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is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date.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
In this interview, Erin Eber from PUBSLUSH Press interviews me about publishing and book marketing.
You can watch the video below or on YouTube here. There's also an audio below the video and text highlights. It was recorded back in mid January and my book sales are over 35,000 now.
PUBSLUSH Press is a full service publisher using crowd-funding to let readers decide what books get published.Best of all, for every book sold, a book is donated to a child in need.
Audio version => JoannaPennPubslush.mp3
In the interview, we discuss:
- How I decided between traditional and independent publishing for my first non-fiction book, and how I have never queried my novels. Indie as a positive choice, not a last resort. My models are indies who have made decisions to go hybrid/blended or have got deals on the back of indie success. A positive attitude and proving yourself first is a way to a deal. I mention CJ Lyons, NY Times bestselling author as a hybrid (and you can check out our multimedia courses here)
- On selling books through the traditional publishing model vs indie. First time novelists don't have a very strong position in the market. Indie is all about empowerment and puts you in a stronger position.
- What role do authors play in their own promotion? We definitely have to do it ourselves but it's not just indies, authors in traditional publishing have to do this as well. How Amanda Hocking got a book deal so she could just write but as I spoke, she was in London on a book tour doing promotion. You are the best person to promote your book as you care and you know the details. People will have to make the time to do this. Hopefully you will enjoy the promotion once you get started. The myth of the launch process vs wave promotions over time.
- The biggest issues I had with self-publishing. I talk more about this in this article => 7 worst mistakes of indie authors
- What is the best thing a new author can do in terms of internet marketing? Focus on your home on the internet, then on getting people to that. Then you need a list building mechanism so you can capture emails from interested readers. It's also critical to get book reviews.
- Long term plans for The Creative Penn? My life is split into two: J.F.Penn, thriller writer and Joanna Penn, The Creative Penn, speaker, blogger, educator. Managing the creative side vs being an entrepreneur. How I diarize days for fiction vs the entrepreneurial side. Wearing the many hats of an author these days. Using professionals and paying other people for services.
- On marketing Prophecy. My obsession with religion, art history and psychology and how these things interact in my novels. More on the launch process. How I'm re-marketing Pentecost in order to hook people into the series. Paid promotion and KDP Select here.
- My own reading for pleasure. I don't think people know who is traditionally published and who is indie anymore, as long as the books are quality. I mention Martin Lastrapes Inside the Outside, and Ali Luke Lycopolis.
- Pleasing our customers – readers – is critical for commercial success. So if you want to sell books, write in a genre and fulfill expectations of the customers. Traditional publishing is a business as well, and will only pick up books that they think will sell. As an indie, we have more creative potential.
- Crowd-funding. Erin mentions the interview with Jim Kukral that you can watch/listen to here. Also, check out the Order of the Stick crowd funding project which raised over $1.2 million for a self-publishing project.
- The wild west of publishing in the next few years!
Please do leave your comments and questions on publishing and marketing below.