Tag Archives: self publishing

Podcast 12 – Teen Beta Readers and 145,000 Words

Author Pete Bauer and Dorothea Bauer discuss the impact of the novellas on the novels, causing for a rewrite of novels 1 and 2.  Plus the lessons learned from Teen Beta Readers.

Running Time: 41:59

  • Teen Beta Readers
  • Specific Expectations
  • 145,000 Words
  • A Professional Endeavor
  • Art Show
  • Facebook Art
  • Polite Critiques
  • Annoying Analysis
  • Aging Well
  • Novella Novels
  • Semi-Mysterious Mysteries
  • Lost & Found
  • Inspiring Stories
  • The Center of Attention
  • Communicating Art
  • Evolving Industry
  • It Clicks
  • Reading Consumption
  • Traditional Limitations
  • Author Earnings
  • Give and Take
  • Truthful Characters


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Independent Publishing

It’s time to dump the term “self-publishing.”  Lets call it what it really is, independent publishing.

A decade ago, the only legitimate way to get your book to the masses was through the traditional publishing houses.  Sure, there were some print-on-demand options available, but the quality of those books suffered in comparison.  The marketplace also did not support or encourage print-on-demand as a valid, legitimate publishing option.  It was for people who couldn’t get a real publishing deal.

booksAmazon changed all that.

With the advent of the Kindle, the acquisition or CreateSpace and Audible, and the growth of the Amazon online store as the number one seller of books, Amazon has both cornered and exploded the market on publishing.

Their approach has been brilliant and free market at its core.  They provide book lovers three popular ways to digest the material, ebooks (Kindle), paperback (CreateSpace) or through audio books (Audible).

They allow anyone and everyone to upload their latest and greatest novel or non-fiction book.  They don’t screen for quality or marketing or value.  They let the free market do that.  They let authors control their pricing and allow authors to control their marketing.  They let them change the covers on demand or update the book to fix errors without issue.  They give the control to the artists, not intermediaries.  For providing this marketplace, Amazon takes 30% and authors are glad to give it and pocket the remaining 70%.

Like movies, where there are studio made films and independent films, publishing should be looked at the same way.  If your book is not published from one of the top traditional publishers (the studios), then it is independently published.  Readers aren’t going to care whether its small press, self financed or made on a shoe-string.  Readers are only going to care about the quality of the product, the same way film lovers care about film.

So, let’s finally bury the “self-publishing” term, one often used as an insult by traditional publishing supporters.

We’re independent publishers.  And we’re not going anywhere.

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Podcast 11 – Marketplace

Author Pete Bauer and marketing head Dorothea Bauer discuss the current marketplace within which our books will reside and the challenges of gaining traction as a new product.

Running Time: 32:29

  • Finishing
  • Senioritis
  • Marketplace
  • Guideposts Sweet 16
  • Faith Interaction
  • Asking Specific Questions of Beta Readers
  • Emotional Connections
  • Identifying with Characters
  • Harry Potter and Star Wars
  • Dream Jobs vs. Real Jobs
  • The Matt Maher Equation
  • Raising the Consequences
  • Noah Movie
  • Safety Harbor
  • Marketing with Little Money
  • Youth Conferences and Speaking
  • Youth Group Leaders
  • Finding Books in Your Genre
  • Where Does Your Book Fit in the Landscape?
  • Hugh Howey – “Redbook
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Podcast 10 – Hobby vs. Career

In this podcast author Pete Bauer and marketing head Dorothea Bauer talk about the different paths your writing career would take depending on if your approach it as a hobby versus a career.

Running Time: 32:21

  • Writing as a Hobby vs. Career
  • Three Mandatory Things
  • Consistency & Deadlines
  • Establishing Brand and Presence
  • 1500 Words a Day
  • 80/20 Rule
  • Burnout
  • Writers Block
  • Time of Day
  • Virtual Marketing
  • Facing the Giants
  • Street Teams & Preexisting Bias
  • Lack of Honest Debate
  • Intellectual Sloth
  • Setting Realistic Goals
  • Creative Potential Fulfillment


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Podcast 09 – Novellas & Strategies

On this podcast author Pete Bauer and Sonlight Press marketing head Dorothea Bauer continue to talk about their latest findings as they hone their release strategy.

Running Time: 42:36

  • Congratulations Lynette Noni
  • Strategy History Recap
  • More Novellas, If Necessary
  • Has Fiction Lost Its Faith
  • Cultural Christianity vs. Religious Belief
  • Les Miserables
  • Crosby, Bergman, Priests and Nuns
  • Individual Faith Struggles
  • Shifting Focus Mainstream
  • Core Group to Street Team
  • Honoring the Teen Voice
  • Authorpreneur
  • Google Analytics and Authors
  • You as a Brand
  • The Online Wave Hasn’t Crashed Yet
  • Superheros
  • Being a Part of Something Greater
  • Hope
  • Martyrs
  • Faith Spectacles

Lynette Noni
Paul Elie – Has Fiction Lost Its Faith
CJ Lyons

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Podcast 08 – Novellas & Criticism

On this podcast author Pete Bauer and Sonlight Press marketing guru Dorothea Bauer talk about our shifting marketing strategies that includes increasing the amount of novellas while delaying the release of the first novel.

Running Time: 39:11

Some of the topics covered include:

  • Original Plans
  • June 4th
  • Novellas and Novels
  • The Homecoming Incident
  • Theme and Mood
  • Novellas then Novels
  • 1 to 5 to 6 to 10
  • Writing the First Draft for You
  • Chapters & 1500 Words
  • Perma Free Or Perma Not
  • Young Adult Market
  • Faith Based Market
  • Honest Evaluation & Christian Entertainment
  • Hollywood/NY Standards
  • Christian Music to Christian Literature
  • Novellas First
  • Beta Readers in Waiting
  • Cross Pollination
  • Strategy vs. Tactic
  • Say It x 3
  • Konrath Quotes
  • Being Ready for Opportunities
  • Ignorance is not a Competitive Advantage
  • Why Did You Buy
  • Hunger Games vs Term Paper
  • Truth and Criticism
  • Amazon Reviews
  • Reviews & Marketing
  • Finding You
  • Unique and Unoriginal
  • Self-Publishing Community
  • Talk to Us

Author CJ Lyons
Author J.A. Konrath
Write. Publish. Repeat.
Self Publishing Podcast

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Word Count, Novellas and Novels

As I mentioned yesterday, I finished the first draft of the novella The Homecoming Incident.  As the first of five novellas as part of the Gabby Wells Chronicles novella series, I’m excited to get that first draft done.

Today I started outlining the second novella in the series, tentatively titled Skyway.  I’m trying to decide whether my outline work will count toward my 1500 daily writing goal during Lent or not.

Another thing I’ve realized I need to create is a “Gabby Wells Bible” – which is a document that outlines all of the important characters, ages, locations, histories, stories, etc.  So, I can make sure I don’t say a character spent the summer in Chicago and in a later book say it was Dallas.

I haven’t started that yet, but it’s a necessary evil.  It will take time to do, time I could be used being creative, but I’m hopeful it will help me be more creative later.


I want to get The Homecoming Incident to my beta readers as quickly as possible so that I can move the process forward.  It’s holding up the first full novel, Water & Blood, getting into our second group of beta reader hands.

It’s all very complicated and we’ll talk about it on our next podcast.  Things continue to move and remain fluid.  The key is to go with the flow.

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Podcast 07 – Finishing & Marketing

On this podcast author Pete Bauer and Dorothea Bauer discuss the steps required to finish a book and marketing strategies.

Running Time: 26:36

Some of the topics covered include:

  • 97.3
  • Beta Readers
  • Honest Feedback
  • Genre Clarification
  • Honoring Audience Intelligence
  • Don’t Betray your Audience’s Expectations
  • Give Them a Pie
  • 1 to 5
  • Acclaim vs. Sales
  • Knowing How to Market Your Story
  • Social Media
  • Analyzing Target Demographic
  • Turning Unknowns into Knowns
  • Awareness to Interest to Purchase
  • Editors
  • Prequels and Funnels
  • Helpers

Survey Monkey

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Daily Writing Word Count – On Track

I set a goal of writing 1500 words a day during Lent.  So far I have lived up to that goal.


I’ve written over 10,000 words since last week on the first Gabby Wells prequel called The Homecoming Incident.  If things go well, I’ll be able to push myself and complete the first draft over the weekend.  That would be about 5000 words a day.  I don’t know if I’ll have the time to write that much, but that’s what I’d like to do.

Then, I could put The Homecoming Incident aside for a little bit, give it time to rest, before revisiting it and making changes.

During this past week, I’ve also been thinking about roll out strategy changes.  We’ve lined up our next set of beta readers for Water & Blood, however, now I was considering that the novellas may need to come first.  It builds character history and eases the reader into the tone of the novels.

I haven’t decided anything for certain, but I want to finish this first novella as soon as possible so that I can move forward in one direction or another.  I’ll have more on that in an upcoming podcast.

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Book Review – Write. Publish. Repeat.

To be published or self-publish, that is the question.

Since the advent of the ebook, a slow and constant paradigm shift has been occurring in the publishing world.  Much like how Napster and, later, ITunes changed the face of music, Amazon and the Kindle have changed the face of publishing.

WPRNo longer do authors have to fit into limited slots and strict guidelines to have their books published by traditional publishing houses.  No longer do authors have to give up the rights and control of their work in order to get a small advance and 15% of the royalties.

Thanks to the ebook and the Amazon marketplace, anyone can upload their book and make it available to consumers.  Under normal price points, Amazon takes 30% and you keep 70% of all sales.  Under this model, for every book you sell self-published, a traditionally published author has to sell five books to make the same amount of money.

There are many challenges to self-publishing.  You still need a good editor, a great book cover and a marketing plan.  Self-publishing requires authors to be entrepreneurs at the same time.  They can’t hide in their rooms and only write.  They need to promote and sell their wares.  They need to blog and be involved with social media.

If you’re interesting in self-publishing and unsure of where to start, I strongly recommend Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant with David Wright.

These “authorpreneurs” work and write together to create an insane volume of work, all the while openly sharing their real world experiences on their popular podcast, Self-Publishing Podcast (note: their podcasts often include colorful language).

Recognizing the advent of binge consumption of television programs, they’ve come up with a series of novellas they call episodes and that, together, make a series.  It’s a brilliant approach that has worked very well for them.

Through trial and error they’ve come up with effective strategies in the current selling structure, such as making the first book in the series free forever (or perma-free) and using that as a “funnel” which allows many people to try out their work with the hopes of directing them to a focused call-to-action, i.e., buying the rest of the season.

They’ve had great success with this approach and have been completely honest about how they do what they do, both in the podcast and in the book.

The book is more than just a how-to, it’s their story.  It’s a very easy read and, if you are like me and prefer paperbacks over ebooks, it’s a hefty 478 pages.  When I purchased the paperback they also included the ebook for free which is a great perk, because it allows you to read the book in your preferred way, yet use the ebook to quickly find any info you may need at the time.  I don’t know if that perk is permanent or only available when I made my purchase.

I can’t recommend this book enough.  It’s a hands-on, successful approach that takes advantage of the opportunities the current publishing landscape affords.

If you’re interested in self-publishing, begin with Write. Publish. Repeat.  It will start you off in the right direction.

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