SPF-132: ThrillerFest 2018 New York Stories Part 3 – with Lee Child, David Morrell, Alan Jacobson & Lexi Blake


In the final part of our three-part series of interviews from ThrillerFest 2018, James talks to prolific hybrid romance author Lexi Blake, Rambo’s father David Morrell, USA Today best-selling author Alan Jacobson, and, last but not least, megastar thriller author Lee Child.

This week’s highlights include:

  • On the status of traditional publishing with Lexi Blake
  • Lexi’s strengths and weaknesses as a hybrid author
  • Working with a photographer for custom covers
  • On Lexi’s relationship with her readers
  • The importance for authors of patience and discipline
  • Alan Jacobson on writing what you know, and also educating yourself about what you don’t know
  • Why authenticity matters in Alan’s writing
  • Choosing between having a feature film or a limited TV series made of your work
  • On being a co-producer for the televised version of Alan’s Karen Vail series
  • The origins of the Rambo story with the book’s author David Morrell
  • Why it took four film studios and 26 scripts to get Rambo on screen
  • Writing authentically about the Victorian era
  • The importance for an author to continue growing, learning, developing
  • Lee Child on reader feedback and how the reader creates the book as much as the writer does
  • On continuing to enjoy the writing process after mega success
  • Lee Child’s thoughts in the indie author movement and what it means to publishing

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

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SPF-131: ThrillerFest 2018 New York Stories Part 2 – with Lynda La Plante, Jon Land & Michael Byars Lewis


In the second part of our series of interviews from ThrillerFest 2018, James talks to legendary television producer and writer Lynda La Plante (Prime Suspect and Widows), author of the next iteration of the Murder, She Wrote series Jon Land, and former combat pilot turned thriller author Michael Byars Lewis.

This week’s highlights include:

  • Mike Lewis on building relationships at conferences
  • Jon Land on picking up the Murder She Wrote franchise
  • Bringing Jessica Fletcher into the present day
  • The advantages to readers when authors have choices about how to publish
  • Lynda La Plante on doing research for her novels
  • The inspirational female police officer behind Prime Suspect
  • The luck and skill involved in Lynda’s writing career

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Karen’s marketing book for authors of children’s books

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

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SPF-130: ThrillerFest 2018 New York Stories Part 1 – with Karin Slaughter, Peter James & J.D. Barker


In the first of a 3-part series devoted to this year’s Thrillerfest in NYC, we catch up with some stellar names who attended the event including bestselling thriller authors Karin Slaughter & Peter James as well as horror writer J.D. Barker.

This Week’s Highlights Include:

  • On collaboration with James Patterson, including taking a call from him in the middle of the podcast
  • How JD’s experience working as a book doctor helped his writing
  • On sending clean manuscripts to trad publishers
  • Working from Bram Stoker’s original notes to write a new Dracula novel
  • Guerrilla marketing with JD’s first book
  • On new authors weighing the pros and cons of trad vs. indie publishing
  • Making sure your book is as good as it can be before releasing it
  • The benefits of a conference appearance for authors like Peter James and Karin Slaughter
  • Peter’s VERY early entry into ebooks in 1994 and his thoughts on the book market now
  • Tips on writing a gripping mystery
  • Karin Slaughter’s tips for authors signing contracts with trad publishing houses
  • Writing a better book each time, even after 30 years

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

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SPF-129: How to Self-Publish & Market a Children’s Book – Part 2 – with Karen Inglis


In the second and final part of our series on self publishing children’s books, author Karen Inglis explains how her experiences have allowed her to help other writers in the same space market their books.

This week’s highlights include:

  • The challenges authors face when their readers aren’t the people buying their books
  • Karen’s experience with Facebook ads for children’s books
  • Other advertising and marketing efforts that have worked for Karen
  • Strategies for school talks as marketing tools
  • How Karen structures a reading for children, including slides and questions
  • Tips for children’s authors needing reviews
  • Why it’s often important for children’s authors to have physical stock of their books

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Karen’s marketing book for authors of children’s books

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

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SPF-128: How to Self-Publish & Market a Children’s Book – Part 1 – with Laurie Wright


Author Laurie Wright discusses the challenges of self-publishing children’s books.

This week’s highlights include:

  • Laurie’s beginnings in the indie book world

  • Discovering the difficulty with promoting books through schools with tight budgets

  • Beginning with AMS ads

  • How Laurie structures her AMS ads and the type she uses

  • Offering lesson plans and parent resources as newsletter sign-up incentives

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

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SPF-127: BookLab #2 – with Helena Halme


In this second BookLab edition, author of Nordic fiction, Helena Halme, receives the professional feedback treatment from industry pros.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

RESOURCE: Episode PDF is available here.

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SPF-126: The Power of Collaboration – with Rhett Bruno and Steve Beaulieu


Collaborative authors Rhett Bruno and Steve Beaulieau discuss their unique way of co-authoring books, both science fiction and non-fiction.

This week’s highlights include:

  • Different kinds of author collaboration
  • Finding the right chemistry with collaborators
  • Who takes the lead on different projects?
  • Combining author strengths for great books
  • The importance of communication when writing collaboratively
  • The accountability advantage of working with a writing partner
  • On SciFi Bridge, Steve and Rhett’s author co-op
  • Finding time to write

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The SPF Foundation

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

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SPF-125: The Power of Focus – with Kam Knight


This Week's Handout

FOCUS TIPS PDF

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Non-fiction author Kam Knight shares his experiences being a self-published author writing from the road while he traveled the world.

This week’s highlights include:

  • James and Mark update us on the Cockygate podcast episodes alluded to last week
  • On Kam’s early love of traveling
  • Dealing with imposter syndrome whether traveling or writing
  • Writing on the road and living the digital nomad lifestyle
  • The power of concentration and how it can assist our writing
  • The freedom and choices one can make as a self-published author-entrepreneur

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

RESOURCE: Kam has prepared an information sheet about the importance of focus

Our Ads for Authors course is still open for business here.

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SPF-124: Novel Adaptation – Turning Books into Screenplays with Paul FitzSimons


This Week's Handout

SCREENWRITING TIPS PDF AND COURSE DISCOUNT

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Novelist, screenwriter and playwright Paul FitzSimons talks to James about his writing career so far, including adapting screenplays and producing independent films.

This week’s highlights include:

  • The winding path of Paul’s screenwriting and writing for television
  • Financing an independent film
  • Dealing with rejection from trad publishers
  • The skills necessary to transition from writing books to writing for the screen
  • Being creative while following screenwriting rules
  • Writing well-developed characters for the screen
  • Enjoying the interpretation of your words by others in the creative filmmaking team
  • The pitfalls of adapting a novel for the screen

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

WORKSHEET AND COUPON: Paul has prepared a worksheet on screenwriting which you can access here.  This includes a coupon code for his ‘Screenwriting From Your Sofa’ course.

Our Ads for Authors course is still open for business here.

FREE LIVE SPF WEBINAR! on Monday 18th June – Mark explains how to use Facebook ads to build your list and boost book sales. Spots are limited but you can sign up for it here.

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SPF-123: BONUS EPISODE! Self Publishing Marketing Q & A – with Mark Dawson


This bonus episode of the podcast comprises a recording of the live Q & A session on book marketing that Mark hosted earlier this week.

Topics covered include:

  • Growing an email list
  • What to do about removed reviews on Amazon
  • Advice on SPF courses for authors
  • The power of novellas as a marketing tool
  • Strategies for using ads to trigger reader engagement

Resources mentioned in this episode:

ADS FOR AUTHORS COURSE: The Ads for Authors course is open again for a short enrollment window.

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SPF-122: The Self Publishing Retirement Windfall – with David Penny


Retiree David Penny talks about his return to writing after a thirty-five year hiatus and shares his strategy for making a mid-five-figures per year income from his very niche historical mysteries.

This week’s highlights include:

  • Getting back to writing after a decades long absence
  • Writing what we love to read
  • Being our own best audience
  • Making a good living writing and selling books
  • Focusing on one niche so that targeting becomes easier
  • The importance of a lookalike audience

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The SPF Foundation

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

ADS FOR AUTHORS COURSE: The Ads for Authors course is open again for a short enrollment window.

AUTHOR SUPPORT: The Alliance of Independent Authors

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SPF-121: How to Boost your Book Marketing with Pinterest – with Pip Reid


Pip Reid shares how she uses Pinterest to drive traffic to her website and increase her book sales.

This week’s highlights include:

  • The reasons Pip chose to investigate Pinterest
  • Pip’s beginnings as an author and her path to where she is now
  • The compelling difference between Pinterest and other social media platforms (hint: It has to do with longevity)
  • The unique linking abilities on Pinterest
  • Targeting your specific audience, whether that’s fiction or non-fiction
  • The traffic that comes to Pip’s website from Pinterest
  • Why Pinterest is a good fit for children’s picture book authors
  • Using layered elements from illustrations you get designed
  • News about the Pinterest module added to Ads for Authors
  • How Pinterest is now like the early days of Facebook and Instagram

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The SPF Foundation

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

FREE BOOK: Click here to get Pip’s free book about Pinterest for authors.

GDPR EPISODE: SPF Episode 117 about GDPR is proving to be very popular. Find it here if you haven’t listened yet.

WEBINAR: Click here to get access to Stuart Bache’s webinar about book cover design

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SPF-120: Masterclass: Facebook Changes and What They Mean for Authors – with Mark Dawson


Mark and James discuss up-to-the-minute news concerning the Facebook advertising platform and how recent changes affect authors.

This week’s highlights include:

  • On the end of the Power Editor
  • On the reduced reach of Facebook posts
  • Ways to adapt to these changes including using groups, not pages
  • Engagement campaigns rather than lead generation
  • How testing older strategies once again sometimes works
  • Reasons not to panic about Facebook ads
  • Updated info about GDPR and lead gen ads
  • Announcement about the launch date for the next Ads for Authors enrollment period
  • Mark’s command of his robot vacuum cleaner army using Alexa

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The SPF Foundation

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

SPF RESOURCES: The GPDR information sheets SPF has put together.

COOKIE BAR AND PRIVACY POLICY: SPF community member Kevin Partner has generously put together a video for WordPress website owners explaining how to add a Cookie bar and privacy policy to their websites, all while raising money for SPF friend Tommy Donbavand in his fight against cancer. More info here in the pinned post at the top of the news feed.

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SPF-119: First Steps in Self Publishing – with 2018 SPF Foundation Winners


This week we get to chat to the first three recipients of Self-Publishing Formula’s Foundation scholarships who discuss their writing, book marketing and future career hopes.

This week’s highlights include:

  • Laura Fife on taking her own advice about writing more
  • R.R. Virdi on connecting with readers and converting them to book buyers
  • Diana Duncan on leaving the trad publishing world and going indie
  • Also, James meets his first Funko Pop character

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The SPF Foundation

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

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SPF-118: Five Types of Bad Review and What To Do About Them – with Molly McCord


This Week's Handout

TIPS ON HANDLING BAD REVIEWS PDF

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Non-fiction author Molly McCord shares her breakdown of the types of bad reviews authors can receive and how to deal with them.

This week’s highlights include:

  • Differentiating between a bad opinion and someone who has valuable feedback
  • The five different types of negative reviews
  • Tips for dealing with each type of review
  • Understanding your rights as an author and when to contest a review
  • The importance of self-management when dealing with bad reviews
  • Relying on the author community and friends we trust for objective opinions

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

WORKSHEET: Molly has prepared a worksheet about reviews which you can get here.

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SPF-117: GDPR – What All Authors Need to Know – with Gemma Gibbs


With changes coming on May 25, 2018 to the European Union’s laws on data protection, Team SPF talk to lawyer Gemma Gibbs and gets advice for how authors can ensure compliance with these new regulations.

This week’s highlights include:

  • The purpose of the GDPR
  • Changes authors will have to make to their mailing lists to be compliant with GDPR
  • Should you now ask permission from your list to email them?
  • Additional wording for a landing page to keep authors compliant with GDPR
  • How issues can be raised for those who are in breach of the GDPR
  • Who is affected by this new legislation
  • Examples of landing page language; what is compliant and what isn’t
  • A summary of 4 GDPR best practices
  • Amending your privacy policy to be in line with GDPR

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

SPF RESOURCES: The GPDR information sheets SPF has put together.

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SPF-116: Publishing 3.0 – with Jasper Joffe


Independent author and publisher Jasper Joffe talks about the success his publishing house has had using a model very different to the traditional one.

This week’s highlights include:

  • Jasper’s publishing business model – not trad and not quite self-pub
  • Predictions about adjustment in trad publishing models
  • How Jasper’s publishing model works financially
  • Jasper’s commitment to ongoing learning about book advertising
  • The importance of attention to detail with every book
  • On managing ads for multiple authors
  • Working with freelancers who form the company’s workforce
  • Tips for the submission process for authors for Joffe Books

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

PUBLISHER: JoffeBooks.com

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SPF-115: Simplifying Data for Authors – with John P. Logsdon


This Week's Offer

ReaderLinks Discount

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John Logsdon and Ben Zackheim chat with James about the need they saw for an all-in-one tool to organize and simplify an author’s business.

This week’s highlights include:

  • How ReaderLinks was started as a way to make John’s author life simpler
  • Addressing the key pain points authors have when organizing multiple books over multiple vendors
  • Simplifying dealing with ARC teams
  • Using ReaderLinks to measure ROI from all marketing and advertising efforts
  • Added features like a daily journal to track marketing and promotion activity

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

COUPON: Click here to claim your ReaderLinks coupon and save

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SPF-114: Getting Twitter to Fly for Authors – with Ian Sutherland


THIS WEEK'S OFFER

Author Sidekick Discount

CLICK HERE!

Ian Sutherland returns to the podcast to share what’s working and what isn’t for authors on Twitter, and how to maximize your reach on the social media platform.

This week’s highlights include:

  • What’s not working with Twitter ads
  • What has changed since Ian’s last visit to the podcast
  • Why Twitter has banned automated tweets
  • Does Twitter still work for authors?
  • The number one thing you can do to attract more followers
  • Examples of what is working on Twitter
  • Tips for automating your Tweets and building your author brand

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

AUTHOR PLATFORM SIDEKICK SAVING: Click here to receive 15% saving on Ian’s Author Platform Sidekick

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SPF-113: Great Website Design for Authors – with Dave Stansbie


This Week's Offer

FREE Website Health Check

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Web designer to bands like Nine Inch Nails, Pink Floyd and David Gilmour, and authors like Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) and Mark Dawson, Dave Stansbie discusses the important elements of an author site, and how to work with a designer.

This week’s highlights include:

  • The three steps that go into web design
  • The importance of being clear about the objectives for your website
  • Working collaboratively with a web designer
  • DIY web site maintenance as well as support for site changes
  • The importance of form and function for a web site
  • The two most important functions of an author website
  • News about the SPF get-together at the upcoming London Book Fair

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

DAVE STANSBIE’S WEBSITE: TheCreativeCorporation.com

MARK’S AUTHOR WEBSITE: Here’s the site that Dave and The Creative Corporation recently designed for Mark’s author brand

WEBSITE HEALTHCHECK: Sign up for a chance to win a diagnosis on your author website from Dave

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