Episode 38 – Serial, Macmillan and Rights

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Jim and Bryan’s ho-ho-holiday episode of SMBS touched upon the popular podcast Serial, the big boost adults buying YA gave the industry, Macmillan’s deal with Amazon, Konrath dropping out of KU, and what trad pubs learned in 2014. They also touched upon social media tips, the path to a bestseller, and mistakes that hold indie authors back. The Question of the Week: What book do you want for Christmas and why?
What You’ll Learn: 
  • How the biggest authors use social media for promotion
  • Why publishers have the bestseller formula wrong
  • Five mistakes that hold self-published authors back
  • Why Serial has been such a popular podcast story
  • How YA books kept trad pubs afloat in 2014
  • What Macmillan’s deal with Amazon means for its authors
  • Why Joe Konrath dropped out of KU
  • What trad pubs learned in 2014
Question of the Week: What book do you want for Christmas and why?

get show updates

  • Merry XXXmas! Happy Festivus! I’m actually trying to figure out what book(s) I want for Christmas right now, as I won a $25 Amazon gift card recently, and it’s burning a hole in my virtual pocket. I already bought Amanda Palmer’s book, The Art of Asking, which I would definitely recommend… hopefully some other commenters will offer good suggestions. Otherwise I will most likely stock up on more marketing books for the new year.

    In the meantime, I love the idea of a “Who Wants to Be a Bestseller?” gameshow. That’d be a good outlet for Jim’s sound effects, too! ;D

    • Bryan

      Yay marketing books! Haha, glad you like the game show idea :). Happy holidays!

  • Crissy Moss

    Niel Patrick Harrison’s “Choose Your Own Autobiography”. Mostly because it’s more expensive then I want to pay for a book for myself, so I’d rather someone else give it to me.

    • Bryan

      Ooh, I want to get that one too, Crissy. Maybe the audiobook, though.

  • Patrick Stemp

    In lieu of gifts. I’ve asked my family to help me pay for book covers (probably from 99Designs) in 2015. More motivation to finally hit the publish button next year!

    • Bryan

      Nice! Best of luck, Patrick!

  • Pete Bauer

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all.

    • Bryan

      Thanks, Pete! Same to you.

  • Kim Smith

    Love the game show idea…I am definitely in. Didn’t get any books for Christmas nor gift cards to buy any, so I will just keep reading Ted Saves the World and plan for 2015.

    • Bryan

      Thanks! Ooh, I hope you’re enjoying Ted :).

  • Margarita Morris

    I got Scrivener for Dummies for Christmas, so I can really start making the most of the writing tool. Enjoying the show. Have a Happy New Year!

    • Bryan

      Thanks, Margarita! Good luck with the book!

  • Alyne de Winter

    I love Jim! He’s finally beginning to grasp the artist’s mentality. I know it’s been a struggle, but it must be done! I know I’m late here, but it takes a while to come back from….. Happy New Year and I hope we can all sell more books in 2015. I’ve got 5 first drafts to work on. I kept trying to write a short story or a novella to get something out fast, but they kept growing into novels. Can we bottle eau de Sean Platt for those of us who need an energy boost? Now that would be a nice prezzie!

    • Bryan

      Eu de Platt? Sounds good to me :).

  • Merry Christmas to you Bryan and Jim, and to the other listeners of the show. With the holidays I’ve gotten behind in just about everything so, I just finished listening to the show. For the QOTW I didn’t ask or hope for any books this Christmas but I did get two awesome dictionaries. One on flying and the other on sailing. Always love getting fun reference material for my writing.

    Great show. Two of the items really struck home with me. I thought avoiding the pitfalls was amazing. In the beginning of December I put on a lecture series on the various paths to publication and understanding the pros and cons to each. The ease of self-publishing can be deceptive and several authors I personally know have jumped the gun on getting their work out before it was ready or they fully understood what they were doing.

    Second thing is Serial. What an amazing swing of the pendulum. Radio broadcasting was my first journalism job and while in college, back when they still used carts and reel to reel (the old time broadcasters know), I ran a weekly radio drama called JC and the Danger Girls. I was Big JC on the air back then and I straight up stole the script material from the Danger Girl comics. I had voice actors from the drama department act it out and I added all the sound effects after. Anyway, I was excited by this. It would be a fun world to explore and market. I just launched my own podcast (with co-host Peter Turley) and this idea would be fun to play out with my own writing.

    By the way thank you for your QOTW on “what would you do if nothing was holding you back.” It really was both of you that inspired me to start the podcast and I think we are using the same fiverr voice over girl on our intros (http://www.thebookeditorshow.com/).

    Again best wishes this holiday season and have an amazing new year.

    • Bryan

      That show looks great, Clark! Glad we could have a tiny part in inspiring you. Of course, you did the work, so major kudos! Thanks for being a fan. Have an awesome 2015!

  • Merry Christmas and Happy New Year guys! I got Scrivener for Dummies for Christmas. I have a number of writing projects planned for 2015, so this program looks like a great tool to keep everything organized. Great info on KU. I’m planning to release the first three books of a new series (novellas) all at once next year, and I was debating whether to go KU. I’m thinking to nix it now. Cool idea on the “Who Wants to be a Bestseller?” gameshow. We could come up with some comical Q/A. And Jim, loved the Christmas sound effects. Very festive. 🙂

    • Bryan

      Thanks, Kathy! Happy New Year to you as well :).