Let’s begin today’s self-publishing author podcast with two caveats and a thought: firstly, yes, one big draw to the SFF Marketing Podcast is regular information and inspiration from Lindsay Buroker, one of those indie authors I love to read (remember this review?) and whose career continues to inspire other indies; second, no, you absolutely do not need to be a science fiction or fantasy author to find this show useful or entertaining; and for a thought, yes, you do need to grow your understanding of marketing if you are an aspiring author, and especially if you are an indie.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast is a personal favorite. I’m teasing myself a little by admitting Buroker is a big draw (though it’s true) because I’m such a fan. But I have found the two primary contributors to value for me with this show have actually been the interviews and the overall approach by the show authors.
Let’s begin with the interviews, which comprise a large portion of showtime. Who do the SFFMP people talk to? Everyone they can! There’s a nice midlist feel to the guest pool. On the one hand you have people like Chris Fox and C. Gockel, indie authors who are enjoying successful careers and who have both made multiple appearances. Then you also get slightly off-center indies, like T.S. Paul, one of Michael Anderle‘s acolytes (2016 was the year of techies gone author, via Chris Fox and Michael Anderle, if you didn’t know. They bring balance to the Force). Paul’s path is a little less conventional than that of many classic KBoards contributors, and his episode is well worth a listen.
Other guests of note that you will certainly want to hear include Domino Finn, Rachel Aaron (twice), and Annie Bellet. I’m pretty sure Glynn Stewart has a couple of episodes. Does it feel like gratuitous name-dropping yet? It should. They’ve got names. Authors from epic fantasy, urban fantasy, military scifi, scifi erotica (no lie), superheros… they all come to the podcast. And sometimes the three hosts (Lindsay, Joseph Lallo, Jeffrey Poole) spend an episode with no guest, just discussing a few topics in relation to their own careers.
Writing itself is rarely discussed; mostly this is a marketing show, remember. But some of the information is very good, and the stories of each author are always fascinating. Which brings me to the second item of value: the overall approach. At first it seems a little scattered, unorganized. But as I began to listen to other indie author podcasts, more and more I came to appreciate the spit-balling and throw-everything-at-the-wall attitude from SFF. These people will try anything. Just when I thought I had them pegged as at least staunch opponents to being exclusive with Amazon, Lindsay went and created the scifi romance penname, then shuttled her own scifi series through KU. Just to see what would happen, I guess.
I think there’s a lot of value to that approach–let’s just see what will happen. Don’t get me wrong; there’s certainly a lot of value to a more tightly structured, educated, informed approach to marketing as well, as one gets from The Book Launch Show (more on that to come). But in all things, balance. Because trends, because flukes, because creativity. And the authors who come on the SFF Marketing Podcast typically have some of the same things to say across the board, sure, but they also have a few unique views on how they got to where they are. Unique enough, I say, to give the show a listen.