Friday, October 30, 2015
Bestselling author and talented writer Nicholas Sansbury Smith has been a guest on CHIMERAS numerous times. That's because his series, Extinction Cycle has some really cool science built into the premise and plot. I've already blogged about how Nick uses epigenetics to create a new kind of "zombies", but today I wanted to invite him over to talk about something else: author success. With two bestselling series and a publishing deal under way, Nicholas is certainly a successful hybrid author, i.e. an author who publishes both through the indie and the traditional platforms. To him, this is the best of two worlds (and I agree). It's proven by the fact that his first book, Extinction Horizon, still stands strong, with over 1,000 reviews, and the newest in the series, Extinction Evolution ranks in the top 10 Amazon categories for horror, medical thriller, and genetic engineering.
So, what's the secret? Well, I've known Nick for over a year now, and I can tell you that his is no secret: he's a hard-working, driven, and extremely dedicated writer. No ads or luck will beat that. He's also very humble, which is a rare quality these days. Nick just shared a few tips on his website for aspiring writers, which, if you think about it, they are sort of obvious: write the best book you can; research both your genre and the authors that write in that genre; polish your book (i.e. hire an editor!); get e jaw-dropping cover (i.e. hire a designer!). Some are less obvious and you hear less talk about it, but are equally important: manage your time well, as marketing requires as much effort and work as writing; invest time and money in your work; build a brand.
I asked Nick a couple more questions to add to his original post.
EEG: You mention listings to promote books (i.e. The Midlist, BookBub, FKBT), but what about Facebook and Twitter ads? Do you want to comment on that?
NSS: I'm not a fan of twitter for selling books for a variety of reasons, but it boils down to one thing--research shows they don't work. Facebook ads are, in my opinion, the future of book marketing. A good Facebook ad that targets the right audience will net you a positive ROI and help a book climb the rankings. For more information on building a successful ad, I highly recommend Mark Dawson's courses.
EEG: For those who can't keep up with all the networking, which platform has been most useful to you between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blogger?
NSS: Again, I would say Facebook. Bloggers can definitely help a book, but sometimes it's more trouble trying to find a blog that will promote a book than it's worth. I'm an advocate of spending as much time on writing as possible and focusing the rest of your time on marketing avenues that work. For me it's Facebook. I'm not an instagrammer : )
EEG: What online resources do you recommend for aspiring authors?
NSS: I typically follow authors in my genre to see what's working for them. I also find networking to be a great way to share tips.
EEG: Thanks so much for these insights and congratulations on this fantastic series!
Find out more about Nick's books on his website and sign up for Nick's mailing list for an exclusive giveaway of Team Ghost velcro patches, book cover posters, and signed paperbacks!