Podcast: Tips for Sci-Fi and Fantasy Authors from Philippa Ballantine, Chris Lester and J. Daniel Sawyer

    Categories: Writing

OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn

It is podcast mania this week! I am delighted to have these 3 sci-fi/fantasy authors on the show as all of them release their next podcast novels on 11 November. What does this mean for you? 3 brand new podcast novels to listen to – PLUS top tips on how to write sci-fi/fantasy novels in time for NaNoWriMo!

Philippa Ballantine releases ‘Digital Magic’. Chris Lester releases ‘Metamor City: Things Unseen’ and J. Daniel Sawyer releases ‘The Antithesis Progression‘.

In this podcast, you will learn:

  • Who each of these podcast novelists are, what they have written and what they are releasing on November 11
  • The “triple-threat push” is a way to release 3 books on the same day and use cross-promotion to get a great audience for these novels
  • Podcasting is a great way to promote your books. There is so much text available on the internet that having an audio/podcast helps you stand out. The “first wave” podcasters like Tee Morris and Scott Sigler were getting more attention than a new/midlist author, so others joined in.
  • Podcasting creates fantastic interactivity with the audience. Feedback from fans is almost instantaneous so authors can find out whether there is an audience and what they think.
  • Podcasting is a marketing laboratory. Thousands of hours of market research vs. a by product of marketing your own podcast fiction
  • Podcasting is lots of fun! Full casts, composers, sound effects – quite the audible movie! Great for the community, you get to work with other podcasters as voice talents
  • How podcasting has helped with Pip’s publishing journey, by boosting her audience and evidence of numbers (listen to the full podcast with Pip here)
  • You don’t have to be incredibly technical to be a podcaster. Check out Podcasting for Dummies, or read columns on Podiorackets blog for bare minimum of technical knowledge so you are not too frustrated.
  • What the new novels are about: ‘The Anthithesis Progression’ is a spy thriller in revolutionary world, the war begins (check out the trailers at the end of the podcast). Metamor City is Bladerunner meets High Fantasy, technology synthisizing with magic. Digital Magic is the story of a fey stuck in the modern world, a cyber-punk fairy story.
  • Tips for writing sci-fi / fantasy for NaNoWriMo
  • The importance of research. World building setup – physics/magic. Do not violate your internal rules. You must keep the integrity of the world you are creating.
  • “You are allowed to suck” from Mur Lafferty (interviewed here) .
  • Stories are about people. It doesn’t matter what world they are in, you still need to have good, interesting, colourful characters. Real people with real, interesting problems. Don’t reduce people to cardboard stereotypes.
  • Mine history ruthlessly. Reading a lot and finding out quirks in societies and cultures adds depth to your writing.
  • A discussion on “Great writers steal” T.S Eliot. Standing on the shoulders of giants and finding ideas/inspiration for your work (not plagiarism!)
  • Movies and TV shows for sci-fi are more popular with special effects now. Visual writing is good to do anyway, and if there are film/TV rights, all the better! Keep an eye on the possible adaptation as film rights options can bring in the money.
  • Some recommendations for more sci-fi / fantasy information for writers: Podiobooks.com has many speculative fiction authors. io9 is a great sci-fi blog, and you can also pick an author you like and then jump onto their blogroll or listen to the promos in their podcast.
  • Listen to the trailers at the end of the podcast (Link to Pip’s to come soon)

You can find Philippa Ballantine at DigitalMagicNovel.com and on Twitter @philippajane

Chris Lester at MetamorCity.com and on Twitter @etherius

Dan Sawyer at JDSawyer.net and on Twitter @dsawyer

Remember to go get the first episodes from their websites or iTunes – available now!

Joanna Penn :

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