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SPF-134: A Successful Author Mindset – with Adam Croft


Three-peat guest, and bestselling author, Adam Croft shares his thoughts on how important the correct mindset is for authors, and how the right approach can have a positive affect on a writer’s career and business.

This week’s highlights include:

  • Adam’s thoughts on the current effectiveness of Facebook ads
  • The pros and cons of selling book rights to a trad publisher
  • On the root origin of many of the questions authors ask Adam
  • Using data, and business sense, to invest in an author career
  • The three types of mindsets author require to succeed
  • Changing our thinking to get different results
  • On the challenges of working at home and being your own boss

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

SPF EPISODE 60: Dragon Dictation with Scott Baker

BBC BREAKFAST: Mark Dawson sits down with the BBC One breakfast show to discuss Salisbury, spies and writing that is influenced by current events.

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SPF-132: ThrillerFest 2018 New York Stories Part 3 – with Lee Child, David Morrell, Alan Jacobson & Lexi Blake


In the final part of our three-part series of interviews from ThrillerFest 2018, James talks to prolific hybrid romance author Lexi Blake, Rambo’s father David Morrell, USA Today best-selling author Alan Jacobson, and, last but not least, megastar thriller author Lee Child.

This week’s highlights include:

  • On the status of traditional publishing with Lexi Blake
  • Lexi’s strengths and weaknesses as a hybrid author
  • Working with a photographer for custom covers
  • On Lexi’s relationship with her readers
  • The importance for authors of patience and discipline
  • Alan Jacobson on writing what you know, and also educating yourself about what you don’t know
  • Why authenticity matters in Alan’s writing
  • Choosing between having a feature film or a limited TV series made of your work
  • On being a co-producer for the televised version of Alan’s Karen Vail series
  • The origins of the Rambo story with the book’s author David Morrell
  • Why it took four film studios and 26 scripts to get Rambo on screen
  • Writing authentically about the Victorian era
  • The importance for an author to continue growing, learning, developing
  • Lee Child on reader feedback and how the reader creates the book as much as the writer does
  • On continuing to enjoy the writing process after mega success
  • Lee Child’s thoughts in the indie author movement and what it means to publishing

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

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SPF-131: ThrillerFest 2018 New York Stories Part 2 – with Lynda La Plante, Jon Land & Michael Byars Lewis


In the second part of our series of interviews from ThrillerFest 2018, James talks to legendary television producer and writer Lynda La Plante (Prime Suspect and Widows), author of the next iteration of the Murder, She Wrote series Jon Land, and former combat pilot turned thriller author Michael Byars Lewis.

This week’s highlights include:

  • Mike Lewis on building relationships at conferences
  • Jon Land on picking up the Murder She Wrote franchise
  • Bringing Jessica Fletcher into the present day
  • The advantages to readers when authors have choices about how to publish
  • Lynda La Plante on doing research for her novels
  • The inspirational female police officer behind Prime Suspect
  • The luck and skill involved in Lynda’s writing career

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

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SPF-130: ThrillerFest 2018 New York Stories Part 1 – with Karin Slaughter, Peter James & J.D. Barker


In the first of a 3-part series devoted to this year’s Thrillerfest in NYC, we catch up with some stellar names who attended the event including bestselling thriller authors Karin Slaughter & Peter James as well as horror writer J.D. Barker.

This Week’s Highlights Include:

  • On collaboration with James Patterson, including taking a call from him in the middle of the podcast
  • How JD’s experience working as a book doctor helped his writing
  • On sending clean manuscripts to trad publishers
  • Working from Bram Stoker’s original notes to write a new Dracula novel
  • Guerrilla marketing with JD’s first book
  • On new authors weighing the pros and cons of trad vs. indie publishing
  • Making sure your book is as good as it can be before releasing it
  • The benefits of a conference appearance for authors like Peter James and Karin Slaughter
  • Peter’s VERY early entry into ebooks in 1994 and his thoughts on the book market now
  • Tips on writing a gripping mystery
  • Karin Slaughter’s tips for authors signing contracts with trad publishing houses
  • Writing a better book each time, even after 30 years

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

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SPF-129: How to Self-Publish & Market a Children’s Book – Part 2 – with Karen Inglis


In the second and final part of our series on self publishing children’s books, author Karen Inglis explains how her experiences have allowed her to help other writers in the same space market their books.

This week’s highlights include:

  • The challenges authors face when their readers aren’t the people buying their books
  • Karen’s experience with Facebook ads for children’s books
  • Other advertising and marketing efforts that have worked for Karen
  • Strategies for school talks as marketing tools
  • How Karen structures a reading for children, including slides and questions
  • Tips for children’s authors needing reviews
  • Why it’s often important for children’s authors to have physical stock of their books

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Karen’s marketing book for authors of children’s books

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

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SPF-127: BookLab #2 – with Helena Halme


In this second BookLab edition, author of Nordic fiction, Helena Halme, receives the professional feedback treatment from industry pros.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

RESOURCE: Episode PDF is available here.

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SPF-125: The Power of Focus – with Kam Knight


This Week's Handout

FOCUS TIPS PDF

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Non-fiction author Kam Knight shares his experiences being a self-published author writing from the road while he traveled the world.

This week’s highlights include:

  • James and Mark update us on the Cockygate podcast episodes alluded to last week
  • On Kam’s early love of traveling
  • Dealing with imposter syndrome whether traveling or writing
  • Writing on the road and living the digital nomad lifestyle
  • The power of concentration and how it can assist our writing
  • The freedom and choices one can make as a self-published author-entrepreneur

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

RESOURCE: Kam has prepared an information sheet about the importance of focus

Our Ads for Authors course is still open for business here.

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SPF-124: Novel Adaptation – Turning Books into Screenplays with Paul FitzSimons


This Week's Handout

SCREENWRITING TIPS PDF AND COURSE DISCOUNT

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Novelist, screenwriter and playwright Paul FitzSimons talks to James about his writing career so far, including adapting screenplays and producing independent films.

This week’s highlights include:

  • The winding path of Paul’s screenwriting and writing for television
  • Financing an independent film
  • Dealing with rejection from trad publishers
  • The skills necessary to transition from writing books to writing for the screen
  • Being creative while following screenwriting rules
  • Writing well-developed characters for the screen
  • Enjoying the interpretation of your words by others in the creative filmmaking team
  • The pitfalls of adapting a novel for the screen

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

WORKSHEET AND COUPON: Paul has prepared a worksheet on screenwriting which you can access here.  This includes a coupon code for his ‘Screenwriting From Your Sofa’ course.

Our Ads for Authors course is still open for business here.

FREE LIVE SPF WEBINAR! on Monday 18th June – Mark explains how to use Facebook ads to build your list and boost book sales. Spots are limited but you can sign up for it here.

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SPF-122: The Self Publishing Retirement Windfall – with David Penny


Retiree David Penny talks about his return to writing after a thirty-five year hiatus and shares his strategy for making a mid-five-figures per year income from his very niche historical mysteries.

This week’s highlights include:

  • Getting back to writing after a decades long absence
  • Writing what we love to read
  • Being our own best audience
  • Making a good living writing and selling books
  • Focusing on one niche so that targeting becomes easier
  • The importance of a lookalike audience

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The SPF Foundation

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

ADS FOR AUTHORS COURSE: The Ads for Authors course is open again for a short enrollment window.

AUTHOR SUPPORT: The Alliance of Independent Authors

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SPF-120: Masterclass: Facebook Changes and What They Mean for Authors – with Mark Dawson


Mark and James discuss up-to-the-minute news concerning the Facebook advertising platform and how recent changes affect authors.

This week’s highlights include:

  • On the end of the Power Editor
  • On the reduced reach of Facebook posts
  • Ways to adapt to these changes including using groups, not pages
  • Engagement campaigns rather than lead generation
  • How testing older strategies once again sometimes works
  • Reasons not to panic about Facebook ads
  • Updated info about GDPR and lead gen ads
  • Announcement about the launch date for the next Ads for Authors enrollment period
  • Mark’s command of his robot vacuum cleaner army using Alexa

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The SPF Foundation

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

SPF RESOURCES: The GPDR information sheets SPF has put together.

COOKIE BAR AND PRIVACY POLICY: SPF community member Kevin Partner has generously put together a video for WordPress website owners explaining how to add a Cookie bar and privacy policy to their websites, all while raising money for SPF friend Tommy Donbavand in his fight against cancer. More info here in the pinned post at the top of the news feed.

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SPF-111: BookLab – with David F. Berens


This Week's Handout

BookLab Feedback Summary PDF

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In this first episode of the BookLab, author David Berens gets professional feedback on his cover, book blurb and Look Inside content from industry experts (and SPF friends) cover designer Stuart Bache, copywriter Bryan Cohen, and editor Jenny Parrott.

This week’s highlights include:

  • Suggestions from cover designer Stuart Bache about font, colour, author name placement and prominence
  • Tips from Bryan Cohen about the book blurb, including focusing on the main genre first.
  • Also the importance of looking at the book’s plot and central conflict for a catchy blurb
  • Editorial suggestions from Jenny Parrot about the importance of the opening scene of a book
  • Remembering to populate your author bio on Amazon in the different territories (UK, US, etc.)

Resources mentioned in this episode:

FREE DOWNLOAD: Here’s the companion PDF of this episode

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

TRAINING: SPF 101 Course enrollment window extended to March 28. Learn more.

COVER DESIGN TRAINING: Don’t forget the cover design training course with Stuart Bache is still available here.

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