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SPS-346: The Magic of the SPF Foundation – with Britt Andrews

Talent will only get you so far: sometimes authors need a boost to launch their careers. Britt Andrews is a past winner of an SPF Foundation scholarship and it helped her go from a hobby author to someone who’s running a six-figure author business.

Show Notes

  • On the difference scholarship to the SPF courses made in Britt’s career
  • How does paranormal romance differ from contemporary romance?
  • What attracted Britt to the reverse harem sub-genre
  • How TikTok affected Britt’s sales
  • On the ads strategy that’s working for Britt

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Show’s Patreon page

SCHOLARSHIPS: Learn more about the SPF Foundation that helped launch Britt’s career

MERCH: Check out our new 2022 hoodies and t-shirts in the SPF Store.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

SPS-346: The Magic of the SPF Foundation - with Britt Andrews
Speaker 1: On this edition of The Self-Publishing Show.

Britt Andrews: And there's a VIP level where they get to read what I'm writing as I write it.

James Blatch: Wow.

Britt Andrews: And that's weird.

Speaker 1: Publishing is changing. No more gatekeepers, no more barriers, no one standing between you and your readers. Do you want to make a living from your writing?

Join indie bestseller, Mark Dawson, and first-time author, James Blatch, as they shine the light on the secrets of self-publishing success. This is The Self-Publishing Show. There's never been a better time to be a writer.

James Blatch: Hello and welcome. It's The Self-Publishing Show with me, James Blatch.

Mark Dawson: And me, Mark Dawson.

James Blatch: Welcome. It's a Friday. We are talking all things indie publishing, particularly marketing. We have an inspiring story today about somebody who couldn't afford to get the heating fixed in their car not that long ago and has posted a half a million pounds of revenue in the last 22 months subsequently. Thanks, actually, as you'll find out in the interview, to you Mark, to your course.

Mark Dawson: Well, partly. She is Britt Andrews, who was an SPF Foundation winner two years ago. So basically that means she gets a little bit of money that she can put towards services and things at Reedsy, and also gets the SPF courses 101 in Ads. And yeah, Britt's done fabulously well. Probably the most successful foundation winner that we've had.

James Blatch: And we've had a few.

Mark Dawson: We've had a few. We certainly have had a few. We saw her in Vegas for 20Books last November and she was doing really well then and it's going from strengths to strength. This sounds pretty trite to say but this is one of the best things about doing this is that we could see writers who clearly have a lot of talent as writers but for one reason or another, financial perhaps or just not able or don't know what to do when they actually finish writing, to see writers in that situation go from, as you say, not being able to fix the heating of the car to having six figure on the way to seven figure annual salaries. That's just remarkable.

James Blatch: Yeah. $50,000 a month she was doing, I think, when we talked to her in Vegas.

Mark Dawson: Yeah, that's right. And I mean, that's a huge amount of money. So it's really lovely to see that and makes us pleased. And we've been trying to get... Lucy's been for about 18 months trying to get Britt on the podcast. And Britt's quite hard to pin down. So pleased that you managed to speak to her.

James Blatch: It was lovely talking and Britt is one of those people who follows Facebook Ads for Author's course, implements it line by line. And same as I did for Fuse Books and it taught me how to generate income for books which is what we set out to do with that course.

We should say, this is going out on Friday next week. So if you were interested in the Ads for Authors course, two days left now and they're secret days because officially it closed on Wednesday but we're going to keep it open till Sunday night because if you listen to us regularly, you'll know that there's always people who contact us two days after the course is closed, "I missed it." So we always keep it open until Sunday night. So it'll actually be open for 48 hours from the launch of this podcast, go to Facebook, go to selfpublishingformula.com/adsforauthors to check out the golden juice that's got it going for so many people, including me.

Okay. What else are we talking about today? We have the SPF drinks event. I've posted into the Facebook community, the SPF community group, some details on that and some pictures from the shenanigans that have gone on in previous years. Nothing incriminatory, I should say, Mark. I do have some incriminating photographs of you but I haven't posted those publicly yet.

What else are we talking about today? We have a blog available today. It's always launched on a Friday. How to evaluate regular freelancers? The irony of this blog is it's been written for us by a freelancer. So Daniel I'll read your instructions and evaluate you. That's how that works.

Mark Dawson: Exactly. Yes.

James Blatch: Very good. Very good. Go on.

Mark Dawson: I'm just looking through to see if we had any patrons to announce today and I don't think we do. But one thing we do have is remember last week we weren't sure whether Susan Baker, Old Man Smithers and Kimberly Gibson were from Texas?

James Blatch: Yes.

Mark Dawson: We thought they can't all be from Texas but they are all from Texas. Catherine picked up... Apparently this is basically Tom's fault because he didn't use semi-colons properly I think or either that or we didn't use it correctly.

James Blatch: I think there's a chasm opening between Tom and Catherine on the way that the patrons are posted into our slack channel. And Tom's done it in a different way from Catherine and Catherine is now marshalling her armies to say "Oh, this is my turf."

Mark Dawson: Yes. So anyway, those three, thank you once again to them and hello to... Well they're all in Texas. So-

James Blatch: Yeah.

Mark Dawson: We like Texas.

James Blatch: Deep in the heart of Texas. Okay. Right. I think we've talked about everything we need to talk about and we've previewed Britt Andrews. So why don't we hear from Britt? Absolutely fantastic writer. Real joyous interview. I enjoyed it very much. And here she is.

Britt Andrews, welcome to the Self-Publishing Show. We've met in person before and you are no stranger to the Self-Publishing Formula.

Britt Andrews: No, I'm not.

James Blatch: Because we'll come onto that in a moment but why don't you start by you introducing yourself and your writing.

Britt Andrews: I'm Britt Andrews. I write paranormal reverse harem romance. So I got started during the pandemic after being laid off from my hospital job. And my whole family was on lockdown. I had three young kids. I was like, if there's ever a time for me to actually try to pull this off, now's the time.

 I wrote a book in my series in the three months that I was off work. And then I published the first one, October 1st of 2020. So we're coming up on two years now since I published that. It's crazy.

James Blatch: Great. So you just froze in the middle of that but I've got most of it but you've published your first book when?

Britt Andrews: I published my first book, October 1st, 2020.

James Blatch: Okay. So it really was a lockdown project.

Britt Andrews: Yes. Yeah, absolutely.

James Blatch: You got laid off and did you then think, well, I'm just going to give this a go as an author or did you get another job and run this alongside that?

Britt Andrews: So I actually went back to that job after three months, once business picked back up again, they brought me back on. But when I started it was like, I'm going to go out of my mind if I don't occupy my brain. And I was like, so this will just be a fun hobby for me. And if I make a couple bucks at it, then that's cool but I wasn't expecting anything really to happen with it to be honest.

James Blatch: It seems odd to get laid off from a hospital job in a pandemic.

Britt Andrews: So the department I worked in was behavioural health and I worked as their programme assistant. So I did a lot of tracking data and stuff like this but our clients came in person for mental health treatment. So when it was locked down, I mean, everybody was just scared. They didn't want to come or they just wanted to stay in their houses which was fine. That's what you're supposed to do.

James Blatch: Wasn't great for the way the department worked. Okay. All right. So anyway, you've not looked back which is great.

And part of that journey along the way was to apply to the foundation here at SPF.

Britt Andrews: Yes. I saw a post, I believe it was in the 20Books group, L. Thorpe actually won the scholarship the year before I did. And she posted in there, "Hey, this is closing soon. It was really helpful for me. You should check it out." So I did. And it was the day before your admissions were closing.

James Blatch: Wow.

Britt Andrews: Yeah. So I was back at my job then and I looked it up on my lunch break and I typed up my little submission right then because I was like, I know if I wait till I get home, my kids are going to be all over me and I won't have time to do it. So I just went for it.

James Blatch: Yeah. And you were awarded it. And was it the Lucy Score sponsored slot?

Britt Andrews: Yeah.

James Blatch: Yes. I thought it was. Lucy, obviously a very successful romance writer and she does sponsor romance. I'm going to talk about your writing in a moment but let's just for a second because I know we're getting towards that time of year in the autumn where we start turning our minds to the foundation, who's going to be selected for 2023. So not a bad opportunity just to flag it up, that it exists.

What difference did it make to you Britt?

Britt Andrews: It made a huge difference having access to the courses because I honestly knew nothing. Like I said, I started this as a hobby. I was a very avid reader so I knew a little bit about self-publishing but I had no idea the level that's required from an author. This is not just sitting down and writing a book. If you really want this to become a career, there's all these other aspects that are to it and you have to learn.

I know that I never would've been able to afford the classes at that point in time. So that made a huge difference. And just hearing that there's people out there who believe in your work. They read it and they're like, "Okay, this girl has something here. Let's take a chance and let's bring her into this and we'll see how everything goes."

James Blatch: And to fast forward, how has everything gone? Where are you now?

Britt Andrews: It's been amazing. So just real quick, prior to publishing, we almost lost our house to foreclosure. I was driving a 1996 Camry that was not only gold but also silver.

James Blatch: Oh yes. Is it like Better Call Saul? He thought it was a step up in his life when his car was just one colour.

Britt Andrews: Right. And mine was two, so two top colours right there. But I drove that car one winter here without heat because I couldn't afford the $700 to get it fixed. So that's where I came from. Where I am now, I've just cleared half a million dollars in 22 months.

James Blatch: Wow. Wow. Well congratulations. And we are a very, very happy organisation to be a small part of that. Thank you to the two Lucys. Actually Lucy Score has sponsored your particular slot and Lucy Dawson, who does a lot of hard work in the background for the foundation and all our other foundation sponsors. There are lots of slots available now but you do need to apply and you can do that on our website, selfpublishingformula.com/foundation or at least just go to selfpublishingformula.com and there's a tab at the top.

So that's brilliant. I'm very excited for you. I want to hear a bit more about the writing and your audience and the readers that you've found. So paranormal romance, I've asked this before on the podcast and I feel bad for asking it again but I just have never got around to reading a paranormal romance and I still haven't quite got my head around what the tropes of that genre are.

Britt Andrews: So paranormal is anything like magic, witches, shifters, vampires, demons, anything paranormal. So it's just a romance story but with magic.

James Blatch: I know Lucy Score, your sponsor, writes a series, Riley Thorn, which my wife actually loves and it's very grounded in real world but the main character happens to have this inherited clairvoyance, which he rather doesn't like. But that's it. But that would count. That would turn that into if you like paranormal romance. Although for me, there must be a lot of crossover people who read just contemporary romance.

Britt Andrews: There is. But yeah, my series, it's a real world setting, a small town setting with magic.

James Blatch: Is everyone magic or is it a secret magic?

Britt Andrews: It's out there. Everyone knows but there's also people who don't have magic. I feel like I get a lot of contemporary readers who are like, "I don't like paranormal. I've never read it." Or they've read it in the past. They don't want to. And their friends are like, "You got to read Emerald Lakes. You got to read it." And then they'll read it and they'll be like, "Wow, I like that." Because I feel like it's just enough real world that a lot of contemporary readers also like it.

James Blatch: Yes. Because you could have a more extreme paranormal romance with, as you say, shifters and monsters and dragons and as much fantasy as it is paranormal romance.

Britt Andrews: Yes. And I think that would cross over more into fantasy romance. But yeah, I mean there's so many different ways you can take paranormal.

James Blatch: Let's talk about your paranormal series. So the magic, what are the rules that you've set here? Because you are the God of your little world you've created here. What magic? What's the constraints or is it unlimited?

Britt Andrews: So it's genetic and each witch or mage is born with a certain affinity. And those affinities are, for example, my main character is a green witch. So she's like plants, the earth, flowers, stuff like that. There's a storm mage who can control the weather. There's a shifter. He shifts into a panther. There's a fire mage. It's pretty self explanatory. He can do fire. And then I have a cognitive mage who's a mind reader and can actually get into people's heads and whatever.

So the way my story is set up is these guys that are the main characters, actually they work for a company as hitmen, like assassins. So they've been through all this special training with their affinity and their magic. And that's what leads them to town where they meet our female main character.

James Blatch: You don't want to date a cognitive magician, do you? You don't want to date someone who could read your mind?

Britt Andrews: Well, and that's why he ends up liking her so much because for some reason he can't read her.

James Blatch: There you go. That's where you went. That opens a bit. Okay. So that's the setting. And small town is such an important trope, isn't it, in romance? I think we're all drawn to it regardless of whether it's romance or any other drama. You just love that idea of small town. It's got so many possibilities, I think, for relationship form which you don't get in a big city. But yeah. So was that right from the beginning you thought, I like reading it, I want to write it? Small town?

Britt Andrews: Yes. And I'm from... It's actually a village of 1,000 people.

James Blatch: Wow. You have villages. I didn't think America had villages. We have villages in the UK and it annoys me that there's never a slot in the American where you do addresses for the village and then the town.

Britt Andrews: Yeah. I'm an actual villager. And I wanted to model it after the TV show, Gilmore Girls, how they have the small town. And that show is just so comforting and cosy to so many people that they keep going back and rewatching it. So that was the whole vibe I wanted to create.

James Blatch: Okay. And I know the village itself in your case or the small town becomes a character in its own. I'm actually reading Lucy's big hit this year, Things We Never Got Over and it's quite clear that she's created a town that's going to be a character in its own right.

Britt Andrews: Yes, absolutely. And I wanted the town to be full of quirky side characters. There's two seer ladies who wear big gaudy jewellery and bright makeup. And I put a lot of effort into all of my side characters because I wanted every character in the book to matter and for people to be able to connect with all of them basically. So whether it's comedic relief or just-

James Blatch: Remind me, how many books in the series now?

Britt Andrews: There's five.

James Blatch: There's five. And are there going to be more?

Britt Andrews: I am going to do a second series at some point with the same characters. But after the whole events of the first series.

James Blatch: Okay. So that's completed this timeline if you like? The five?

Britt Andrews: Yes. That's completed.

James Blatch: And when it's romance, obviously a couple need to get together at some point. Spoiler alert.

Do you have the same person going through various iterations of relationships, like breaking up and finding somebody else? Or do you have a new romantic coupling in each book?

Britt Andrews: It's the same set of characters in all five books. And so it's reverse harem. So do you know what that-

James Blatch: Of course. It's reverse harem. I forgot. There's multiple dudes around.

Britt Andrews: Right. Living the dream.

James Blatch: Yeah. Okay. Small town, multiple dudes, reverse harem. Okay. So there's a dynamic that I wasn't really thinking about because I'm reading a more contemporary romance at the moment where it's a couple getting together.

What's the attraction of reverse harem for you? Oh, that sounds like a dodgy question, isn't it, to ask that?

Britt Andrews: I think it just adds to the whole escapism in reading. It adds another layer to romance. And it also gives me a chance... I will say writing reverse harem is a lot harder than I was anticipating because I write multi-POV. So every character gets their own chapters from their point of view. So it's really deep diving into all of them which it adds up. I think by the end of the fifth book, I had seven POVs to keep track of.

James Blatch: Wow.

Britt Andrews: And you want to make sure all their voices are different and that the reader doesn't have to flip back and see, "Okay, now POV is this again?" You just want to make well defined characters. So that was hard for me but I like a challenge. And when I'm reading, I'm reading to escape reality. And I just think that reverse harem really levels that up.

James Blatch: Yes. I was going to make a joke about unless you're in Utah but it's mostly the other way around then. It's a traditional harem and that's just a very, very generalistic generalisation about a very small community. But anyway, there you go. I'm a comedian. What can I say?

So you've got your stories interconnected because it's reverse harem. So I can see how each book would have different turns. And I guess you have the men occasionally at loggerheads or tensions are rising there.

But in romance, there's got to be some substantial coming together, I assume, between a couple. How do you do that when it's reverse harem?

Britt Andrews: Well, you give yourself five books to get it all out. It's also good because there's always going to be one or two of the guys that are not sure about this. "I don't know." Readers really like that. They see the guy from the beginning who's going to resist this. He doesn't want this. And as it progresses, by the time it happens, they're dying for it. They're like, "We need this right now." So yeah, it can be difficult to line it all up but it eventually all happens.

James Blatch: And your world you've created is... What's the proper word for it? Plural. Oh my God. I've forgotten the word for it. But multiple partners in a marriage or relationship, is that normalised or is this secret thing?

Britt Andrews: It's normal.

James Blatch: Bigamy's for two, when you've got two people. That's a... Polygamy. Polygamy is the word I'm looking for.

Britt Andrews: Polyamory. Yeah.

James Blatch: There you go. It's normal. Okay. And is it always one woman?

Britt Andrews: No.

James Blatch: Okay. Just in this case. Gotcha. All right. So let's talk about how the books were received and what marketing you put into it.

You've obviously got, built a pretty loyal fan base. I can tell you just from the figures you gave us at the beginning. So how did you set about doing that?

Britt Andrews: When I first started, I just tried to get my name out there, my book, the blurb for the first book in different Facebook groups. I got my pre-order up and I had another author help me set up a Facebook ad because I'd never done anything like that. So I started it at $2 a day when it was still a pre-order and I heard from so many people don't even bother with ads until your series is complete. People don't like that. I said, "I'm not going to do that. I'm going to run an ad." So I think I had 150 pre-orders on my first book which people were like, "That's amazing for a debut book." And I was happy with it because like I said, I wasn't expecting to make a dollar.

I really had a big social media presence with Instagram and Facebook and just getting my name out there really. And then in December when the second book came out, I posted a TikTok video about my story of being laid off because of the pandemic, my second book coming out. And then I hit... I got a best seller tag on my second book in my category of paranormal romance or something like that. And I posted about it. And that video went viral and I got a lot of TikTok followers from that.

James Blatch: Wow.

Britt Andrews: So I think that really helped kick it into another gear.

James Blatch: It's funny how often TikTok comes up in the interviews that I do these days which is why we're all so interested in that platform and even crusty old men like me are getting into it.

Britt Andrews: It's hard though because there's no real rhyme or reason to it.

James Blatch: Yeah. Well you presumably have other people pushing your books on TikTok now?

Britt Andrews: I do. And that's why when I started and I had other author friends that are like, "I'm posting these videos. Nothing's happening. They're only getting a thousand views." And I'm like, "Listen, this is a long game." You need to infiltrate BookTok. And eventually all these videos that you're posting and all the work you're putting in by getting your book out there, they will take over that work for you. And that's happened with my stuff. I don't post as much as I used to just because I'm busy. But yeah, I see my books all over BookTok now because word got out.

James Blatch: You laid the foundation for that?

Britt Andrews: Absolutely.

James Blatch: And you kept going and then you get a break because as you say, there's no rhyme or reason. I think it's Jane Ryland who always says, "Every time you do a TikTok, you enter the lottery. And then one of them gets going." Amy Dawson and Colleen Hoover even and Megan and Lucy and the Peckers, I see all of them, other people pushing their books more than I see them pushing their books now. But they've all laid the foundation first.

Britt Andrews: Yeah. You've got to put the work in and not get frustrated, just have fun doing it and realise any bonus that you get from TikTok is just that. It's a bonus.

James Blatch: And it's free, apart from the time and work. There's no paid ads at the moment. They're going to work on TikTok. And by the way, if you think it's just romance authors, check out Adam Beswick on TikTok to see what authors in other genres are doing great work as well. And me, even when I put my focus on it, I sell books through it. Starting to do that again now that things are settled down. Oh well, that's fantastic.

Where are you today in terms of do you have a mailing list today? Do you have a Facebook group? How do you organise your readers?

Britt Andrews: Yes, I do have a mailing list. It's not huge but that's because I really wanted it to be focused on people who want my newsletter. Not like in the beginning, I did a lot of BookFunnels and stuff and that was great to build it up but I don't really do them anymore. So I have maybe like 5,000 subscribers to my newsletter and I have a Facebook group that's getting close, I think, to 6,000 members. That's very active. And it's just such a fun group. Everybody's really nice. And I think that goes from, they read Emerald Lakes, which is everybody's very nice for the most part in that book. That's the vibe I wanted. Be kind to everybody, accept people the way they are. So yeah. I have my Facebook group and I started a Patreon.

James Blatch: Oh, okay.

Britt Andrews: Yeah.

James Blatch: What do the Patreon supporters get?

Britt Andrews: They get first looks at new covers, blurbs, book reveals. They get character art that I get commissioned. There's an audiobook tier where they get the audiobooks free once they come out. And then there's like a VIP level where they get to read what I'm writing as I write it.

James Blatch: Wow.

Britt Andrews: And that's weird.

James Blatch: Yes. That is weird. I don't think I could... I got to be soft and going back and changing it would be a... Okay. Well that all sounds great. And you obviously work hard at the books themselves. Let's talk a little bit about the writing. I mean, you say it's a peaceful, loving vibe but you did also mention mentioned they're hitmen, the guys. So I guess there's some tension there.

Do you plot each book? Do you plot the entire series or do you discovery write?

Britt Andrews: Plot. I'm like in the middle of a plotter and a pantser.

James Blatch: Okay.

Britt Andrews: I don't even know what you call it. A planser?

James Blatch: Yeah. A planser. There you go.

Britt Andrews: So I just have to know where that particular book is ending. I don't know where the series is going. I know that if I try too hard with, this is going to happen and this person's going to do this and this, and I sit down to write it, I just blow it to smithereens. That doesn't work for me. So I just let the characters guide the plot and fill in the holes. This is one thing I know that needs to happen. And everything else that happens is just-

James Blatch: Whatever happens.

Britt Andrews: ... natural. Yeah. Just let it flow.

James Blatch: And when you get to your stories at the end of the books, is there a cliffhanger? Or does each book neatly sewn up?

Britt Andrews: There's always a cliff hanger.

James Blatch: Okay.

Britt Andrews: Yeah.

James Blatch: Which I'm hearing a lot more of. It wasn't that long ago people said, "Don't do that. It upsets the readers." But actually very big successful authors seem to do it quite regularly now.

Britt Andrews: It does upset them but they keep coming back. And honestly I know when... If you're watching a TV series, how does a TV show end? An episode? You want more. That's why you sit your butt in the chair all weekend and binge watch Stranger Things or whatever show it is. I just think that's a good marketing tactic.

James Blatch: Yeah. Fair enough. And they do sell those episodes individually, don't they, on most streaming platforms? So there is a correlation there.

Now in terms of your editing, Britt, so I guess before you subscribed to the foundation that would've been probably beyond your financial means or since you were awarded the foundation but you are now working with one or two editors? How does that work with you?

Britt Andrews: I have a content editor. She reads as I write. And I also have a copy and line editor that gets everything after me and my content editor are done. It goes to her and she reads through that twice. And then it goes to a proofreader. And then it goes to ARC readers.

James Blatch: So quite a process.

Britt Andrews: Yeah. And I've just found that that works the best for me. I really enjoy having a content editor because I am ADHD. So it can be very hard for me if I start to get bored with details and finer points. So when I'm writing, I'm just like, get it all out, get it all out. And then I can go back and she'll be like, "But why did he feel this way?" Or, "Describe this character more." Or... It's just very helpful to me, for my brain, to have that.

James Blatch: Yeah. Finally, just to your current marketing setup, Britt. So you've completed that series. You're starting on a different timeline, same characters. Is that right?

Britt Andrews: I don't know when I'm going to do that.

James Blatch: Okay. So are you not writing at the moment?

Britt Andrews: I started writing a new series that I haven't announced yet. But I did publish book one in a spinoff series. So it's the same world but different characters. And that book is in Barnes and Noble.

James Blatch: Oh wow. How did it get into Barnes and Noble?

Britt Andrews: I have no idea.

James Blatch: Oh.

Britt Andrews: It's just there.

James Blatch: But you haven't had it traditionally published or...?

Britt Andrews: No.

James Blatch: They're picking it up through IngramSpark or someone or...?

Britt Andrews: Yeah. I think I have whatever that worldwide distribution is.

James Blatch: Oh. Expanded distribution. Okay.

Britt Andrews: Yes, that's it. I must have marked that when I uploaded it and it's in Barnes and Noble.

James Blatch: Wow. So there you go. From being laid off in the pandemic to walking past the Barnes and Noble and seeing your book in there.

Britt Andrews: I'm telling you, sometimes I just can't believe it.

James Blatch: It's been a crazy ride, I imagine. But down to you, and obviously you've found your writing niche, you found your readers and in a very old fashioned capitalistic sense, supply and demand is working here.

Britt Andrews: Yeah. Because after that first year, I wrote all five books in a year. And then I was burnt out because it was just a lot and it was a very emotional series. So I just feel like it took a lot out of me by the end of it. So I was like, okay, now I have my ads running. They're working. I mean, to this day, book one still sits right around a thousand in the store.

James Blatch: Right.

Britt Andrews: That's fine. That's great. After almost two years?

James Blatch: That's amazing. Yeah.

Britt Andrews: So that's just given me some time. We moved. We bought a new house in May and we moved. So I've just been taking my time and getting moved, enjoying summer and it's been really nice.

James Blatch: And is that Facebook ads mainly? Do you do any Amazon ads as well or any BookBub ads?

Britt Andrews: No. It's just Facebook.

James Blatch: Facebook ads. That's the one that drives for you.

In terms of your targeting, do you use your mailing list and lookalikes or do you target other authors?

Britt Andrews: Mostly I target romance novels or paranormal romance. I haven't had much luck with targeting other authors yet. My best results seem to be keeping it pretty broad, I guess.

James Blatch: Yeah. And you run all the ads yourself or do you have somebody now?

Britt Andrews: Yeah. I do.

James Blatch: The secret source. Well, we're so excited for you, Britt. It's a brilliant story and a great... Well, it's obviously great for us to see somebody from the foundation and you're not the only one. As you just saw L. Thorpe, she brought you, she switched you onto it but it's really great. But well done to you because you are the person who pulled all that off.

Britt Andrews: Thank you. I appreciate that.

James Blatch: And from where we're recording this in August, I guess we're going to see each other in a few weeks in Vegas again. So we'll catch up.

Britt Andrews: Yeah, I can't wait.

James Blatch: We might even be able to shake hands this year. Who knows what the rules will be?

Britt Andrews: Right.

James Blatch: Yeah. Who knows? Great. Thank you so much, indeed.

Britt Andrews: Thank you.

James Blatch: There you go. Britt Andrews talked to me just a few days ago actually. It's a very contemporaneous interview, to use a long word. And yeah, it's exciting. I think Britt was quite nervous actually about coming onto the podcast. But she is, as you said, Mark, earlier, just a great example of that latent talent that sits there and needs to be unleashed. And we were partly able to help her do that, to unleash that talent. And we have set Britt Andrews on the world and there's no stopping her now.

Mark Dawson: I think you've just got to give them the tools. You need to be able to write. She can clearly do that and you need to have the drive to want to succeed. And we can't manufacture that. You need to have that as well. So you need to have writing talent and determination and energy. Those things we can't really help with.

What we can do is provide guides as to how you can go from having a book, a good book and the determination to do well with it, to actually getting it into the hands of thousands of readers. We can help with that last bit. And yeah, we show Britt how to do it and off she goes. And she'll be, I imagine this is Lucy Score type territory, perhaps.

Lucy took the course five years ago and is now one of the biggest selling indies in the world. And who knows? Maybe Britt will follow that same path. She's certainly on the way to it. So we'll check in with her in a couple years and she'll be in some enormous mansion somewhere.

James Blatch: Yes. Yeah. She won't allow us in. There'll be security on the gates by then. But her car will all be one colour.

Mark Dawson: And the heating will work.

James Blatch: And the heat will work. Yeah. She's talked about her car being multiple colours. And I remember that from Better Call Saul when he got his German Mercedes. He started working for the company. One of the aspects, indicators of his success was his car was just one colour.

Okay. Right. That's it. The course that's propelled Britt to where she is today is Ads for Authors and it is open for 48 hours from this point. So your last chance until next year, 2023, if you want to hop onto that, it is at selfpublishingformula.com/adsforauthors. Mark Dawson, that is it.

It's raining here. So this is the first time it's rained since I got back from South Africa. Or South Africa? Where was I? California, not South Africa. In fact, it didn't rain before we went to California. Honestly, it's been so parched in the UK. If this happened, I mean, have you got a hosepipe ban where you are? You got a swimming pool. You've got a reservoir built into your house.

Mark Dawson: Yeah. We don't have a ban but no, we've got rain as well. It's been raining, I think most of the day so far. So I'm quite pleased actually. If we'd done this podcast half an hour ago... In fact, they were just looking down there now. The farmer has brought some cows across from the other side of the river over the bridge which is just there. And they were very, very noisy not long ago. So if anyone had any mooing and there is a couple that look quite irritated right now, that'll be why. The cows are just milling around, doing cow things.

James Blatch: There's an irritated cow outside your window.

Mark Dawson: It's a bit poetry, isn't it?

James Blatch: Yeah. 'Tis.

Mark Dawson: Cows off a bridge.

James Blatch: Yeah, we won't do the quotes now. Good. Okay. That's it. Thank you very much indeed. All that remains for me to say is it's a goodbye from him.

Mark Dawson: And a goodbye from me. Goodbye.

James Blatch: Goodbye.

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