Bestselling author C.J. Lyons is the guest in Episode 18 of The Author Biz.

CJ Lyons

CJ Lyons

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by everything that goes into running your author business? Does dealing with readers, fans, publishers, branding, editors, email lists, websites, social media and conferences cause your head to spin?

It can be challenging to keep all those balls in the air. But, as you’ll hear from author CJ Lyons, having a clearly defined business strategy helps to simplify nearly everything that goes into running your business.

CJ Lyons is an award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 26 novels, across multiple genres. She’s a hybrid author. She self-publishes some of her books, while others, including her most recent release, a YA novel titled WATCHED, are traditionally published.

In this episode, we’ll discuss the organizing principal for CJ’s business strategy, which is a question she asks herself, before making decisions. What will make my readers jump for joy and delight?

We’ll also get into some of the strategies, tools, and resources that have helped to keep her on track while writing multiple series for a variety of publishers.

I’ve noted some other interview highlights below for people looking for information on specific points.

  • CJ gives us her overview of WATCHED, her Young Adult thriller which is being released on November 4th.
  • A great story about how a bad cover design (by the publisher) killed her first traditional publishing deal.
  • CJ left a career as a pediatric ER doctor to write full time in 2004, against the advice of several friends who were already successful authors, many of whom were still working their day jobs.
  • Taking the first steps into self-publishing as a way of satisfying readers who wanted books faster than her publisher was willing to publish.
  • What CJ calls the best decision she ever made, starting her email list in 2004.
  • CJ shares several sources who have helped to educate her in the ways of business and marketing. These include Seth Godin and
  • The value of using professional tools for website hosting and email list services. CJ recommends using Blue Host for website hosting and Mail Chimp for email lists.
  • The challenge of building a brand when your books cross several genres. CJ’s brand, Thrillers with Heart, deliver character driven thrillers with a core of strong emotional honesty. Defining her work that way, early in her career, has helped to keep her on track.
  • CJ loves learning. Two books that have been particularly helpful to her were, PRIMALBRANDING, by Patrick Hanlon, and START WITH WHY, by Simon Sinek.
  • The value of professional editing and her strategy for dealing with editors for her different series.
  • Creating and using a street team to help with the launch of new books. CJ recently reduced the size of her street team to make it more effective.

Interview Links:

CJ Lyon’s Website

CJ’s site for publishing information

CJ’s Amazon Author Page

CJ’s Facebook page

CJ’s Twitter page

Sponsor Information:

This episode is sponsored by  Listeners can get a free audiobook by signing up for a free, no-obligation, 30-day trial from Audible.  To sign up for your free trial go here.

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