22 episodes

Six Figure Authors is the show that helps you take your writing career to the next level. Lindsay Buroker, Jo Lallo, and Andrea Pearson are sharing their own insights, as authors who’ve been publishing since the beginning of the e-reader revolution, and they’re also interviewing industry experts and other successful authors to help you figure out what’s working right now.

Six Figure Authors Lindsay Buroker

    • Books

Six Figure Authors is the show that helps you take your writing career to the next level. Lindsay Buroker, Jo Lallo, and Andrea Pearson are sharing their own insights, as authors who’ve been publishing since the beginning of the e-reader revolution, and they’re also interviewing industry experts and other successful authors to help you figure out what’s working right now.

    SFA – 022 Discussing Mark Coker’s (Smashwords) 2020 Indie Author Predictions + Questions and Answers

    SFA – 022 Discussing Mark Coker’s (Smashwords) 2020 Indie Author Predictions + Questions and Answers

    On today’s show, Andrea, Jo, and Lindsay pick out some of the predictions that Mark Coker of Smashwords made in his January post 2020 Publishing Predictions: House of Indie on Fire. They agreed with some of what he said, disagreed with other points, and were a little less doom-and-gloom overall.



    To set the tone, here’s a bit snipped from the article:



    “To my eyes and ears, indies are experiencing increased pain, anxiety, desperation and depression.



    Many bestselling authors from four or five years ago have seen their sales plummet.  Some have cut back production or quit writing altogether to take on a “real” job that pays…



    When I meet an author who’s suffering, they’re often quick to blame themselves for any misfortune.  This year I heard each of the following repeatedly:



    I need to learn how to do better on Amazon ads.



    I need to learn how to do better on Facebook ads.



    I need to find more paid marketing opportunities.



    The above answers are like a moth saying, “I need to fly faster toward the flame.”



    After discussing some of the predictions in the Smashwords article, Lindsay, Andrea, and Jo also answered listener questions on topics such as advertising audiobooks, reviving sales of backlist books, holiday anthologies, and when it makes sense to rework and relaunch an early novel.



    Here are specific questions they went over:



    “Could you cover what goes into making and planning a successful holiday themed anthology?”“My question has to do with newsletters. One of my worries is that I tend to bounce between series when sharing with my newsletter. So I might share one thing for one series one week, then totally pivot to a different series the next. Do you all focus on one series for a set time, or do you also find yourself bouncing between different series? Do think one or the other is more effective? Do you think bouncing back and forth is confusing or a turn-off for readers?”“I would love to know all your thoughts on effective branding. How to achieve that as whimsical story tellers who have to figure out how to best present ourself to the world to sell books when really all we wanna do is hermit and hide.”“Have you ever gone back well after publication and reworked/rewritten some of a novel to improve it? When is it worth the time to do so, given that writing a new book is usually the best use of time. I’m talking more than a new proofread. More of an overhaul.”“Related question: Have you ever pulled a book from the earlier part of your backlist due to sub-par craft of the book? Or would you let it stand as is as an early work.”“My backlist has historically performed very well. In September/October it dropped off quite a bit. None of my books performed the way they had previously. Even newer titles weren’t selling like I would have expected. What tactics work well to keep your backlist lively?”“I’m about to start dabbling in audiobooks. Is there a good platform to advertise those?”



    That’s it for this week’s show. If you have a question, feel free to leave it in the comments. If you want to join us on Facebook, we have a new group there. Search for “Six Figure Authors” or check the show notes for the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/504063143655523/

    • 1 hr 16 min
    SFA 021 – Making a Full-Time Income on One Novel a Year with Romantic Comedy Author Jami Albright

    SFA 021 – Making a Full-Time Income on One Novel a Year with Romantic Comedy Author Jami Albright

    This week, we’re joined by romantic comedy author Jami Albright. She is a born and raised Texas girl, former actress and comedian, and writes the multiple award-winning Brides on the Run series.



    She published the first novel in 2017 and published the fourth in the series last summer. We’re going to be talking to her about how she got off to such a good start and how she continues to sell well enough to make a full-time living on about one book a year.



    Our questions for Jami:



    What took you from stand-up comedy and acting to writing romantic comedy? What are some books or movies that influenced you?Is the romantic comedy category as competitive as it sounds, and were you daunted about jumping into such a big sub-genre of romance?You launched your first two novels in 2017 and did well right from the start. What did that first launch look like and how did you get the ball rolling?How much research did you do into self-publishing and marketing before publishing?Have you always been exclusive with Amazon and in KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited? Do you have a contingency plan in case anything ever happens with that?You have your novels priced at $5.99, which is on the high end for an indie author, especially in romance where there are lots of 99-cent titles. Was that always your price point? What made you choose it?What kind of advertising do you do for book launches these days? How much do you leave running in between books?Since romance readers are known to be voracious and many can devour a book a day (or more), do you get any backlash from readers when you only publish once a year? What marketing tactics have you tried that haven’t worked that well?You rely a lot on Facebook ads – could you tell us what kind of copy and images you use and what works best for you?Are there other advertising or social media platforms that you find beneficial? Aside from Facebook ads, what are your go-to methods for finding new readers?As someone who does author coaching, are there some mistakes from newer authors that you see over and over? What are they?If you were to write in a different genre, how would you go about getting started and launching anew?



    You can visit Jami on her website, where she does some author coaching, and you can get her Brides on the Run series on Amazon. The first book is Running from a Rockstar.



    Jami is also starting a new podcast for authors on the topic of things they wished they’d known when they started — you can visit the site here.



    In the meantime, don’t forget to join our “Six Figure Authors” Facebook group.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    SFA 020 – Mistakes We’ve Learned from and Our Plans for 2020

    SFA 020 – Mistakes We’ve Learned from and Our Plans for 2020

    It’s just Andrea, Jo, and Lindsay on this week’s show. They did a little masterminding with each other in regard to their book plans for 2020 and also shared some of the mistakes they’ve made on their ways to becoming successful authors.



    During the mastermind session, Jo brought up the urban fantasy series he launched in 2019 that didn’t do as well as he’d hoped, and Andrea and Lindsay offered some ideas for a possible relaunch or reinvigoration of it when he goes to put out more installments.



    Andrea brought up all the things she’s thinking of working on in 2020 and wondered where it would be best to focus her efforts (beyond, of course, writing new books). Audiobooks? Kickstarter? Patreon?



    Lindsay talked about her plans for launching a new series in a sub-genre of fantasy she hasn’t written in much before. Andrea and Jo added their ideas for getting it off to a good start.



    In the mistakes section, Andrea, Lindsay, and Jo talked about impatience, making assumptions based on your preferences as an author, and struggling with focus (both in hitting daily writing goals and in planning series). They also talked about failing to plan for success, taking poor advice from so-called professionals in the field, and investing too much time and energy into one book launch.



    They ran out of time to get to listener questions but will do a Q&A show soon.



    If you haven’t joined the Facebook group, you can find it by searching there for “Six Figure Authors” or follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/504063143655523/

    • 1 hr 15 min
    SFA 019 – Killing it on Kickstarter with Loren L. Coleman

    SFA 019 – Killing it on Kickstarter with Loren L. Coleman

    On this week’s show, we chat with science-fiction author and game developer Loren L. Coleman. Through his company, Catalyst Game Labs, he’s run several Kickstarters including campaigns that have funded for over $2.5 million. We asked him a bit about gaming novels and licensing your work to game companies and a whole lot about how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign.



    A few authors have had big success on Kickstarter and lots more have funded small campaigns. If this is something you’ve thought about, you’ll definitely want to check out this episode.



    Here are some of the specifics that we asked Loren:



    Are there still opportunities for authors interested in doing work-for-hire in established gaming worlds that publish novels? How an interested writer goes about getting these kinds of gigs.Are many authors successfully licensing their work to gaming companies so their worlds can be turned into games?Why Loren uses Kickstarter and how it’s helped him grow awareness for his brands and also bring in some nice revenue! Some of the most important things first-time campaign creators need to keep in mind when planning a campaign. And what more seasoned campaign creators need to keep an eye out for.Why it’s important to back and study lots of campaigns in your category before jumping in.Being prepared to “let people into your office” when you run a campaign. Because the various Kickstarter categories have existing fan bases, it’s possible to pick up new people that you didn’t bring to the site yourself.If you’re busy or anticipate getting a lot of backers, you may look into a Kickstarter Manager to help out.Some rough rules for gauging success early: if you don’t fund at least 40% of your goal in the first 48 hours, you’re probably going to struggle to fund, and if you’re over 60%, you’re in good shape and will probably overfund.Why it’s a good idea for new campaign creators to start with a small Kickstarter and what constitutes small. How to use and work stretch goals to your advantage and what kinds of things to offer to incentivize people to bid more and spread the word.Giving away free work (i.e. short stories) early on to get your backers excited.Thoughts on getting more organic reach and being selected to be featured on the platform.Whether authors and other creators need to worry about backlash from people who might think they’re being greedy by asking for assistance on Kickstarter. Loren mentioned Matt Forbeck as an author who’s run several Kickstarters and succeeded each time.



    If you’re interested in more about Loren, you can find him on his personal website, through Catalyst Game Labs, or on Facebook. You can also find Catalyst Game Labs on Twitter.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    SFA 018 – Why Revising Can Be Detrimental, Pantsing Like a Pro, and Moving from Traditional Publishing to Indie with Dean Wesley Smith

    SFA 018 – Why Revising Can Be Detrimental, Pantsing Like a Pro, and Moving from Traditional Publishing to Indie with Dean Wesley Smith

    This week, we interviewed prolific New York Times and USA Today bestselling mystery and science fiction author Dean Wesley Smith.



    Some of the franchises he’s written novels for include Star Trek, X-Men, Smallville, Aliens, Men in Black, and Spider-Man. His most-known mystery series is Cold Poker Gang. He and his wife, author Kristine Kathryn Rusch, teach multiple workshops and courses through their company, WMG Publishing.



    Here are some of the questions we asked Dean:



    You’ve been writing and publishing for a long time and are a big inspiration for many authors. What was your big break when it came to publishing? How did it help prepare you for a lifetime of writing? What made you transition away from traditional publishing and start to publish on your own? Was having a significant traditional career an asset or a liability when it came to getting started as an indie? What was involved with starting WMG Publishing and is there anything authors thinking of transitioning from self-publisher to publishing company should know? What kinds of workshops do you and Kris put on?For authors thinking of doing online courses or workshops to learn the craft side better, do you have any suggestions for vetting the offerings? What makes a good workshop?  When it comes to workshops focused on business versus craft, which do you feel is most important for an aspiring indie author? You have strong feelings about traditional publishing (unless we’re talking about short stories) not being the best route for most authors right now — why?You write into the dark (AKA a “pantser”). What advice do you have for authors who prefer not to outline? Can this help with or would it hinder productivity?Could you talk about some of the dangers or pitfalls in revising and revising your work? If you’re writing into the dark, what do you do when you run into a dead end? For pantser, is the skill learning how to sculpt a story that doesn’t run into a dead end, or learning how to blow a hole in the wall and continue regardless? You’ve been incredibly prolific over the years, but you’ve also dealt with some not-so-fun burn-out phases. How have you handled them? What advice do you have for authors who are dealing with burnout, and how do you avoid it now?You’ve seen a lot of changes in the industry over the years, and I’m sure you’ve seen some authors disappear. Probably a lot of authors. What has allowed you to adapt and keep rolling along and doing this for your day job?There are tons of things that can cause a dip in a career. Sometimes it’s something in the wider publishing world, sometimes it’s something more personal. How do we identify the reason for a downturn in earnings, and are internal vs. external reasons handled differently? You offer a lot of service to authors through online and in-person workshops, your blog, and interviews you give. Basically, you keep yourself incredibly busy. What are the biggest tips you have for authors dealing with crazy schedules who still want to be prolific writers?



    Dean recommended Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five for an example of going in and out of the timeline.



    To find out more about the workshops Kris and Dean put on (craft and business), you can get updates on Dean’s blog: https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/



    That’s it for this week’s show. If you want to join us on Facebook, we have a new group there. Search for “Six Figure Authors” or follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/504063143655523/

    • 1 hr 18 min
    SFA 017 – Selling Ebooks Direct, Growing Your Newsletter with Bonus Content, and Benefits of In-Person Events with Damon Courtney from Bookfunnel

    SFA 017 – Selling Ebooks Direct, Growing Your Newsletter with Bonus Content, and Benefits of In-Person Events with Damon Courtney from Bookfunnel

    For this week’s show, we interviewed Damon Courtney, fantasy author and the founder of BookFunnel, an author service that delivers ebooks to readers. As an author/publisher, you can use them to give away free reader magnets or sell directly from your site. Bookfunnel also lets you deliver up to two-hour audio files, create download codes for promotions, and bundle your ebooks with those of other authors for group promotions. 



    Since Damon sees a lot of data (a lot of what successful authors are doing that’s working), we took this opportunity to ask him about everything from tips for building a newsletter by giving away bonus content, to selling direct, to networking at in-person author events.



    Here are some of the specifics that we went over:



    What kind of bonus content (i.e. prequel novellas, tie-in short stories, second epilogues) is most effective for getting new or existing readers to sign up for a mailing list.Using unique ebook download codes to stick onto business cards or postcards to sell or give away at in-person events. Uses for the (up to) 2-hour audiobook/audio file downloads that Bookfunnel now allows.Reasons authors might want to attend conventions/conferences.The logistics of setting up a store on your website to sell direct.Handling taxes when you sell direct.Bookfunnel can integrate with popular shopping engines such as Shopify and Selz, as well as PayHip and the WordPress plug-in WooCommerce. Keeping 90%+ when selling direct vs. the 35-70% from the stores (especially nice when selling bundles of books for more than $9.99, a price point that only gets you 35% on Amazon).Whether it matters that these direct sales won’t help your sales rankings on Amazon or other stores.Data that’s available that we should be tracking as authors.Using the Facebook pixel on your Bookfunnel landing pages.Damon recommends Tammi Labrecque’s Newsletter Ninja for advice on growing a newsletter and knowing what to say to your subscribers,



    If you’re not a Bookfunnel subscriber yet, it’s fairly inexpensive. You can check out the site here and their blog here.



    Also, if you want to join us on Facebook, we have a new group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/504063143655523/ Please answer the questions, as we’re trying to keep it to listeners of the show. Thanks for listening!

    • 1 hr 17 min

Customer Reviews

jillcflanagan ,

So happy Lindsay is back on a podcast

This is a great podcast so far, with the addition of Andrea Pearson.
It’s full of useful info so far!

Tikiri-Canuck ,

Chock-full of important insights. No in the author should miss this podcast.

I’m really happy Lindsay and the team restarted this podcast. Though I don’t write in sci-fi or fantasy, I always get so many golden nuggets that I feel like I need to pay them just to listen. Thank you for doing what you do, for educating and informing us on the dynamic world of Inde publishing. Thanks also for the inspiration just hearing what you guys are all up to and have achieved. Highly recommended.

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