This week we had the pleasure of chatting to Scott King, author of non-fiction writing books The 5 Day Novel, Finish the Script! and his latest, Outline Your Novel.
Scott has a background in teaching writing, film and scriptwriting at a college level, and has published multiple books in a variety of genres, so he’s perfectly placed to write and talk about writing to other authors. He’s also brilliant at breaking down information and making it understandable, and there were several ‘a-ha!’ moments during this interview where Scott explained something we might have intuitively known, but couldn’t have put into words. We talked to him about outlining, sub-plots, writing a book in five days, and where to start if you’re a newbie. He’s a smart, articulate guest who we know will inspire you to get out there and write!read more
This week our topic is whether or not to use a pen name. Choosing the name to represent your writing career might seem like a simple decision, but there’s actually a whole host of things to think about when you consider what name to use – from marketing, to reader expectations and even cover dimensions – and it’s not just which name sounds the nicest.
Authors have always had pen names and in the Indie environment, it’s not uncommon for an author to be managing several. We discuss our own decisions regarding pen names, why we chose the names we did, and the things we had to think about before we made the final decision. From websites to domain names, choosing the right gender for your genre, and even a couple of rants from Shar thrown in for free, this is another thought-provoking episode.read more
This week we were lucky enough to convince the lovely Nalini Singh to come on the show. A fellow Kiwi, Nalini is also a very smart, savvy author who’s been on the NYT Bestseller list an incredible 27 times, and has hordes of ravenous fans the world over.
Nalini is also the kind of pioneering author who knew that she would need to do more than simply write great books (you know, cause that’s easy, right?) if she was going to make this writing malarky her career. She knew she would need to connect with her readers and give them something more. With this in mind, she started a popular blog when she first set out to conquer the writing world, and then created a massive organically grown newsletter when the time was right, and finally conquered Facebook, where her current page has over 70,000 readers regularly interacting with her.
She gives us the low down on how she’s created such a strong reader connection, the kind of content she thinks is vital for authors to give their readers and her secret sauce for interacting with all kinds of people. This one is a little long, but it’s well worth the listen for the various wise gems of knowledge that Nalini drops on us throughout the show. (I did say she’s a smart cookie, didn’t I?)read more
Small town settings are a common backdrop in romance. Writers love them because they give us a landscape that we can go back to again and again, with familiar secondary characters that our readers will recognise and become attached to. Readers love them because once they’ve found a town with a cool cafe, a watering hole where all the locals hang out, and characters they can fall in love with – well, why would they want to leave?
Wendy and Cheryl both have successful series featuring a small town setting, so this week they both talk about how to create fictional small towns that your readers will love, with tips and tricks that will take your town from ordinary to exceptional. They tell us how they put together the small towns in their contemporary series’, why they did it a certain way, including best practices on how to create a memorable small town. It’s a fascinating insight into the creative process, and well worth a listen… 🙂read more
Do you have one of those people in your life? Someone who thinks the glass is always half empty and wants to bring you down the whole time? Negative Nellys and Doubtful Dougs are around us all the time, and this week we talk a little about ways to deal with the negativity in our lives. If you’re going to achieve everything you want to this year, you need to have some strategies to deal with the negativity and turn it around into something more positive.read more
Are you all set to achieve everything you really want to achieve in 2018? If you’re still not sure, this episode will help! We ask three really great questions around our mindset as self publishing authors for 2018, and try to answer them as honestly as we can. There are some home truths, some deep and meaningfuls, and some nearly-tears (we don’t do real tears, we’re too tough…!!) as we try to unravel what’s going to make 2018 great for the SPA Girls.
It might seem simple, but the questions actually made us think quite a bit about what we really want to achieve this year, and what we need to let go of to succeed. Come prepared to put your thinking caps on, to delve deep and to be honest about what you really want as an author this year…read more
This week Wendy and Cheryl talk dirty with Kiwi historical romance/erotica author Nicola Davidson, who gives them the real story of the sex lives of the aristocracy in Recency London.
Nicola has delved deep into the research, and she tells a captivated Wendy and Cher (who, I imagine, blushed their way through the entire interview…) exactly what it was like in the sex clubs and private parties of the regency: from orgies and threesomes to dildos and birching, they cover it all…. 🙂
It’s a fascinating interview, full of details that you didn’t know you needed to know, and provides another great resource that you can can use, especially if you’re considering writing about the Regency era. (Or even if you’re just curious about sex in those times…)
A quick warning – don’t listen to this one in the car with the kids! The topic is a little more graphic than usual…
This week we dive into the world of tropes for self publishing authors, to explain exactly what they are, why they’re important and how you should be using them in your writing career.
Knowing and understanding the tropes in romance is important for everything from choosing your plot line, to writing the blurb and finding your readers. They’re also vital in helping us as authors understand our books and our readers. It’s an important cog in the publishing wheel, and this episode is another must-listen show!read more
This week we decided to do a trendy new concept (cause that’s what we are, totally trendy): a reverse advent calendar. Basically instead of getting gifts at Christmas, we wanted to give YOU a gift for each of the 12 days of Christmas.
So…. With this in mind, our Christmas episode is our Twelve Top Tips for 2018. Essentially we’ve compiled our best advice for resources to use, marketing advice to amp up your sales, and our favourite people to get advice from who will give you what you need to succeed in 2018. It’s one of those episodes that’s packed full of advice, as well as that SPA Girls brand of certified crazy that keeps us going in this mixed up world… (Yes, I’m a little tipsy as I write this. Just had the neighbours over for a few Christmas drinks). If you’re keen for a laugh, and to learn a few things about rocking it in self publishing, join us for our Christmas Special Episode of the SPA Girls Podcast.read more
This week we were lucky enough to interview Honoree Corder and Ben Hale who’ve recently released a new book: Write Like a Boss, all about how to have the right mindset for being a successful author.
They talk about creating winning writing habits, how to train yourself to think and be successful, and how to write when you have six kids who are constantly demanding attention (ie Ben). They’re both very inspiring individuals, and gave us some fascinating insights into their lives and the way they have ensured their success in the Indie environment.
It’s a fun interview, and we learned a lot from these two highly successful and motivated individuals. We know you will too!
Staying healthy (and sane) during the holiday season can be a challenge for us all. This week Cheryl, Wendy and Shar talk about the health hacks they’ve found have helped to calm the chaos, stay sane (sort of) and keep our bodies and minds working well. It can be hard to put our self-care on the To Do List but it’s vital. From mindfulness to stretching, gratitude to social media-strangling, we hope you’ll find our healthy hacks helpful. As a wise commercial says, you’re worth it.read more
This week we were lucky enough to have a fantastic repeat guest – Kathryn Burnett, the well-known New Zealand playwright and screenwriter. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Kathryn is chocka full of useful knowledge on the craft of writing as well as the mental game of staying focused and being productive. Today she talked us through doing an end-of-year Writing Audit, as a prequel to setting our goals in the new year. We found it hugely helpful to answer the questions she posed, and to look back on our year in order to critically assess what went right, and what went wrong, and why. If you’re wondering why on earth you’d want to look back in this way, just listen in… Kathryn also tells us how to use this kind of analysis to set us up for an awesome 2018!read more
This week our guest is the lovely Melissa Storm, who runs several author businesses, and is also a very successful indie author in her own right. Along with her training courses through the Author Engine, and editing, marketing and formatting services through Novel Publicity, Melissa also runs LitRing, an author promotions company that helps authors connect with readers.
This year, through LitRing, she created a survey that asked readers what kind of books they were reading, what they wanted to see from authors, and whether they read mostly free or paid books, among other questions. With an extensive background in research, and in particular survey creation, Melissa was able to design, implement and analyse the data from over 10,000 readers, making it quite possibly the largest survey conducted by an independent author. She talks to us, among other things, about the insights we can take away from this amazing survey, and how we can use it in our own author careers.read more
For prolific author, Zoe Dawson, it’s all about the happily ever afters. Zoe writes across several genres including romantic suspense, small town romance, new adult, urban fantasy and romantic comedy. We talk with Zoe about the challenges and rewards of writing across so many genres, how to juggle writing projects, reader expectations and the key that unlocked her being able to dramatically write faster (a book in three weeks!).read more
This week we talk to bestselling self-published author Dave Chesson, otherwise known (mainly by the SPA Girls) as the King of Keywords. He’s the genius behind the Kindlepreneur.com blog, which provides loads of step-by-step information for self published authors, and he’s also the creator of the fabulous app KDP Rocket, a tool you can use to do research into your next book topic, find keywords and categories for your current book, and to create a massive list of keywords for Amazon Ads.
Among his many talents (which include being a nuclear engineer!!) Dave is a total self-confessed data geek, which means he loves diving into the analytics surrounding Amazon and selling books. Which was great for the SPA Girls, because he was happy to chat to us about keywords, categories and selling more books on Amazon. Yay!read more
This week we talk about Kindle Unlimited, or KU, as it’s commonly known. KU is the exclusive readers’ programme for Kindle customers on Amazon, which authors can join as long as they give exclusivity to Amazon. We discuss the pros and cons of going into the KU programme versus going wide on all the different platforms available to self published authors, plus we cover some of the different marketing tactics you might employ, and ways to effectively use the KU platform as an author. It’s an information-packed episode, and if you’ve been wondering whether to join KU, or if you’re trying to find ways to use it better, this is an episode you won’t want to miss!read more
This week we talk about NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. Every year in November, writers around the world challenge themselves to write 50,000 words in 30 days. For newer writers, it can seem like an insurmountable challenge, but even just joining in and being part of the NaNoWriMo environment can be inspiring and energising. It’s been getting bigger and bigger every year, and for the writers who manage to ‘win’ (ie finish 50K) it’s an amazing achievement. There are stories everywhere of people who’ve started their writing career with NaNoWriMo, going on to publish many books and have successful careers.
So what’s so great about NaNoWriMo? That’s what we discuss in this episode of the SPA Girls Podcast – why it’s been so successful, the aspects of it that we love, and why we think you should be doing it this year. (And don’t miss our surprise challenge at the end of the episode!)read more
This week we’re dealing out the “truthslaps” – in a loving way, of course. Wendy, Cher and Shar discuss ten truths for self-publishers that will help you navigate the choppy waters of a new indie author career. We want to be positive, but also realistic, so we are holding nothing back here. This is a rewarding (but tough) business and it requires patience and persistence. When you’re starting out you’re more than just a writer, you’re launching a small business with a pretty steep learning curve. Fortunately there’s a ton of help out there and here in the SPA is the best place to start!read more
This week we delved deep into our writing habits from the last ten years, and brainstormed all the ways that we’ve managed to squeeze an extra 30 minutes of writing out of our days. We’re all busy – work, family, other commitments take our time. But even adding just an extra half hour of writing every day can make a big difference to our monthly totals.
It’s a trap writers often fall into – the belief that you need several hours of uninterrupted writing time to be able to produce anything worthwhile. It’s just not true – even just a half hour can move you significantly forward in your manuscript. Here in the SPA we know that it’s about regular, sustained writing over time.
This show is about being mindful, thinking about where you’re spending your time every day, and looking for the loopholes where you’re losing precious time you could be using for writing. 🙂read more
This week we tackle Christmas. Not literally. I mean we’re not going after Santa or anything.
No knocking him to the ground, and sitting on him til he gives us presents.
That would be weird, right?
No, this week we’re talking about what self-published authors should be doing over the Christmas period to promote their books to the hoards of eager Yuletide book buyers. It’s a prime book buying time of year, and no one wants to miss out, right? In order to do the best research for our eager listeners, we talked to several other authors (in forums and people we know) for their advice on this topic, as well as using our own experiences. We even discovered a few tips that we didn’t know about and are planning to use this year for ourselves!
If you’ve been wondering what you should do to promote your books this Christmas, you need to listen to this episode!
This week we talk to fantasy and young adult author Katie Cross about being a military wife, learning to be a nap-time authorpreneur, and making every moment count. She also gives us some amazing productivity tips for authors who are trying to squeeze their writing career into already busy lives. Katie impressed us right from the start of the interview when she talked about having done some writing before we got on the call. My paraphrasing summary of her words: “It was a choice between going on Facebook for ten minutes, or doing some writing. I decided to do some writing, and managed to get almost a thousand words done in that time.”
It’s always good to be reminded of the things that we can achieve if we pay a little more attention to what we’re doing, and how we choose to spend our time!
It’s a great interview, Katie is hilarious, and we loved chatting to her. (And we’re totally impressed by everything she’s able to achieve in her day!)read more
This is a very special episode of the SPA Girls Podcast – our 100th episode! Who’d have thought when we nervously started our first episode that we’d make it this far?? We talk through everything we’ve learned about self publishing and writing over the last couple of years, give some of the top self publishing tips that we’ve gleaned, the advice we’ve been given by our guests, and what’s in store for the future of the SPA Girls… Listen in for some laugh-out-loud moments as we celebrate the last 100 episodes of the SPA Girls Podcast. 🙂read more
This week we have authorpreneur and automation expert Arianna Golden. She’s great at helping authors set up systems in their business, to amp up their productivity, and enhance their ability to write. She talked to us about some basic automations that are simple for authors to put in place, and gave us some fantastic tips on how to save time.
Automation doesn’t have to be a scary word. As Arianna says, think of it as a tool, like a cheese grater. Used correctly, a grater can get you yummy grated cheese to go on top of a baked potato. It’s only if you don’t use it correctly that you might get into trouble… (I’m scared of graters, but not of automation, so I’m not sure where that leaves me…) It’s another fascinating interview, and hopefully a good introduction to automation for people who don’t know much about automation. Enjoy!read more
This week Shar and Trudi interview Wendy and Cheryl about their trip to Orlando for the Romance Writers of America 2017 conference.
They give tips on surviving a conference with 2,000 other people, plus talk about what they learned from meeting self publishing gurus like Mark Dawson, Roxanne St Claire, and Kristen Painter. They also give up the best writing tips, the most-secret self-publishing tricks, and how to network like a ninja just for you. This is another tip packed episode, where Shar and I attempt to get over our abandonment issues by pumping them for as much information as possible…! 🙂read more
This week we interview best selling urban fantasy author Shayne Silvers, who gives us the inside scoop on his writing processes, his beta reading team, and how he markets his popular Nate Temple series. (Spoiler warning: Shayne works really hard, set everything up to work as it should and has amazing blurbs. ie it’s no wonder he’s doing so well!) We loved hearing his story, because he had two books up and nothing much was happening, and it was only when he realised that he had to take his writing seriously, and start treating it like a real business instead of a part time hobby, that things started to change for Shayne. These days he’s doing rather well, thank you very much. 🙂
NOTE: His book Beast Master (number 5 in the series) was also recently nominated for a Dragon Award, which is fantastic news for Indie authors everywhere (and also Shayne)! If you’ve read the book and loved it, be sure to head over to the Dragon Con website and vote for him!read more
This week we’re live from the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference here in New Zealand, and we’re talking with New York Times bestselling author Christie Craig. Christie writes humorous romantic suspense under her real name, and young adult paranormal under the pen name CC Hunter. She talks honestly with us about her writing process, the challenges she’s had to overcome in her writing career, and gives some amazing craft advice for everyone. The one big take away from this interview? Never give up!read more
This week we have a fantastic interview with the delightful Brian Meeks, who talked to us about creating and making money on Amazon Ads. Brian recently published a book on how to master Amazon ads, and runs a very successful Facebook group on the same topic. He was kind enough to break it all down to the simple version for us, and run through the basics of creating and running a successful Amazon ad. If you’ve never been on the inside of an Amazon ad, this episode will give you enough information to get you clicking over to the Amazon Marketing Services website. If you’re a bit more experienced, don’t worry, the insights on copywriting and the tips for creating successful ads will be enough to keep you listening.
We learned so much from talking to Brian, and we know you will too. 🙂
In this week’s interview Shar and Trudi have to soldier on in rainy old New Zealand while Wendy and Cher continue swanning about in Orlando. Happily we managed to score a fantastic interview with the lovely Monica Leonelle who chatted to us about marketing for indie authors, and the lessons she’s learned since starting out.
Knowing what to write about in your newsletter or on Facebook, or even how to connect with your readers can be a big problem for writers. (I know I struggle with it!) Monica took us through some of the psychological triggers that she’s come across over her years as a marketer and copywriter, and explains how you can sprinkle them into your marketing content to make it more compelling and persuasive to the reader.
This interview is filled to the brim with fantastic tips on how to amp up your connection to your readers, find new super-fans, and generally improve your ability to promote your books. Yay!
Note: There is a small echo problem in the first five minutes of this recording – but don’t give up, it gets better. And you won’t want to miss this content!
Cheryl and Wendy are still at RWA in Orlando, and this time they managed to score an interview with the wonderful Roxanne St. Claire, an uber-successful Indie author who opens up about her writing and how she’s been able to create such a successful career. Roxanne started out in traditional publishing, where she learned all about the publishing process, before she made the decision to move into self publishing. These days she’s fully self published, with 17 self published books under her belt to add to 30+ traditionally published books. Roxanne talks with Wendy and Cheryl about the benefits of self publishing, how she’s been able to use her marketing savvy to move her career ahead, what to think about when creating series that your readers will love, and how to stand out from the crowd.
This is another don’t-miss episode, with multiple insights to help your writing career.
Before I say anything else, let me get this out of the way… Sqeeeeeee! We interviewed Mark Dawson! OMG! *coughs* Right. Now back to the regularly scheduled blurb about this episode… This week we have a very special episode all the way from the Romance Writers of America conference where Cheryl and Wendy just spent the week schmoozing and mingling with romance writers from all over the world. They were lucky enough to tie down…er…interview a couple of great Indie authors while they were there, and this Mark Dawson interview is the first of our RWA special episodes this week. Mark was, according to Wendy and Cher, a lovely, gracious interviewee, and despite being completely starstruck, they managed to squeeze out a fantastic episode full of great advice, tips and insider information from the great man himself. 🙂read more
This week we talk about the best ways to find and keep your focus. We’ve talked about it in general terms before, so this time we aimed in on the mental stuff around focus, and how to avoid self sabotage in your writing career. This episode was all about crawling into our brains to understand why we do things that make us lose our focus, take us out of our ‘zone’ and destroy our productivity.
We talked about self awareness, ie knowing what’s going on inside your head that’s letting your focus go, as well as the overstimulation and desensitisation that exists in the technological world we live in, and then finally dun…dun…dun…the deathbed test. Listen in to find out what that means… 🙂read more
This week we’re launching our brand new book: Kick Author Overwhelm in the B*tt!
Instead of forcing you to listen to our overwhelm stories yet again, we invited three very talented self-published authors to talk to us about their writing careers and how they’ve faced and overcome Author Overwhelm in their own lives.
This week we’re launching our brand new book: Kick Author Overwhelm in the B*tt!
Instead of forcing you to listen to our overwhelm stories yet again (we figured we’d talked that topic to death…), we invited three very talented self-published authors to talk to us about their writing careers and how they’ve faced and overcome author overwhelm in their lives.
Louisa George, Toni Kenyon and Karina Bliss kindly agreed to join us for this very special episode of the SPA Girls Podcast and opened up to us about their experiences of author overwhelm. They talk honestly about their writing, their cheerleaders, their challenges and the tricks and tips they have for helping to keep their focus on the writing and away from the overwhelm.
We had heaps of fun talking to three very funny, smart and accomplished authors, and we’re sure you’re going to enjoy hearing their stories too. 🙂read more
This week we decided to go a little bit behind the scenes on the SPA Girls side of things. Instead of talking about our fiction books, we talk about how the SPA Girls came about, what we were trying to achieve when we decided to start the podcast, why we’re doing what we’re doing and what we were hoping to achieve. We also talk about our branding, our mission statement, and why we decided to publish the Author Overwhelm book, having been podcasting now for 89 episodes! 🙂read more
This week we try to nut out our own personal author values, and try to distill down a mission statement for each of us as authors. We believe that defining your core values as an author will help you make decisions in your author career, keep your focus longer, and keep you sitting down in your chair, writing those books!
We talk about the pros and cons of a mission statement, why Wendy doesn’t like them, and why we think they’re valuable for you as an author. We talk about what Joanna Penn and Susan Kaye Quinn say about mission statements, and go through the process of creating one for Cheryl that means something to her as an author.read more
This week we have a meaty topic for you! We go in-depth and take a look at our fears, the mental stuff that’s stopping us from getting ahead.
We all have fears, from the rational ones that motivate us and keep us going, to the irrational fears that keep us awake at night (and me out of the swimming pool – I swear, Jaws could be in there). This episode is about recognising those fears and lessening their power over us as writers, by naming them, and focusing on ways to overcome them.
We look at the fears that have stopped or hindered us in our writing careers, how we got over them and how you can too. We also talk about the fears we still have, and the ones we wish we had!
Wendy hates this kind of episode, so if nothing else, you should listen to it just to hear her squirm… 🙂read more
This week we talk about the writing program no one is talking about – Microsoft Word. I’m not sure it’s actually a conspiracy (wink, wink) but we thought we’d break the silence and get the word out there. (In actual fact, we think it’s probably because Word is so ingrained into everything we do these days, that everyone assumes that there’s no point talking about it.) However, we’re pretty sure, like us, many of you are still using Word in some part of your writing process, so we decided to go through some of the tools and tips that we know about on Word, to help you upskill yourself in this wonderful, wacky Word program. From track changes to hidden characters, soft returns to right mouse clicks, we go over everything you might need! 🙂read more
This week we talked about ways to speed up the production of your books, from getting your head in the right space from the get-go, to planning, scheduling and lastly ways to make sure you plain-old write faster.
It’s a great episode because it yet again demonstrates how we’re all different and things that will work for one, won’t necessarily work for another. But what we are able to do is offer a whole bunch of ideas and suggestions for practical ways that you can amp up your writing schedule. You don’t have to try them all, but it will give you something to think about as you write your next book. 🙂read more
This week we go through the book page on Amazon, deciphering some of the sections, explaining how each works and how the information gleaned can help you in your Indie career. From explaining the also boughts, to understanding the Amazon algorithms and how they affect you, and looking at the author rankings and understanding what they mean to you, we go through everything we know (and some stuff we realise we didn’t know) and pass it on to you… 🙂read more
This week we run through all the self publishing author courses that we’ve done between us over the last few years and talk about the ones that we liked and would recommend that you could try if you’re looking for a way to upskill your knowledge. As a group, some of the SPA Girls are more into courses than others, so whether you’re a super keen course person, or a more reluctant starter, this episode will give the information that you need to know whether the courses are for you.read more
Australian author and writing tutor, Rachel Bailey, joins us this week to discuss the Black Moment: that point in your story when all hope is lost, when crisis peaks, when things seem bleakest and we start to think the characters won’t be able to find their HEA. We discuss the different types of Black Moment, how to identify which one works best for your story and how to make this crucial element of Story both powerful and believable.read more
This week we interview the delightful Jami Albright, a new author who has just successfully launched her first book. She’s done such a fantastic job of it, we wanted to get her on the show to talk about how she got into writing, how she learned to do such a great job of launching a book, and where she goes for inspiration. She’s such a fantastic person, we could have chatted to her all day! Hope you enjoy the show, we sure did. 🙂read more
We’re out to lunch today, recording in a café (so enjoy the ambience of the coffee machine in the background!) where we discuss all those myths about writing and publishing. Some we’ve fallen prey to; some we’ve debunked through experience.
You need to know everything about your story and characters before you can start writing. There’s a lot more you need to be doing as a self publisher. You’ll never “make it” without a big platform or great contacts. Sound familiar? Yeah, we’ve all heard them. And a lot more besides! But there is more than one path to writing success, and there’s no such thing as a magic bullet or “secret sauce” – so join us in the café and let’s do some mythbusting together!read more
Writing dialogue is a very difficult skill to master, but this week we try to unravel some of the secrets around how to create dazzling dialogue for your characters. More than just a transcription of what people actually say, dialogue can be witty, fast paced and give insights into your characters… or it can be stilted, awkward and boring. Which would you rather have? Listen in to this episode for our take on the best ways to create dialogue that will make your manuscript sing!read more
We did beginnings last week, so we thought we’d pay tribute to endings this time around… 🙂 Many authors rush through the ending of their book, because by the time they get there, they’re sick of the whole concept… But your ending is what will lead readers onto your next book, so you need to spend as much time on your ending as your beginning! If you write a fizzer that ends too quickly or doesn’t deliver on your promises throughout the story, you’re not going to get lifetime readers who follow your every move.
With this in mind, we talk about chapter endings, and endings for the whole book. We give some ideas on what we do to make sure our endings are as good as we can make them, and give a few tips and tricks on creating the best ending you can!read more
Easter is here, a time for new beginnings, so we thought we’d talk about the beginning of your book. It’s always been important, but we would argue that in the days of ebooks for less than the cost of a coffee, creating a kick-ass beginning that will hook your readers into your book is VITAL!
We read out a few of our favourite beginnings, plus some that are less beloved, and talk through what makes them great (or not). There are also some suggestions for the different types of beginnings you might want to try, and how to link it in to the rest of your story. If you’re wondering whether the beginning of your book is as good as it can be, listen to this episode for some of the tips and tricks that we use.read more
This week we sit down and talk through our self publishing goals for the first quarter, and how we’ve been going with our writing. It’s a bit of a mixed bag, with some of us having achieved our goals and others not so much. But there’s always something to learn from our highs and lows, especially how to recalibrate your writing and marketing goals when things happen outside of your control, and how to keep yourself going when times get tough!read more
This week we have a very special guest – Glenna Mageau, book blurb coach and writer extraordinaire – who takes us through how to write a blurb that sells more books. Glenna has a proven system she uses to improve her own book blurbs and she’s been teaching other authors how to do the same thing as well. This is a fantastic episode – we really enjoyed chatting to Glenna, she’s a lovely lady with a wealth of knowledge. We all picked up loads of useful blurb writing tips and we’re sure you will too!read more
This week we tackle the topic of formatting your ebooks. We talk about the difference between outsourcing the formatting and doing it yourself, and the pros and cons of each option. Then we talk about what we’ve done in the past and how we do it now, what we think are the best practices, the programs that we recommend, and why we like them. If you’re about to start formatting, or even considering a change to the way you’re currently doing it, this is a great episode to listen to!read more
Publishing your book to Amazon KDP is the first step … then the second VERY important step is setting up your Amazon Author Central account and optimizing your Amazon Author Page. Too many new self-publishers miss the second step and it’s costing them sales! It’s easy and it’s free, so listen up and we’ll share how to ZHUSH up your Amazon Author Page to make it sparkle!read more
This week we talk about a subject dear to our hearts – author overwhelm.
It’s so easy to become overwhelmed in this digital age, with everything that we are bombarded with and told we “have to” do to succeed as a self published author.
This episode we talk you through the tips and tricks we use to help us work through the overwhelm and keep writing. It’s another fun episode, the SPA Girls were together in person this week, so we had a laugh as usual…read more