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SPF-028 : Success, Marketing and Writing – With Rachel Abbott

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Best-selling thriller author, Rachel Abbott is quick to point out that her success is just as surprising to her as it is to anyone. Her skill and her savvy for marketing and sales have combined to make her the best-selling author in the UK on Amazon’s KDP platform. On this episode, you’ll get to hear how Rachel, after an entirely different career in business, got into writing, how she devised and regularly implements an extensive marketing plan for each new book launch, and what she believes it takes to be a successful author these days.

If you want to be a best-selling author, write a book that impacts the reader

That is just one sliver of the advice Rachel has for those who take the time to listen to this episode. It’s her firm belief that you can’t simply write a story: you have to connect the dots between the story and the human experience being portrayed within it. It’s the connection to the reader made by your story that makes the difference and propels them to read your book – and the next one after that. Rachel generously shares her insights and experiences on this episode of The Self Publishing Formula so be sure to set aside the time to listen.

Building awareness is the most important thing for book marketing

Before you even think about selling books you need to consider how people are going to to get to hear about them. One of the most important parts of book marketing is building awareness that your books even exist. On this episode, Rachel explains how she first got started and how that initial set of experiences influenced her current approach to awareness building. She walks us through some of the foundational elements she puts in place to ensure that it happens across a wide variety of media and social channels.

No best-selling author today attains that status by their writing alone

Many self-published authors these days seem to believe that once they write the book it will somehow magically sell itself. But that’s not the case and it’s something that Rachel discovered early on in her writing career. She says that she didn’t become a best-selling author by writing and expecting sales to follow. She’s taken a very aggressive approach to marketing and selling her books including plenty of social media interaction with fans, building an email list, paid advertising, and other tactics. You can hear how this successful author integrates skilful writing with savvy marketing on this episode of the podcast.

Even self-published authors can use a good agent

It does create a little bit of confusion when you first hear that a best-selling self-published author like Rachel Abbott uses an agent. But it’s not the typical approach to hiring an agent that you’ll find in Rachel’s toolbox. Her agent helps her keep abreast of what is going on in the market that Rachel is trying to write for, serves as a sounding board for the book’s structure, plot developments, themes and much more. You can hear Rachel describe this fascinating twist on the standard author-agent relationship on this episode.

Outline of this great episode

  • [0:24] Update on Mark’s recent webinar with Nick Stephenson.
  • [1:12] How you can be a part of the one on one course beta team.
  • [3:55] A SPF meetup in Florida – September of 2016.
  • [6:05] Introduction of today’s guest: Rachel Abbott.
  • [7:07] How Rachel got into writing.
  • [8:04] What got Rachel into the idea of writing.
  • [10:05] Rachel’s thoughts on writing a book that impacts the reader.
  • [11:27] How Rachel began pursuing publishing.
  • [14:53] The road toward success for Rachel.
  • [15:37] The marketing plan that got her book to best-seller in 4 weeks.
  • [20:19] Rachel’s writing schedule – 1 book per year.
  • [21:40] Rachel’s general advice for those just starting out.
  • [24:50] When Rachel started collecting email addresses.
  • [27:07] Rachel’s launch plan (it’s a massive plan).
  • [29:36] How Rachel uses a publicist.
  • [32:20] The role Rachel’s agent plays in her career development.
  • [35:13] Rachel’s writing routine.
  • [38:56] The tools Rachel uses.
  • [42:04] How Rachel is using Facebook Advertising Boost Post

Resources & Links mentioned in this episode

Rachel Abbott Official Website

BOOK: Only The Innocent

BOOK: Stranger Child

NOVELLA: Nowhere Child

Scrivener

Scapple

BOOK: Kill Me Again

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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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