Today the dudes chat about "compromise," or how to spend less to get a "minimum viable product," or MVP. They talk a lot about cover design, and how to make a book cover that works well enough to at least get some attention.
Want to sell your book? This is the podcast you need to listen to!
Learn how to write, create, market, and promote your indie book. Each week, Nick Thacker, Justin Sloan, and Kevin Tumlinson answer questions about self-publishing, entrepreneurship, writing, and go off on numerous hilarious (we think) tangents. From writing to marketing, productivity, motivation, and a bunch of off-topic humor, this is THE podcast for authors!
Have a question? Call 978-48-ASK-ME and leave a message!
Today the dudes chat about "compromise," or how to spend less to get a "minimum viable product," or MVP. They talk a lot about cover design, and how to make a book cover that works well enough to at least get some attention.
Today is a special day - the guys are live at the North East Texas Writer's Organization conference, doing a live podcast. That's right - they've got a table set up in the front of the meeting hall, and they discuss some of the reasons for podcasting as a marketing tool.
This episode is great for beginning podcasters, but it's also just a really fun episode in general. Don't miss it!
The guys discuss the deceptively difficult genre for writers: the elusive short story. From Arthur C. Clarke to Philip K. Dick, and a few other notable short story penners in-between, they discuss how they're using them to build their platforms, how to approach them as a writing tool, and how to write them.
Today the goodly gents discuss genres with C.S. Lakin. She's a hugely successful author in different genres, both fiction and nonfiction, and she has some amazing insights into the all-too-important task of choosing a great genre for your books.
The dudes answer a couple listener questions about launching two books at the same time, building a "funnel" and setting up book giveaways, and other on-topic (really!) stuff.
Subtitle: Being Awesome, Successes, and Celebration Rituals.
...Or at least according to the guys. In this episode, the dudes chat about the most inspiring presentations, talks, books, movies, podcasts, etc. they've ever encountered and had the pleasure to consume.
Today the goodly gents discuss trilogy and serial promotion and marketing, reviews for trilogies, and what defines a "trilogy."
Today the guys discuss the rules of improve, as they apply to writers. Comedy improvisation rules are things like, "never say 'no,'" "yes/and," etc. But while these "rules" are helpful and can lead to really funny improvised comedy, it can also be a detriment to your story arcs.
Which rules are meant to be broken? Which are the rules that are necessary? When should you break them?
The guys chat about these rules, their processes, and what they've heard other authors do.
Justin's process for writing wearing four hats during four phases of the journey: "The Madman" (first draft), "The Architect" (second draft and moving big pieces around), "The Carpenter" (moving the tinier "boards" around the story), and "The Judge" (the final "is it good" draft). Here's a great lecture explaining the process.
Rachel Starr Thomson doesn't just have a cool name. She's a veritable writing rockstar (a "wrockstar"). She's been on the show before, but we caught up with her today to discuss a HUGE topic we've been pondering for quite some time: writing Christian fiction.
Specifically, we talked about:
What is Christian fiction? Why write it? How in the world do you keep everyone happy ("it's too Christian," or "it's not Christian enough...") Marketing strategies for Christian fiction And way more. As usual, this was an awesome, super-informative happy-fun-time. Don't you want to be a part of it? Well, click "download" and start listening!
And please don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes!
We had some podcast issues last month, so some of the later episodes appeared out of order. Not to worry though, this is the long-awaited, critically-acclaimed, and highly anticipated "goals and dreams" episode we publish every year.
It's a look back at 2015, a look ahead at 2016, and a discussion of our dreams, goals, and what we want to accomplish this year.
Don't miss this one.
Also (IMPORTANT!): Since we had some podcast issues, we had to set up a new feed on iTunes, which means that all of your awesome reviews are gone! Would you mind heading to iTunes to leave us a fancy review? Thanks!
Today's episode is a fun look at some of the ways we're trying to get more out of our schedules, writing plans, and tackling multiple projects at once. We dive into napping, multitasking, and much more!
Today on the show, the guys invite special guest and friend Bryan Cohen, who wants to teach authors how to write book descriptions that don't suck.
Happy New Year! Not much else to say about this episode, except...
...LISTEN TO IT!
Happy Christmastime Veteran's Day podcast! (It's Veteran's Day-ish when this was recorded, but Christmas-ish when it's going live)
We answer a voicemail about building a website, then jump into the topic: "overcommitting."
Basically, "overcommitting" is committing to too much at one time. How do you know you're overcommitted? Can you effectively diagnose overcommitment?
Today, Kevin, Nick, and Justin chat with VERY prolific writer-friend Rachel Starr Thomson, who writes on a Neo. She's the co-author of Five Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing, a book that tackles writing fiction from the perspective of editors. Here's a brief overview:
What sets this book apart from all other writing craft books?
Instead of merely explaining how to write fiction well, this book demonstrates how. It is packed full of Before and After passages that show clearly what each “fatal flaw” looks like — in a variety of genres, POVs, and writing style—then shows how those flaws can be remedied. Some of these fatal flaws, for example, are overwriting, weak construction, faulty dialogue mechanics, telling instead of showing, and POV violations.
Writers learn best by seeing examples — of both great writing and weak writing. No other fiction-instruction book goes into the depth this one does. At nearly 100,000 words, this comprehensive book gives writers the arsenal to successfully learn how to spot the twelve most prevalent types of writing flaws.
This book offers a fun, engaging, and sometimes snarky approach to annihilating these writing culprits with the aim of helping writers become proficient wielders of words.
Writing is hard. Writing well is near impossible for most of us. Today on the show, Nick Thacker, Kevin Tumlinson, and Justin Sloan discuss what it's like, in their own experience, to write in a "cinematic" way. Tips, tricks, and answer galore in this show!
Today the guys talk with a guy who's been on a "nuculur" submarine... and a writer.
In this episode, the guys (Justin Sloan, Kevin Tumlinson, and Nick Thacker) take some time to update the world (or whoever's listening) on their world. Kevin's selling his house (finally), Justin's finishing up an exciting book and jumping into more projects, and Nick's dealing with how to build more margin into his life.
We talk about an important issue today: when do you start getting "serious" about writing (seeing it like a business)? More specifically, when you start paying real money for "author services" like publishing help, cover design, etc.?
Only have one book? Mark's advice: write the second book. No matter what.
Want more advice? Read on, and listen in to this week's show!
Today, the guys talk about what resources they used (and still use) to be not sucky at writing. There are many tools out there, and thousands of books to read, and there's certainly not enough time in the day to study them all.
Pixar has "22 Rules of Story" (stop and read that right now if you haven't already), and Stephan Vladimir Bugaj decided to analyze them.
The result is a great resource for writers of all types: Pixar's 22 Rules of Story Analyzed as a PDF eBook, available for free on Stephan's website.
This week, Kevin and Justin (Nick was feeling lazy today) interview Stephan and talk story!
The guys (Kevin Tumlinson, Justin Sloan, and Nick Thacker) chat about book pricing: ebooks, hardcover, paperback, etc.
You, as an author, have certainly already had this debate, at least internally. Now listen to three authors have the same debate out loud!
And, as always, feel free to give us a ring at 978-48-ASK-ME any time.
The guys (Kevin, Justin, and Nick) talk through damaging mindsets, not "feeling" it, and what to do about it, like discussing this stuff with your writing network. Don't have a writing network? That's step one.
Then we start discussing some things you should be focusing on while you're working on your first book:
Build your list!
We use Author.Email (currently in beta), but WAY better (and WAY cheaper) than any other option, and designed specifically for authors.
Write that book!
This is even more important in some ways as building your list.
Develop a writing relationship with one or more people
Writer/critique groups, find like-minded people. (Nick's dead-simple hack: find someone who has the same sense of humor as you)
Books mentioned (affiliate links):
The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary by Gary Keller
7 Habits for Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Creative Writing Career by Justin Sloan
The Hero's Journey by Joseph Campbell
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown
How Fiction Works by James Wood
Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain
Take Off Your Pants by Libbie Hawker
Until next time,
Okay, this is the one we KNOW you've been asking for, so we bit the bullet and gave it to you. If you know what "d-bag" really means, are okay hearing it a lot, and are an author, this one's for you.
...No other introduction needed, really.
Probably NSFW, for what it's worth...
We discuss how to get into speaking publicly, why you should, what to expect, and what you should try to get out of going to these shindigs.
Want to launch a book, and actually make sales? This is the episode for you!
Some things Kevin and Nick mention:
"Stuff at the Back of the Book" - Kevin's strategy for launching the next book in the series
Launching a book can certainly be done with big, epic, things, but for most of us small changes can lead to big wins:
Sending emails to friends/family/acquaintances, asking them to support me in some small way Slowly building a mailing list from scratch ASK PEOPLE to do the things you need them to do! Best strategies for launching a book with no list:
Guest posts Interview posts Build that mailing list! There's much more hidden in this episode, so give it a listen! When you're finished, give us a review on iTunes!
Check out our new offering - the BEST email service provider for authors. PERIOD.
www.author.email or www.authoremail.com (both go to the same place)
Need more reviews?
We all do.
In this episode of the Self-Publishing Answers Podcast, we discuss a few different to generate more reviews for your books. There are a handful of "proven" methods to gain reviews, and there are some other "best practice" methods.
All of them work, and all of them are strategies you should be implementing!
Listen the episode by clicking "play" below, or subscribe to the entire show using your favorite podcast player app and visiting us on iTunes!
From past to present to future, Kevin and Nick discuss what has come before and what (we think) will come next in self-publishing (and books and publishing in general).
Some ideas include better "recommendation engines" for discoverability, Amazon's using reading speed to recommend books to readers (and possibly all kinds of other scary things), and more!
Don't miss this episode of The Self-Publishing Answers Podcast, back after an all-too-long absence!
And don't forget to leave a review on iTunes: spapodcast.com.
In today's episode of The Self-Publishing Answers podcast, Kevin and I answer a great question from Jackie Bolen about "niche" markets, and whether or not she should focus in on a smaller niche or broaden the spectrum and make the niche bigger. We think we did a decent job answering it, even though Nick's baby whined the entire time and he sounded like he was a late-night radio show host on NPR. Kevin, once again, saved the day.
Last week, Kevin and I shared our best tips for designing a book cover, or at least what to look for in a great self-published book cover. We spent most of the time talking about fonts and typefaces, and some tips and tricks for getting them to "pop" off the cover without being cliche, obvious, or cheesy.
As we promised, this week we'll spend most of the time talking about the imagery on the cover -- that is, everything else that's not typeface or font. From where to find those images/pictures to tips and tricks to making them look great with your title and author name, and special announcement about a sweet new service we created!
Today we're discussing book cover design. The first of two (at least) episodes, this one's about typeface/font choice for DIY cover design (and what to look for if someone else is doing it for you).
Kevin and Nick are back! We continue our (long overdue) discussion about story structure and crafting great books.
Today Kevin and Nick discuss one of their favorite topics (no, not themselves): story structure. Specifically, they get into the details of the Three-Act Play structure, how it really seems like four acts, and then get into some granular topics like scenes, sequels, and writing with conflict.
Story by Robert McKee Screenplay by Syd Field Larry Brooks - StoryFix.com Kevin's Resources Page Hemingway: Hills Like White Elephants The Hero of a Thousand Faces
Yannick Nelson works at a nifty place called Azoogma, a company specializing in translation and localization.
As authors interested in translating our own works, we thought it would be helpful to interview Yannick and ask about the differences between "translation" and "localization," why both (or neither) are important for authors, and her thoughts on "bargain-priced" options like Babelcube.
Don't miss this episode!
How Kevin makes jerks into his best friends.
The biggest professional networking mistake Nick has ever made.
And how Kevin talks Nick off the ledge when he wants to lash out and punch people in the face.
Want to be a productive writer? Write.
This week Kevin and I have the pleasure to chat with Sarah Juckes of CompletelyNovel.com, specifically about self-publishing as an indie author, how to do it, what it means, and a "completely novel" way to do it (see what I did there?).
Generating book ideas... how we do it (not that YOU should do it this way too)...
Very important episode today, based on this question:
What are you doing to secure your author future in international markets?
What is it? Basically, getting someone else to do work for you. What kind of work?
That's the question. In this episode, Kevin and I chat about outsourcing as an author, what we outsource, what we want to outsource, and, of course, tangents.
Merry Christmas episode! Today Kevin and I talk about these "Must-Haves" for writers. For you or the writer in your life, these tools and toys are just what you want to see under the tree!
Voicemails! Two today.
This week, Kevin and I chat about goals: how to set them, how "granular" they need to be, and why they're important to us as writers/entrepreneurs. Also, we chat about the difference between "dreams" and "goals," and why I think they're crucial to my long-term success plan.
Kevin and Jonny steal the airwaves from me (Nick) today, since I was held up with frozen pipes. Kevin and Jonny do an interview-style episode.
We're talking today about the second type of "systems" in an author business: the business side of things, including marketing and growing a mailing list. We started to get into a few things and quickly realized that this topic is WAY bigger than we initially thought. For that reason, we decided to end it by inviting you to call our voicemail line and ask a more specific question: 978-48-ASK-ME. Scrivener - Mac Scrivener - Windows The Lucid - Episode One (now live!) The Wake-Up Call: What It Means to Be A Self-Published Writer How to use Twitter Ask us a question: 978-48-ASK-ME. We'll air it on the show! Also, leave a review on iTunes!
In this episode on systems, Kevin and I discuss "systems" we use for writing fiction. We'll get into systems for the business side of things in a later episode, but in today's, here's what we discuss: NaNoWriMo Scrivener Learn Scrivener Fast Writing 10k Words A Day Nick's 3 Hacks for Writing A Whole Bunch-A-Lot: Plan! Leave on a cliffhanger Set a writing schedule Don't forget to rate the show on iTunes!
(I know it's not Friday, so I'm sorry for getting this posted late!) Today on the show, Kevin and I briefly talk through our current projects, including The Lucid: Season One, Sawyer Jackson: Book 2, and life while trying to write four books a month (me!). Kevin mentions the Author Earnings website, and why it's imperative as a self-published author to be reading these updates. Finally, we jump into an article that took me forever to find (had to remember where it was!) about routine, then finished with some shout-outs to some services we're currently using (ACX and Babelcube). Show notes: Author Earnings side-by-side comparison The Lucid - Season 1, Episode 1 Sawyer Jackson, Book 2 Woody Allen on routine Babelcube ACX - Mike Vendetti Like the show? Give us a call at 978-48-ASK-ME, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Leave a review on iTunes!
Happy Halloween! On the show today we talked about the thing we've talked about talking about for the last two times we've talked (still following?): Focus and Productivity for Writers Focus and productivity for writers means anything that helps us, as writers, focus and stay productive. It means doing things that improve focus and increase productivity. Show notes: Self-Publishing Podcast Jon Morrow Things CoSchedule 279 Days to Overnight Success Asana Hey, if you have a sec, would mind rating us on iTunes?
Talking today about "accidental success," "luck," and other feelings we've been having as of late, especially momentum. What is it? How do you "get" it? Show notes: The Lucid - Almost done! Check it out here, and pre-order here. The Enigma Strain - Also almost done (in editing). Check it out and pre-order here. NaNoWriMo - National Write A Novel Month, kicking off very soon! The Productive Writer: 2015 Productivity Planner - Coming soon (sign up for emails to stay up-to-date and get first access!) WriteHacked.com - New website design/features! Soft launch with new pants... Sawyer Jackson & Citadel (Omnibus) - Kevin's books KevinTumlinson.com Washington Post article: "Popular on Amazon: Wildly misleading self-published books about Ebola, by random people without medical degrees"
Kevin Tumlinson returns! In this week's episode of the Self-Publishing Answers podcast, Kevin Tumlinson and I chat about the same sort of stuff we chatted about last week... self-publishing, books, and random tangents. Don't miss out!
Kevin Tumlinson: In the House! Starting TODAY, please welcome to the show THE Kevin Tumlinson, author and marketer extraordinaire! He's written a handful of fantastic books, all of which can be found at his website, Kevin Tumlinson, and he's also been co-writing a series with me called The Lucid. (The Lucid is about a man who's being chased by baddies because they need something from him. He realizes they've put something in the water supply, and he needs to figure out what it is. It's available for pre-order on Amazon). Today's episode is more of a "fireside chat" with Kevin Tumlinson, without the fire. And without being next to one another (he's in Texas, and I'm in Colorado). We discuss an article Kevin found called 5 Reasons Why Your Self-Published Book Isn't Selling, written by Crystal Ponti. Aside from that, we sort of just... go off on tangents, which we think (*we hope*) is funny and somewhat entertaining. Also, I'm in a coffee shop, which is why you'll hear a bunch of noise in the background. I had internet connectivity issues up at my Writer's Cabin (aka "home"), so I apologize. We're both, uh, quite tangential in this show, so hopefully you'll join us on the ride! Links: 5 Reasons Why Your Self-Published Book Isn't Selling (Huffington Post) KevinTumlinson.com - Homepage of Kevin Tumlinson NickThacker.com - Homepage of me TumlinsonThacker.com - Homepage of Kevin Tumlinson meets Nick Thacker As always, leave us a review on iTunes and let us know what you think of the podcast!
Roz Morris: Author, Editor, Speaker, Coach Another Friday means another podcast... and this one's AWESOME as well. Seriously, if you've never heard of Roz Morris, go check out her stuff right now. She's a fantastic writer, editor, and professional ghostwriter (no, that doesn't mean she writes stories about ghosts). She's written or ghostwritten so many books that she's had over 1 million readers! Seriously: her average sales per book were 500,000 copies! Check out more on her homepage. In addition to writing, she teaches creative writing masterclasses for The Guardian in London. Check out more about Roz Morris on her Amazon.com page as well. In this interview we chat about ghostwriting as a business model, publishing, and some of the finer points of writing craft. Take a listen!
Well, it's a great day in the life of a podcaster when you get to interview Joanna Penn of TheCreativePenn.com. So today's a great day. Yep, we've got Joanna Penn, full-time indie author and self-publishing expert. I don't use that term lightly, either. Joanna knows her stuff. Enjoy this one, and keep it handy -- you'll want to take notes on what she has to say! Show notes: I ask about Joanna's history -- how did she get to where she was? Who was she before she was a super-duper famous author? How did her early career experience prepare her for this indie lifestyle? Joanna and I talk about running an author blog, separate from a "nonfiction" or self-publishing blog. It's something I've considered for quite some time, and she ended up talking me into setting up my own (see the link mentioned below). Also, we discuss the concept of running a "media empire," or basically an "author business." What does it mean to be an entrepreneur and author, and how do you keep it all organized? When should you make the switch, and why? There's much, much more in this episode, so be sure to download it and listen to it when you've got some time! Mentioned in this episode: NickThacker.com - my new online home! JFPenn.com - Joanna's author website TheCreativePenn.com - Joanna's self-publishing blog and resource site Pentecost - Joanna's FREE thriller (affiliate link) See you in two weeks! As always, please help out by rating this podcast in iTunes, and by sharing it on social media!
Dan Blank is the founder of WeGrowMedia.com, where he consults and helps authors do their thing better. Today we talk about what it is they do, how he does it, and what it means for you! Show Notes: WeGrowMedia.com http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/10/03/111003fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=all http://wegrowmedia.com/how-i-am-trying-to-create-a-book-giveaway-filled-with-enthusiasm-fun-instead-of-spammy-self-promotion/ http://wegrowmedia.com/bittersweet/ http://wegrowmedia.com/publishing-is-a-team-sport-with-a-singular-black-hole-in-the-middle/
In today's episode, I interview Denise Wakeman of DeniseWakeman.com and TheFutureofInk.com. I highly recommend you check out her websites! She's a fantastic marketer and expert on teaching self-promotion, which is a crucial skill for artists and authors.
Have you ever been depressed? I've been there. It wasn't anything too life-threatening, nor was it chronic, but it was a form of mild depression, caused by work stress, the feeling of never-ending boredom, and that I'd reached a dead-end with my job. At the time, I was working a 9-t0-5 at a marketing company that was going nowhere fast. It was a ruthless, sales-focused environment, run by people who cared more about the bottom line than the people they worked with. It was all I could do to keep showing up to work each day...
...Or create more art. Or whatever is you do, do more of it. That's really the "secret" to building a successful, sustainable online platform. Mentions in this episode: Downcast - Best podcasting app I've used (iOs and Mac) MichaelHyatt.com Michael Hyatt's Ideal Week - Explanation Michael Hyatt's Ideal Week - Spreadsheet Leave a review on iTunes and let us know what you think of this show!
When you market your book, think about this first: what works on you? Don't do things that don't work... do things that do work. It's not a difficult concept, but it can still be a little confusing to try to wade through all of the "proven" marketing strategies that are out there. In this episode we look at ways to determine what "works" for you, and I answer a reader question about online bookstores and which is right (or wrong) for her book. Don't forget to write an iTunes review!
Today's post continues the "5 Principles of Self-Publishing" discussion with #3: Always Add Value. Also, I answer a question about the marketing "silver bullet." (Hint: it doesn't exist...) As mentioned in the show, here are the links to the 10 (really 11) books I talked about: The 4-Hour Workweek - Tim Ferriss $100 Startup - Chris Guillebeau Techniques of the Selling Writer - Dwight Swain Plot & Structure - James Scott Bell Story - Robert McKee How to Market A Book - Joanna Penn Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World - Michael Hyatt Let's Get Digital/Let's Get Visible - David Gaughran Your First 1,000 Copies - Tim Grahl Welcome Home - Nick Thacker Also, I mentioned that I'm re-releasing Welcome Home: The Author's Guide to Building A Marketing Home Base sometime later this year (hopefully), and that I hired a freelance designer to do it for me. There's a cool story there, but I'll just make you wait ;-) Rest assured, I'll be posting about that release and my process here pretty soon! Well, what do you think? Leave a comment, and if you enjoyed the show, leave a review on iTunes!
You don't need an MBA, but you do need to be an entrepreneur. This episode looks at the importance of "running your writing business," even we we, as authors, don't want to anything other than write. Your writing is your business, so you should take it seriously and build systems, set goals, and measure progress. If this all sounds boring, well, then, just wait for the question at the end: "How would you produce a book for $500?" Enjoy the show! Also, I'm getting tired of hearing my own voice -- would you consider sending a voicemail? Use the box on the side of the page at LiveHacked.com, or just call 978-48-ASK-ME and record your question!
In this episode, I cover the first principle of self-publishing: Write A Great Book. I also answer a great question about finding your target readers. Don't miss out on this one! If you want to submit a question, just call 978-48-ASK-ME and leave a voicemail! I'll try to answer it during an upcoming show.
Episode 1: Intro and Welcome In this first episode, I talk about what you can expect from the podcast. Basically: I try to answer self-publishing and writing-related questions There's a new episode every week I'm the person talking, with some interviews thrown in for good measure How to submit questions: 978-48-ASK-ME I hope you enjoy this -- it's a big project, but it's been fun so far to work on the intros, outros, and content! First, a huge thank you to those of you who completed the 2014 Reader Survey! There has been GREAT feedback from everyone so far, and while I'll spend the next few weeks really crunching the data, it looks like there were a few major points from everything. Generally: You have questions/problems and want to know more You wouldn't be opposed to paying money for whatever that solution is, but would love more free advice, tips, and help I'm working on it. As I mentioned in that post, I want to provide massive value to you, so that you are able to achieve your writing and authorship goals. I want to help with whatever it is you're struggling with. Also, I want to really up the ante for the free information about self-publishing that's floating around here. For that reason, as you may have guessed from the title of the post, I'm launching a podcast. What's a podcast? If you haven't heard of podcasting before, it's essentially an internet radio show that's syndicated and made available on podcast networks like iTunes, Stitcher, and BlackBerry. You can subscribe and download episodes, save them for later, and generally play them at your leisure. There are podcasts on literally thousands of topics, each with a unique flavor, sound, and style. "Self-Publishing Answers" is going to be hosted by yours truly, featuring questions sent in by you, the reader/listener. I've already got a head start on this thanks to the earlier blog-only Self-Publishing Answer series, so I already have content for the first six episodes. How to subscribe The podcast isn't quite ready in iTunes yet, so you'll have to listen in your browser to this first episode (embedded below). In a few days though, do check out the iTunes page and subscribe to get the latest episodes sent right to your phone/computer/device. I'll add a link to the podcast in the sidebar of the blog, and I'll be sending out an email to update everyone as well. Let me know what you think! In the comments section, would you let me know what you think of all this? Will you subscribe and listen? What questions would you like to hear answered?