Chris Well From DIY Author - Behind the Scenes
Chris, please share some of the ideas behind DIY Author. When and how did DIY Author come about?
As an author myself--I have a book deal and I also self-publish--I’ve seen firsthand how all the changes in the publishing space are making it complicated for all of us. Yes, there are more opportunities than ever before, but that also means having to figure out the best path for you as an author. And the best choice for me is not necessarily the best choice for you.
Whether you are an author with a contract, doing the whole thing alone, or fall somewhere in between—there are one or more points of this publishing process where it all comes down to you.
We built DIY Author because we recognized the need to create educational materials that cover the whole publishing process, from the concept to the finished book. The website is structured so that you can zero in on whichever part of the process you need, from creating the work, to publishing the book, to building the audience.
I regularly post articles and resources on the website. The podcast was a natural extension of that.
Did you create DYI Author alone, or did you have a team involved?
DIY Author is part of a larger company, so there were others involved in building the website. But on a day-to-day basis, I’m the editor and manager.
If you’re asking about the podcast, I did try to do that alone. However, I discovered after a few episodes that I needed a producer to keep on schedule. Earlier this year, we signed on with Podcast FastTrack http://www.podcastfasttrack.com for the production of the episodes, plus show notes and written transcripts.
Prior podcasts can be read, but what app is needed to be able to listen to them?
We have a dedicated app for the DIY Author podcast in the Apple, Amazon, and Google Play stores. All the episodes can be streamed or downloaded inside the app, plus there are links for contacting me in a variety of ways. In the future, I’m hoping to also send bonus content through the app. (Alas, it’s a matter of finding the time.)
You can also listen to episodes the DIY Author podcast through any podcatcher—my personal favorite is Stitcher, which works on both iOS and Android. It keeps track of your progress across devices. I can start listening to a podcast in Stitcher on my laptop computer--and, if I want to switch to my iPhone or my tablet, Stitcher knows to resume the episode where I left off.
DIY Author has various podcasts, including author interviews. How do you decide which authors to interview?
For the podcast interviews, I always want to talk to guests who can share something actionable—some tip or instruction that listeners can put into practice as soon as the episode is over. I talk with writers, editors, designers, marketers, and more. It’s not enough for that guest to tell me what he or she has to offer, that guest also needs to share something that will change the life of the listener.
What type of programs does DIY Author present for authors?
The bulk of our content comes in the form of free articles on our website in the categories of writing, editing, book design, publishing, marketing, and career management.
Authors who want help promoting their books can receive free training through a series of emails. Many authors understand that they need to promote their books, but so many of them don’t know how to leverage the power of media influencers. Anyone who wants that free training can get started by downloading a free media campaign blueprint here: http://www.diyauthor.com/blueprint
For more comprehensive training, I’m in the process launching a brand-new paid course. During this pilot launch, we’re calling it Promo Rocket. http://www.diyauthor.com/promo-rocket
Once I’ve finished Promo Rocket, I expect to begin collaborating with a best-selling romance novelist to create some online courses about fiction writing.
If you are asked a similar question by several authors, have there been times when you created a program around the question?
Not yet. I’m at the front end of building these online courses, so I’m still wrestling with the technology, and figuring out the best learning platform. So, as of this moment, it’s still a learning process for me, too.
Does DIY Author do author promotions? If so, is there a menu on what is offered and the prices?
We do not sell author promotions at DIY Author, but we are building a companion website to promote fiction: Fiction Taxi http://www.fictiontaxi.com will be 100-percent about promoting fiction. We’ll be launching a Fiction Taxi podcast, too. At the moment, it’s too early to discuss specifics about packages or pricing.
As for DIYauthor.com, the best way to promote your book is write a guest article. We have two ways for authors to submit guest articles:
*Submit an original article http://www.diyauthor.com/want-write-diy-author
*Share what he or she has learned about publishing http://www.diyauthor.com/learned-publishing
Since the DIY Author audience is other writers, the key for the guest articles is to write something that will improve the life of the author reading the article.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers about DIY Author?
It’s easy to be overwhelmed with all the choices and all the responsibilities for an author who wants to publish. I’ve found that it helps to focus on just one step at a time; compare notes with like-minded authors; look for mentors who can help you grow.
Also--stop pestering people on social media to buy your book. As I teach in Promo Rocket, you need to be interesting, engaging, and helpful. Shouting “Buy my book” is none of those things.
If an authors wants to learn what DIY Author offers, the website is designed so that you can zero in on your particular interest—whether you’re writing the manuscript, publishing the book, or building your audience. Visit us at DIYauthor.com http://www.diyauthor.com
Columnist Lizzie T. Leaf: Award winning author, Lizzie T. Leaf started life in Kansas, sprung to adulthood in North Carolina, and currently shivers through the winters in Colorado.
Since discovering the fun of writing paranormal, she plays with creating vampires, faeries and other immortals. When she needs a touch of reality, her Contemporary Erotic Romances come into play. Her most recent release is Nordic Heat, available at http://amzn.to/1owng5k
If she’s not creating mischief for paranormal beings, or getting under the covers with her erotic heroes, she can be found exploring the other genres she wants to write. She is a member of RWA and has served as President for the Heart of Denver Romance Writers and VP of Programs.
Lizzie loves to read, spend time with her family and travel with her best friend husband.