Indie Pub Austin Discusses Scifi and Fantasy Genre

Let’s get together and talk about the state of the scifi/fantasy scene, and how that relates back to indie publishing in general.

  • Who are your favorite indie authors in SFF? Least favorite?
  • What events should an indie SFF author be attending?
  • How to vet an editor for your scifi/fantasy story
  • How to find beta readers for your scifi/fantasy story
  • Finding Beta Readers
  • Finding cover artists
  • Copyright law (We have an upcoming meetup on this topic)
  • Conventions?

Questions from Authors and Notes

What are some current trends in scifi and fantasy indie publishing?

  • greater acceptance of novellas, novelettes, and shorter works in general. A lot of people have been successful with shorter works.
  • Higher production as a way to get noticed
    • References: Write. Publish. Repeat., 2k to 10k, 5,000 Words Per Hour, etc.
  • Increased Collaboration
    • Michael Bunker’s multiple collaborators… Nick Cole, Kevin G. Summers
    • Self Publishing Podcast guys…
    • Knowing someone is waiting on work from you can help you be more productive.

How much research do you do for futuristic science fiction?

  • As little as you can to make it believable
  • Do some reading to give yourself a starting foundation
  • Some “handwaving” is acceptable as long as the story is believable.
  • Make sure the story world rules are consistent
  • If you’re making assumptions, be consistent with the impact those assumption have.

Tropes and creativity

  • Be aware of the existing tropes… read within the genre you’re writing about to learn them, study them.
  • However, don’t limit your creativity by getting too involved with your research.
  • Ask questions of your local librarians, specialists, experts, pros—make a network of contacts. Use Facebook groups and forums.

Copyright laws and issues.

Upcoming meetup on the topic of copyright and IP: An Overview of Intellectual Property Law for Indie Authors

Other things in the news:

Would you consider the Flintstones science fiction?

  • Interesting question. We can call it paleopunk.

Where do find beta readers?

Where’s the line between beta-reading and editing?

An editor knows about the craft of writing.

A beta reader just likes to read in your genre.

Have a different opinion? Share in the comments below!

How many beta readers do you use?

We took a vote:

  • 1–5 (7)
  • 6 – 10 (2)
  • 11 – 15 (2)
  • (2 abstained)

Some discussion about the difference between beta reader and editor (see above)… and the group is divided on the definition. Generally speaking, both beta readers and editors provide early phase feedback on your work, and it’s up to you how you use them.

Getting in touch with your fans

It’s about platform building from the very beginning — another way to say building relationships with your fans.

How do you get NEW readers?

  • When you’re first starting, that’s THE question, the catch–22
  • Giving your book away for free is one way to do it
  • Constantly working your platform
  • Asking people to share the book
  • Networking with people
  • Promote across platforms with other authors
  • There’s no one answer… and no established “way”

Have you found any value in going to conventions?

  • Yes, it’s a good way to network with fans and other authors and industry contacts.

What are the big Scifi/Fantasy Conventions?

Where do you find cover artists?

Good luck!

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