Episode 150 – Memory Lane, Author Bait, and Newspaper Recognition

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Question of the Week: When did you start listening to The Sell More Books Show? Do any memories stick out as the moment you decided to stick with the show for the long haul? (Also, feel free to add any comedic moments you remember from the past 149 episodes!)

The Big 150 is here, and Jim and Bryan are ready for a trip down memory lane before speeding toward the future. After playing a clip from their first episode, they thanked their patrons Where The Leaves Wither, The Last Days, and The Outline Book. They also covered tips on owning your destiny, learning from the right kind of authors, and balancing your art and your business. News stories included alleged Australian agent hijinks, the end of Samhain Publishing, aggregators baiting new author clients, small publishing house struggles, and a huge feature in The Times for indie authors. This week’s Question of the Week: When did you start listening to The Sell More Books Show? Do any memories stick out as the moment you decided to stick with the show for the long haul? (Also, feel free to add any comedic moments you remember from the past 149 episodes!)
What You’ll Learn:
  • Why writers should be selective when offering content in exchange for exposure
  • What indies should consider before seeking advice from other authors
  • How authors can balance the creative and business sides of their business
  • Why one author is suing her agent for over two million dollars
  • What Romance publisher is closing down their business and why
  • Why authors should ask questions before signing with a small publisher
  • What new improvements Pronoun and Draft2Digital made to their platform
  • How bestselling indies were featured in the London Times and what they said about their success


Question of the Week: When did you start listening to The Sell More Books Show? Do any memories stick out as the moment you decided to stick with the show for the long haul? (Also, feel free to add any comedic moments you remember from the past 149 episodes!)

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  • I started with episode one just before I published my first novel and have listened to all 150. Thank you for delivering the best coverage in the business. Nearly every show, I record a voice memo (or three) to follow up on something. I’d be interested in a count on the following for all 150 shows: How many times “Mahogany-Desk syndrome has been said. How many times Jim has said “at the end of the day.” How many times Bryan has said, “I don’t know.”

    • Bryan

      Wow, that’s amazing, Darren! So happy to have provided you with our newsy content since the very beginning. Haha, didn’t realize “I don’t know” was my thing ;).

      • It’s typically when Jim makes a point, and you counter with “I don’t know…”

        • Bryan

          Sounds about right :).

  • Julie

    I am not sure when I first started listening – about a year ago – but then I listened to a few backlist episodes as well so listened to most of them. I had to laugh when JIm said his favourite news item was ‘number 2’ – love me a bit of scatalogical humour. It was mentioned again today.

    • Bryan

      Very cool, Julie :). Jim loves his scatology, that’s for sure ;). Thanks for listening!

  • Probably been listening since the beginning. My favorite episode is of course 23 and 123 since I am on both 🙂 Except for last week when we found out Jim was ok that is.

    • Bryan

      All three of those were great eps :).

  • I heard about the show on #2 (appropriately), but still started with #1

    • Bryan

      Very appropriate, Roland :).

      • I only had to go back one week, so why not start with #1?

        Since you’re a timely, newsy sorta show, I doubt many would go back too many weeks except to catch up as a loyal reader.

      • I was surprised to hear the sound back then. I don’t recall it ever being bad. Good content ftw.

  • Guys, I first heard about your show on another podcast, when near the end of it, Bryon excitedly mentioned this new podcasting opportunity that he was thinking about doing. Bryon said he had never done a podcast with someone else before and couldn’t believe he was actually going to do it with Jim. The host asked him “How long do you think it will last?” and Bryon said something like, “I don’t know, trying is what matters, and we’re going to have fun doing it.”

    As for the funny thing, every episode when Jim used to hear the recording of “Number 1” he would laugh histerically and break himself up.

    Best Wishes
    It has been fun and helpful.
    JB Wocoski

    • Bryan

      That’s awesome, JB :). So glad you’ve been with us for the long haul!

  • Lavie Margolin

    It wasn’t number one but it was definitely single digits. Joanna Penn gave you guys a shout out early on and I started back from #1 and listened to them all (I didn’t remember the sound being that bad in 2014. At least there aren’t as many food references now)… Now, it is the only publishing podcast I listen to regularly.

    • Bryan

      That’s awesome, Lavie. So glad to have you as a listener for the long haul!

  • Spider McGee

    It was early on, I recall, and I found out there was this podcast about writing. Oh, there were a lot of podcasts about writing, I heard myself say, but this one was different. Seems both guys were into marketing, but one of the guys was in a well. That’s different, I said aloud, and only the cat heard me. I downloaded it immediately and never looked back. In fact, I still haven’t looked back since. I don’t know what the hell’s behind me. IT MIGHT BE A SCARY MONSTER.

    • Bryan

      Spider, you’re in our Top 10 Favorites. And thank goodness we finally got Jim out of that well.

      • Spider McGee

        As they say, all’s well that ends well.

  • Laura Martone

    As you might suspect, my hubby (Dan) started listening to y’all first… So, although plenty of indies have sung your praises since 2014, he’s the main reason I’m a fan. In fact, the Sell More Books Show is the ONLY podcast that I faithfully listen to every week. I love you both – and appreciate all you do to promote indie publishing. And because there’s so much info out there – and so little time in the day – you make it so easy to know what’s going on! As for favorite comedic moments, that’s a tough one – there have been so many! I love your ongoing battle over the sound effects (which, sorry, Bryan, I think are awesome). I chuckle whenever Jim brusquely cuts to the next news tip (hey, someone has to keep you two on track). And every time y’all mention mahogany desk syndrome, I chuckle a bit. Aw, those naïve trad publishers, such misguided little cuties – in dire need of some Publicil!

    • Bryan

      Jim LOVES cutting to the next news story. He’s saved us all hundreds of hours of me waffling. Thanks Laura (& Dan) for your support!!

  • A couple corrections from this week’s episode:

    1) Pronoun.com passes all earnings through to authors–they do not take a cut. (They however do hold earnings for about two months after the month ends that the sale takes place.)

    2) There is a company/service that is taking things farther than Amazon: Pronoun.com. Pronoun’s royalties (at least for the U.S.) ARE BETTER THAN AMAZON’S. The ‘Zon pays 35% royalty for books sold in the $0.99 – $2.98 range, 70% in the $2.99 – $9.99 range, and 35% above $9.99. Pronoun pays 70% for books $0.99 – $9.99, and 65% for books above $9.99.

    Caveat: I don’t believe you can publish through Pronoun.com and enroll in KDP Select, or control international pricing as granular as in Amazon.com.

    Takeaway: If your books are outside the $2.99 – $9.99 range and you don’t want to use KDP Select, then publishing through Pronoun.com and distributing to Amazon might be a great option.

    Disclaimer: I don’t work for Pronoun.com or whoever owns them. I actually wrote a blog post on the 10th about how I was unlikely to publish the books in my series through Pronoun.com (but I added that I will likely publish a box set, later on through them): https://mlorrox.com/2017/02/pronoun-com-just-made-big-announcement/

    Pronoun.com royalty info: http://support.pronoun.com/knowledge_base/topics/what-are-pronouns-royalty-rates
    Amazon.com royalty info: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A301WJ6XCJ8KW0

    • Bryan

      Hey M, thanks for the great info about Pronoun. Very helpful!

  • I came to your show somewhere around episode 25. Those were the early days of me listening to podcasts and you gave me the current news with regards to the publishing trends when none of the others did.

    • Bryan

      Very nice, Edwin. We’re glad to have given you helpful news for all this time!

  • Timothy Lewis

    M.Lorrox is right – Pronoun don’t take a cut and they actually have a publishing agreement with Amazon, meaning they get better terms than you get with KDP (the publishers don’t generally have the silly rules regarding royalties above 9.99 and below 2.99). Their business model doesn’t currently make much sense. I interviewed a guy from Pronoun for my podcast and even he admitted they are still working out their business model. My guess is that they are trying to mine data from eBooks on their platform for use for MacMillan to see what sells well on Amazon. Or they just don’t know what they are doing.

    The other thing I would point out is that there are two big European companies in the aggregator space – Streetlib and PublishDrive that are strongly competitive to Pronoun, Draft2Digital and Smashwords and may be shaking up the market a bit. They both let you get into Google Play (even now) and have reach in terms of stores in Europe and South America that the other eBook aggregators don’t.

    • Bryan

      Good to know, Timothy! My money is on the data mining. Good to know about Streetlib and PublishDrive. We’ll have to check those out!

  • Honoree Corder

    Congrats on 150!! I started listening about 20 episodes in, went back and got caught up, and have been a loyal listener ever since! Even as I’ve stopped listening to other shows, I make sure to keep up with yours so I always know what’s happening. Honored to have also been a guest on the show, thank you. 🙂 Cheers to many more!

    • Bryan

      Happy to have you as both a listener and an occasional contributor, Honoree!

  • Congrats on 150! I am a fairly recent listener – The first time I heard about the show was when Bryan was on Simon’s podcast. The show seemed cool and the information was good so I continued listening and here I am XD

    (I really like the QOTW, even if I don’t answer most of the time)

    • Bryan

      Thanks, Eustacia! Good to know my outreach helped :). We appreciate having you as a listener!

  • Congrats on this milestone! You had me hooked from the very first episode I listened to, around 20-something. I went back to the first show and haven’t missed any since. Love the updated news, your opinions and your quirky sense of humor. Keep up the good work!

    • Bryan

      Thanks, Kathy! Very glad you like our news AND our humor ;).

  • MBB

    Congrats on #150! This show was my first. 🙂 Joanna Penn mentioned she listened to your podcast so I jumped over to try it out. I liked it, so I’m subscribing. (That way I’ll be in the know for episode #300.) 🙂

    • Bryan

      Oh wow, MBB! Welcome to the show!! Can’t wait to share #151-300 with you :).

  • Blaine Moore

    I’m not sure when I started listening, I think around 15-20 episodes in? I heard about the show when it started up, and once I did start listening I listened from the beginning on, so definitely heard them all. I recently purged a lot of shows off my podcast app, and yours is one that stayed, though I find that I’m usually 2-3 weeks behind and catching up. I’ve been spending more time on audiobooks so between books I will usually spend a few days catching up on whatever has collected in my app before starting the next book.

    • Bryan

      We’re honored to stay on your app, Blaine :). Thanks for keeping up with us!