SPF-016: From Police Officer to Gazillion-Selling Novelist: Clare Mackintosh’s story

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In this episode we’ve included a great conversation with the author of smash hit crime thrillers, Clare Mackintosh. Clare is traditionally published but the lessons she’s learned about rewriting, editing, and Facebook fan interaction have a lot to each Indie and Self Published authors, so we thought it would be a valuable conversation to bring you. There’s no doubt that lessons learned on both side of the publishing divide can benefit authors residing in each place, so please, make the time to listen – there’s lots to learn here.

A massively successful author talks about the agony of rewriting.

Clare Mackintosh is name that is well known in the UK and is just now coming into prominence in the fiction realm of other markets, most notably the U.S. Her success has been staggering to say the least, and she says that much of it comes from the hard work put in to rewrite her books even after she received a book deal. No less than 5 rewrites of her book between the time she accepted a book deal and it actually published, and she says that every step was one she would gladly do again because they were steps that made the book even better and more successful. You can hear Clare’s journey from Police Officer to successful author in this episode of the podcast.

As a self-published author, maybe you could use a little more rewriting.

Being self-published, you likely don’t have someone holding your feet to the fire, requiring you to rewrite or reorganize large sections of your book like Clare Mackintosh did. But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be a good idea. Most of us could use some distance from our writing (taking some time off) and then come back to it with eyes that are somewhat fresh. That sort of practice could help you get the perspective you need to do some rewrites that would truly be beneficial, even if you don’t have an agent or publisher breathing down your neck. What do you think? Could you apply the same lessons Clare learned through her rewriting process to your own workflow? Hear her entire story in this episode.

Understanding the social media platforms is key to your success in using them for promotions.

Clare Mackintosh has established a very active, thriving community of fans on Facebook and has a very large following on Twitter as well. But she’s quick to point out that the two platforms are very different and as a result, her goals in using each of them is very different. While the majority of people she interacts with on Facebook have read one or more of her books, the majority she chats with on Twitter have not. That alone requires a different approach. Clare has great advice for self published authors about how to approach the various platforms based on their unique characteristics, and how to share in a way that fits the platform. It’s all in this episode of The Self Publishing Formula.

Once again, the power of the email list comes to the forefront.

It’s normal to hear self published authors talking about the significance of having an email list of raving fans to market new books and projects to. But today you get to hear the same story from the mouth of a very successful traditionally published author, Clare Mackintosh. Clare runs her own email list follow up with those who purchase her books and she uses many of the same approaches and tactics that Indie Authors use. You can hear the success Clare has experienced from doing personalized follow up with her readers and how she uses it to her advantage, in this episode.

Outline of this great episode

  • [1:34] James and Mark welcome you to this episode.
  • [4:19] Today’s guest: Clare Mackintosh.
  • [5:08] Clare’s journey from her police job to writing.
  • [7:07] The amazing amount of work going from self publishing to traditional publishing.
  • [10:24] The brutal process of going through numerous re-writes.
  • [12:35] The personal story behind the writing and transition to being a writer.
  • [14:08] The differences in payments through self publishing and traditional publishing.
  • [15:55] Writing lessons learned about how to tell a better story.
  • [18:29] The themes that carried through all the edits to the end.
  • [24:15] The way Clare handles her own mailing list and career.
  • [28:31] The type of platform Clare had in place when she first began.
  • [30:35] The success and power of Clare’s Facebook page.
  • [32:35] The importance of sharing native content to each platform.
  • [36:05] A typical day for Clare.
  • [39:11] Future writing plans in terms of genre.
  • [42:42] The odds of success are greater for self publishing.
  • [43:36] Get into the Facebook Ads for Authors course.

Resources & Links mentioned in this episode

The Facebook Ads for Authors Course (course closes 14th June 2016)

Clare’s books: I Let You Go and I See You

Clare on Twitter: @ClareMackint0sh

Clare on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClareMackWrites

 

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