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)
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.
- In a recent bog post, Shawn Inmon also recommended shorter works for new indie authors trying to gain traction.
- This transends indie pub, as Tor recently put out a call for novella submissions.
- 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:
- People stealing books, tweaking them, republishing (if you have any sources for this phenomena, please post them in the comments below!)
- Google Temporarily Closes Play Books Partner Center
Would you consider the Flintstones science fiction?
- Interesting question. We can call it paleopunk.
Where do find beta readers?
- Goodreads – discussion groups where people can post when they want beta readers
- Contact beta readers directly
- Net Galley… through Broad Universe
- Choosy Bookworm. Read and Review service
- Build relationships with your beta readers — if they like you’ll book, they’ll often enjoy beta reading even more.
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?
- (Austin Based) ArmadilloCon 2015 — July 24–26th
- Wizard World Comic Con Austin (October)
- WorldCon – Moves around, this year it’s in Spokane
- DragonCon – Atlanta
- World Fantasy Con
Where do you find cover artists?
- Look in the samples of books whose covers you like to find the name of the artist
- Indie publishing podcasts often interview cover artists
- CreativIndie Covers
- Anna Dorfman
- Free online cover maker by Canva
- The Book Cover Designer
- The Book Cover Archive