SPF-025: Interview with the biggest selling KDP author of all time – WIth Barbara Freethy


Self-Publishing is what we’re all about here at SPF.

And that’s because it often makes more sense than traditional publishing. In fact, self-publishing is very much a response to the limitations of traditional publishing. Today’s guest, Barbara Freethy, was already an established traditionally published author when she dipped her toe into the self publishing waters by independently releasing some of her backlist. The success she found motivated her to go full steam ahead as an indie. You’ll hear Barbara’s story and her tips for success in this episode.


The less control you have over something the less opportunity you have to fix it.
Barbara is the highest selling self published author ever. What she’s come to believe after seeing both sides of the coin is that the less control an author has over their publication process, the less opportunity they have to fix it. For her, self-publishing provided the opportunity to avoid the problems that were out of her hands as a traditionally published author. Now she enjoys the freedom and increased income of being an indie. Find out how Barbara systematizes her publication process in this episode.


You never really know where your readers are.
Barbara doesn’t assume anything about where she will find her readers or how they will want to consume her content. She’s makes her work as widely available as possible and ensures that her readers can get her books however they prefer. You’ll hear many more of Barbara’s insights from a career that spans both traditional and self publishing.


The more you’re involved in your own e-publishing career, the better you will do.
There are many services and contractors out there who can help indies accomplish the tasks that need to be undertaken to get their books published and promoted. Barbara has come to believe that the more she is involved in the various aspects of her publishing career, the more success is going to come her way. That’s because nobody cares more about her books and how well they succeed than she does. And the more she understands about every aspect of the process the better she can guide those she does bring alongside to help her with the business. Tune in to find out how Barbara suggests you go about learning the various skills needed to self publish successfully.


Fear is the biggest problem for writers.
Though she’s been tremendously successful Barbara believes that every writer – even the Stephen Kings of the world – still have a certain amount of fear that accompanies them as they pursue writing and publication. Will the readers enjoy the book? Will it be good enough to attract an audience? Will she be able to maintain her pace to continue producing books for her fans? These fears have to be faced and dealt with repeatedly and in today’s episode she chats about her approach to killing the fear and how those pursuing a career in self-publishing can do the same.


Outline of this great episode

  • [0:23] Introduction to this episode.
  • [1:20] Mark’s recent BookBub promotion.
  • [4:08] Mark’s experience with BookBub Ads.
  • [5:11] Introduction of this episode’s guest: Barbara Freethy.
  • [6:36] Barbara’s experience with traditional publishing and the transition to Indie Publishing.
  • [8:02] The rocky road Barbara experience in traditional publishing.
  • [13:08] The difference in income between traditional publishing and Indie publishing.
  • [16:45] How Barbara discovered she enjoyed the entrepreneur side of Indie publishing.
  • [19:21] How Barbara began getting her email list established.
  • [23:56] The way Barbara approaches giveaways for promotional purposes.
  • [27:05] How learning the business side of self publishing makes you a better writer.
  • [28:58] The team Barbara has to help with her business.
  • [30:53] The reader relationships Barbara builds to foster her audience.
  • [35:20] How Barbara’s relationship with fans has impacted her writing.
  • [39:26] Barbara’s approach to writing productivity.
  • [42:07] Not a lot of advanced planning for her stories.
  • [43:38] Barbara’s advice to new authors.

Resources & Links mentioned in this episode

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