We’ve got an interesting combo episode today. The first ⅓ of the show is the wrap-up episode of the Martha Carr Launch Strategy Case Study, where we’ve followed Martha as she went through the process of launching six books in 91 days. In today’s episode, we’ll get the final details on how things went and what she’d do differently if she were to do this again.

This entire process has been fascinating to me, and I think to a lot of you and I’m sorry to see this come to an end. I’ll be actively looking around for a next case study when time permits.

Martha sticks around for the second part of the show and we bring in Jill Smith, the narrator for Martha’s Wallis Jones series. The first of the audiobooks was just released and the two of them discuss the way they’ve worked together on the series. For those authors who haven’t tried audio yet, you may learn a thing or two about how the process works for both the narrator and the author.

Show Notes

Martha’s Highlights

  • Finishing Wallis Jones series
    • Released The Butterfly Effect, the 6th book of Wallis Jones series on 2/22
      • Released six books in 91 days (rapid launch process)
        • Launched using the process of Michael Anderle’s breakout series
      • Cover designed by Victoria Cooper
      • Makes an average of $17/day from this book alone
    • Hit the $45/day mark
    • Books #5 and #6 of Wallis Jones are in the top 100 of Financial Thriller New Releases
  • Cut off the first three chapters of The List Conspiracy (Wallis Jones #1) from KU
    • Received better reviews
    • Reopened possibility of initiating a TV series based on the books
    • Some critics think this is sacrificing her original vision – she disagrees
  • Currently mapping out a new book series
  • Participating in a thriller anthology Close to the Bones (with Steve), due out later this year
    • Steve will be crafting his story in real-time on the Taylor Stevens show, starting in two weeks
    • Contributing to an anthology like this will help boost sales

Martha’s Lowlights

  • Sales have slowed down to ~$10/day
    • She says this doesn’t really feel like a lowlight, just an indicator to move on

Martha’s Advice for a Stronger Launch

  • Start building email list and art group as soon as possible
    • Start with Instafreebie and promo to build an email or newsletter list
    • Ask for followers to be in the art group and leave reviews
  • Everything you are learning while branching out into self-publishing is worthwhile
    • Keep asking questions, working with other authors, and promoting when you can
    • HAVE FUN; celebrate everything!
    • Don’t wrap up your self-worth in how much money you’re making
      • “The rock is always rolling in the right direction.”

Jill Smith

  • Can be reached for projects through ACX
  • Narrator for Wallis Jones series on audiobook
    • Was chosen from three auditions
      • She followed Martha’s notes:
        • Richmond accent
        • Character descriptions
          • Wallis Jones as a strong, confident woman who gets answers
      • She was the only candidate that read Wallis Jones as if she wasn’t a woman waiting to be rescued
    • The audiobook is available through Audible on Amazon
  • Favorite projects to narrate:
    • Looks for characters that come across clearly on the page, that she can get to know in a short period of time
      • Short audition times contribute to this as a priority
    • Looks for exciting and interesting material
      • Listeners will be able to hear if the narrator is not invested in what they’re reading
  • Rates are per finished hour

Audiobook Creation

  • It is the job of the narrator to paint a picture of the book for the listener
    • There is a relationship between the narrator and the characters
  • Auditions
    • Typically 5 – 8 minutes of reading
    • May only consist of one or two lines from each speaking character
    • The author may or may not provide guidance on voices (accents, emotional state, etc)
  • Recording
    • Normally, the narrator records the first 10-15 minutes, gets an authorization, and reads the rest of the book
      • The process for Wallis Jones was different, more collaborative
        • There was feedback, and some tweaking to be done
  • Editing
    • It helps to edit in chunks to catch any discrepancies in mic placement, body position, etc
  • Advice for authors for the process
    • Have a clear idea of who the main character is, so you know when you hear it in a potential narrator
      • This helps to give the narrator instructions, as well
    • Approach the process with a collaborative mindset
      • You chose this person for the project, so work with them, and work through the kinks
    • Give key highlights to the narrator about your vision
      • Keep it short and concise, and be willing to see where the rest takes you

Links:

Martha’s website www.marthacarr.com

Jill Smith Narrator – ACX Profile

Buy The List Conspiracy Audiobook

Martha’s Amazon author page

Martha’s Facebook Page www.facebook.com/WallisJonesSeries

Martha’s Cover Designer, Victoria Cooper

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week.

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