Author Scott Paul is the guest in this week’s episode of The Author Biz.

We first heard from today’s guest, Scott Paul in mid-May 2016 in an episode titled, “How to make real money in short stories.” At that time, Scott, who was writing only short fiction, had generated $10,000 in revenue in his first three months as an indie author, by writing several short books in his Athena Lee Chronicles series.

Well, at lot has changed since May for Scott, who writes under the name T.S. Paul.  He’s launched a new series in a new genre, which is doing well, and he’s also writing longer. Each of the books in the new Federal Witch Series are novel length, which he launched by writing a short story to test the idea.

Scott’s story is inspiring to me, and to many others as well, but you may hear some things in the interview that you disagree with regarding his thoughts on publishing. One of the great things about Scott’s story is that it is a great example of self-publishing success, but it is also an example that there is no one single path to indie publishing success.

Show Notes for T.S. Paul Interview

February – April 2016

  • Revenue: $0 – $10,000 over 3 months writing short stories
  • In the middle of The Athena Lee Chronicles
    • Put books out every 2-3 weeks
      • Published an in-between book
        • Advice to authors: leave space between your books, in terms of plot; let their be time lapse in the story between books
    • Wrote “Wednesday Stories” on blog
      • Packaged these stories into a book
        • Used an “anchor story” – a previously unreleased main story, and grouped it with the blog entries

May – September 2016

  • Revenue: $33,700 (total of ~ $43,000 so far)
  • Made a choice for one of his main characters that opened up a few more niche markets he wasn’t expecting
  • In early September, commissioned four covers in advance for a The Federal Witch, a paranormal series
    • He now has covers through book #8
      • Titles reflect the plot
    • Heather Hamilton-Senter created the art
  • Wrote a 10,000 word prequel to The Federal Witch series in 24 hours
    • Sold 3,000 copies in two weeks
      • 9,979 copies sold to-date; 659,000 pages-read
    • Included this prequel in a friend’s free book promo over Halloween
      • Included it for three days; 6,500 copies were given away in those three days
        • This would bump the “sold” numbers to about 15,000; he still sells 30 copies a day at $0.99

October – November 2016

  • Revenue to-date: $90,000 in eight months
  • Saw great success with The Federal Witch series, very quickly, in October
    • Sold $26,000 in October, JUST from Conjuring Quantico, (The Federal Witch #1)
      • Immediately dove into the second book
      • To-date, Conjuring Quantico has made $53,300
  • Published and released two books in November:
    1. War to the Knife, (The Athena Lee Chronicles, #10)
    2. Magical Probi, (The Federal Witch, #2)
        • Received Kindle awards for Most Sales for both books in this series
  • Was approached by four different audiobook publishers: Podium, Tantor, and a couple others; he turned them down, and signed with a company that offers 20%

Opinions on Reviews, Typos, and the Eras of Publishing

  • Reviews don’t matter!
    • Most people in the bookstore don’t pay attention to reviews
  • Typos also don’t matter
    • People will still buy and read your books
    • The current texting culture has trained our brains to read what we know the word is, not how the word is written
  • The Four Eras of Publishing

Advice to struggling authors:

  • What does your cover look like?
  • Does your book match the genre it’s supposed to be in?
  • Are you advertising at all?
    • Start small with a Facebook ad
      • You may have to tweak it to find what works
      • T.S. Paul spends $1,000 a month on advertising
        • Facebook ads, Amazon ads, BookBub ads, KU (gets 150,000 page-reads a day)
    • You HAVE to put it on social media!

Wrap-up

  • 25 titles at the end of the year
  • Made $180,000 from February 2016 – February 2017
    • Has made $91,000 this year alone
  • The Federal Witch series has made $131,000
  • Currently co-authoring a science-fiction novel with Michael Anderle
    • Released the cover 2/26

Links

TS Paul Author Page at Amazon

Scott’s website: http://tspaul.blogspot.com/

The Author Biz Facebook Group

20 Books to 50k Facebook Group

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week.

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