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SPF-137: Why You Need to be Publishing Audiobooks – with Tina Dietz


The popularity of devices like Alexa have created a rise in the demand for audio to educate and entertain commuters and laundry-folders alike. James talks to Tina Dietz about creating audiobooks from both our fiction and non-fiction work.

This week’s highlights include:

  • The importance of creativity in every type of business
  • How creativity makes us more productive
  • The different approaches to audiobooks by fiction and non-fiction authors
  • Thoughts on narrating your book yourself
  • The range of cost for producing an audiobook, including what you can expect to pay a narrator
  • Auditioning narrators to find the right voice for your book
  • Providing character information to narrators to find a good fit
  • Reading your book outloud yourself to get a sense of your characters’ voices
  • The three reasons for starting a podcast

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

TINA’S WEBSITE: StartSomethingPositive.com Creative Business Solutions

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SPF-136: How To Start That Awesome Author Website – with John Dyer, Stuart Grant and Kraig Mathias


This Week's Handout

AUTHOR WEBSITE CRIB SHEET

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An overview of three of the most popular and easiest website platforms for authors to use to create a beautiful and functional website.

Show Notes

  • Why your author website is important
  • The three website platform types
  • Choosing a website platform that suits your technical abilities
  • The importance of making sure your site looks good on mobile and tablet
  • The costs associated with the different platforms
  • Integrating websites with an email list provider
  • Why all the parts of your website matter, including, as ever, book cover design

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

PDF DOWNLOAD: Click here to get the PDF with all the tools and links listed.

SPF FRIEND: Tommy Donbavand’s site about his battle with cancer

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SPF-135: The 2018 Indie Author Toolkit – with Mark Dawson


This Week's Handout

INDIE AUTHOR TOOLKIT

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A countdown of the best and most popular tools for writers in 2018, including input from the SPF community about what their favourite authors tools are.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

PDF DOWNLOAD: Click here to get the PDF with all the tools and links listed.

PODCAST EP 61: with Dave Chesson from KDP Rocket

PODCAST EP 34: with the two Brads from Vellum

PODCAST EP 101: with Damon Courtney from BookFunnel

EBOOK FORMATTER: At Draft2Digital (You need an account but then the formatting tool is free.)

EBOOK FORMATTER: At Reedsy

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SPF-134: A Successful Author Mindset – with Adam Croft


Three-peat guest, and bestselling author, Adam Croft shares his thoughts on how important the correct mindset is for authors, and how the right approach can have a positive affect on a writer’s career and business.

This week’s highlights include:

  • Adam’s thoughts on the current effectiveness of Facebook ads
  • The pros and cons of selling book rights to a trad publisher
  • On the root origin of many of the questions authors ask Adam
  • Using data, and business sense, to invest in an author career
  • The three types of mindsets author require to succeed
  • Changing our thinking to get different results
  • On the challenges of working at home and being your own boss

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

SPF EPISODE 60: Dragon Dictation with Scott Baker

BBC BREAKFAST: Mark Dawson sits down with the BBC One breakfast show to discuss Salisbury, spies and writing that is influenced by current events.

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SPF-133: The Author Accelerator – with Jennie Nash


Book coach Jennie Nash talks to James about how writers who are stuck or frustrated can finish their books with the aid of an accountability partner in the form of a book coach.

This week’s highlights include:

  • On using a book coach to get your book finished
  • The difference between a book coach and an editor
  • The different ways Jennie helps authors get their books finished
  • How authors need to be ready to hear input to fix or complete a book
  • Focusing on the fundamentals of storytelling to get a story to work
  • Fixing fatal flaws in stories that can unearth a great book
  • Offering accountability so that authors can get their books finished
  • Jennie’s motivation for starting Author Accelerator
  • Caution from Jennie about using a service that promises an easy fix for your book

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

BOOK COACHES: AuthorAccelerator.com

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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:

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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