Writing Serial Fiction And Collaborative Writing With David Wright

Writing serial fiction and collaboration with other authors are things I haven’t experienced myself, so I’m thrilled to interview author David Wright today.

In the intro, I talk about winning The Guardian Top 100 Creative Professionals 2013, as well as a little about my plans to play a bigger game as a public speaker in 2014, and some upcoming changes for this site.

kobo writing lifeThe podcast is sponsored by Kobo Writing Life, which helps authors self-publish and reach readers in global markets through the Kobo eco-system. You can also subscribe to the Kobo Writing Life podcast for interviews with successful indie authors.

david wrightDavid Wright is the co-author of dark horror fiction with Sean Platt, including the series Yesterday’s Gone, Z2134 and Whitespace. He also draws the comic strip Todd and Penguin, as well as being one third of the Self Publishing Podcast (nsfw). You can watch the video on YouTube here, or listen above or through the podcast feed.

  • Dave has always alternated between writing and drawing, as a way of escape. He was a journalist and editorial cartoonist, and that job taught him to write thousands of words per day to deadline.
  • How Dave’s visual art and comic writing experience helps him write great fiction scenes
  • Why we write dark fiction about the things that scare us. Dave shares his fears about being a parent.
  • Influences on Dave’s work, in terms of comics and fiction
  • We talk about the renaissance of graphic novels and comics. There’s never been a better time to be a writer or artist!
  • What serialized fiction is and how the technology works for Amazon Serials vs what’s available for indies right now. The books are in episodes which are collected in Seasons, the model being TV shows.
  • On collaborative writing with Sean Platt. How they got started, and how their personalities complement each other. Dave’s recommendations for authors wanting to try collaboration, and how to leave the ego behind.
  • Why blogging is great for connection, learning from other authors and potential opportunities
  • What Dave would love to write, as an ultimate goal
  • On the Self-Publishing Podcast [which I highly recommend, although it is not safe for work and the humor can be a little puerile David Wright booksat times!] Johnny B Truant, Sean Platt and Dave share their journey as self-published authors, and I certainly learn from the shows, and it’s probably the only show I always listen to. The show has a book out on Dec 5, Write, Publish, Repeat, containing all their lessons learned, and more detail on writing fast as well as writing serials and more. Keep an eye out at the SPP show and I’ll also be blogging about it in Dec.

You can find Dave at his site DavidWWright.com as well as at CollectiveInkwell.com and SelfPublishingPodcast.com

Check out Yesterday’s Gone Episode 1 here

Please do leave any comments or questions below.


Serial Fiction With Author Entrepreneur Sean Platt

Let’s get excited about indie publishing serialized fiction! In this exuberant interview, Sean Platt talks about the publishing and marketing lessons learned from serial fiction project Yesterday’s Gone. I really appreciate his positive approach and ‘can-do’ attitude so I hope you enjoy it.

In the intro, I talk about writing in the London Library as well as cutting 20,000 words from Prophecy and how I’m coping with life as a full-time author-entrepreneur.

Sean Platt is a prolific author, copywriter, publisher and online entrepreneur. He has written business and writing books, children’s books and also co-authored the recent Amazon bestselling Yesterday’s Gone, a serialized post-apocalyptic thriller. [Video at the bottom if you prefer that!]

  • Sean & his co-author love serialized content in terms of TV – “good junkie” TV series like Lost which drag people in and keep them hooked. The grand openings and the endings that make you desperate for the next episode. As writers, that’s what they wanted to achieve.
  • As publishers, they want to hit the same type of numbers as Hocking, Locke, Konrath etc and to do that you need to have multiple titles in the same niche. Now their model is to create a lot of great books available for low prices. Serializing . It’s fiction with a funnel. All the things Sean has learned as an information marketer he is now applying to fiction.
  • The pilot grabs you and they made this free to hook people in. You can do this by making it free on Smashwords and it trickles through to Amazon. This only works if you put out the very best and it over delivers. It’s got to be your best work as people are paying for it with their time, if not their money.
  • If you wouldn’t charge for it, it’s not worth being free. You also have to have somewhere for them to go if it’s free e.g. a sequel or another book to buy. You waste your time unless there is a return.
  • I mention CJ Lyons who also blogged here about ‘free’
  • Using episodes as Kindle & print books as well as putting it into a Series book with 6 episodes. Some people want to buy in episodes and others will buy in the series.
  • Writing fast and with quality. Sean is a retired ghostwriter so he learned to write fast as time was money. Writing fast enables your true voice to emerge as you don’t self-censure so much. You can find flow that way. The quality doesn’t decay.
  • Sean postulates that taking writing classes slows people down as instinct is un-taught. Writing based on what you love and your passion rather than what you are taught at school means you can be freer in your expression. You can edit a lot but the basic first draft is very fast if you write this way.
  • As a self-publisher you can’t put out anything that isn’t your absolute best.
  • The gatekeepers are now the customer, not the publisher. This is great because it’s easier to speak to those people. You also need ‘to work your face off’. We use the example of Stephen King who works extremely hard and puts out books people love year after year.
  • There is no writer’s block. It’s procrastination!
  • On book marketing. Sean has been everywhere in the last 4-6 weeks including some massive blogs. He has been online for a good few years so he has a network that he could tap into. He knew he had no fiction readers so he aimed for the influencers. This has created an audience for the fiction so next time he can market to them specifically. You have to do this for a first book but the 2nd would be done differently.
  • What really helped was being free on Amazon as they peaked at #1 on Horror (although it’s not really Horror) and that spilled into sales of the other episodes. But it’s only worth being free if you have a load of great reviews already. You have to have the social proof. You can’t game Amazon. Write for the readers.
  • For the next book, Sean is looking at actual mainstream media to get rid of the final stigma of self-publishing. It is fair as self-pub needs to earn it’s way. A lot of it is crap and it is different. We need to earn respect. We’re legitimizing it. He is focusing on getting a great quote as well as book reviews. The online network is now leveraged, it needs to more into another game. It’s proved in the market place with sales and reviews so they are able to approach people with some evidence.
  • The best way to market is to create more content once you have started the ball rolling.

You can buy Yesterday’s Gone at Amazon here. If you like Lost and Stephen King, it might be your thing!

You can find Sean’s site for writers GhostwriterDad here and you can find him on Twitter @seanplatt

Please do let me know what you think in the comments below. Thank you!