Episode 34 – Dreams, Shots and Kobo Kool-Aid

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In our special Thanksgiving episode, we discussed a trio of tips on choosing your target audience, taking advantage of Cyber Monday, and getting your book featured on WattPad. Bryan also talked about his recent success on Kobo. The news stories for episode 34 included Lindsay Buroker’s new pen name launch, HarperCollins’ new airplane partnership, researching your way to self-publishing success, the hill many authors may have to climb, and Steve Scott’s third quarter earnings. We also expressed our thanks for you wonderful listeners out there. Our two part Question of the Week: Do you think exponential sales growth is over for indie authors? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?
What You’ll Learn:
  • How Bryan significantly increased his sales on Kobo
  • Why you should target one reader instead of a group
  • What you can do to take advantage of Cyber Monday
  • How to apply to be featured on WattPad
  • The details of Lindsay Buroker’s new pen name launch
  • Why you might soon be able to download bestselling books on planes
  • The way that some authors look at the self-publishing procedure
  • Why Mark Coker thinks the golden age of indie publishing is through
  • The lessons Steve Scott learned from his latest quarter
  • What Bryan and Jim are thankful for this holiday season
Question of the Week: Do you think exponential sales growth is over for indie authors? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?

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  • Pete Bauer

    I think ebook sales are far from stagnate. There are a number of markets that have yet to tap into the ebook arena effectively. Apple and Google/Android devices have just started to scratch the surface. Plus, as reading on phones becomes more prevalent, growth is inevitable. Also, the rest of the world is years behind the U.S. in ebook/independent publishing. As they get on board, sales potential can only improve.

    Best Thanksgiving food? Homemade mashed potatoes with a deep pool of gravy in the middle 🙂

    • Bryan

      Good points, Pete! Mmm, gravy :).

  • I agree with Pete. Just because Amazon’s sales are slacking (insofar as my own books are concerned, as many other authors I have heard about) doesn’t mean ebooks are over with. I read my very first ebook on a phone, not a Kindle or Nook. With Barnes & Noble Stores doing a Black Friday doorbuster of $129.99 Galaxy 4 Tablets for Nook, as well as Apple now including their book reading apps in their operating systems, and Google Play’s revamp of their app for books, I can easily see more downloads from these sources in the near future.
    I love stuffing and cranberry sauce. Thanksgiving isn’t the same without them.

    • Bryan

      Thanks, S.B. I would love it if Nook Press turned things around, and if Apple made a push. I agree with Jim that Google Play could do some great things if it really wanted to.

      Oh yeah, stuffing and cranberry sauce are amazing :).

  • Kobo told authors how to get featured on their site last year on their blog, Kobo Writing Life:

    • Bryan

      Ooh, thanks for the link, Rachel!

  • Honoree Corder

    Brian — loved the “Kobo Koolaid” comment!

    QofW: I think exponential growth is available for any indie author who continues to write great books, feed their marketing machine, interact with readers, add subscribers to their list, and network with other indie authors to discover and share best practices. While channels may evolve and change, ultimately our futures are up to us. Clearly, I’m an optimist {see book title, below}. 🙂

    Thanksgiving food: I live for the pumpkin pie, of course!

    Author, Vision to Reality + a dozen other titles …

    Love listening to your show, I always learn so much, laugh out loud at least twice, and look forward to the next episode. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Thanks for listening! We try to keep it informative, and fun. :0

      • Honoree Corder


        I am in receipt of your email (thank you!), and it has been forwarded to my new email address: Honoree@HonoreeCorder.com. Kindly update your records, as this email will stop working very soon. To your success! Honorée Corder
        Best-Selling Author * CEO,  Honorée Enterprises & Honorée Enterprises Publishing :: This email is off the record {blogs and tweets too} unless we agree otherwise. ::

      • Honoree Corder


        I am in receipt of your email – thank you! I’m out of the office until 12/1 and will respond after I return from the Thanksgiving. To your success! Honorée Corder
        Best-Selling Author * CEO,  Honorée Enterprises & Honorée Enterprises Publishing :: This email is off the record {blogs and tweets too} unless we agree otherwise. ::

    • Bryan

      Thanks, Honoree! Our futures are definitely up to us! Good line ;).

      Happy Thanksgiving to you as well :).

  • Michael La Ronn

    I don’t think we’ve seen the end of ebooks yet, but I do think that Coker makes a valid point in saying that it’s going to get harder. The market is maturing, and it’s definitely going to be harder to get noticed. Keep up your thick skin, everyone!

    Favorite food: turkey!

    • Bryan

      Mmm, thick turkey skin! 🙂 Thanks, Michael.

  • I just want to say thanks for making a great show, and keeping it clean so I can listen to you in front of my kids. I’m a fairly new listener, so I’ve been binge listening as I clean the house, drive to work, and wash dishes. My biggest takeaway so far is to just keeping writing and publishing my best stuff, be persistent, and not give up. Thanks for that! I’m not the smartest kid on the block, but I CAN work hard and keep on keeping on.

    • You’re welcome. Thanks for listening.

  • Interesting show as always!
    Considering all the flak I get for short stories, I don’t think everyone has ADD and people who LOVE to read fiction want to immerse themselves in a long book. Instant gratification as far as obtaining the book doesn’t necessarily translate into wanting the books to be short.
    Even the Boys who pioneered the writing of series have been consolidating them.

    I’m not sure of the distant future— who knows what that will bring—-but in the future I can see and deal with I still get the demand for loooooong novels.

    • Bryan

      Good points, Alyne. Thanks! 🙂

  • Mashed potatoes with gravy. Thank you for the turkey!

  • Perry Constantine

    Not sure if exponential sales growth is over, but I do think Jim’s right and the trend will shift to shorter stuff. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part, since I write shorter stuff and am planning to do more serials in the future.

    For Thanksgiving food, we don’t have Thanksgiving here in Japan and turkeys have to be special-ordered, so I do miss out on that.

  • Is exponential growth still possible? I think
    anything is possible for authors willing to do consistent hard work. One thing
    we can count on is nothing in the publishing world will remain the same. It
    will continue to change and evolve and authors/publishers will have to keep
    their eyes open for opportunities and be willing to adapt to advance their
    careers and businesses. If you remain stagnant, guaranteed you will fail.
    Change may be difficult, but instead of resisting, find ways to use it to your
    advantage. Favorite Thanksgiving food: Cranberry sauce and stuffing. Happy
    Thanksgiving! I learn so much from your guys. Thank you!

  • I’m with Jim on micro-fiction. I’m building a micro-fiction portfolio at http://www.live-fiction.com. I’ve written fourteen 10,000 word stand alone stories, and now I’m working on putting together some themed bundles of those stories (5 to 7 of them in each bundle) – then will target the bundles to different audiences. Each story is also available in free audio on live-fiction podcast.

    • Bryan

      Very cool, you’ll have to let us know what kind of response you get!

  • I think that exponential sales growth for the US market is slowing down, but the global market is opening up (just ask Joanna Penn). I believe that the successful indie author of the future is one that’s focusing on the global market instead of just the Amazon market.

    And as for my favorite Thanksgiving Food… asparagus! So much so that my mother in law got me an asparagus tshirt

    • Bryan

      I like asparagus too, Chrishaun! Awesome shirt 🙂

  • Just found you guys for the first time…and I’m listening as I Illustrate children’s books for clients…and I think this has to be one of the best podcasts I’ve heard in years. Years!

    Appreciate you gents. Been self-publishing for 12 years, but it’s nice to have the tips to fine tune and improve!!

    Instant fan here.


    • Bryan

      Welcome, Jaime!