SPF-007: Live from the London Book Fair 2016, Part 1 – With Mark Dawson and James Blatch

The SPF Team hit the London Book Fair earlier this week and managed to catch up with a wide variety of Self Pub folk – from bestsellers Mel Sherratt and Rachel Abbott, exciting up and coming authors, (including a Hollywood screenwriter), as well as indie publishers, bloggers and key figures in the digital publishing world. In the first of two special LBF episodes, expect innumerable insider author tips and the lowdown on the current state of play in the pioneering world of self publishing.

Show Notes

  • Why self-published authors go to London Book Fair (LBF).
  • How Rachel Abbott sold two million books.
  • The boost Mel Sherratt got when she had more books to sell.
  • The focus successful authors place on marketing and why each author should define their own idea of success.
  • On experimenting with marketing if it’s not working, and why building a mailing list matters. “The most important readers are the ones you’ve already got.”
  • Kobo’s strategy for supporting indie authors, and desire to collaborate with indie authors.
  • Advice for new authors from Mark Lefebvre of Kobo on writing your next book, thinking globally, and pricing strategies.
  • The Pigeon Hole and the serialization of novels.
  • Podcaster Ani Alexander on getting books written and publishing advice for new authors.
  • Screenwriter and TV & Film Producer Paul Pender on the attraction of self-publishing.

You can win a scholarship to Mark Dawson’s acclaimed premium course “Facebook Ads for Authors” by spreading the word about this podcast.

Visit selfpublishingformula.com/contest to enter.

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SPF-006: Best selling Indie Author Interview – With Russell Blake

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Russell Blake is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of some 30 – count ‘em! – much loved books and has been featured in the likes of the Wall Street Journal and The Chicago Tribune. He’s become a hugely respected figure in indie publishing circles and together with Mark and James, happily discusses, amongst other things, why marketing a book is quite a different process to writing one, the whole Kindle Unlimited thing and how to be an exceptional author (i.e. one that makes a living from writing).

James: You can win a scholarship to Mark Dawson’s acclaimed premium course “Facebook Ads for Authors” by spreading the word about this podcast.

Visit selfpublishingformula.com/contest to enter.

Hello and welcome to podcast #6 from The Self-Publishing Formula.

Female: Two writers: one just starting out; the other a best-seller. Join James Blatch and Mark Dawson and their amazing guests as they discuss how you can make a living telling stories. There’s never been a better time to be a writer.

Show Notes

  • What a new author should focus on.
  • On marketing books and how that skill set is very different from writing them.
  • What being the exception to the rule in self-publishing means.
  • The perma-free strategy and whether Russell is a believer.
  • Russell’s thoughts on Kindle Unlimited.
  • On selling in online retail stores other than Amazon.
  • Kindle Worlds fan fiction and what it’s like to read stories by other writers set in Russell’s world.
  • Marketing a book that’s in a different genre than your readers / newsletter subscribers are used to, including pricing strategies.
  • Questions from listeners, including what Russell’s experience working with Clive Cussler was like.
  • Comparisons between the music business and the traditional publishing business.

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SPF-005: Interview with Sean Platt

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This week’s guest, Sean Platt, has turned a love of writing into an indie publishing phenomenon in the shape of story studio Sterling & Stone. But that’s only half his story. In Podcast 5, Sean talks with the guys about what’s next for Sterling & Stone, author productivity, dreaming big, making the right choices and what’s currently working on the marketing front for indie authors.

Show Notes

  • On Sean’s background and how he structures his day for maximum productivity, including naps and walking meetings.
  • The pleasure of working hard on things we love to do.
  • How Sean dreams big and sets challenging goals for each year.
  • The choice Sean would make between being a storyteller and his other projects.
  • The marketing for authors that Sean thinks is working now. And what’s not working.
  • Where Sterling and Stone see themselves in five years.

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SPF-004: Masterclass – Five Must Do Actions for New Authors – With Mark Dawson

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If you’re thinking of kicking off a career as an indie author, or have already started down that road, listening to Podcast number 4 might save you a lot of time, money and effort as you move forward. Mark and James focus on key elements that are worth getting right at the start of your adventure. Mailing lists, websites, social media presence, company set-up, copyright and using pro services are just some of the topics covered.

Show Notes

  • Action #1: Build your mailing list. What services to use to do this, Advanced Reader Teams.
  • Action #2: Have a website. Your space on the internet, affiliate income, tracking the effectiveness of marketing strategies.
  • Action #3: Social media presence. Focusing on one or two platforms, the ease of setting up a Facebook profile and page and why they matter.
  • Action #4: Setting up a limited company for your author income. Assume you’re going to be successful, the life of your copyrighted books.
  • Action #5: Be professional. Hiring editors, proofreaders, cover designers. The pace of change and not getting caught up in fads.

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SPF-003: Interview with Hybrid Author Marie Force

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In podcast number 3, Mark and James are joined by the sensational Marie Force. Marie has developed a seven figure publishing operation with a mix of both self publishing and traditional publishing deals. They discuss her marketing tips as well as Marie’s advice to authors setting out to build a platform for better sales. They also discuss her unique approach to reader relationships which involve annual gatherings in her native Rhode Island.

Show Notes

  • In the introduction Mark talks about the ways he uses Scrivener writing software, and about his latest book launch.
  • Marie Force shares the strategy she had from the beginning of her writing career of connecting with her readers and staying in touch with them.
  • On the genesis of Marie’s Reader Weekends and the events that take place at this annual gathering.
  • Also the ROI that Marie gets from the event.
  • Marie’s beginnings as a writer and her early struggles with frustration, and her progress from there to running a multi-million dollar author business with several employees.
  • On Marie’s writing process and production, her monthly word count and the tools she uses.
  • Marie’s thoughts on working with a traditional publisher.
  • The marketing strategies that are most successful for Marie, including TV advertising.
  • The one piece of advice Marie would give new authors.
  • On genre specific covers, and learning new lessons all the time.
  • Why a long-term outlook matters to indie authors who want to build careers.

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SPF-002: Secrets from an indie online entrepreneur – With Pat Flynn

From redundancy to a pioneer in the online business sphere, Pat’s blog, ‘Smart Passive Income’ that details his story has become a go-to resource for budding online entrepreneurs everywhere. Mark and James hunker down with Pat to talk, amongst other things, about his new book, relationship strategies including the power of transparency and whether podcasting is still a sound business strategy.

Show Notes

  • Pat’s beginnings as an online entrepreneur.
  • Why Pat wrote his new book Will It Fly?
  • On the power of surveying one’s audience.
  • Relationship strategies Pat used with his followers while he was writing the book and at the launch.
  • Transparency as a powerful audience relationship strategy.
  • On segmenting email lists for greater response rates.
  • What Pat would do to connect with his readers if he wrote fiction.
  • Whether Pat thinks podcasting is still a good business-building strategy.

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SPF-001: Best selling Indie Author Interview – With Joanna Penn

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It’s the first full edition of the Self Publishing Formula Podcast! In this episode, bestselling indie author Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn fame talks mistakes, mishaps and triumphs in Self Publishing. She also reflects on the immense changes that have taken place in the industry since her first book was published and provides tips and advice for those starting out on their indie author journey.

Show Notes

  • Mark’s new system of tracking his writing progress and a new sound tool he’s using that has increased his word count.
  • A quick reflection on the state of the indie author nation and the latest Author Earnings Report.
  • On the changes in the publishing industry that Joanna has witnessed since 2008 when she published her first book.
  • The importance of authors ‘getting their names into people’s heads’.
  • The questions authors should ask themselves in order to choose the publishing path that suits them best.
  • Joanna’s predictions about the future of indie publishing and her thoughts on hot trends in indie publishing.
  • What has changed for Joanna since she started writing and publishing, and the advice she would give herself when she was just starting out.
  • The business of non-fiction books vs. fiction.

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SPF-000: SNEAK PEEK: What’s coming in the new Self Publishing Formula Podcast!

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The Self Publishing Formula Podcast is very nearly here! In this preview, its hosts, bestselling indie author Mark Dawson and rookie novelist James Blatch, talk about what they hope to achieve with the show for the legions of authors and would-be authors who dream of making a living out of their passion.

Show Notes

  • On Mark and James’ beginnings as writers and where they met.
  • On the intentions for the Self-Publishing Formula podcast, including providing actionable information for writers at the beginning of their career and those who are further along.
  • Future guests and some of what they will offer, including Marie Force, Joanna Penn, Nick Stephenson, AG Riddle and Bella Andre.