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Fiction Writing, Podcasting and Book Marketing with Tim Lewis of Stoneham Press

In this episode, I interview Tim Lewis, who is an author and the host of the Begin Self Publishing Podcast and founder of Stoneham Press. We talk about book writing during nanowrimo, book marketing, and social media.

About Tim Lewis

Tim Lewis is the host of the Begin Self-Publishing Podcast and the author of three science-fiction books and two fantasy books.He shares his struggles with publishing and interviews experts in the world of self-publishing to try and understand better what to do. we also talk about nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month).

Read more about Tim’s story here.

You can listen to this Interview clicking below

Ways to Contact Tim

Tim’s Podcast: Begin Self Publishing Podcast
Twitter: Stoneham Press
Instagram: Stoneham Press

Profile picture of Tim Lewis of Stoneham Press, listen to his interview on MyKitaab Podcast
Tim Lewis, Stoneham Press


Listen to Amar’s interview on The Begin Self Publishing Podcast.

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Transcription of the podcast interview with Tim Lewis on MyKitaab podcast

AV: welcome to another exciting episode of mica podcast. My name is Amar Vyas, I’m your host on this show today I have with me, Tim Lewis is a published author and a podcaster. himself. I actually happen to be a guest on Tim’s show a few months ago, we are recording this episode on the ninth of December 2016. He is a fresh NaNoWriMo winner. So Tim, first of all, welcome to mica podcast, and congratulations once again.

TL: Well, thank you very much. It’s great to have you. Great to be on your show.

AV: So one of the things that I’ve realized recently, Tim, is that instead of me introducing a guest, if they self introduce, I think the impact has been much better. In fact, I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the audience. So why don’t we proceed in the similar fashion? I have very briefly mentioned who you are, would you like to introduce yourself? A little bit deeper?

TL: Um, yes, I’m, well, my name is obviously Tim Lewis. I’m the host of the beginning self publishing podcast, where you were a very good guest. And I also, obviously, write fiction books, at least at the moment. And I’ve just completed the third book in my magpies and magic fantasy series in this NaNoWriMo. In fact, the whole series has been written in NaNoWriMo. So you could say, I’m very much somebody who writes books in that sort of NaNoWriMo atmosphere. So obviously, I’ve got the podcast. And I also, yeah, I’ve self published now will be five books. This one I’m like working on will be the sixth book I publish. And I’m probably going to be moving into more nonfiction and other areas in the new year. So that’s, that’s, that’s my background at the moment.

AV: So the Tim Lewis we are speaking to today is not the Tim Lewis who has written a book titled, harnessing the UEFI. Shell, moving the platform beyond dos, and, Tim, you’re laughing there. But there’s a specific reason why I mentioned this particular kind of book.

TL: Well, my books are published under Timothy, Michael loose, it’s my full name. And I mean, there are an awful lot of Tim nurses around. And the reason I use that was because I knew there was another one. And I don’t know why you’re mentioning that particular book, but I’m sure there is a valid reason. So

AV: It’s the first thing that Amazon threw back at me, you do come from a computer programming background. If anybody were to connect those two dots, they would have assumed that it’s you who’s written that book. Yeah,

TL: I mean, yeah, well, I would write a book about dogs. But yeah, I mean, it is an issue we have no, I mean, in some ways, I regret using my phone name. And I maybe should have competed with my, my sort of normal name on the Amazon store. But as I say, there are there’s I think there’s probably two or three Tim looses on on the Amazon store now. That’s right. And it’s a, it’s a bit of an issue with common names. I mean, common names can be great in terms of if you do something bad people won’t necessarily remember you bought it. But on the other hand, if you do something good people may not actually remember you for it. So it’s a bit of a double edged sword in a way.

AV: Right? Yeah, the third, Tim Lewis that I came across usually writes travelogues or social issues or something like that. Very different genres, which could be another issue, right? That if you if you ask somebody to look for, hey, look for me on Amazon, or somebody looks for you on Amazon, and they come across these and you know, this is not the person, this is not the book they were talking about. So how do you manage your identities online, given the fact that there are two different people, at least that we know of with a similar name,

TL: Most of my social media and other focus has been on my imprint name is stoneham press. So I use stone and press as my Twitter handle is my general social media, unless I’m using the podcasting one, which in which case, it’s begin SP podcast, I have so far avoided, using too much we’ve grown I’ve actually got a Tim Louis 808 Twitter account, which has about 20 followers on it, which I did set up originally. But you’re right, it causes a real issue. I mean, I suppose I could do the Donald Trump and have the real Tim Lewis Twitter account, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find if there’s somebody’s already got that. So it’s not as there are more commonly English names like John Smith and their life, but it still is still quite a covered name. By the bit a few in person over the years, but yeah, it is an issue. Tried to build an overbred when your name is so common. I suppose I could try to attempt to go and create some sort of separate identity or pen name to try and overcome that fact, but I haven’t yet done that. All

AV: Right. And while we are on that subject I can I can share the frustration. And I thought that I would we would begin the conversation with this. Because you know, my legal name, so to speak, not that there is anything illegal about Amar, but Amrish. And it is it can be spelled in eight or nine different ways. So I thought, let’s make it short and sweet amor, it turns out that it’s actually a much more common name than I thought it was. In fact, in the alumni group of from my business school, there are four drummers. I mean, what are the odds of that happening? Right, but I like the way you’ve actually started doing write them at store and press that is actually working out very well, even in the search engine results. So before our call, or what what updates you may have too much sooner Empress stands out. So that’s literally your digital footprint so to speak.

TL: There is a town in Massachusetts called Stoneham. But he’s actually named after there was a hospital. The hospital I was building was called Russell Stoneham. It doesn’t exist anymore. It was somewhere in southeast London. So that was the name I use, because it’s like, well, stone them isn’t really used that much. And there wasn’t a stone. I mean, I looked at every single company name. We’ve Lewis in the title that every single one of them’s gone in the UK. So I was like, Well, what can I call it gone? It’s down and press. Though, with hindsight, given my more wide ranging business interests, and things that I’ve sort of played around with, I would have could really be better to call it Stoneham. Something else like Stoneham solutions, or some more general title, but stone presses what it is, and that’s what I’ve tied my identity to online.

AV: Let’s talk a little bit about Sodom press. And so it’s a London based company. And I’m sure listeners must have picked that up from your your accent, you formed it to publish books, right? And and also offer tools to other self published authors to publish market and manage their book. Can you talk a little bit about the history of stolen press? And you know, how far along are you in the journey?

TL: Well, I have singularly failed to create any tools so far. Even though I have, I have actually released one app onto the Google Android store, but that was more of a sort of a test idea. But in terms of my journey, I will ay ay originally, after the death of my wife in 2011. I was basically, I was doing a job that where you get to the point where you know, you’ve reached the top of your career progression, I worked in it as an IT manager for a financial company in the City of London. And eventually things came to a head and I didn’t had a boss I didn’t particularly like, and I was supposed to be making people redundant. And in the end, I said, Well, I’m going to give this up and do it contracting was my initial idea. But if my notice period, I read the book, write, publish, repeat.

Somebody read an awful lot of self published books on the on the train into work, I’d read them on my iPhone, on the Kindle app. And one of them one, I read quite a few other like, books about self publishing. But write publish repeat really struck me because it was, it was not just you can self publish a book, but it also sort of gave a methodology to do it. Obviously, this is the book that the self publishing podcast guys created. And I thought, well, I’ll give that a try. And if it doesn’t work out, I can always go to sort of it contracting later. So during my notice, period, I actually wrote the first verse two novellas, the time short ones I created. And there was quite a few delays, in terms of setting up the company, Stan and Chris. So they changed all the banking regulations.

And it took like, about two months, I think, to get the bank account and everything set up. So I could actually start trading in quotes, which was a bit annoying, but that gave me like, gave me time to sort of look into marketing techniques. And listen, I started becoming a podcast addict after not really knowing what a podcast was. I started listening to loads of them as I was walking around. And so actually, it was quite good in a way because it meant I had the third book in that trilogy, trilogy of novellas ready by the time that I actually was launching the company. So I launched the first two books. In about the first month I was doing it and then the second one a month later, and then I made the first book free after a couple of months. And I even though, I mean, I’m the first to admit this, there’s times your book is not the best book in the world.

I mean, it’s the stories very I’ve always been very good on strong the story side, but the description and the things now, I look at it and thinking it’s a bit. It’s a little bit simplistic in, in language used. And that’s because I was a new writer coming on. But it was actually fairly successful in terms of Amazon rankings, at least in the UK, I managed to push it up to number 10 In the time travel chart in the UK, which you might say is not that impressive. But the thing that I noticed was that not be in a time travel romance book, it was the highest norm time travel romance book in that UK chart.

So I like to think that he was number one in it. I mean, one of the great issues on Amazon is that Amazon has all of these charts, but an awful lot of them have only been invaded by similar books for more popular genres. And time travel is one of those time travel. There’s an awful lot of time travel romance books that creep into the time travel categories. And well, you could argue that they are time travel based as well. And everything’s all really kind of whatever the authors decide to do, but it does, it does make it a harder category than maybe if it was, I know, cyberpunk or something where people aren’t gonna put robots books in cyberpunk on Amazon. But they do put a lot of timetabled moments in there. So I think one of the issues I’ve had since is, I have not yet written enough books. I’ve been spending a lot of time on social media and obviously running the podcast, I’ve tended only to write books in NaNoWriMo. So it’s basically one book a year, which, and then also, I switched genre, which was a pretty terrible idea. And I just haven’t had the same level of success with a with a magpies magic book.

Now, I haven’t had the chance. And I will do, obviously, what’s the third books out there to make the first book free in the series, because first book free doesn’t make a difference in terms of being able to promote the book gives people a way to get into the series with the minimal amount of kind of effort. But I think in hindsight, writing more books and being more structured, and actually having almost that delay, where you’re releasing multiple books at time does help with terms of promoting books.

AV: And actually, one of my questions was gonna be about social media. And we will come to your books in a minute. But Tim, this is something that I wanted to ask you that you have a fairly good social media presence. And by that I mean, the channels that you are available at, be at LinkedIn. Or, of course, we are connected on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google Plus, I think, and you have you the author, as well as you have your profiles for the podcast as well. Correct. So yeah, you know, is social media man managing these social media profiles? Is that getting to a stage where it’s really eating into time that you could have probably put to writing?

TL: I’m not, as I mean, I’ve got fairly good now with the amount of time I actually need to spend on social media. I think there is an argument for saying that there is a usage of what you would call energy in terms of responding and being, as in this interruption effects you get with social media. So I mean, I’m sure if if somebody sat next to me and clicked a little bit of every time on social media, or thinking about social media, or doing social media, I probably do spend a lot longer than what I do it. But the main issues, I don’t think most of the time I use tools like buffer, when I’m scheduling out posts, and I’ve got a lot lot better be.

I mean, it’s like we were talking in the pre chat about backsheet, a podcast interview, the cyber side, principals work for social media, you betcha your posts, and you try and concentrate time on social media in terms of little periods of time, then that makes some fantastic amount of difference. I mean, we my Instagram account for the beginning self publishing podcast, I now completely scheduled out quotes on that. And even though the nature of Instagram, I still get an alert on my phone, and I have to share it at 730 or whenever I’ve scheduled it, that has made a big difference in terms of the growth of that account. I mean, it’s grown from about 60 followers last last June, nothing to about 750 now, and that’s just by posting consistent quotes from the shows on the site.

Now, what I need to work out and I’ve got various ideas for doing this is to expand the same sort of social media techniques to the books and I I genuinely think that the idea of taking quotes or little parts of your books and sharing them on social media in a systematic way is probably one of the best ways to actually market books. But the proof is gonna be in the pudding when I actually get around to doing it, because I need to go through, reread all my books and look for great quotes and extract them and create graphics and all the rest of it. And I just haven’t got around to doing that at the moment. This is problem. The podcast is taking up. Most of my time. I’m teaching people about self publishing, but I’m not spending enough time on the self publishing. I don’t think so.

It, I don’t think social media is necessarily the problem. In terms of timing, productivity, I think a lot of that is just general, coming up with the ideas for books and things like that. I’ve certainly got the time just it’s a it’s an organizational issue that I faced rather than necessarily doing spending too much on social media. But maybe that’s just me defending something I like doing.

AV: So now let’s talk about your writing. So once again, congratulations on becoming a NaNoWriMo winner. Can you talk about what topic or what book did you write? And let’s talk a little bit about the writing process in this?

AV: Well, as I said, this is the third in my series of fantasy novels, which is mesmerizing magic. It’s, it’s more, it’s more comedy fantasy than anything else, sort of light, more sort of CS Lewis than Lord of the Rings, in terms of like, there’s lots of speaking animals and things in it. And the, I mean, it was funny, I was looking at the it was an email from NaNoWriMo saying that, I mean, somebody’s like, only 10% of people who do nano may actually win it.

And, and I was thinking, well, actually, I did do well, in terms of actually winning NaNoWriMo, again, for the third year in a row, the fact that that’s the only time in the last three years, when I’ve only really written the book is a whole nother thing. I really like NaNoWriMo. And similar kind of events, because of the accountability of it. The actual user interface at the NaNoWriMo site is really good, you have a little chart, and you can say like, this is how many words you need to write to get up to this level. I have some advantages, I think, in terms of NaNoWriMo.

One is obviously, I’ve not got a full time job. I mean, I’ve got all the work of the podcast, and all the other various bits and pieces and mucking about social media, by I can craft out time for NaNoWriMo. And I do make an effort not to book in night conferences and things weave in November to give me time to write. The other advantage I have is coming from a computer programming background, I can type very quickly. And I think one of the things that people don’t want to admit that is true for authors is the faster you can type, the faster you can write.

Obviously, there is an element of creativity involved. And there will be times when we just don’t know what’s going to happen here. But those are much less prevalent than people think a lot of the time you see people typing like, really slowly. And that is the issue rather than them not being able to think of what’s going to happen next, for authors who aren’t can’t type in maybe want to consider looking at something like one of these speech to text bits of software. And people were basically no writing something in there not something I’ve ever, ever really appealed to me, because I’m not going to be wandering around the forest with an audio recorder. So, note to self, this is what I do. But people have got very good speeds out of doing that. Because a lot of people can talk faster than than I can talk, I think I can just about type faster than I can talk. And that’s just from I’m not a total touch typist, but I can I can talk about looking at the keyboard most of the time, and this is some odd character that.

So I think that ability to be able to tight means that I can get like, I could do about 2000 words in an hour and a half. And if I’ve been consistently doing it, I can probably do 2000 words in an hour. So I think the ability to to actually be able to type fast is very underrated. And it’s one of those mind dying things that you never hear people say but I think a lot of authors who want to write more could do if going on a typing course or learning to use some sort of text to speech speech to text, even software and do it that way. Because I mean, the other thing I do is that and this is one of the things that I’ve procrastinated on On my attend to only attended only to write and then her IMO is that I do have to plan out novels. So what I will do is on Scrivener, which is my software of choice. And in effect Scrivener has actually made me from being a writer who never finished anything into one who actually does finish things, because I use the synopsis feature. So when you create a document in Scrivener, there’s a little synopsis tab that you can have on the far side.

And before I write anything, I go through and create all of this, I write a little scene summary within the synopsis tab. And what I’ve started to do on my latest book, and I wish I’d done the previous ones is in the general information section, I also put who the characters are, and some information about the timeline. So I do an entire, basically where I say, Okay, I’ve never actually finished these days, but I’ve got the gist of the plan. So I know enough about how the book is going to go. So I can start writing it. Without that plan, I’ve always tended to just go off track and then end up with a novel that never gets finished. Because I’ve probably had probably about three or four novels where I started before I came about work like years and years ago.

And I just ran into a sort of dead end because I had no idea where the story was going, I just thought somebody who can can’t. So I have to plot a novel novel out before I work on it. So that’s, that’s my experience of writing, I have to plan stuff, at least to the level where I know I can get to the end of it. So and actually a lot of the delays in terms of my procrastination is because I didn’t really know where the story was going. So I didn’t want to start writing it until I knew where the story was going. So I didn’t want to start it and then not finish it. So I need to plan out the novel before I do anything on it. And then once you’ve got a plan on the novel, you can write it very quickly.

AV: I’ve been hearing a lot about Scrivener. And in fact, I had installed it on my Windows machine about like three years ago, like that and never got around to using it. And one of the options that I’m also trying out now is DropBox Paper. So the disadvantage is you have to stay connected to the internet, which from a writing point of view is not the best thing, I realized that once I turn the internet off, I can write much faster. Let’s see how DropBox Paper will work out.

TL: I mean, there’s a lot of people who are providing whatever they feel is the perfect solution to this particular writing problem. I mean, the guys from the self publishing podcast, I know they’ve got their story shot. And they’ve added an editor into that I’ve not had a chance to try out the editor, which makes free auto reads you’ve got their book editor process, which has shown great, I mean, I’ve covered it twice on my body, and it shows great promise. But he always seemed to be adding in functionality that isn’t that useful and admitting some of the useful functions. Actually, one is like they still haven’t added in Section dividers and not all my all my novels are all like chapters, we have sections in them. And it’s just little things like that. I mean, it seems I mean, the great problem with assessing all of these tools is unless you’ve got an awful lot of time to get into using the problem in Scrivener the learning curve is ridiculously steep. Even I mean, it’s one of the few products that makes word look simple in terms of getting to the mean, it was like there was a functionality in Scrivener, I’ve only sort of discovered by accident, you can create all sorts of templates for how your structures look and chapters look. And I’ve just found that by accident when I was looking into it. And there’s a whole wealth of things you could do in Scrivener. But there are other things like simple things, I would like a product to be able to do spell checking on character names, and Scrivener. While you can add in the names as into the dictionary in terms of spelling, I would like something like Scrivener to be able to tell me, you misspelled this character name. Because the trouble is, it’s kind of like you might say, Oh, I type in this character name. And then you add it to the spelling thing, but you can’t remember whether you would add it to the spelling library. And then in another chapter, you misspell it and then you add that spelling. And these kinds of things. I think Scrivener or other software could be improved to add in more ability to do sort of story analysis and life. Yeah,

AV: I have not tested it enough to actually figure out if it can do what you exactly said. Because yeah, if your character named your character in a certain way, and then you suddenly change the spelling it should rather than

TL: I mean, I think the trouble is all of these tools do Some things well, I’m not sure there is necessarily a writing tool to rule them all, so to speak, I mean Scrivener. Scrivener is very good for creating ePub documents. And, but for print documents, it’s a real pain. I mean, it can be done. Certainly the Mac version has more features than the Windows version.

But it’s like everything’s much more complicated than it needs to be on Scrivener. So I did a little tutorial on my site about how to create a Word document that you could then submit to create space. Well, basically, you create a PDF in the Word document, you can create PDF from Scrivener, but it just doesn’t format things in the right way. I mean, anything where we have a print document where you haven’t got access to the final document created is a little bit. I mean, it’s the same with the read See, editor, which is actually very good for creating print documents. I mean, one of the issues, and one reason why I haven’t yet got around to create my books on Ingram Spark, is because the type of PDF it needs is very different from what Createspace needs.

And I think you can occasionally get away with submit in a PDF in the format that Createspace uses. And it might work with Ingram Spark, in general, you need to create a different type of PDF. And the meaty editor creates that sort of PDF. But as I say, the lack of section breaks and other things means I just can’t really use it at the moment for that purpose. And I’m, I’m too tight as things go to pay for the Adobe software to create the correct kind of PDF for Ingram Spark. So I think all of these product tools, they’ve all got things that are good about them. But it’s basically you have to pick one. And if you like it, and it works for you then stick with it. It’s probably the best advice.

AV: No, absolutely. I agree. So Tim, so far, we have criss crossed for quite a few things. We spoke about your book writing briefly publishing social media, how you right, now let’s talk about the beginning self publishing podcast again. So what got you started with this podcast? And you know, how has it evolved so far?

TL: I suppose my motivation was, I was looking to do a podcast, I really liked listening to podcasts. And I felt like well, this is quite fancy dude. And then it was like looking for a show topic. And it’s like, well, obviously, I’ve been doing self publishing. And I saw in my mind that there was a bit of a gap in what I consider the self publishing podcasting space for more theme based shows.

So there’s an awful lot of shows like yours, and I of like self publishing, podcast where there’s interviews with authors, but I want you to more actually focus on each episode or on a particular concept, rather than on a particular guest, even though as things have moved on above the move more to the guest beside myself. But there was an awful lot of like, well, you listen to hundreds of podcast episodes with interviews, and you might get two or three nuggets of information. But if you’re looking to start podcasts, self publishing, there wasn’t really a concentrated source. So that’s what I was trying to create. Now, the first 20 or so episodes or solo shows where it’s just me talking about particular issues of self publishing, and I may, or may redo some of them in the near future. Because I got a little bit out of date now.

But since then, I’ve been doing interviews so that I talk to you about, obviously, publishing in India, because well, you are the expert on that. In terms of like, well, in terms of the podcasting space anyway. But yeah, I wouldn’t be interviewing you to talk about your books. And there’s an awful lot of shows like that. Now, the funny thing is that since doing the podcast, I’ve realized that I have probably about another 10 or 15 other self publishing podcasts, which I haven’t even heard of. I don’t think I’ve actually heard of Michael tab when, when I started. And, I mean, it’s like looking at a very crowded space in terms of podcasting for self publishing. There’s an awful lot of self publishing podcasts out there. So, with hindsight, would I have started a podcast about self publishing, possibly not, but it has been a great experience. And it’s also a great way of making connections with people. Because you can invite people you’re interested in onto your show, and you can get to know them. So, right, whatever else, it’s been a fantastic connection tool. So I’m not going to say like, I regret doing the podcast because I don’t and I still enjoy doing it. But it’s a fair amount of work. As you obviously know. Podcasting is quite time consuming in terms of a way to create content.

AV: Now that’s very true. And while I’m certainly not the expert on A book publishing in India or podcasting, even. Yeah, some of the information that I had that I’ve been able to put together either on my own or talking to people. That’s what I wanted to really share with the listeners. And that’s how actually make it up started. In fact, Tim, that’s interesting, you mentioned that you wanted to cover multiple aspects of publishing, if I could use a term like that. And that’s how even I started. Well, my focus is to understand the journey of the author, because if you listen to the podcast, even three years later, the journey is not gonna change.

TL: Yeah, I mean, have you heard of boutiques and self publishing journeys? Podcast? Yes, I have. I mean, he does that quite well, as well. Obviously, I’m biased, because I’ve been on that show as well. So. But, yeah, I mean, I think the beginner journey thing is one way that your show and other shows can do very well, because there is obviously a, there is a issue with self publishing people, a lot of people are thinking, they might only hear these stories about people who wrote one book, and then it’s a number one bestseller, or whatever. And the grim reality in many ways is that for most people, they’re gonna write a book. And they kind of make some marketing efforts. And they’re not going to say that many sales for it, at least to begin with.

But that doesn’t mean that the whole exercise of self publishing is worthless, just because they publish one book and it hasn’t sold. Yet, there’s obviously no guarantees of success in self publishing. But it is, like every book you create is like buying a lottery ticket. It may or may not take off. And you can obviously do things in terms of marketing. But a lot of the time, it is just like, you’ve got the wrong book, for what the time is. And even if you try and write a book to market, you’re not necessarily going to time it right, you might write the vampire romance zombie book, that at the time you’re writing, it may be like the best thing ever. And then the whole bottom will fall out of this onbuy Zombie vampire romance market, just as your book comes out. But I think that like, it’s just the sheer amount of freedom in terms of create, you can create a book. And that book may or may not be success to begin with, but this is going to be on the Amazon store. Or at least the ebooks or indefinitely. And also I suppose the paperback versions of the the online ordering.

I mean, I know obviously in in India, that ebook market isn’t as great because paperbacks is just so cheap. But for the rest of the world, ebooks, historically been a lot cheaper than paperbacks. And certainly, as a consumer, when I was reading lots of mainly nonfiction books on the train, I was buying like 99 P, ebooks and cheaper self published ones, because I thought, well, some of them were dreadful. I mean, some, I mean, this was around 2013 2012 2013.

And there were some ones which were basically rip offs. I mean, there were some books where somebody created about one chapter, and then they just changed the words a bit for each. And ones where it was just basically a ripoff. But I feel from all the books I’ve paid, paid for that, I got more value, because every now and then you came across some really well written, like write publish repeat, some book, which was really quite profound. And I think there’s an element of freedom in terms of self publishing, in that people can say things in self published books, they wouldn’t say in a published book, I mean, it’s there is there isn’t that kind of corporate filter that you had have a big book people can say, or give opinions about things in a very different way. And you never know if your self published book is going to be subtly successful several years down the line. So the more books you create, the more chances you’re getting at some point in the future that your book will start taking off and start making money gives you an independent way to actually get your views out there. So I was saying that you’re an expert in publishing in India.

And you, you were disputing that in some some extent, but you write a book about self publishing in India, and you’ve got the podcast, then you can immediately say that you are the author of publishing in India, and you are the host of the market 10 podcast, and nine out of 10 people will be impressed by that. And they’re not going to say well, actually, you don’t know that much about it. And there’s a bit you’re the person who set up and spend the time creating the podcast. You’re the person who sat down and wrote the book about yourself object. And that in itself gives you an amount of credibility, which then you can use and with social media where everybody is accessible in a way that they never were before. So if you’re approaching somebody, really, I don’t know who the huge literary figures would be in India. But if you’re approaching them for your interview, you can then say, well, I’m the host of the mica temple scarf and the author of this, and I want to interview you on my show. And that gives you credibility and strength.

And that is something that has previously only been available to some selected published authors. And it wasn’t a case that the publishing companies were necessarily picking them out as the best people, they were picking them out as people who already had followings. So now, you can almost do things the other way around, you can create your prestige book or podcast, and then use that as a way to grow your following. And then if you want to go down the traditional publishing route later, university already got that audience,

AV: Then let’s get back to your NaNoWriMo novel, what are the next steps in it? What’s the timeline? You’re looking to publish it? And how are you going to approach the marketing aspect?

TL: Well, what I’m doing at the moment, is reading through my previous two magpies, and magics books. Before doing my first read through of the book again, I generally do that before I pass it on to my mom, who’s my editor, she used to work as an editor in the 1960s in Delaware, so you have some editing experience. But I typically take quite a long time frame. There’s a lot of things that happened in February time, it’s my birthday. And so I don’t like to try and release a book. So I suspect the book will probably be released around the end of March time. Now, in terms of what I am going to do for marketing my book, I’ve been given this some thought the biggest issue I’ve got with all of my magpies and magic books, is actually the lack of reviews, the reviews I have got are quite good. But I’ve heard from people I know, or people who’ve reviewed my previous book, and I’ve sent them the copy, but I just haven’t got enough reviews on the first book or lighter books.

So that’s something I’m going to be giving some attention to have a look at some service like story cartel, where they give your book out for free for readers, or trawling through the Amazon site looking for sort of top 100 reviews. And they say something because this is where there is a lot of work involved. In terms of Amazon reviews, our Amazon books, reviews are so important because you get that little star indication above your book title. And, obviously access to services like BookBub, and they’re like, require a certain number of reviews. So my initial focus is on getting reviews from my earlier magpies and magic books. I’ve almost certainly going to make the first book free. But I’m a bit loath to do that before I’ve got some reviews because I know, reviews for free books are generally a much lower standard than for pipe books. It’s almost like people are paid for a book, then they’re just much more likely to give it a positive review. If it’s a free book, right?

I mean, I suppose the reason why free books get worse reviews than PayPal is if somebody has to pay for a book, they make more effort to read the reviews and look at it and check that is the right sort of book for them. A lot of people who won’t like the book won’t buy it. So they’re not going to leave a bad review. And that’s exactly what you want. But with a free book, a lot of people say oh, it’s free anyway, I’ll just going to download it. And then a month later, they will decide what’s this rubbish and then lead a bad review. And certainly, I’ve noticed that with the Times Book, maybe one of the great issues I had with that book, and I managed to destroy my reviews by marketing it to the wrong group of people. So being mindful of that, I don’t necessarily want to make the book free before I’ve built up reviews for it.

Just to buttress it in terms of of getting that. So we’re building out the reviews is the first thing to do for the series. And then I’m considering maybe starting a separate stone impress below and writing some articles on that. Because one of the great issues is it’s very hard on social media and other advertising platforms to directly advertise books. One of the great things about advertising online is that you can find people who’ve gone to your site, and you can send them ads again, that’s the sort of the more guaranteed way to do it rather than spending lots of money on Facebook ads, which is what I did before which helped to get me into the top 10 I’m not sure that direct approach necessarily works that well anymore. So I’ll spend money advertising sort of blog posts about the topics. And then people who have read a certain amount of articles, I will then send on adverts maybe, to promoting doing promotions on lighter books in the series. And that’s probably the way I’m going to go. But

AV: so here we go, folks, you heard some valuable tips from Tim after the first draft is over what to do social media and particularly the preorder with Apple. Tim, really appreciate the insights that you provided. It’s been a great conversation. I think once you are closer to releasing your book, maybe we should probably reconnect and see how the the marketing part has gone around. And we can probably have some more actionable insights from there.

TL: Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. All right. Well, thank you so much.

This post was updated on 21 Feb ’23