Writing Romance: The Importance of Rapid Release (The Self Publishing Show, episode 180)

on this edition of the self publishing show romance is about relationships and relationship that's the turning point where you go from thinking about yourself to thinking about other people more who you're sort of forced into this interchange and that's where you are with romance and that's what makes it fascinated me and why I've never gotten tired of writing it is changing no more gatekeepers no more barriers no one standing between you and your readers do you want to make a living from your writing join Indy bestseller mark Dawson and first-time author James Blatche as they shine a light on the secrets of self-publishing success this is the self publishing show there's never been a better time to be a writer hello yes it is the self publishing show with james Blatche and Mark Wilson and here we are on a Friday for you doing a little batch recording as I think we may have said yesterday we are confused at you know I was thinking because obviously we record intros and we have things to talk about and I have to make a note in my mind as YouTube about what we need to talk about and I have no clue what in the end it's gonna make it to air from yesterday we did so much chatting about so much stuff I don't know what we said what we didn't say no any idea no not really and then we did a two-hour webinar um in the evening so there's a lot of talking into microphone yesterday and we recorded three podcast episodes for podcasters only one of which will ever make it to her because of technical issues I may have said this before we're back to recording three episodes in a row because we're about to go away in fact our editor John and John Stone who works tirelessly in the background it's also going to go away I was going to say for some well-deserved rest but I think he's filming somewhere so it won't be resting yes we had a fantastic webinar last night we had over a thousand attendees of our webinar which i think is absolutely awesome yeah that's where we had 500 last time and we kind of we upped our GoToWebinar plan which is isn't she too has she to increase that because we didn't want to turn people away as we did last time and yeah last night had over a thousand for pretty much the whole time they say it was a very good attendance rate and and people stuck around almost till the end most of them so that was really great I hope that was useful so kind of as we record this that was by another week to go of the course of as authors and when this this podcast goes out on the what day were that bj thing like that in in in June the 20 I live jr. yeah the course will have been closed for a little while so um yeah it was it's been it's one of those times where it's just totally bonkers I'm exhausted just from all kinds of running around and not so your physic physically exhausted just mentally sorts in my eyes hurt just by staring at screens for hours and hours at a time but you know that's well it's also um a fever yeah that's not helping that's true there is a lot at the moment there is okay well look we've got a few things to do before we get into our interview today with Rosalyn – James we are going to welcome our new crop of patreon supporters and we had quite a few join us in the last week or so so I've got a few to read through here one of the things you get as a patreon supporter is you get a shout out here on the self publishing show what could be greater than that so I'm going to say a very warm welcome to Nadine Travers from California to Ana Gonzales from also from California doing well on the California count this week anhui I think that's been a force than before Peggy Mackenzie from Colorado a Craig white from the Isle of Wight spelled differently White's from Great Britain the Isle of Wight is a little island on the south coast of England where my father's family all hailed from but my father's distinguished among that family for leaving the Isle of Wight the others are all still there Elizabeth Lee from WI USA Wisconsin Wisconsin um so that now the others we don't have occasion support they are Michele frost Rachel Dacus Scott Jarrell Stephanie Martin LM Hendrick Gordon Herbert's in' sarah Rockwood Georgina Lucy Kem Rolfe mall Vick kate stewart and donna kholer we want to say a very warm welcome to all of you if you go to patreon.com/scishow why have they joined James whatever that's such a big crop you've joined they have joined because word is spreading around the world that for as little as a dollar an episode and as maximum three dollars an episode of the support in the self publishing show you are enrolled into the self-publishing formula University which is turning out to be very regular live training on ranges of very useful subjects in fact we are minutes away for the next we'll have hours away from the next one which will happen tonight as I'm speaking yes we've got mal Cooper coming on to talk about read-through which is a very very important subject and mal actually he's responsible for open my eyes to that and has saved me probably from switching off lots of ads that I thought were not profitable whereas in fact they were probably very profitable and so that's gonna be a good one we've got the guys from book rush coming on and soon to talk about their their really good piece of software that enables you to produce ad images really quickly nice nice images – very convenient way to do that we've also had Adam Croft about mindset Tami Labrecque has spoken about email lists and email list building I've done something on advertising oh we've got Craig Martell is coming on I think Michael on underlay he will come on and do something that there's there's tons of good stuff that we've had and I've got plans for hopefully one a month and it will be useful stuff the kind of kind of thing that I would attend and I'll take notes on as well yeah yeah I'm looking forward to and I had a call with mail a few minutes ago so one of the ideas if I don't your idea but mal liked a lot was that we're going to get attendees to put forward their figures for the last three months and we'll do some live number crunching well now we'll do some life a number crunching and I will help weed out the answers so yeah looking forward to that tonight so if you go to self pub – pod here we go patreon.com forward slash self-publishing show you can you two can be a student in the SPF University by the way you don't need to do that if you are enrolled in any of our courses and if I paid courses because university enrollment comes packaged and parcel with that right we're gonna talk hunky ripped rugby players are we that sounds exciting drama to do but although no in dear listeners dear viewers – oh my goodness this is how the if you look if you're watching on YouTube watching YouTube apologies and that's that's your cue lunch dinner aunty yes I haven't been asked a lot more for the fact I've made downloads please do you know about Fabio who's Fabio Oh who's who's Fabio he's a very famous cover model from about 5 years ago he was on I know he was a stock stock guy who usually with his clothes off I don't think you're gonna be replacing Fabio anytime soon yeah that's very good news um so yes yes folks he's now doing his blue steel from from Zoolander ok we're really talking to Rosalind about is not a little bit again trouble with John what we're not going to talk about his ripped rugby players so much as writing and getting product on the shelf so that's something that Rosalind excels at is something she advocates and she's been very successful at there wasn't actually it's not all gonna be right rugby she I think she starts a New Zealand but now lives in northern the United States possibly Canada I think northern United States and so that's really the benefit this interview is always great to talk to somebody's getting it right and it's selling a ton of book so let's speak to Rosalind there mark and I are way back for some further model posing off the back there's never been a better time to be a writer ok Rosalind welcome to this self-publishing for me to show or the self publishing show I should say thank you for having me you're very welcome now I can see straight away there was an All Blacks Scots a flag I put that in the in the picture for you so that you could see that yeah it's not beyond yeah right but it's the thing I'm most known for stuff well we're going to introduce an audience of Americans to how sport with an oval ball should be played that's right just as violent but without the armor ok good we're in the middle of in the middle of Six Nations here in the UK at the moment so it's all rugby fever but we'll come on to that later we're going to talk about you your career and yes rugby comes into your books of course so Roslyn why don't you give us the the skinny as they say about who you are and I write romance alright contemporary romance and romantic suspense and I am both in be published and traditionally published somewhat like as well as having some traditional deals on foreign translations and audio most of my audio though is through a CX and that's actually a preference and I have working on book 29 in my seventh series I have my seventh series coming up and I do a lot of try to do a lot of different things different tones different different settings settings all over the world and and that is interesting to me and I think interesting to my readership so that's that's basically who I am I kind of do it my way and what I said good as Frank Sinatra says yes and um and you we should say you are successful commercially this is a very secure very successful although it's extremely surprising to me because I just kind of did it you know everything I have written I have published and everything flows pretty well and it has from the beginning so don't ask me yes I know how to do it I'm much better at writing and presenting that I am at promoting and that's another choice I've made well the writing is obviously critical to it an important element a very important element to it and one of the things I think we're going to talk about with you is is how to write a good hook how to get people to want to buy your next book particularly in series you so you've got seven series so let's start beginning with that I mean at the beginning when perhaps when you started writing series words so it commercially important as they are now but did you always think I'm going to write book two sequels is this a more indie thing in recent times and that's all I've done I wrote my first book when I was over fifty so I wrote my first fiction as my first book that's out there the first thing I ever wrote and I wasn't intending it to be a series I just wrote a New Zealand rugby book because that was the story I had in my head and then it was really fun so I wrote a couple more my books are almost all standalone so they're within series but they're almost all standalone and that's partly because that's what I enjoy and that's partly because that gives you a lot more entry point yeah when you say you wrote a New Zealand rugby book this is not coaching manual this is a romance fiction book yeah yes yes it's a it's a romance book but but you know with the heroes are all New Zealand rugby players big strong sturdy types yeah we're very familiar with the All Blacks over here and we should say to the audience who aren't that familiar with rugby and I think it's growing in the state's the All Blacks are in my lifetime have been the phenomenal rugby union side and they've been the side most difficult to beat and most difficult particularly in New Zealand it's happened occasionally when it does happen in the UK it's like hallelujah and their fireworks go off but they are the awesome side note why is it such a small nation but it the incredible number of powerful amazingly talented rugby players that the Kiwis presenter um yeah and that's why I thought I living in New Zealand that's why I thought they'd make good romance heroes I was there doing this 2011 Rugby World Cup I was there for that period living there and I just been in Australia living in Australia and then we were living in New Zealand and it's really an amazing that's really what started me writing fiction was I thought why hasn't somebody written these guys as romance heroes because they are there's a an expectation that's I think fairly unique in sports that they are good citizens as well as the rugby players it is they have no asshole selection policy and and they're pretty serious about the about how you're supposed to behave so that makes them easy it makes them easy athletes to write about whereas if I were writing you know soccer was about half your levels and all the same yeah right that would be a little pepper I have to believe it to write it no nobody in nobody's over heard on a football soccer field calling the referee sir and there was a moment this weekend actually watching the Wales England game when one of the more senior players but it's hand on the shoulder of a younger player said just have some respect for the referee please and put and pushed him away as he was arguing the referee were vanishing now that does not happen in soccer where they swear and shout and occasionally headbutt the officials but I love rugby for it and and I can see yes I can see why that would lend itself to you know to a romantic backdrop so tell us about the first book you you're in your fifties you say you sit down for the first time in your life to write a fiction book what's right a fiction story I'd never written a story in my life I've been a marketing writer and I'd written a lot of a lot of besides marketing writing I've written a lot of you know when I was in five an MBA when I was in business school I'd always write the papers I'm a good writer as this player writer but I've never written any fiction and I just got this idea in my head and I asked my husband you I could write a book and he said yes so I started the next day and I did that thing that everybody says not to do I quit the day job I wrote the first book in six weeks and I put my job and then wrote a bunch more and about nine months after I wrote the first book that published all three of the three first books together but that was a different time I hasten to say to anybody who thinks oh that's how it's supposed to be that was a different time it was the bottom of 2012 when I when I published book my books for the first time and that was an easier time to make a splash in publishing sure but the wrong I'm intrigued by the writing process so you sat down as I'm writing my first book and I'm finding it difficult to learn how to write and a lot of things that you don't think about when you just read novels suddenly become very apparent when you're trying to construct a story and and the art and the character development all this stuff did all this come naturally to you yes that's it was really easy I was really shocked at how easy it was but I do have to say that when I wrote my third book it was much much easier so the first you know I thought it was easy with the first book by the super book I realized okay now I kind of know what I'm doing and I'm I'm certainly a much better writer now with I write very long book so when I said but I'm on book 29 I've probably written you know well over three million words at this point so I'm certainly much better now but I was I was okay I think I just read so many books in my life that a lot of it was internalized so what's your average book length hundred thousand words anywhere from a hundred tons or fifty thousand words so that's a lot yeah good well mine's coming up 250 so I'm quite pleased to hear you say that I know a lot of people who say that short is better and so you wrote you wrote this book did you go to formal editing at that stage did you employ an editor I know I had of beta readers I have 20 years as a copy editor that was what I used to do and so so I wasn't worried about that aspect my youth beta readers who were big big readers and I mean I didn't know the first thing so I didn't know what I was doing but they they were they were alright you crowd-sourced your editing which is uh I hit crowdsource yes I did but I didn't know that was a thing I didn't know anything I did not know anything sounds like you didn't need to know anything you just had to have him did it which is remarkable so then you you but you knew enough even in 2012 you knew enough that you needed to have or it was best to have three books you had somewhere for your readers to go after reading the first one that was a decision I made um when I it was a decision I made about the same time I decided to give up on trying to have the first book traditionally published it was just that you know there was a few months and there was making that decision and I thought no I'm going to go ahead myself and I thought I thought about that and I thought you know because I am a marketer in my background even though I'm a crappy marketer now I'm one thing I could do is look at you just have to look at from what your readers think and I thought what my reader thinks is I've read this book if I like it I want to read another book am I going to remember you know just book a month from now that I wanted to read the next book I thought I just in case it catches on I want somewhere else for them to go that's why I put them up all throughout together and that did turn out to be a great idea I still see a lot of people pushing back against that idea but it worked really well for me yeah and I heard it working really well for other people as well I think if you can do it it's a great thing to do I probably not going to be in a position to do it myself but I'm yeah I completely understand it and so you've got your your first series of three you'd launch that and then how quickly did things take for you it's a week so a weekend I set the first book to free because I will put the books in – there was no kayuu then you nobody put them in select just thinking I don't know what I'm doing this is just the easiest I'll just put them in here and I'd give three of my first three days and a free and it was downloaded the first book was downloaded about 14,000 times which at the time was lot and I sold 2,000 books the first month so you know so that they were full price so it just worked really easily but again I hasten to say this was 2012 even in 2012 how did you get that immediate visibility did you do anything I think I looked at somebody like Darcy Chan or somebody's website at the time and I think I bought an ad that was $10 but I think they just I titled them really well I did the series title really well the covers were really good and I think they just caught on because of that and there just wasn't you know the market wasn't blooded with free books the way it is now so I think it they just I don't I don't honestly know I was shocked I was shocked sounds great what a fantastic moment for you and yep the only thing I'm thinking about from a commercial point of view is that rugby is huge in New Zealand is huge in Australia England's pretty big in France Knisley then it starts to tail away unless you're going to market to Tonga and Fiji I mean the big markets like the United States of America and Canada is not so big there was that a consideration of yours no I thought that I thought that New Zealand rugby was an amazing hook for American women and here's why when I when I would live in Australia I'd ask to come visit me in Australia and they kind of felt yeah and I thought it's so awesome here why they have don't you want to come it wasn't to them when I said I was moving to New Zealand every woman I knew said oh I always wanted to do business I mean New Zealand is huge for particularly for women for some reason women find New Zealand romantic and I always say New Zealand is Scotland with better weather you know and and so that's why I thought it would be a huge hook I thought New Zealand is cool rugby I mean I have to do is kind of look a little bit yes you don't know about it but you know it just sort and you know it's a rough sport and that's appealing yeah obviously yes isn't it and your background rustling sounds to me like you have an American accent you American originally I'm an American yeah yeah so why the move to Australia in the first place it was my husband's job my husband a good panel engineer so we were he was designing tunnels in Brisbane and in Melbourne and then in Auckland but that's what we went over there for okay how long have you been in New Zealand no I'm not I'm back in the states now I go back every year typically but yeah actually by the time I published the book that was back in the state okay but I come back it's been a couple months every year over there yeah I I've got friends in New Zealand we haven't made yet but I'm up we were just talking about it just the other day we would love to so we have been to Australia there and I agree it's an awesome country yeah so you got your books done they've flown off the shelves off the virtual shelves which is amazing for you and you suddenly realize that hey you can write be readers like what you're doing what was your next move – well I did I did do a fourth book of New Zealand series when they started sorry it was I want to say for listeners that that was a terrifying time and I think it's it is terrifying if your first works out and you know it's a common kind of thing for have a huge commercial success you know much bigger than mine but you know if you write to kill a mockingbird that's why she's probably never good I guess he did write another book but she never took millions on it's terrifying so I wrote another book and then I thought and then right about the time that book came out that's when my career really took off and I sold suddenly I was i sold 20,000 books and you know on a month five and I thought I don't want to be stuck in a box I don't want to be I see a lot of writers and they basically they're writing one thing one series one like this is I thought I'm just exchanging one sort of corporate prison for another one if I do this I so I wrote something completely different it was still romance but it was set in a reality-show historical reenactment reality show in Idaho it was of just a very different book and I wrote I wrote that book with great trepidation but then that series both very well also so that was when I started to think a little bit maybe I didn't just get super lucky coming up with this one idea maybe you know they're coming for something more so that was helpful I was very very glad I made took that step yeah well it's very interesting to you talk about that period and clearly there is something some common commonality to the books that is the reason people are buying them and reading them so what do you think it is I think it is a tone what I'm good at is characterization and tone I think I I think you can go pretty deeply into the characters and it's a kind of warm and fuzzy but funny so I think I have a combination of things that comprise my voice that's distinctive enough for people to to read me instead of somebody else that I had the hardest trouble keeping up there in the chart actually was a the one series I did that was a kind of a to market kind of series that was more trendy and so that when I'm a little more offbeat I do better okay doing you're doing it your own way as you said at the beginning yeah okay so characterization you're you also talk about hooks yeah and so talk to me a little bit about that in terms of the story hooks well there's an article on my website that I wrote that's been a popular article called how to be hooky and I think oakiness is really really undervalued you know we talk so much about marketing but that the most important marketing happens before you publish the book it's if it's not just your title and your cover and your blurb so those things are important it's what you choose to write about so so I think yeah for me just writing a book about New Zealand rugby and about a woman who escaped it was basically you know that there's a what used to be a popular commercial that women love coke Calgon take me away and it was just like you got in your bubble bath you know and you and you felt like you were you could just like escape because women have tough life so I think I think a hook has to be something in my case the hook is is just I call it being grabby you just have to be grabby whatever that is and people say dismissive things about tropes but of course strokes are hooky you know you you there's something in there that you that is grabby to you I didn't know what any of these words that when I started by the way I had no idea I was writing a trophy trophy book anytime I did it or that the probe had a name but you know it's just like it grabs your imagination you're an American woman who is over works at overstressed you go on vacation to New Zealand which is a gorgeous place and you meet this really you know wonderful guy who is a rugby player but you don't even realize what a star he is until you're back home again for that sort of okay it's not a it's not a mistaken identity but it's uh it's kind of cool that you would meet someone and not realize what a big deal he wasn't tell you what I said though that little scenario is going to ask you for an example unless it sounds like a good one that little scenarios happens in the first chunk of the book so I see what you're talking about so at that point you want to know what happens and you're intrigued by this woman sitting there in Idaho wherever it is back in the States thinking I had no idea this guy's worshipped on the streets of Oakland yeah yeah because the captain the captain of the All Blacks is more famous and more popular than that you know then the Prime Minister could ever hope to be and and that's just a remarkable spot so that's what that was kind of the hook to me what was the woman escaping but who this guy is and his position was fascinating to me yeah don't want to read it well I don't know you know it's my first book I don't know but you know then I called the serious escape to New Zealand and I think that was I have to say I may not have been you know the greatest writer at the time but that was a great series title and that and my hips and my pervert I think sold for what sold my books so that is the case to New Zealand was an amazing hook and I don't amazing huh and using the word escape is no accident no no because this is what are you talking about low sounds like right it's amazing to me how much of this seems to be an eight in you know like you went to a you've been glued to two podcasts and listening to mark and other people for years and then started to do it you just sat man this stuff came naturally to you I like reading escape fiction I like reading escape fiction that's a good story and that where I can believe in the people where like the people and I'm really so I think I think it does come naturally by the time you spent fifty years reading and watching movies and everything else you know storytelling that you you know if some people have always told stories right yeah yeah absolutely so he did a fourth book in the vogue BC series and then he started started to do the very different series based in Idaho and how is this up is this a pattern aid sort of doing three or four books in a series then changing completely to do something I so chose you completed obviously the fundamentals are the same but the stories usually I have to say that usually I don't write two books in the same series that usually I'm switching off so I do everything wrong I am very unusual the reason I never wrote a book since I don't have book ideas you know how every writer says I have this whole dress full of ideas ideas aren't the problem I don't have idea I have what idea at a time so I didn't write the next book that shows up and it might be a new series it might be set anywhere you know that you say the Idaho series but it wasn't the first book was in Idaho's and x2 books were in San Francisco so so it's like I did I'm all over the place your books your your typical reader could go from one of your series I put inverted commas series to another and enjoy each book as a standalone almost regardless of its setting yes my I won't say my typical reader because I certainly have readers who only wanted to read the New Zealand books first hour or who only want to read the romantic suspense book something like that but my ideal reader I guess you could say or my big you know I don't like the word fan but my avid readers yes so they'll read the different ones because it's you know it's branding it and when I say branding I don't just mean again cover in title I mean what you do that's unique what you bring to the party and that's what I think authors look to – shallowly at what they do I think it's really important to know your brand in terms of what is it about your book that specials that they're not getting somewhere else and that's not that it's about a werewolf you know or a bear or whatever it is it's like what do you do you know are you funny are you warm are you are you you keep surprising the reader whatever is that things that's the thing that I think you need to be aware one way you get that is by reading your reviews which people say not to do but I think for a newly published author it's critical that's how you know what's resonating that's really close to what Jenny Nash came onto our podcast and said and said to me personally about my book is why are you writing it why do you need to tell this story to get that theme out of what the books about which i think is what you're describing is the brand of the book what it means but what I'm interested in this is that people enjoy a particular setting so I'm sort of doing military cold war military aviation you're doing if your different settings my book is about suppressed male stiff-upper-lip that's the theme of it and it's kind of damage that does over time but I often sit down and think and mine's not test it commercial yet is the person who likes the idea of a cold war military plane also the person who likes the idea of exploring male English reserve and suppression and and you're saying to me that that's more important that theme is what brings your readers back rather than the ostensible their the kind of um face of it you know where it's set and what it does as you know I think that person may be the same person and the reason I think so is thing about Dick Francis isn't that what this Francis's books were all about they were about horse racing or whatever they were about to dick Francis hero who was awesome as I was struggling with self-doubt or depression and one case the guy's really depressed or uncertainty about his sure something like that and having to go through and like see top but he's hurting inside and people respond to the vulnerability as well as the strengths because that is what emotional strength is it's the strength to allow yourself to feel the vulnerability and go ahead anyway so I think I think yeah I know Jenny well enough now to know that she's probably applauding you listen to that because that's I think this is exactly watch what she talks about she talks about why why do I care why do I need to care this is the stuff that makes you care and want to know more so it does go back to hook as well doesn't it it's that kind of people people finding out about themselves people we hate the journey word here because it gets overused all the time but people's development and the decisions they make and that's why I think that's why I love romance you know people often told me because my books are a little bit of an intersection between say romance maybe this contemporary fiction or something but romance is about relationships and relationships at the turning point and that to me is what's so fascinating is I that turning point in your life where you where you go from maybe even thinking about yourself to thinking about other people more or you're sort of forced into this into change and that that's where that's where you are with romance and that's what makes it fascinating to me and why I've never gotten tired of writing it yeah and it's interesting to me that you say at the beginning you didn't know it why you were doing this we didn't you couldn't perhaps vocalize I have force you wrote the story because it was interesting to you and you thought this was a fascinating sort of setup with the woman going back to America American realizing who she was actually with but did you give that type of thought you're having now and we're talking about now did you start to think about that of that early stage was this something retrospectively in reviewing your own writing your work tale I think it's hard I often don't know when a particular book is about until I finished it so no I don't think I have a lot of metacognition about what I'm doing at the time I'm just writing it and that awesome produces a lot of anxiety because I don't know where I'm going or why I'm writing this but my underside of my brain is a lot smarter than I necessarily give it credit for and it always turns out to have a character arc and a story arc and everything I was going to write in and up but there's a lot of ways to do this job people do this job all kinds of ways and I think that's another thing if we're looking for one answer or one way and there's really not one answer one way to do any aspect of this job so about the writing process then do you do you plot when you say you just write the next book whatever it happens to be does that book come to you in a form where you've got an idea before you start writing or do you literally do a kind of early child thing where you just sit down and start typing I have to know the characters really well first so I know the characters and their backgrounds and all research the heck out of that and I'll know basically the situation and it just depends on the book how well I know what what's happening but yeah I'm a little bit of alley child person in that sense I can write 150 K books that is has seven-pointed points of view characters and it's mystery and I and I won't necessarily know who did it until halfway through the book you won't know who's done it now and you know you wouldn't think how can you write seven points of point of view characters without like a big out light at a mystery in an unfolding mystery and like I said I think it's in there it's just not it's not really articulated yeah so you articulate through your writing how you are you trying to find your way okay um and in terms of your marketing setup then Rosalind you're you have and I mean you said all this sort of happy Baxter but you obviously did put some thought into it where are you now with marketing do you have a mailing list you run run ads I'm I just I've kind of in a different place and first thing I want to say about this is you know I think it's really important somebody said know your why know what you're doing this for we evaluate what you're doing this for and whether you're moving towards your goal um I do I didn't do and you think this is funny I have an MBA marketing I didn't do a mailing list I didn't do a newsletter until about three years in I didn't because I didn't want to and you know was that stupid yeah yeah that was stupid but um so yes I have a mailing list yes I do a newsletter right now I have one ad running small ad running on AMS or my latest book but that's about it what I do still do can always work for me and it still does work is I'll offer a book free for a few days and advertising on some sites you know a first book in this series and that does bring me new new readers and then I get I've been getting lately a lot of new readers through audible interestingly enough seem to be getting new readers through there so you're doing a regular newsletter now yes regular you know what are we calling regular 3000 year no I I do it anywhere from once a week to once a month that's okay that's regular yeah I think Dawson does it less frequently than that yeah yeah I mean I can't do it just when I have a new release because that would not be frequently enough at all I only write only really about every three months okay you only release every three months but that is still to me finding my way through getting one book out still amazing people rocked a book every three months well I said that I didn't think there were any rules for how you had to do this job but I do think that there is a speed at which if you can go at a certain C you're going to have a hard time I'm not going to say it's impossible because there are exceptions to everything but I think if you can't release three or four times a year it's pretty hard to get a lot of traction because in my eyes on rrah in contemporary romance in particular I turned off my notifications I don't know why this keeps pinging at me in my chandra in rome contemporary romance in particular you have so many people releasing once a month or faster yeah and I don't think you have to do that but I do think there is a certain kind of speed that if you go slower than that it's hard to hard to get anywhere well your readers read quickly all right they got three books yes yes and that I guess I just made a decision that I think what it is is that for me it's about it's really my marketing is really about the book itself it's it's it's more on the book and my my readers have carried uh have carried the marketing water for me more um it's really have been about word of mouth and about writing just a really kick-ass book so that you know it's not enough this is where I think people get into some trouble and the treadmill thing you know the romance treadmill think it's not really that is a path certainly you have the heavily advertised and you put a book out every three weeks or whatever and it's short and it satisfies you know it's satisfying but it's it's it's just really harder to make that big impact I think because you're not standing out for that book so you're not going to get the your readers to do your kind of heavy lifting for you unless they devoted to what you're writing yes it's not enough they can't it can't just be good enough they have to love it yeah and so that's a challenge I mean that's a challenge nobody can write a book that everybody loves every time and you're doing for a year some will be more loved than others but you know that's what you're aiming for do you know you read as well yes I think I do yeah yeah so I do interact but interact I guess when you talked about my marketing I do the free book thing I did the newsletter thing and so on my reader emails and I do interact on Facebook quite a bit because that's where my readers tend to be they're a little older yeah I know who they are I know that they're a little older not necessarily you know they might I have some in the 20s and certainly a quite a few in their 30s but you know they're mostly mothers and grandmothers and stuff they want to go to a happy place in their reading their life this is challenging you know they have so many demands on them they want that happy place they will not escape yeah they want that escape that Kelvin bug by deeper bubble bath yes that's what they want and so book 29 coming out now is that right yeah and what's the what's the future hold um and then I wait to get another idea and figure out and find out what it is I don't know that's that the tricky thing for me I don't know until I finish this book what this book yes it's subconsciously there's a part of your mind that's already we've done a little bit starting to think about probably but they'll take me a few weeks after I finish this book to get the next one you don't you know take a break an hour from writing you argue writing every day I write every day while I'm writing the book but then I don't have another idea and that's again that's not because I think it's better to wait it's that I don't I can't write until I get another idea and I always think I won't get another idea but I'm gradually starting to see I typically do get another idea good the last thing I just want to talk to you about because you mentioned it before the interview was your success with audiobooks which I think you were a bit surprised at yourself but I just tell us about that well again I think I was lucky that I was in audio early I was one of the early people that ACS kind of reached out to and my first audio book did get an was a knotty finalist in romance and was just you know unusual for an indie book so I got you know I got a lot of exposure with that but for instance the new I don't know if you know about the new audible romance subscription that's something like Kindle unlimited that people have strong feelings about one way or the other and a lot of people have found it does it do well but for me that's been I really I've gotten a lot of new readers through that subscription program please the books in there and so for me it's just I just do whatever works I just try stuff and if it works I just stick with that should be easy yeah well that does sound like good marketing advice Rosaleen I'm very impressed with how you've turned this around you have above all else you have a an application to what you're doing you get on and you do it and you go with the bits that work so I think you've also got something that that lots of people need to have in this industry is this ability to listen to the criticism to see where it's not working and make decisions and improve yeah I think that that is important I'm not saying it's easy it's not easy and I think a lot of people who write romance in particular a pretty sensitive plant I know I am things hurt but you know I think it's really about getting better if you for me that's really my marketing is about the book and it's about becoming a better and better writer but if more people want to read the book and that that's my number one focus every day that's a great attitude and I am I looking forward to a day when your husband doesn't have to build tunnels anymore Oh he's retired oh he's retired good he's leagues now living off the romance earnings yeah yeah there's a book that wasn't there about a tunneler who goes to Australia and digs it digs away and find something you didn't expect to find there you guys your next story for you I don't know I'm not your tunnel engineers most exciting romance your I hate you're just too close to it okay thank you so much indeed for joining us whereabouts are you in the state's I should ask Idaho I mean no llores series become really well thank you so much indeed for joining us has been in its own way it's been inspirational so thank you alright thank you very much this is the self publishing show there's never been a better time to be a writer you can't really argue with the concept of getting product on a shelf no no it's Seth Godin isn't it he says was it Seth Godin kind of um say he said something he said lots of things but base of one of the losing said was always always be shipping and so it's important to can and you should pay attention at this point is not is to stop when you start moving things around and compromise and punctuation around and start actually shipping your books and there is one of there's lots of things that success authors have in common one of the things I would say is that they are open to the idea of marketing and learning how to do things and enjoy that as well but probably more important than that is is just writing love books obviously the more books you have the more ways that reads can find you the more you can market and you know going back to read through the more you'll read through is likely to be which makes advertising decisions a lot easier and opens up lots of different avenues in that regard as well so Rosalyn yeah she's she's been doing it right for a long time yeah well it brings us back to read through there's no issues we were talking about at the beginning of the podcast episode is suddenly you find that you can actually sell your you know your first book in your series at on what looks like a loss but it's not a loss in the concert in the terms of your business no not necessarily so I'm I'm doing there the moment I'm saying very big campaign running at the moment which looks like on the face of it is making a huge loss 40 grand probably in terms of the actual loss but I think he says the fingers crossed and after telling you lots of times that I'm terrible at maths I'm as confident as I can't be that actually it's it's a profitable campaign so we'll see your firm if in a year's time you know I'm broadcasting from a park bench somewhere and I was wrong but I don't think I'm wrong well well here you you've been spending a lot of money in the background with a large internet marketing company and will hear all about the internet so that at some point I guess in the future internet marketing company Jimmy Amazon well I really AM azan here yes yes I am I'm not alone an internet marketing company them although already a retail internet store yes um yes a lot of money with them in a project which you haven't talked a lot about on the podcast and it's been an eye-watering amount of money you've committed to it I remember you and making that decision at the beginning so will here perhaps down the road once you'd be able to crunch the figures I'd be a back end of it and we should also remind people because this came up in the webinar last night a company was rolled their eyes oh yes of course could marks a millionaire so that's why he he can make advertising works he's got endless amounts of money throwed it that is not how you started you started with $5 adverse $5 days and made losses yeah there's a there's a slightly snarky comment with someone saying ah so he was a lawyer but you know at the time I wasn't a lawyer um I hadn't been a lawyer for a long time when I started advertising how we were working together watching pornography in the BBFC official ruse professionally yes we were professional pornography watchers and yeah and my wife was on maternity leave just why income coming in you know we didn't have tons of money I drove her really battered old Ford Focus which was my wife's car um so no I didn't have lots of money to chuck at it and it's only really when I've been able to scale up and invest a little the rest of profits that have made spend more with this profits in reinvest that and to scale up that way that's that's how I've done it um it isn't with benefit of a lit of a huge bankroll at the start definitely not yeah yeah just a reminder because when people here that he spent 40 grand on one advertising campaign that may not make money and it wasn't always like that for you you're making decision so I thought do you want to know a little thing for me is I have run my first Facebook Ads campaign oh my goodness because you know why because I've been recording some stuff for you and as it turns out you can't migrate your ads manager your ads account into Facebook business manager if you haven't had a transaction in the past I didn't know quite while it's just one of the rules so I'm now running a campaign and I got six signups in my first couple of days at one pound 18 each it's too high I know it's too high but but you got to start somewhere you're gonna send someone yep and that was just random not random targeting but I think I put Tom Clancy men 45 to 55 okay well it's only one targeted but we can now we can certainly get that down a bit we're gonna I'm gonna I don't if there's any online instructors who says that no courses anything like that Seth Godin's good just know I'm gonna reach out to him there you go using me okay I know yes right before I take my top off again I think it's probably time for us to draw a vial over this particular episode we wanna say a huge thank you to Roslyn Jane spending her time talking to us brilliant to talk to her we have a fantastic man next week we have a man who helped usher in the era of Windows on the PC who then went on to be a big part of the launch of the Kindle and the transformation at Amazon he's been a big figure in both the lives of Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos and he's going to talk to us next week about a fantastic project that he's now head of so a really good episode next week looking forward to that until then I hope you have a good week writing and selling your books and I'm going to say that it's a good buy from him and a good buy from me goodbye goodbye get shownotes the podcast archived and free resources to boost your writing career at self-publishing show.com join our thriving Facebook group at self-publishing show.com forward slash Facebook support the show at patreon.com forward slash self-publishing show and join us next week for more help and inspiration so that you can make your mark as a successful indie author publishing is changing to get your words into the world and join the revolution with the self-publishing show

7 thoughts on “Writing Romance: The Importance of Rapid Release (The Self Publishing Show, episode 180)

  1. Great episode. Rosalind is right on the money when she talks about the importance of the characters and the development of the relationship to hook your readers. I have a couple of authors I read who write in somewhat different sub-genres of romance, and they're a one-click buy for me because I love how they tell their stories. Great advice. What amazing success, well done, Rosalind. I can only hope . . . .

  2. I'm really glad she mentioned her husband supported her at the beginning so she could quit her job, cos that's an important factor. Would love to hear more from romance authors who are single and self-supporting AND still manage to reach this level of success. Rapid release is proving so difficult for me because I have to work and support myself. So exhausted 😬 Good interview, nonetheless, for sure! Thanks so much, Rosalind!

  3. Fun episode! I loved how James went from kinda being skeptical about the romance books to being intrigued by the hooks the author was bringing forward. Awesome interview!

  4. So pleased to see another bestselling romance author being interviewed. Rosalind is very open about her process and her sales online, so glad you guys choose her to interview and chat with.

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