Kobo Writing Life Podcast – Episode 041 – Barbara Freethy
We’re really excited to share this episode with you: an interview with #1 NYT bestselling author Barbara Freethy! Barbara shares great stories about her publishing journey, how she balances her time, advice for new authors, and more. Tune in to hear all about:
- How Barbara came to publishing as a voracious lifelong reader, then decided to try writing in her late twenties.
- How she carved time out when working and raising small kids. She dedicated small chunks of very focused time every single day – if you just write a page a day, at the end of the year you’ll have a book.
- Getting through the writing process is hard work, and unfortunately it never really gets easier. Leaning on other excuses can be a way of coping with fear of the blank page. You have to persevere and work through it.
- She remains very involved in every aspect of the self-publishing process, because she knows her brand better than anyone.
- Barbara’s 80/20 rule: Spend 80% of your time writing, and 20% on everything else. Marketing takes up a huge amount of that 20% – so you shouldn’t be spending all of your time on every single social media outlet available.
- “Once you have a stack of books to sell (5-6), you can do so many things. You can change your prices, do free giveaways.”
- New writers: the best thing you can do is write 3 books. Don’t even waste time really marketing the first one, until you have the next books available.
- Writing is not a get rich quick scheme. Building your brand and developing a following takes a lot of time.
- The digital revolution has brought many people back to reading, and made it easier for them to enjoy great books.
- Barbara’s unique print partnership with Ingram.
- She usually publishes 4-5 new books per year. However, she advises, “Everyone should set their own expectations for their own process. It just doesn’t really matter what other people are doing.”
- “You can’t sell something that isn’t good.” Worry about the craft, don’t forget about your writer self – then think about discoverability. Take a breath, slow down, think about the long term. This is a viable publishing path that will be around for many many years to come.
- Participate in writers groups, attend writers conferences, try to connect with retailers. “Retailers are your partner. We’re all doing the same thing. We’re all trying to sell books, and that’s a great relationship to have.”
- Her author mentors: Debbie Macomber and Susan Elizabeth Phillips both helped her early on in her career.
- “I think writers are better served by going wide… really what you want to do is spend a lot of time and build your network and your relationships and reader base at every single retail site that you can.”
- Plus: What you might not know about Barbara!
Find all of Barbara’s eBooks on Kobo!
Barbara Freethy is a #1 NYT bestselling author of women’s fiction, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. She has sold over 5 million (!) copies of her books, including the bestselling series The Callaways and Bachelors & Bridesmaids. When she’s not writing, which is almost never, she’s enjoying time with family in California.
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