bookstrapping” book, which he admits will be most helpful to nonfiction writers. He also ranted about the supposed “book marketing gurus” that have never launched a true bestseller themselves. Tucker’s advice really has to...

Indie Breakouts with ABNA Grand Prize Winner Rysa Walker (SPP #124)

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_124.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week the guys talked to Rysa (with a Y) Walker about self publishing, YA, and time travel. Loads of good stuff here! Sean and Dave were celebrating the completion of Yesterday’s Gone Season 5 at the start of the episode. If you’re a YG fan, you’ll be happy to know that’s coming out very soon. The guys seem very proud of the story, so you’ll certainly enjoy it. Johnny, on a different note, is actually considering using 99 designs to help him design a tattoo. How cool is that? Weigh in with a comment if you support that idea. Finally, when Rysa got on, she talked about self publishing and working with Amazon to publish. She also talked about what kind of language should and shouldn’t go into YA. There was also some fun time-travel talk, which can’t help but be totally amusing. Give this show a listen and you’ll quickly see why Rysa is destined to be an instant favorite SPP...

SPP 123 – Self Publishing Tutorial Videos with Garrett Robinson

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_123.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week, the guys had Garrett Robinson on to talk about a new and exciting video series soon to appear on Youtube and Sterling & Stone, which we’re aptly calling Nuts and Bolts. Nuts and Bolts will be a regular, weekly series on the S&S blog. Made by Garrett, they’ll walk you through the how-to’s of everything self publishing, from how to upload your book to KDP to how to design a smart sales funnel. If you’ve seen the thousands of screen-capture how-to’s already online, you may feel pretty nonplussed about this new project, but Nuts and Bolts will aim to stand apart from everything already out there by taking on a Lynda-like, professional style. Listen to the show to find out why Mondays just might become your new favorite...

SPP #122 – Being a Healthier Writer with Roland Denzel

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_122.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBeing a writer can be pretty unhealthy, especially since you sit on your butt all day, moving little else than your brain and fingers. That’s why Roland Denzel volunteered to come on this week and teach us a thing or two about being a healthier writer (and no, it wasn’t just to bust Dave’s balls). Before Roland got on, the guys talked about how amazing our Sterling & Stone site is coming along. Yes, we’re doing a lot of things at once, and yeah, we can barely keep up some times. But that doesn’t mean the site isn’t worth checking out. One new thing we’re starting is the Indie Fiction Podcast, which, if you like podcast fiction, you won’t want to miss. Once Roland joined the party, the conversation got remarkably… healthy. Here are a few key topics they touched on: Diet and nutrition Roland’s Health Background Simple stretches you can do Ergonomic keyboards Standing desks and treadmill desks You might be surprised by some of the stuff Roland shared. But if you want to keep creating your art for years to come, being healthy and working healthy are things you’ll want to look into. Enjoy the...

Self Publishing Podcast #121 – Writing and Using Amazing Settings

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_121.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week, the three whitest guys in podcasting chatted about setting in story. How important is it and how can you make your setting awesome? You’ll want to listen to find out. The guys started out by talking about how amazing the new Fiction Unboxed book is going to be. What started out as stupidly wordy transcripts turned into an awesome follow-up to Write Publish Repeat. The book tells the story of Fiction Unboxed while sowing in lessons every writer needs in their work and life. After Dave ranted about Linkedin, the guys answered one voicemail question about promoting through KDP select and another about funnels and CTAs. Interestingly, both callers were nonfiction writers, so if you do the nonfiction thing, you should check these out! Then, they finally go to the main topic: Setting. Some points that were discussed: How important setting is How setting changes the story How setting can be like a character in of itself What stories/authors handled setting well (or not so...

Self Publishing Podcast 120 – Hooking Readers with Amazing Cliffhangers

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_120.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week the guys talked about using cliffhangers to make a series or serials addictive for readers. They talked about both good and bad examples of cliffhangers, and there are some spoilers, so BEWARE! First, Johnny opened up a mini-topic: dating your work. Should you include dates, technology, or cultural references in your work? Will that turn readers off in just a few years? Is there a way to date your work without losing future readers? They talked about how Stephen King dated his work all the time, to both good and bad effect. But there is a danger here, and you can give your book a very short shelf life if you’re not careful. Even though the guys spent only a few minutes on the topic, it did include some interesting food for thought. On to the main topic. The guys talked about cliffhangers: Why you use them, when you should or shouldn’t use them, and to what effect. They included some examples of good cliffhangers. So possible spoiler warnings for Dexter and Battlestar Galactica. A few other shows that have handled cliffhangers well are Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones, though they didn’t mention any specifics for those series. Cliffhangers can also be done poorly or at the wrong time. They showed some examples of ways to enrage your readers, which probably isn’t a good thing. Finally, the show ended in a cliffhanger, so you’ll have to tune in next week to find out what happens...

Self Publishing Podcast 119 – Direct Sales and Continuity

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_119.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week, the guys talked about Direct Sales and why Rainmaker is helping us make SterlingandStone.Net the best author website on the internet. They (well, mostly Sean) ramble quite a lot about the subject at first, but they end up saying some really useful stuff by the end. First, they talked about writer health, prompted from a listener voicemail. The conversation focused mostly on how important ergonomics is for writers, since we spend most of our day sitting very still while typing our brains out. They also showed off Sterling & Stone’s first ever hardcover, The Dream Engine. This is a big step for us, and we hope to have many more hardcovers in the future. Even though there is quite a learning curve involved, plus the lack of promise of getting any real profit from sales, having hardcover available is really making a statement about how seriously you take your books, and hopefully that will inform how seriously others take them, too. We got an update on the Sterling & Stone logo contest, which, thanks to 99 Designs, is going awesome! There were so many options to choose from that it made Dave cranky, and once we had narrowed the choices down to a handful, the results were astoundingly beautiful. Finally, they got to the topic of direct sales and the reasoning behind the decision to make S&S the official umbrella site for everything Johnny, Sean, and Dave are doing. A few things that were touched on: How Sterling and Stone came about The benefits of direct sales The subscription model and...

Self Publishing Podcast #118 – ACX, Voiceover, and Live Events with David Lawrence

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_118.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week the SPP crew had on special guest David Lawrence. They talked about ACX and audio books, especially about how to choose between recording your own audio and hiring someone to narrate your books for you. The S&S Website Monster The guys started out by complaining about how frazzled they feel after fighting to keep Sterling and Stone up and running. In case you haven’t been paying attention (and if not, how are you reading this?), the S&S website has been consistently publishing two posts a day, thanks mostly to Sean himself. (I’ve helped a little, but Sean’s the man on this, hands down.) SterlingandStone.Net will be the best author website on the web… one day. For now, it’s a whole lot of work because we’re moving so much stuff over to the one destination. The only thing that keeps us going is the vision of how awesome it will be in just a few more months. We can’t wait! Another Stupid Ad Read As long as they work, the guys will keep doing them. This week they talked about the show’s sponsor, 99 Designs, in a very apt context: Dave has set up a contest on 99 Designs to create the perfect logo for Sterling & Stone. They’ve gotten so many entries that Dave actually started to complain about it before the show! But all complaints aside, there have been so many great entries, it’s certain at this point that S&S will soon have a rock-star logo to match the beautiful site. David Lawrence Steals the Show We’re accustomed to seeing...

Self Publishing Podcast 117 – Cracking the Romance Market (and More Genre Hopping) with Mimi Strong

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_117.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week we had Mimi Strong on the show, and boy was she a fantastic guest. She’s found success in more than a couple of genres (which is why she calls herself a Genre Hobo) and she shared some of her secrets with us on the air. Whoever thought this show was too blokish should absolutely give this episode a listen! Sterling and Stone’s Live! First, we talked a bit about how awesome and massive this site is. Sterling and Stone is quickly becoming the best author site on the web, and it’ll only get better with time. Kindle Unlimited A lot of listeners have requested that we talk about Kindle Unlimited, so we did for a few minutes. The consensus was luke-warm at best. On one hand, Unlimited is another marketing opportunity for authors, but it only applies to those in KDP Select. So, maybe, it could be worth it to put a new book through Select first before releasing wide. On the other hand, as Johnny so frankly pointed out, exclusivity is a remarkably bad idea. Johnny likes to compare KDP Select to the abusive boyfriend that keeps begging you to come back, only to beat you again. Mimi Strong Smacks the Blokes Around Mimi Strong publishes in several genres under several pennames. Her strong opinions sometimes clashed with what we normally say on the show, giving a fresh debate to SPP. Mimi put out a convincing argument about publishing under different names. She also shrugged off categories, saying indie authors pay way more attention to them than readers do. Agree?...

Self Publishing Podcast 116 – What We’d Do If We Were Just Starting Out

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_116.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week we focused on what a new author can do to build a booming indie publishing business. So many of our listeners are just starting out, and they’re either working on their first book now or have one or two books out already. So what can someone do in that situation? We went through a few key issues that might be on your mind right now like: Should I start a blog? And what should I blog about? Should I write a full novel or focus on shorter books? Should I break in with a series or release a standalone title first? What should I do if I’ve written a Bialy-Pimps-style book? (A massive standalone that leads to nothing else.) Should I go with KDP Select or Launch Wide? As always, it’s good to remember that we don’t really give advice on this show. But we did try to put ourselves in the shoes of a starting author and speculate on what we’d do. For sure, the most important thing we realized was the importance of thinking long term when making business decisions. If you do that, you’re future self will love you! Oh, and here’s the video of Garrett’s we mentioned. It’s HIL-AR-I-OUS. Watch the video version...

SPP 115 – Advanced Audiobook Talk with Ray Chase

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_115.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download  This week we talked to Ray Chase about audiobooks, officially welcoming him to the budding Sterling & Stone family as one of our top go-to audio guys. While we couldn’t help but dick around a little, there definitely was some advanced audiobook talk going on, too. The Newborn Empire that is Sterling & Stone First, we talked a little about our small team, with new support members like Archer Caldwell and Jacob Tullos, and how we’re all working to get more organized. We look forward to the episode in mid August when we’ll dig deep into Sterling and Stone, our upcoming umbrella platform for all our fiction, books, and podcasts. We’ll also be talking about direct selling. Today was mostly a cock-tease for that show. Well, we did talk about potato salad, too, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time. Interview with Ray Chase When Ray got on, after a million years of microphone and camera trouble, we were able to get down to the nitty and the gritty of audiobooks after ACX cut their royalty plan nearly in half. A key issue for new writers is trying to get respectable narrators to agree to a royalty split with such low profit rates. Ray gave some great advice on that. We also basically agreed that Ray should be the voice for most Collective Inkwell and Realm and Sands titles from now on, including Dave’s favorite books of all time, Johnny and Sean’s LOL series of sitcoms (especial Space Shuttle). If you’re interested in getting your books to audio, this episode is...

SPP 114 – Launch Strategies, Categories, and Lessons Learned

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_114.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadWe got together this Fourth of July to talk about the launch strategies we’re using for The Dream Engine [link], the book Sean and Johnny wrote in 30 days for Fiction Unboxed. Along the way, they talked about how to pre-sell a book without a presales page from Amazon, how to get into more than two categories, the importance of building a team around your publishing business, and why Sprite Zero has no idea how to make a publicity-friendly aluminum can. Why Ray Chase is Awesome Listeners get a real treat at the start of the show because Johnny plays a sample of the first chapter of The Dream Engine in audio, read by the ever-talented Ray Chase, who will be on next week’s show. We even get to hear part of it twice because we can’t help but screw stuff up on the show, like always. Ray will basically be one of our go-to guys for audio from now on, so if you love his reading, you’ll love the next year or so here at Sterling & Stone. We Answer Voicemails, Like the Pros We Are Victoria asked about pre-ordering on Amazon. Apparently, if you know the right people in Amazon, you can get pre-orders as an indie, which is what Jason Gurley did. But for the rest of us… well, see below for Johnny and Sean’s solution. Then Gayne from Texas asked about checking out reviewers that give you bad reviews. Sean admitted to doing that, because it helps you know how seriously you should take any negative reviews. Pre-Orders for...

SPP 113 – Frictionless Publishing with Tom Corson-Knowles

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_113.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadIn this week’s show we talked with Tom Corson-Knowles about “Frictionless Publishing.” We also ranted about how technology hates us and looks for opportunities to kick us in the balls. Scrivener, Dropbox, and Looking for a Needle in a Needle Stack First, we ranted about how technology gave us a hardy F**K YOU this week when Sean and Johnny had version issues on Scrivener. That meant hours of shifting through documents to piece together all the most recent chapters of The Dream Engine. Johnny likened it to dropping a string with a bunch of needles and having to sort through them and put them back in order. But tragedy was averted and Dream is still up and running. By the way, if you aren’t an Unboxer, don’t worry, you haven’t lost out. You can still join now here and see all the videos and read all the content. You can also see all the freely visible blog posts here. Now that the project is finally done, that will be a record of lessons learned that you can examine any time you want. We also had an interesting discussion about white noise. Johnny has started using white noise to help him focus on editing, as opposed to the music he listens to when writing. He calls it drowning out the sounds with controlled silence. Dave also sometimes uses white noise when writing, and his wife has started using it to fall asleep. This is the white noise site Johnny mentioned on the show. Tom Corson-Knowles Talks about Frictionless Publishing Tom Corson-Knowles is the nonfiction writer of several...

SPP 112 – How to Write More in Less Time

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_112.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadFor our first show in a while without a guest, we wanted to talk about how to be more efficient. Dave pointed out halfway through that it’s ironic to talk about efficiency on a podcast in which we never get to the fucking point. But whatever, Dave. Basically, we want to eliminate distraction behaviors and recoup that time. In my case, I’ve recently moved to a schedule that actually allows me to get some sleep… but to do it, and to wake up later without losing time, I’ve instituted an INCREDIBLY anal and strict set of behaviors for myself for the times when I DO work. The result? I actually seem to be getting more done and having more free time. All while sleeping more than an hour extra every night. This one is chock full of habits for making slow improvements and always getting better at what we do. (And I’m sure we’ll do another of these… because our efficiency presentation was so inefficient, we could have gone on for another hour, easy.) Watch the Video Version...

SPP 111 – Building an Author Platform with Chris Garrett

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_111.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadWe started the show by talking a bit about how surprising Fiction Unboxed is turning out for us, in terms of showing us how our own process works. If you still want to join Fiction Unboxed, you still can (it’s not at all necessary to follow along live), but even if you don’t, check out a few of the freely visible blog posts to see what we’re doing and what we’re learning. I almost want to recommend that writers teach what they know to someone else because the learning that comes from it is awesome. Seriously; check out those blog posts. (The Day 13-15 posts are especially illustrative.) After answering a few voicemails, we were joined by Chris Garrett, CDO at Copyblogger. Copyblogger is one of our favorite online authorities, friends, and partners, and we’ve been huge advocates and supporters from the beginning. (Chris is also one of the authors of the first book Sean ever read about online business. Oh, and he’s also an ardent Fiction Unboxed participant, since he’s learning to write fiction.) Chris talked to us a ton about the importance of having an online platform, what that platform should entail and what its main purposes should be, and how you can get one. We also hit a few key topics like: – Should you blog? What should you write about if so? – How can you maximize engagement with readers and conversion to what you want to buy?” – How should you build your email list? – Should you sell your products direct? This was an amazing show and...

SPP 110 – Social Media Strategy with Ashley Coombe

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_110.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBefore adding our guest today, we talked briefly about the very interesting things that we’ve discovered while writing our novel for Fiction Unboxed. Specifically, we began writing the rough draft yesterday (check out the writeup here) , and the whole experience has been downright exhilarating. We also talked about partnering, and what to keep in mind when working with anyone else. Sean and I share a story from our passionate affair while Dave added anecdotes about how things are in his and Sean’s long-term marriage. Ahem. Moving on… Our guest today was Ashley Coombe, who has a whole bunch of stuff going on… but whose most relevant role to this episode is her position with Shareist, a cool social media scheduling tool. We’re social media idiots, so Ashley (who we met in Denver) spent the show convincing us 1) that social media is very worth paying serious attention to and 2) that we can do it without pulling our hair out. Ashley also posted a Social Media Setup Checklist on the Shareist blog, which you can get here. View the video version...

SPP 109 – Cover Design With Author and Artist Jason Gurley

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_109.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadToday we had on someone for whom we all have a serious professional boner, Jason Gurley. These days, Jason is working hard on his writing (his new book Eleanor is available for pre-order now), but we’ve salivated over his book cover designs for a while now. Alas, he’s stopped taking commissions just in time for us to miss out. Bummer! But we got the next best thing: we got Jason on the show to talk about what you can do yourself in terms of covers, what makes a good cover, and what you need to keep in mind when hiring a cover artist. This was a great show, and it gave Dave an inferiority complex. Learn something and give Dave a heart attack… what’s not to love? View the video version here: SHOW TRANSCRIPT Transcripts of The Self Publishing Podcast are provided by CaptionAccess. You can download the PDF version of this week’s show here, or click the box below to read it in-line on this page. Click here to read the full transcript ROUGH EDITED COPY  SPP  Self-Publishing Podcast  EPISODE #109  June 4, 2014  CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY:  CAPTIONACCESS  contact@captionaccess.com  www.captionaccess.com  * * * * *  This is being provided in a rough-draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings  * * * *  JOHNNY B. TRUANT: Self Publishing Podcast, episode number 109. DAVID WRIGHT: This episode of the Self Publishing Podcast is brought to you by 99 Designs, the online marketplace that helps you get...

SPP 108 – Darren Wearmouth and Colin Barnes Talk Collaboration

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_108.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadIf you were on YouTube this week for the live show, you might have seen a false start, which we cancelled halfway through because Sean’s internet wasn’t working. WTF. Saving us from ourselves, we were able to get a pair on that we’d been meaning to talk to: the second appearance of Darren Wearmouth with his co-author, Colin Barnes. We’ve been wanting to talk to these guys because not only can they give us a different-than-us perspective on working with other writers, but they’re also business-minded. And British, which Dave likes. Colin and Darren talked all about how they worked together on Sequence (currently with Darren’s literary agent and the upcoming Critical Dawn (independently published). We got the ins and outs on how they plan, how they write, and how they work in general. Colin and Darren also gave us a big scoop on research for targeting a book at its launch. They’re better with data than us, trust us. View the video version here: SHOW TRANSCRIPT Transcripts of The Self Publishing Podcast are provided by CaptionAccess. You can download the PDF version of this week’s show here, or click the box below to read it in-line on this page. Click here to read the full transcript ROUGH EDITED COPY  SPP  Self-Publishing Podcast  EPISODE #108  May 28, 2014  CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY:  CAPTIONACCESS  contact@captionaccess.com  www.captionaccess.com  * * * * *  This is being provided in a rough-draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings  * * *...

SPP 107 – The Triumphant Return of King Ed Robertson

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_107.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadToday we stepped mostly away from our recent preoccupation with Fiction Unboxed (it ends May 22nd at 9:30AM) to have a fun, informative, ball-busting session with our most regular guest, Ed Robertson. We also promised to give him his cat back if he agreed to do the show again. Of course, we later reneged. After a bit of wrap-up in which Sean and I talked about our trip to Copyblogger’s Authority Intensive conference in Denver, we moved into talking to Ed and what he’s up to. This was interrupted by the world’s worst ad read for our favorite cover design marketplace, 99Designs. We figure that it was so bad it was good, though, and were able to keep 99Designs looking awesome while we looked like total incompetent assholes. Everyone wins! As always, Ed was a fountain of information. We learned about his upcoming projects, the future of the Breakers series, how pricing his 3-book Breakers box set at 99 cents in conjunction with select promotions earned him about 50 bazillion sales, and much more. View the video version here: SHOW TRANSCRIPT Transcripts of The Self Publishing Podcast are provided by CaptionAccess. You can download the PDF version of this week’s show here, or click the box below to read it in-line on this page. Click here to read the full transcript ROUGH EDITED COPY  SPP  Self-Publishing Podcast  EPISODE #107  May 22, 2014  CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY:  CAPTIONACCESS  contact@captionaccess.com  www.captionaccess.com* * * * *  This is being provided in a rough-draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and...

SPP 106 – Deciding How to Spend Your Creative Energy

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_106.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadAs a quick note, this is the LAST EPISODE to hit the audio feed before Fiction Unboxed ends. So if you want to get in, do it now (and man, the rewards keep stacking!) We talked a bit about lessons learned from our Kickstarter experience before delving into the topic. For one, our Thunderclap experiment seems to have been a huge bust. We had almost 1.1 million in social reach and over 500 joiners, but all we seem to have done was to flood the Twitter and Facebook feeds of people who already knew about the project. More analysis next week. We also talked a bit about “Kickstarter stigma,” which we hadn’t anticipated. It has made getting publicity for the project much harder than anticipated and a general mixed bag. We love the response of the SPP audience, but the larger world in general has seen KICKSTARTER first and BIG IDEA second. We’d hoped it would be the other way around, and that people would think, “Look at this CRAZY COOL IDEA they had… and oh, by the way, they’re funding it via Kickstarter.” The entire experience is also exhausting. More to come on this stuff a month or two down the road, after we can catch our breath. For today’s main topic, we talked about how to choose your next project… where to put your creative energy. This stemmed from a discussion recently wherein Sean and I had to bump two big projects. Most recently, our project with the codename “Axis” had to be moved until July, and this made us both...

SPP 105 – Book Launching and Other Stuff with Darren Wearmouth

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_105.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadAs we record and broadcast this, Fiction Unboxed continues to roll along. The rewards keep stacking up and we’ve set an AAAAAMAZING stretch goal involving opening up a shared story world for all of us to write in. Be sure to check it out and spread the world so that we can hit that goal! The more the project funds, the more EVERY BACKER WINS. After a bunch of odds and ends, we got into the meat of the show by adding in Darren Wearmouth to our blokish mix. It was odd, because Darren is a fan of the show… and we’re simultaneously fans of the stupendous feat Darren managed with his first and (currently) only novel, First Activation. Darren had one book — his first — and hit Amazon’s Top 100 with it at launch through a very cool strategy of pricing low, advertising heavily, and trying to hit critical mass. And it totally worked. This is a great strategic show and gave us things to think about for our own future launches. Darren also promises to touch base after his next indie launch and let us know if it works a second time. You can view the video version here: SHOW TRANSCRIPT Transcripts of The Self Publishing Podcast are provided by CaptionAccess. You can download the PDF version of this week’s show here, or click the box below to read it in-line on this page. Click here to read the full transcript ROUGH EDITED COPY  SPP  Self-Publishing Podcast  EPISODE #105  May 2014  CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY:  CAPTIONACCESS  contact@captionaccess.com  www.captionaccess.com  * * * *...

Who Else Wants Us To Critique Their Work?

I’ll admit it. I’ve been a bit disappointed by the lack of takers on the Fiction Unboxed Participation Level.  I was whining about it to Sean yesterday. But Sean doesn’t put up with that crap. Sean’s a kung-fu master. He gave me a roundhouse kick to the back of the head and screamed, “THAT’S BECAUSE THERE’S NOT ENOUGH VALUE IN THAT LEVEL YET, YOU FOOL!” Okay, that didn’t actually happen. But it’s close enough. The truth is, there ISN’T enough value in the participation level yet — and I say this whether you’re one of the current participant-level backers or someone who’s thought about that level and decided against it. It’s a good chunk of money. It’s great ask questions, vote on decisions during the process, and help to shape the shared story world (and create a character inside it who will live forever) … but it isn’t enough. It’s great that you’ll get all of the rewards of the lower levels, including full unrestricted access to Unboxed, two years’ worth of our fiction, some print books and the audiobooks, and on and on … But it still isn’t enough. We’re delivering, but we’re not OVERdelivering. That’s not cool. You are awesome people, and deserve our very best. Sean’s roundhouse to my head was right: that pesky participation level wasn’t getting our very best. So the three of us sat down and brainstormed ways to sweeten the cream, and decided to add a very cool reward to the $297 “participation” level and above. If you join us as a participant-level backer (or already are one, or increase your pledge to that level), we...

SPP 104 – Lessons Learned at SPP’s 2-Year Mark (and the Fiction Unboxed Launch!)

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_104.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadWe spent a bit of time at the beginning of this show glorying in the stupendous rallying of the SPP community during the day’s debut of Fiction Unboxed. We tried not to beat the whole thing to death, but suffice to say that the project funded fully after only about 11 hours. YOU made that happen! Thank you! As of the time I write this update, our current stretch goal is this: Thanks to the fantastic support of the folks at Literature & Latte, if Fiction Unboxed’s funding reaches $35,000, every single backer at the $89 level or higher will receive a copy of Scrivener writing software for free! HOW AMAZING IS THAT? Remember, the more the project funds, the more EVERY BACKER WINS. We have some absolutely amazing further stretch goals planned, so please… go out and tell your friends! Tweeting and Facebook are great ways to spread the word, but personal recommendations — via email, on your blog, etc. — are even better. (Oh, and if you haven’t done it yet, please head on over and sign up for our Thunderclap. That’ll help spread the word… but if our “Thunderclap” goes off, we’re eager to share the results with you for your own use.) We spent the rest of the show talking through what’s changed for us since we started the podcast two full years ago. What have we done that works? What have we done that didn’t work? We made some good moves and some bad ones, but we’re always pushing and trying new things. And of course, we always...

SPP 103 – Big Marketing Strategy and Selling Direct

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_103.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBefore we got started, we announced that our Kickstarter project Fiction Unboxed — where we’re writing a book live in 30 days and letting the world watch — will be live by the time this post goes up! If you want to join us, be sure to do it now because the best spots are limited! Also, we’re experimenting with Thunderclap — a mass-broadcast social media blast. But for our Thunderclap to work, we need 500 people to be part of none of it will happen and we won’t have anything to report to you. Joining it take only about 15 seconds, so please head on over and sign up. This was an intensely full episode, and I’m not even going to attempt to explain all of the little details. Suffice to say that it was all about a big addition to our sales strategy, based around changing our “join the mailing list offer,” adding an autoresponder to bond with members and “tell our story,” and adding a direct sales channel for some new bundles. One by one: 1. The Realm & Sands “offer” page. This is the page we’ll use to build our list. While it’s in progress, the offer page is here, but by the time you read this, it may have moved to its permanent home here. 2. An autoresponder series to come. Sean is writing this now, and we’ll implement it as a series of emails people will get AFTER they join our list, to bond and lead people through our varied catalogue. 3. A new series of book...

SPP 102 – Realities of Being a Full-Time Writer and Fiction Unboxed Rewards

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_102.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis might have been our least-organized show ever, but it’s only because we’re working so damn hard for you, folks! We started by talking about how nutso things have been lately, then segued neatly into a few voicemail questions. After this, we moved the part where we revealed the REWARD LEVELS for our upcoming Kickstarter project “Fiction Unboxed” — which now has a fantastic new video! Watch it here, wherein we’re going to write a book, live, in 30 days and let the world watch, launching April 22nd. And why do you care so much about the reward levels? BECAUSE IF YOU JOIN THE PROJECT ON THE FIRST DAY, YOU GET SHIT CHEAPER. That’s how it works, yo. We talk through most of the levels in the podcast — as well as the rationale behind all of them, so that you can learn from our experience if you decide to crowdfund a project yourself — but here are a few of the most important ones: $49 is the “All Access Pass” level. We assume this is the no-brainer level for most of you. It’s where you get access to everything that matters — video/audio of our story and marketing meetings, access to the drafts (raw, edited, polished) as they’re created, digital copies of the book we produce when it’s done AND all of our transcripts, assembled into a SECOND book (a reference book that comprises a record of Fiction Unboxed), and so on. BUT IF YOU FUND THIS LEVEL ON DAY 1, IT’S ONLY $39. (Look for the level identical to the $49...

SPP 101 – Selling Your First 1000 Copies with Tim Grahl

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_101.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadWe opened this week’s show by talking more about our upcoming Kickstarter project “Fiction UNboxed”, wherein we’re going to write a book, live, in 30 days (from a total blank slate to publication in ebook, print, and audio) and let the world watch. If you haven’t read the details on Fiction UNboxed yet, you really should. It’s something the world hasn’t seen before. We’re thinking of it as a “concert” for writing, and we hope it’ll demystify the idea of how to tell stories and free a lot of writers’ minds. Oh, and be sure to sign up for the notification list because we’re going to give out an awesome bonus (a to-be-determined video tutorial) for people who fund us at a certain level on the FIRST DAY. After that, we had on our guest Tim Grahl, author of Your First 1000 Copies. And man, is Tim a man cut from our same cloth. He gets that successful authors really need to be marketers too. Tim confirmed a lot of what we talk about a lot and gave us plenty of great new ideas too… some having to do with our “offer” to get readers on our mailing list and one biggie about how we need to start an autoresponder for our new subscribers YESTERDAY. Oh, and that site Tim mentioned for A/B testing of all sorts of things? That’s PickFu.com. This one is chock full of nuts, folks. Listen up. You can view the video version here: SHOW TRANSCRIPT Transcripts of The Self Publishing Podcast are provided by CaptionAccess. You can download the...

SPP 100 – 100th Episode Spectacular and Kickstarter Reveal

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_100.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis was the episode where we finally revealed that enticing, exciting, tantalizing upcoming Kickstarter project we’ve been telling you all about. Ready? Look away if you don’t want spoilers. For our Kickstarter project, we’re going to write a book, live, in 30 days, and let the world watch. On day 1, we’ll have no idea of anything about the book: its title, its genre, any of the characters, anything in the plot, etc. On day 30, we’ll have a finished book, in ebook, print, and hopefully even audio, ready for distribution. We’re going to show you everything. We’ll post each day’s new words, post every stage of the ongoing edit, record our story meetings and show you those, share all of our emails about the project, and so on. YOU WILL SEE EXACTLY HOW WE MAKE A STORY FROM NOTHING. We’re super excited about the idea. The actual Kickstarter campaign begins on April 22, and we’ll reveal more in the coming weeks. But we need something from you first! See, we’re going to give out a bonus to people who fund the campaign at a certain level (to be announced) on the first day. We’d like for that bonus to be some sort of video training: us showing you how to do something, step by step. We need your suggestions for what you’d like us to show you in that video training, so please contact us here and let us know! Be sure to sign up for the Kickstarter notification list now so that you won’t miss the release… you ARE going to...

SPP 099 – Our Writing and Creative Process

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_99.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week, we talked a whole lot about a topic that listeners have been clamoring for: our creative process. We’ve talked a lot lately about our upcoming Kickstarter project, which will deal with the Realm & Sands (that’s Johnny and Sean) writing process. This episode was kind of a primer, dealing with the evolution of process between The Beam: Season One and the newly wrapped The Beam: Season Two, which will be released on May 1. (By the way, be sure to join the Realm & Sands “Outlaws” list to get first crack at The Beam’s new season when it’s available, because it’ll be discounted for the first few days and you won’t want to miss it.) We covered the ways in which the Realm & Sands process has evolved (and continues to evolve), how Collective Inkwell’s process compares, how solo writers can adapt our collaborative processes, and more. As a bonus, we also talked about how fun it is to intersect works in the same world without making each dependent on the others. (Our rule for Beam world stories is that we can’t require anyone to read the other works, but the other works can add to the enjoyment of each other and leave Easter eggs. Specifically, we talk about how much gonzo fun we’ve had cross-pollenating The Beam, Lexi Maxxwell’s erotic The Future of Sex series, and our fictional author Sterling Gibson’s Plugged and his forthcoming books. (Side note: We and Lexi have been unable to get The Future of Sex price-matched to free on Amazon, but you can read it...

SPP 098 – Audiobooks and Boricio with Voice Actor Ray Chase

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_98.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week, we had Ray Chase, the voice actor who played Boricio on the audiobook version of Yesterday’s Gone, on the show. Ray was a big old handful of hilarity and fun. Ray’s voice acting is absolutely phenomenal, and we’re really hoping to have him read a part for The Beam, which we recently signed into audiobook production (seasons 1-3) with Podium Publishing. But Ray isn’t just an audiobook narrator! Oh, no, he does a ton more. Check out Funsplosion for a lot more awesomeness, and if you’re into it, consider backing his Kickstarter. We did! Before Ray joined us, we talked about a few other things, partially centering on Sean and I spending four days in person last weekend talking through a massive story meeting. In a few days on the SPP blog, we’re going to be running a kind of 30-day “bootcamp” designed to address some of the biggest roadblocks we hear from listeners and readers. It is, of course, totally free. If you want to know when that begins, be sure to join our Repeaters list. We gave a bit more detail on an upcoming Kickstarter project we’re going to be doing, on our process and how other writers can take what we do and use it to become more productive. We’ll tell you all about it in two weeks for SPP episode #100, but suffice to say that we’ve never seen anyone else do anything quite like it. We announced the DEBUT OF THE WRITE. PUBLISH. REPEAT. AUDIOBOOK! You can get the WPR audiobook here, and we’re so, so,...

SPP 097 – Fan Engagement and Cross-Genre Promotion with Lexi Maxxwell

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_97.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadYay! We finally managed to get Lexi Maxxwell back on the show! You may or may not care about Lexi’s erotic works, but you should care about her as she relates to us. We produce Lexi and enjoy working with her, but we also use her growing empire as a testing ground for the things we later do on our empires: working on her website, her Facebook page, etc. She’s a super-smart gal with a knack for marketing and fan connection, and we can all learn a lesson or two from her. Lexi was her usual dirty self on this show, so consider yourself warned. (But we’d all love it if you’d head over and “like” her Facebook page — oh, and while you’re at it, you can “like” the SPP page too. ) We talked about how to make your fans love you, how to reach new readers by considering your work to be part of two genres, and a ton more. SHOW TRANSCRIPT Transcripts of The Self Publishing Podcast are provided by CaptionAccess. You can download the PDF version of this week’s show here, or click the box below to read it in-line on this page. Click here to read the full transcript ROUGH EDITED COPY SPP SELF-PUBLISHING PODCAST EPISODE 97 March 12, 2014 CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY: CAPTIONACCESS contact@captionaccess.com www.captionaccess.com * * * * * This is being provided in a rough-draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings * * * * JOHNNY...

SPP 096 – Showing Your Work and Stealing Like an Artist with Austin Kleon

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_96.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadFeatured image credit Blue Lily Photography Today’s guest was Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist and the follow-up, Show Your Work. This was our longest SPP episode yet, so buckle in. You’re going to feel so damn inspired. (Incidentally, we gave Austin adequate chances to escape but he kept saying he wanted to stay. Do you hear that, police out there investigating a hostage claim?) Dave has a huge boner over Austin’s work, and hence is to thank for wrangling him onto our show. Dave wrote a tribute post here, and I have to say that after reading Austin’s stuff myself, I basically want to invite him to be our fourth host of SPP. What he says is what we say, and what we say is what he says. Show Your Work is all about networking without networking and marketing without marketing. To increase exposure to your work, SHOW your work. For a preview, here are a bunch of book interiors he’s already shared. This was a hell of a show. We even asked him about putting a unicorn in a story as a way of mashing-up our inspirations. Enjoy! You can watch the video version here: SHOW TRANSCRIPT Transcripts of The Self Publishing Podcast are provided by CaptionAccess. You can download the PDF version of this week’s show here, or click the box below to read it in-line on this page. Click here to read the full transcript ROUGH EDITED COPY SPP SELF-PUBLISHING PODCAST EPISODE 96 March 7, 2014 CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY: CAPTIONACCESS contact@captionaccess.com www.captionaccess.com * * * * * This...

SPP 095 – Facebook Marketing, Kickstarter, and other Miscellany

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_95.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis is a bit of a mishmash show because we had a guest scheduled and he never showed up. So we had to wing it without a clear topic. Hopefully we didn’t do too shittily. First of all, some announcements: 1. SPP is now sponsored by 99designs 99designs is a great service we’ve used for book cover design and talked about as awesome BEFORE THEY WERE EVEN PAYING US. If you do need a book cover or any other graphic service, head on over to 99designs.com/spp and they’ll give you a Power Pack Upgrade, normally priced at $99, for FREE. 2. SPP now has a Facebook page We have BIG plans for SPP’s Facebook presence, but it begins with a contest. If we reach certain numbers of Facebook “likes,” EVERY fan of the page will get a prize. Head on over to the page, Like it, and give us your thoughts on what the prize should be. (The contest starts next week.) 3. We’re going to be doing a Kickstarter campaign Listen to the episode for details, and listen in future weeks for further info. You’re going to love it. For most of this week’s show, we talked about Facebook marketing, which Sean has been doing a lot of, as it pertains to promoting authors and selling books. There’s more mishmash in here too. Hey… we did our best, making up topics on the spot to fill a no-guest show! You can view the video version here: SHOW TRANSCRIPT Transcripts of The Self Publishing Podcast are provided by CaptionAccess. You can download the PDF...

SPP 094 – Book Launching with Charlie Hoehn

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_94.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week’s guest was Charlie Hoehn , who Dave apparently has a crush on. Dave also referred to our thumbnails on the YouTube version, from Charlie to me (Johnny) to Sean to Dave himself, as “the devolution of man.” Charlie recently launched a new book that the anxiety sufferers among you should check out (Play It Away: A Workaholic’s Cure for Anxiety), but more relevant to our audience is the fact that Charlie has been behind the scenes of some major book launches, most notably Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Body. So we drilled him for info. Among Charlie’s tips are: • Get beta readers to help you decide and refine your book’s content (more for nonfiction than fiction) • Do research about what’s hot BEFORE writing anything (yes, even for fiction, if only for positioning) • Get beta readers • Use your network — and if you don’t have one, develop one now • Get beta readers This show’s transcript is available in full below the video, provided by our sponsor CaptionAccess. If you do any multimedia work at all, you need to be providing transcripts or captioning. Even setting aside the search engine benefits of transcripts, the deaf and hard of hearing market is huge, and almost nobody is serving them. Does that sound like an opportunity to anyone, in addition to making you a generally cool person or company?  You can view the video version here: SHOW TRANSCRIPT Transcripts of The Self Publishing Podcast are provided by CaptionAccess. You can download the PDF version of this week’s show here, or click the box below to read it in-line on this...

SPP 093 – Multiple Streams of Writing Income and Speaking with Joanna Penn

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_93.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week we had back our friend and SPP regular contributor Joanna Penn. Joanna is always way ahead of the curve on new and breaking trends that we all should be paying attention to, so we collectively paid a ton of attention. (In fact, we paid SO much attention that we started her appearance early and kept her late enough that she ran out of wine, and we still didn’t really cover enough.) We started out by talking about speaking opportunities for writers (Sean and I want to get paid to speak), based around Joanna’s conveniently timed new book Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives, and Other Introverts, which you should go and pick up if you’re at all interested in speaking — whether you consider yourself an introvert or not. (I’ve read it, so I can tell you it’s awesome. So go get it.) Throughout the rest of the show, we talked about how to take ONE book and turn it into MANY income streams by exploiting all the rights that are available and exploitable: making audiobooks, creating various versions, translating your work and selling it into new and growing markets, and outright selling your rights so that other people (who know those markets better and have reach into them) can sell into them for you. This episode is JAM-PACKED! Enjoy, and don’t forget to check out Joanna’s book if you’re considering speaking as a publicity avenue or income source. This show’s transcript is available in full below the video, provided by our sponsor CaptionAccess. If you do any multimedia work at all, you...

SPP 092 – Thinking as a Long-Term Writer with Lindsay Buroker

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_92.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadAfter a false start last week, we got Lindsay Buroker on the show for this episode. Lindsay has been in self-publishing for long than we have and has been speaking on her blog about the industry and how-to and why-to and general -to sorts of things for authors for longer than we have. She’s also somehow managed to develop a legion of loyal fans of her Emperor’s Edge series who were numerous enough, devoted enough, and proactive enough to start up a fan forum to discuss her books and to write fan fiction. That’s pretty cool. In this episode, one thing that kept coming up over and over was the idea that you can’t think short-term in this business. The market will change, tactics will come in and out of favor, and the “now” solution isn’t always the best solution. We get mired in what’s happening this second, but you have to think like a businessperson and always remember that persistent writers are going to be writing for their whole lives. So you’ve got to plan that way. This show’s transcript is available in full below the video, provided by our sponsor CaptionAccess. If you do any multimedia work at all, you need to be providing transcripts or captioning. Even setting aside the search engine benefits of transcripts, the deaf and hard of hearing market is huge, and almost nobody is serving them. Does that sound like an opportunity to anyone, in addition to making you a generally cool person or company?  You can view the video version here: SHOW TRANSCRIPT Transcripts of  The Self Publishing...

SPP 091 – Answering Your Self-Publishing Questions

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_91.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadAfter a stupid debacle wherein Google shit itself and made our usual Google Hangouts On Air impossible, we had to postpone the guest we had scheduled until next week. We’d planned to have Lindsay Buroker on, but all we did today was to waste her time. Sorry, Lindsay! Because we didn’t have other plans in place, we answered voicemails and live questions. Here are a few of them: • What’s our opinion of mind-mapping software Scapple? • How do you avoid genre cliches when writing in a genre? • Is it possible to self-publish games via self-pub platforms? • Are we planning to publish ongoing updates to our self publishing book Write. Publish. Repeat. as the indie publishing landscape changes? And lastly, we took a voicemail from Demelza, who had such a wonderful down-under accent that we missed her question. It had something about publishing episodes versus full seasons. This show’s transcript is available in full below the video, provided by our sponsor CaptionAccess. If you do any multimedia work at all, you need to be providing transcripts or captioning. Even setting aside the search engine benefits of transcripts, the deaf and hard of hearing market is huge, and almost nobody is serving them. Does that sound like an opportunity to anyone, in addition to making you a generally cool person or company?  You can view the video version here: SHOW TRANSCRIPT Transcripts of  The Self Publishing Podcast are provided by CaptionAccess. You can download the PDF version of this week’s show here, or click the box below to read it in-line on this page. Click here to...

SPP 090 – Blogging, Audience Engagement, and Critical Mass

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_90.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadWe started the show with a few announcements: • We’re holding our first-ever SPP “ask us anything” Google Plus Hangout on Thursday, 1/30 at 9pm Eastern time. You should be able to find it here at that time. (We will also record this and post it on our usual YouTube channel, so if you don’t have live questions, you may just want to wait.) • Sean and I — and, it turns, out, MAYBE DAVE — will be at the South by Southwest (Interactive) festival from March 7-9. We’re not hosing a formal meet-up, but we’ll hang out and post our whereabouts on social media, so we hope you’ll watch our social media accounts and come hang out if you’re there. • Our previous SPP guest, writer-specialist lawyer M. Scott Boone, is blogging a copyright course. You can follow it for free here. • Lastly, the Unicorn Western 1 and Fat Vampire 1 Podiobooks (podcast audiobooks) are now available. You can find them online here or can search iTunes to find them. Now, on to the show. We talked a lot about our marketing plans for 2014, mainly centering on what we’ve already done with the Realm and Sands blog. Our first (and very well-received) blog post was What Defines You? and was followed up with Is Revenge Ever Justified? We have high hopes that doing “old Johnny style epic blog posts” will help us to engage with readers and help us bond people to our fiction. We also talked about how Lexi Maxxwell is doing the same thing on her erotica blog, starting with her first...

SPP 089 – The Indie Report and Audiobooks with Simon Whistler

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_89.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadToday we had on Simon Whistler, the smooth-voiced (and sexy-voiced, according to Dave) host of the Rocking Self Publishing Podcast … which has been called “the bizarro version of SPP.” Basically, we had Simon on because we’re too lazy to interview as many indie authors as he does on his show, and we figured he could give us the Cliff’s Notes of what successful indies are doing out there. Some highlights: Get a lot of books out there in the world, be very patient and persistent, be creative and outside-the-box about your lead generation strategies, and “be willing to try everything.” Simon has heard a lot from other indies, and he gave us the greatest hits in aggregate. Simon is also an audiobook narrator (unless the sky falls, it looks like he’ll be doing the audiobook of Write. Publish. Repeat. for us), and he gives us some of the key things to think about when you consider doing audiobook version of your books, such as how to choose a narrator, whether or not audiobooks are worth it, how people outside the USA may be able to use the no-out-of-pocket-cost-possible service ACX, and more. You can view the video version...

SPP 088 – Self-Publishing Plans for 2014

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_88.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadAfter our vacations, we hit the bricks running, ready to talk about how we’re going to turn 2013’s production into 2014’s gold. In Sean’s phrasing, last year was about producing. This year is about synergy. Which basically means that as you watch or listen to the show this year, you’ll hear us talk more and more about how we’re trying to get more out of what we have rather than necessarily producing more (though we’ll certainly be producing plenty too). That means: • Focusing on marketing and advertising • Creating follow-ups to our products — sequels, Season Twos, and so on • Making the various parts of our business (nonfiction vs. fiction, our various publishing companies and wings) work better together, so that all support the efforts of the other • Better social activity and viral stuff What I’m most excited about is the blogging. Sean and I are going to build out the Realm & Sands blog with what I think of as “epic blog posts,” similar to what I used to write at my old site. These posts, however, will focus on lessons learned through the telling of stories… which means they should help us sell and promote our fiction. Here’s to a great 2014! You can view the video version...

SPP 087 – Best Self-Publishing Lessons of 2013

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_87.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBecause this is our last show of 2013 (and we’ll be skipping next week’s show so that we can sleep and see our families after ending this year at an insane pace), we wanted to use it to wrap up some of the things we’ve learned. It’s kind of a hodge-podge this week, because “what we learned” spans the gamut, but a few highlights were: 1. Producing a ton was the right choice for 2013 (for us), but now that we have a ton of stuff, we need to turn to promoting it next year. 2. We made some choices with funnel-starters (primarily with the free introductory story Vengeance that leads into the full novel Namaste) that weren’t terribly wise in retrospect. You’ll hear the story of how we changed Vengeance to what you see today (instead of seeing its old name and cover, for Namaste: Prelude) and why we did it. 3. Season 2 production on our works next year is, we hope, where the big rewards lie. 4. Our somewhat spontaneous decision to write our definitive self-publishing guide Write. Publish. Repeat. (which you should read if you haven’t already; look at those reviews!) was the best “growth-hacker” move we made all year. And a bunch more. Happy holidays everyone, and we’ll see you in 2014! You can get the video version...

SPP 086 – YouTube for Writers with Amy Schmittauer (“The Schmittastic Episode”)

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_86.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week’s guest was Amy Schmittauer, who had some awesome ideas and suggestions for writers looking to expand their reach with the use of YouTube. We talked about a variety of approaches, from using videos to bond with existing readers and deepen that connection with true fans to using YouTube for lead-gen. We also talked about when to create multiple YouTube channels, what to do about trolls (Amy seems to take them on directly and make friends, an approach whose simple efficacy punched us in the face), when to split videos up in order to get more search engine traffic, how to piggyback on popular topics, and more. Here’s where you can check out more about Amy and what she does: • Her prime YouTube channel, Sexy Savvy Social • Her personal vlog entries, so you can get a feel for that approach • Her iPhone videos channel, which we also mentioned, for a third style • And of course, Amy’s business Vlog Boss Studios We’re looking to expand into YouTube more in 2014 with the awesome stuff Amy told us about! You can view the video version...

SPP 085 – Post-Launch Wrap-Up

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_85.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadWe started this week’s show by talking about how awesome all of you are. Seriously. Our listeners (and readers) are the best. We recorded this episode the day after the launch of our new book, Write. Publish. Repeat: The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success, and not only did the book do phenomenally well (went as high as #62 on the overall Kindle store list and stayed in the Top 100 for days), but the excitement and kudos from all of you were amazing, so thank you. This show was a mess otherwise, though — partially because Sean and I were giddy and sleep-deprived. So we talked about a lot of stuff too scattered to detail here, much having to do with launching, what worked and what didn’t, etc. We also talked about when you shouldn’t follow our advice and the time the gas station Dave worked at caught on fire. Because that’s relevant. You can view the video version...

SPP 084 – Positioning Your Book for Maximum Exposure

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_84.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadFirst things first: our comprehensive self-publishing guide Write. Publish. Repeat: The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success is now available! (That’s the Amazon link. It’s also on the other stores, as well as in print.) This book is as good as we could make it, folks. As of right now, it’s pretty much everything we know about how to build a business in the indie publishing world. For the first two days — December 5th and 6th — Write. Publish. Repeat. will be on sale for half price ($2.99 instead of $5.99). During that same time, it will also come with a bonus book: Sean’s Writing Online, which is the freelancing companion to the new book. We’d like to ask you all a favor. If you enjoy this podcast and have gotten something out of it, PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD. Twitter, Facebook, your blogs, your email list, your crazy grandmother, whatever… please tell folks you know about Write. Publish. Repeat. Anyway, be sure to get your copy of Write. Publish. Repeat. now, before the price goes up and the bonus goes away. On today’s show, we talked about positioning your book. We talk about our reasons for changing the name of Chupacabra Outlaw to it’s new name of Cursed, then tell the story about how Write. Publish. Repeat. might have been named The Fiction Formula … and why. It’s mainly for fiction writers (though we specifically added a lot for nonfiction writers too), and there was nothing about that in the title. So we had a dilemma. We’ll also talk about why...

SPP 083 – How to Launch a Book

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_83.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadAs of the day this episode goes live, we’re officially just one week away from the launch of our comprehensive self-publishing bible Write. Publish. Repeat: The No-Luck Guide to Building a Self-Publishing Career. In this episode, appropriately, we talk about how we’re launching this book and how that launch compares to the last proper “launch” Sean and Dave did — the Yesterday’s Gone Season One launch two years ago. We talk about how we don’t normally “launch” our books, how we may in 2014, and how fiction launches differ from nonfiction launches. We also talk a lot about networking, and how you can do it very wrong and look like a shitbag, versus doing it right and just being a cool person. You can check out the video version...

SPP 082 – Censorship and Compromising Your Work

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_82.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week, we talked about an article we read about censorship by major booksellers and the corresponding self-censorship that some authors are doing to keep their books visible. We also talked about the “chilling effect” that occurs when authors start to watch what they say. We also had two requests this week, for those of you who are awesome enough to be our listeners and want to support us: 1. We need to get the first in our co-authored series The Future of Sex with Lexi Maxxwell price-matched as free, and we need your help to do it. Please go here to see it on Amazon, then scroll down to the “product details” (below the row of “customers also bought” images), and click the final text link in that section, just above the reviews… the one that says “tell us about a lower price.” Then fill it out and give Amazon this link, which is the same product for free on B&N. 2. If you have a website, a podcast, or access to a group of writers on social media and would be willing to help us spread the word about our “how to build a career in self publishing” book Write. Publish. Repeat. when it launches on December 5-6, we’d love to send you a beta copy for review. If writing such a review (or generally getting the word out) would be appropriate with your audience, please just contact us and let us know! And THANKS! You can view the video version...

SPP 081 – Growth Hacking for Authors

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_81.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadOur main topic this week was growth hacking, but before we got down to it we hit a few updates: • We announced the winners of the Kobo Aura HD drawings: Adam Haviaras and Carolyn Jewel. Mark from Kobo will contact you directly, so look for an email. Congrats, Adam and Carolyn, and thanks, Kobo! • We answered three voicemails: about redrafting, our bios and catalogs, getting permission for repurposing stories, and dealing with bad reviews. • I (Johnny) was contacted by a big-name person about film and TV rights for Fat Vampire. I’m not allowed to get excited and we all kind of doubt anything will come from it, but it’s awesome for ALL of us (including you out there listening) because it means Hollywood is paying attention to indies. The rest of the show was dedicated to the idea of “growth hacking,” which is the kind of marketing that all of us should be employing to build our businesses. Growth hacking focuses on creating an ideal product-to-market “fit” (creating the best product for your people), marketing in small-budget ways that are innovative and outside the box to those ideal people, and always tweaking to get more out of less. This is a topic you should be paying attention to, so listen in! Here’s the video version of the...

SPP 080 – Imparting Theme and Meaning into Your Writing

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_80.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week, we talked about theme. I’m totally phoning it in on these show notes because my head about exploded writing our forthcoming self-publishing bible, Write. Publish. Repeat, so basically all you’re getting in this one is that we talked about theme. So, you know, listen and stuff. Here’s the video version of the...

SPP 079 – More Launching, the Secret Beam Project, and Print with Leonard Kinsey

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_79.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadOur guest today was Leonard Kinsey, whose niche might just be the most awesome I’ve ever seen: edgy, gritty Disney-based books. For instance, his book The Dark Side of Disney is all about how to have a very “adult” time at Disney. Adult. Ahem. If you know what we mean. But the main reason he was in to talk to us was about hacking Lightning Source to do cooler print books than Createspace can do — hardbacks with dust jackets, superior color, etc. This discussion was very involved, so just listen to the show for more. We also talked about a few other things: • I (Johnny) gave a report of the creative launch of Fat Vampire 6, via promoting the 4-book Fat Vampire Value Meal for 99 cents. Short version: it’s going well, and I’ll report more later. • Sean and I announced our “secret Beam project,” a Malcolm Gladwell-type quasi-nonfiction book written by a fictional author named Sterling Gibson writing from the year 2097. The title is Plugged: How The Beam and Hyperconnectivity Changed the Way We Think and it’ll blow your mind if you’re a fan of The Beam. We actually consider Plugged to be The Beam’s season 1.5. • Lastly, we gave an update on the so-called “SPP book,” which now has a name thanks to listener Shannon Morgan: Write. Publish. Repeat. There will be a tagline to come, and we’re planning to release it on December 5th. The short version is that this book is going to be the most comprehensive guide we can write about the business of becoming a...

SPP 078 – Balancing Family While Writing Like a Machine

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_78.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadWe’ve gotten a few questions about “family stuff” lately, so we figured we’d address that one today — how do you balance your family life with your writing? I (Johnny) began with a blatant plug. The final book in my Fat Vampire series — Fat Vampire 6 — comes out today, and as an experiment to follow in Ed Robertson’s shoes, I’ve lowered the price of the Book 1-4 box set to 99 cents. So pick those up if you’re into it. Sean’s book Writer Dad also came out this week, so we talked a bit about that — about how this book HAS A SHIT TON OF VALUE no matter how hard a time Sean has seeing that because it lets writers see the true ups and downs and generally putting your money where your mouth is that goes into this journey. So pick it up; it’s discounted for the rest of this month. We then talked a lot about Kobo, some issues they’ve had this week with complaints and censorship, and how we’re totally in their corner and think they’re awesome. Kobo deserves a break. Give it to them. The rest of the show was dedicated to talking about family life. Sean made Dave and I feel inadequate and I talked about how I feel guilty no matter what I do. Dave grumbled. It was a good time. Here’s the video version of the...

SPP 077 – The How-To Guide We’re Writing For You

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_77.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis week, we talked a ton about our latest project, which you can think of as “The Self Publishing Podcast: The Book.” That’s not it’s name, though, because that’s a shitty name. Which is where you come in. SPP is awesome, but it’s also unwieldy. If you want to know our bottom-line recommendations, you’d have to sift through (so far) over 80 hours of material. There’s no easy way to find what you need on the podcast (“did they ever talk about X?”), and there’s also the last issue… we talk a lot about tactics on the show because they’re what’s working for us (or what we’re trying) right now. But as we all know, TACTICS CHANGE. What’s always formed the foundation of SPP is this: Focus on strategy, not tactics. That means spending more time writing more books, thinking about marketing funnels and buyer psychology, and taking care of your readers and less time asking whether XYZ algorithm is working in your favor or whether such-and-such keywords are hot for nonfiction right here and now. We DO talk tactics on this show, but they are always in service of strategy. So if you listen to this show from end to end, it may sound like our advice is changing. And so people ask us: Well, what should I really do to sell my books? The forthcoming SPP book (again, still unnamed) will answer that question. In, like, a shit-ton of detail. After listening to this episode, take note, faithful listener: WE NEED YOUR INPUT! Please drop us a comment below and let...

SPP 076 – Free-to-Paid Conversion with Kobo’s Mark Lefebvre

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_76.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadToday, we had “Mark from Kobo” (because we can’t pronounce his last name) back on the show, as our favorite bookseller representative. NOTE: Mark didn’t come on to pimp Kobo’s new reader (the Aura HD) and he didn’t pay us to say nice things about it, but constant plugs for the device nonetheless became a running gag in this episode. As a result, Mark decided spontaneously to give one away to one of our listeners, so BE SURE TO TUNE IN TO THE NEXT EPISODE TO LEARN HOW TO ENTER TO WIN IT.) Anyway, we addressed a bunch of Kobo topics and a few non-Kobo topics: • What’s the best way to get traction on Kobo? • Why is “first book free” an excellent strategy? • How should you price your books? • What advantages do series books over single books? • Where did Goodreads reviews (and other reviews) go on Kobo, and are they coming back? • What’s the best way to use pre-orders on Kobo? … and a ton more. Here’s the video version of the...

SPP 075 – Launch Strategies with Ed Robertson

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_75.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadToday we talked with again with perennial SPP guest (our Justin Timberlake, though he’s not yet done “dick in a box”) Ed Robertson about book launch strategy. Ed got to something stupid like #15 overall paid in Amazon for his Breakers box set after a string of cool strategy and a bit of luck. This all began, by the way, when I asked Ed how I could promote MY new release, Fat Vampire 5: Fatpocalypse, which came out on 9/26. Because, you see, it’s hard to promote later books in a series. Ed made the box set cheap so that he could promote IT… and hence get spill-over and buy-up to the fourth book in his series. As is always the case when we have Ed on, this one is jam packed and one hell of a information roller-coaster. We always get so much out of these. Here’s the video version of the...

SPP 074 – Selling Direct to Your Readers with Jim Kukral

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_74.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadJim Kukral is the creator of Author Marketing Club, which we use and love, but we had him on today to talk about direct selling — basically, opening your own channels of sales rather than relying entirely on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and the other marketplaces for 100% of your book sales. We talked about a lot of stuff on this show, but it’s equally divided between practical stuff that you can do now vs. stuff that we think is going to happen in the future, as indie publishing evolves. We talked about selling on your own site, building your own platform, and the idea of having author apps that will deliver your content. We also talked about some of the difficulties with all of those right now… and there are a bunch. But it won’t be that way forever, so remember: as an indie, you’ve always gotta be asking where the puck is GOING, not just where it is right now. Here’s the video version of the...

SPP 073 – Legal Considerations for Writers with Lawyer M. Scott Boone

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_73.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadWe get a lot of questions from you guys that we can’t legally (or responsibly) answer, about legal stuff. So to answer them, we had on M. Scott Boone from Writer In Law this week. Some of the questions we tackled were: • Do you need a corporate structure like an LLC for your writing business? • What does copyright really mean, and what do you need to know about it? • When do you need to worry about trademark infringement? • What do you need to keep in mind about publishing contracts? • Should you be concerned about being sued for something you wrote? • Are you allowed to create parodies or fan fiction of other works? Where is the line in doing so? Here’s the video version of the...

SPP 072 – Switching Up Our Strategies and a Virtual Grab Bag

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_72.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis was one of those episodes where we had thirty things to talk about and only one week to talk about it between guest appearances, so we jammed it all in. Here’s some bullet points of what we discussed: • We took voicemails about release schedules, print vs. e-book publishing, pre-sales, and more • After getting a Tweet that enraged him, Dave railed a FUCKLOAD about why none of the three of us on SPP are women and/or why we don’t bring a woman into join us every week to add gender balance • How Lexi Maxxwell (link NSFW) is gaining reviews and no longer discounting her books for her list, and why • What Dave REALLY thought about me (Johnny) before he met me, and how I may have dodged a mail bomb • The very first “someone else writing in the world of The Beam” story is written: The Future of Sex by our erotica author friend Lexi Maxxwell. Sean and I were directly involved. Basically, we entered into an awesome collaboration with Lexi from two bullets above (Lexi wrote the sex parts and came up with the concept; Sean and I story architected it and wrote much of the rest). The result is very explicit sexually but is also VERY “Beam.” Personally, I think that even if you’re not into erotica, you should read The Future of Sex because it explores so much in the background of The Beam. (You could even skip the sex scenes. I sure didn’t when I read it back, though.) • We are no longer doing weekly releases (and we discuss...

SPP 071 – Killing Sacred Cows with Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch

http://traffic.libsyn.com/selfpublishingpodcast/spp_episode_71.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis was a hum-dinger of a show, already lauded by many of our viewers who watch us live on our YouTube channel as “the best episode yet.” We spoke to two very well-known names in indie publishing (which they refer to as “the new world of publishing,” Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. I’ve been wanting to talk to Kris and Dean for a while and we’ve gotten a lot of listener requests about it, so finally Mark from Kobo (poor guy, we’ll never be able to call him by his full name because he’s forever “Mark from Kobo”) made the introduction. It might be worth checking out the YouTube video for this episode to watch Sean’s antics as he vehemently agrees with 99% of what they say, going so far as to make hugging and other gestures the whole time. Some hot-button topics we touched on were: * Pricing your writing higher * Writing in various genres (under the same name) is good * Treat your writing like products more than art * Write a lot, and release new stuff as fast as you can … and basically a ton of other stuff that made us want to join their family. They’re married to each other now, so we figure we’re halfway there already. To view the video version of this episode, go to: Self Publishing Podcast #71 – Killing Sacred Cows with Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn...