How a First Time Novelist Used Silicon

Author Chris Fox is the guest on Episode 34 of The Author Biz Podcast.

Chris Fox

Chris Fox

Today’s guest, Chris Fox, is an author who also works as a software engineer for a Silicon Valley startup. That’s a world where careful planning, big thinking and being able to adapt are critical to businesses success.

Chris brought that type of thinking to his author business while writing his first book, NO SUCH THING AS WEREWOLVES.  He identified his “ideal reader” in great detail, and learned what he needed to do to reach that reader.

No Such Thing as WerewolvesWhen he launched his book he wasn’t satisfied with the results he was getting so he adapted, tracked the new results, kept what was working and dropped what wasn’t.  The net result is that five months after the release of his only full-length novel (the next will be released in April) his book still ranks in the top twenty of three different Amazon categories.

As you’ll hear in the interview Chris also produced an audio version of the book and the results of that effort have been nothing short of amazing.

In this 49-minute episode, we take a deep dive into author marketing and audiobooks  covering topics like

  • Chris gives us an overview of the first book in his Deathless series, NO SUCH THING AS WEREWOLVES.
  • Chris works in the startup technology world of Silicon Valley and thinks of writing and marketing his books as running a startup business.
  • Chris identified an author who is achieving great success in his genre and studied his work and business tactics, prior to launching his own author business.
  • Chris describes the initial marketing plan for his first book.
  • The creation of “Mythical Bob,” the target reader Chris was hoping to attract with his book.
  • Chris breaks his marketing plan into two categories – active and passive.
  • The one small keyword change that doubled sales of NO SUCH THING AS WEREWOLVES overnight.
  • Amazon maintains a list of keywords that will get a book into specific categories.
  • Why Chris chose to be brief with his book description at Amazon, instead of using the entire 4,000 characters available to authors.
  • The value of choosing an evocative title for your book
  • Chris has built a street team to help with user engagement, reader feedback and discoverability.
  • Chris’s next book, NO MERE ZOMBIE, the second in his Deathless series, is scheduled for an April release. He explains what he’ll do differently with the launch of his second full-length novel.
  • Chris hired an author’s assistant to help with the launch of his second book. He explains why and how he found his assistant.
  • Chris has experienced tremendous success with the audio version of his book and suggests Audio Books for Indies, by Simon Whistler to authors interested in producing audio versions of their books.
  • How the Audible algorithm helped fuel the sales of Chris’s audiobook.
  • Chris chose to pay his narrator in full rather than doing the Audible royalty split. He explains why and how that decision has worked out.


Chris’s author website

Chris’s Amazon Author Page

Simon Whistler’s  Audiobooks for Indies

Kindle Boards website

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