Data in the Details pt 2

 A.E. Radley’s Sapphic Marketing Survey (Pt. 2)
Data in the Details: A.E. Radley’s Sapphic Marketing Survey (Pt. 2)In this continuation of our last episode, A.E. Radley and I continue discussing her WLW Marketing Survey, as well as several other trends in the wlw publishing industry.
We discuss:
  • Releasing your book on Amazon
  • Reader survey results

A.E Radley Online

Rae Online



please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect

hello everyone and welcome to for love and money with the lesbian talk-show this is ray and we’re here with part 2 of a e Radleys amazing interview about her great sapphic marketing survey so we left off last time after a happy rant about fan fiction and we’re gonna pick it up right where we left off it’s hard to get some of the younger ones to actually spend money and I’d be interested you have any age data on your survey no no actually I do I do let me just have a look yeah it’s really really spread and it is growing a little bit in the younger and but definitely I mean younger a teens like now it’s negligible the 19 to 29 it grew a tiny bit but 30 to 39 does grow a little bit as well but I found really interesting actually I did a question this year first year I did this question where I said do you feel that the women loving woman fiction market has changed at all in the last year and 63 percent said yes that there are more books and interestingly in that same question fourteen percent said they were new to the market which I said it proves the point really fourteen percent of the people can’t answer the question because they’re new to the market then obviously it’s grown and I thought was really interesting so I do think it’s it’s growing but it’s still so hard because if you could just capture all of those fanfic people and just go there’s a whole genre stuffed full of books from the last 20 years for you which is growing and growing and growing I think I think they’d get something out of it and obviously we’d get something out of it too and lots of them are free and cheap too they’re not all ten dollar ebooks either yeah so that’s what I tell them and sometimes it works yeah I think some of them must have come over I mean I know that I’ve had I mean my readership there must be people who had no idea that this market existed and came with me in two published books there must be because I you know how how could I possibly affirm I’ve carried on writing unless some of them had come over with me it wasn’t all the existing audience who were median lesbian fiction I must us you know bought some with me but yeah it’s hard because obviously lots of them don’t want to read books and this I still have people saying like picking up a completely original book of mine and asked in which ones which of the pair in I used to write and I’m like no no Regina’s not in this book and I still have to say that some people they’re like oh or they read it and they go oh that was definitely Regina and I might know it’s not like nothing like her but they want it to be so it is it is hard but yeah trying to bring them over but as you say there’s so much free literature as well that they could that they could get there really there really is and I think the market is only gonna continue to grow as people migrate over from fanfiction land yeah otherwise known as ao3 in the recently deceased tumblr – yeah yeah absolutely and I think you know I mean I’m seeing you all this all the time in the in the Facebook group the lesbian marketing lines where where you and I talked and there were new authors coming in all the time and some of them are coming in from fan fiction like some of them you know like when you look and you think oh that’s not that’s not like a real name and you look you think but it sounds so familiar or anything actually I think you wrote fanfiction I think I know who you are so there’s lots of people who were you know starting by writing fanfiction and realizing actually I really enjoyed this and I’m quite good at it maybe I could make a living out of it and I think that’s fantastic well I know for a fact that that happens because I have personally Shepard ed aside from my own career three other authors to begin writing and publishing their own work as original fiction instead of fan fiction so yeah I small point of pride for me it’s fantastic that really is I think it’s so important as well so so many people said to me oh I don’t know how to do what you did I might just go do it just just go and do it yeah I mean I was I was approached by a publisher and said do you know the approach by a publisher saying do you want to produce this this into a into a published novel and I’m like I’ve got a business to run and even if I could be bothered and then like fast forward like three four years and I’m like all in that’s all I want to do now and but first I had no desire to be a published or so my wife wanted to kill me she was like you’ve got this opportunity in your hair yeah well you could be bothered now I’m like okay yeah now I get out I want to do it but there are so many people who desperately want to do that um and I think this is a huge opportunity for them I think there’s a lot of people who could you could really benefit from it agreed absolutely agreed so I have to ask two more important questions before we wrap this amazing conversation up that I’ve loved having the first one is the obligatory what do you do when you have a new release what marketing strategies are at the top of your list when you press the publish button since you’re an indie author and well with with what I do is changes every single time because I am actually say I’m a data person I’m constant looking at what worked what didn’t what do I need to do what didn’t I need to do I used to have an artless I used to have an out list of about 250 people and which sometimes I would send 10 advanced reader copies out sometimes I’d send all 250 out and I actually found it made no difference whatsoever yeah absolutely did help me to get reviews and it definitely helped me to start of my career but I’m releasing my 10th 11th I didn’t even know I above 10 books so I’m releasing that one coming up and I don’t find that I personally need art copies anymore I do think other people would but for me that doesn’t really work I toyed with having a street team but it didn’t really work for me I think the most important thing for what I do is a slow launch I think what we were saying about the 9 a.m. people who get up and just you know my books out and they think they’re done I think the really important thing is to look at your total sort of marketing network what you’ve got so if you’ve got Instagram Twitter Facebook and an email marketing this and spread that out over as many days as you can because that slow and steady launch is what counts most when it comes to the Amazon algorithm and I’m fully on Amazon I know lots of people were like no no I’m wide but for me being on Amazon and being kayuu that’s what works most for me that’s definitely sort of been the thing that’s growing my business about just looking at how the Amazon algorithm works and trying to tweak it as sort of appropriately as I can and with that what Amazon hates is a huge amount of sales and then nothing but if you can grow those sales and pre-orders as well I never use pre-orders because that is another artificial way that that works if you have 200 pre-orders and they all go out on day one and then you tell three books on day two Amazon will bounce you up the touch charts and bounce you straight back down again whereas if you have those 200 sales over four days and you have 50 on each day you’ll go up the chart and you’ll stay up the chart so for me it’s about kind of tweaking that as much as I can to kind of slowly increase the number of sales I get each day over a several period of days to ensure that I get a good chart position and then generally by being in a decent chart position I’ll generally stay there because then you’re visible to all the people you can’t get to all the people who are not connected to you on social media who you don’t have their email marketing channels available so for me that’s that’s the way I work is good and effective for a lot of authors and I don’t think every author has to market the same way no I think that’s the really important thing I like to say to people cuz people go what did you do or how do you do that and it’s just like this works for me and every time I mean I’ve written a few blogs on my website about marketing and things of that and one of the first things I say is this is what works for me your market could be different your strategy could be different and that’s the thing there’s no one-size-fits-all I’d love to be wide I’ve tried it a few times it doesn’t quite work for me and when I go wide I mean kayuu is about 50 to 60 percent of my income and I don’t get anywhere near that when I go wide I’m lose most of that income even though I do still sell wide I am getting an audience I’ve never gotten to the point where I can anywhere near catch up with what I get with kayuu so everyone’s really different and I think that’s the really important takeaway is to kind of look at what works and trial and test things as much as possible being a scientist about it I think is really fantastic so uh can we can we talk about your upcoming release this month can we talk about second chances yes the second chances is something I was thinking about right in a while ago so my first book flight basically had a had a child in it and those people loved it and they said oh you must be a mother no no no nothing about children whatsoever but apparently I could write children quite well so for ages I was thinking I need to I need to get back into that so this is the story of Hannah Hall and her daughter Rosie and Rosie is five and just starting school and she’s a gifted child so she’s Sam she’s very very intellectual very wise beyond her years and she goes to school and obviously her teacher her new teacher miss Spencer finds out that she’s gifted and wants to sort of accelerate her education and help her along the way but her mother Hannah is very very much against that because she had a bad childhood and she knows it’s Stanton you know sticking out in any way is a real negative thing at school so all she wants is for Rosie to have a very very normal childhood and that’s utterly impossible so obviously there’s that quite a lot of conflict that is such an absolutely perfect because neither side is like 100% right and they both have valid motives but it establishes this tension that’s why I think is pretty important though the books I like the most when you’ve just got two people doing their own thing and there’s not conflict for conflict sake like I think a lot of people do the thing where two people have an argument and I think I read it I think I could solve this in two seconds or you could solve this by these two people actually talking to each other I think you know the odd the odd misunderstanding the other arguments fine but I think if you just have fundamentally people who are coming up the same place they both like these two people both on the best for this child but for different reasons they think different things I think that they become the sort of most endearing plots that you can really relate to because you can see both people’s points of view oh the hundred how you messed up exactly mark and LexA are the perfect example of that because they both made completely justifiable but awful decisions I’m sorry okay well you know you know what’s with the fight a quick story quick story me my wife never watched the hundred and we were our friends kept nagging us again you’ve got to watch you gotta watch you gotta watch it and like weeks and months went by and we never watched it and then one day we went you know what we’ll watch it fine we’ll watch it well watch it tonight and we we didn’t I tell me what happened something happened we didn’t watch him we thought we’ll watch it the next night and that was the night that you know that thing happened and social media tumbler blew up the next day and we were like I mean you know to use a pun it was a it was a dodge bullet for us that we didn’t get like involved in it it’s so easy to do but yeah we were so close and yeah I mean I know I know the story I know all about it cuz I think you can’t be on on tumblr or anything like that and not know everything we’re just like yeah this this would be perfect for us but yeah we we literally missed it by a day actually starting the the series and the start but yeah we were like oh thank goodness it’s funny though going back and I haven’t rewatched the series I used to rewatch portions of it but it’s really funny going back though because the plots are so bad yeah yeah it’s funny though isn’t it I mean that we once upon a time he’s sort of like my fan fiction and we watched like the first series was amazing and the second series is okay and the third series isn’t yeah and then the next series like I actually Mike my wife is stronger than I she was like I’m gonna watch it I’m gonna watch it was a very bitter end and I just couldn’t I was beside myself with rage I’m like what are they doing nothing makes any sense how are people still writing this like what are they drunk like him nothing made any sense smells like Nyles pathway it had a great start and yeah and everything but you think how did this get made like my cat could write better than this that’s one reason I’m writing books in this 95 percent of the people in our Sean rat could write better than these people yeah absolutely this is what I do think our genre is definitely growing and I do think with you know technology changes media changes I mean I’ve had people like contact me about turning a couple of my books into films and I’m a bit like but who are you but then I’m like does it really matter who you are when you’ve got things like once upon a time Rizzoli Isles on television does it matter is this is a person in their basement cuz they can probably do better you’re listening to the lesbian talk show the lesbian talk show calm your hub of podcast information I have to ask because that’s what I’m trying to do at the moment is break into like a little more screenwriting how did you get those offers they just emailed me out the blue I had two different people email me out the blue wonderful one for my Christmas story that was recently released and one for bring Holly home and then bring Holly Holm was out and started last year January last year so yeah people just emailed me out of the blue which I was you know what do you think my first result is always like is this fraud but no they were just genuine people who were like oh we’d love to convert this into a movie and it’s a bit like well but the fundraising is the thing there’s a huge amount of money that you have to raise or you can get grants and it’s about applying for grants and things like that so that’s all things I’m investigating this year sort of half-heartedly investigating because it’s obviously a massive long process it’s a barrier to entry it’s a barrier to entry I mean cisgender white men are the ones with the money so they’re the ones paying to get their stories made yeah absolutely but but haven’t you noticed though there’s been so much more women loving women representation in general it’s like it’s becoming he’s becoming a bit cool a bit popular I do think we’re coming up to that bridge now we’re gonna be like please tell me it’s got a lesbian in it because that makes money I think we’re kind of getting there I hope so it’s just when they do a bad job then I get annoyed but yes same-same yeah that’s why I’m like yeah please publish my book please please please convert a book of actually someone you know someone in this industry who we have heard of who actually writes properly not just someone who you know had a bit of a bit of a bash of it and it’s no good second chances come out I haven’t actually I’ve actually decided it’s probably gonna be towards the end of this month I’ve recently come back from holiday and my sister-in-law is visiting today for a week and that means I’m not gonna be working for about a month which I don’t remember the last time I had even a week off but yeah I’m probably looking around probably Friday the 22nd to be honest okay great well I will add all the links to the relevant stuff in the show notes by the time this podcast comes out the book will definitely be out I hope yeah I’m super super excited to share all of this great knowledge you’ve imparted to me with all of my listeners it’s so fantastic I’m really excited this is a great conversation to have at 9 in the morning yeah I am sorry about that I don’t know how you’re taking all this anyway do you think you listened to it back several times yeah I mean this this there’s so much information from these surveys I mean I I’m always a bit careful to say you know these surveys they do come from the same pool of people they’re people who either know me or know people who know me generally from people who are on social media so there’s a whole wide world out there that questionable how do we get hold of you those people who you know aren’t in social media don’t give their email addresses don’t interact with us in any way there’s that whole world I don’t know what they’re thinking but this is I don’t know you know what they’re thinking no come on get on social media for God’s sake that’s ma I’m just uh you might win a free book come on but there’s all these people we don’t know what they think so this is like this is quite a small pool of data but I still think it’s a very helpful pool of data I love listening to your podcast as I say because it’s just like you know I actually someone’s talking about like making money instead it’s like the other day someone someone asked about contracts and they were gonna sign up to a publisher with a ten year contract with with with the rights for their next book no the next three books automatically go into that publisher I was like no but because people don’t talk about it nobody knows and it’s such a shame and I think we got to be more I mean I’m I talk about sales figures I talk about how much money I’ve made I talk about the contracts I had and that the fact that I’m independent and you know how that works in taxation I talk about that because I think if people don’t then certain people are gonna get into bad situations I know people who are in contracts they wish they’ve never got into it’s such a shame it really really is so just just to touch on that real quick before I say goodbye what do you think do you have any data on the average length of a contract from what I hear it’s about five years I was gonna say three to five yeah well I think people I mean Jen and the other thing is people don’t know that contracts are negotiable when you get a contract from a publishing house you can turn around and go Matt and that I mean the worst they can do is go no it will be this you know you should question it I know that there was a publishing house that was sort of saying seven years and someone going to negotiate it down to four which is for my liking still forty many but you know at least and I think you have to you have to be careful as well what is that publisher giving you what are they doing and how much money are they going to make for doing it and if you actually yeah yeah especially if you’re doing all the marketing I mean obviously they do have a massive database to go into and to you know go hey this person’s books out but you know do they leverage that that marketing list very well for you they ask you to do a lot of marketing how much are you doing how much are they doing and a lot of our publishing houses use other authors editors and proofreaders and sometimes those people are really good they know exactly what they’re doing I know that I know some horses who are fantastic developmental editors I also know some authors who have been used as proof readers who probably shouldn’t be so you know you’ve got to know what you’re paying for and you are when you sign a contract with a publishing house you are technically paying them to do a job yeah you are you are and just a caveat I have to say if you are an indie publisher not you you but like you plural all the listeners if you aren’t any publisher you not publisher writer if you are an indie writer you have to hire a good editor you have yeah and you have to yeah absolutely I think that’s one of the problems with our market that’s I think that’s why people complain about editing and people complain about indie or so then it’s the bane of my existence because the indie authors who I work with they have professional editors my editors a new your publishing house editor she’s not cheap and she’s very good and she knows what she’s doing she’s published many many books edited many many books and I would never ever ever ask people to pay for one of my books unless it’s been through a professional editor and and a really good proofread I I just think that’s wrong to kind of go oh gosh this thing together and I’m going to sell it on Amazon as a professionally published book well it’s not if it’s not going to be edited and proof read then it’s not and I think it’s so important and you can destroy your career if you release a book and it’s full of errors you’ll get a reputation and people won’t want to read your book anymore whereas if you have a well you know a well old product that people look at and go yeah this is what I want it this is a you know well edited you know well-constructed story then your audience will go so you’re not doing yourself any favors by saving money I know editing is expensive but it’s worth the cost finding an editor absolutely you just yeah yeah I mean my deter is I often think about that I think like my editor is is in part responsible for a lot of my my success in my career without her I would I wouldn’t I wouldn’t be so successful so you know they were a partnership it’s you know it’s someone who you need to find someone who’s good and you need to pay them a fair wage and you have to find someone that you can talk to you and geez I’m gonna have to have him back just to talk about this subject although yeah I’m happy say yeah find a good find a good editor pay them they’re worth in gold and you know find one that will consider my editor considers lucky seven which was one of my recent releases to be their god child yeah I feel so yeah you want them to buy into things as well I mean I had like an educational period like my my my editor is not from this genre so I had to sort of explain to her a little bit more about like the woman I mean women fiction market and explained you know the kind of things you know tropes are good and you know people there must be happy ever after and there must be this and there must be that you know the things that people expect and to kind of say like yeah I know that you know show don’t tell and things like that but a lot of my audience is either from fan fiction or you know is predisposed to liking that style of writing so sometimes you know I would go off piste from what a you know a New York editor might say but I you know these things I’m right on but then she’ll turn around to me and say yeah these things you cannot do so but okay and we negotiate well if you break the rules deliberately it’s different than not knowing that yeah that’s the thing there’s a difference between breaking the rules and being completely ignorant of them and I think I think that’s something that people really need to know about people like our roles like no no really yeah absolutely it’s really important to know I mean I do break editing rules because I know them and I know that I can break them and but if there’s any occasion women plenty of times when my editor and my proof we do even comes back to me and says oh you said this especially as an English speaker like a you know United Kingdom English speaker there’s many things I say and they’ll go no one will know what that means in America so I have to have that balance especially if it’s an english-speaking character I have to have that balance of actually saying like well that is how we would say she is English I’m sorry American people will just have to learn and you know they do it’s fine but then there’s times when it’s not in in dialogue and they’re like no one will know what this means am i or that I have to change then well this is great thank you so very much for being on the show with me for talking about all the stuff that nobody wants to talk about I know we’re really excited for your new release coming up this month second chances I will I will buy it because it seems to possess us you’re the two characters at odds in a way that I find very I don’t say charming but I’m gonna use that word charming compelling that’s a good word a compelling thank you I really really appreciate that yeah we’re gonna have to stay friends after this this was great absolutely doesn’t match thank you you’re listening to the lesbian talk show with raid imagine where we interviewed AE radley about her amazing books about data sifting through data learning all you can from it about indie versus traditional I can’t even list all the things we talked about fan fiction if you want to continue the very long conversation you can go to the lesbian talk shows Facebook group and discuss their episodes also please check out the lesbian top shows patreon where you can support us and hear exclusive clips you won’t find anywhere else thank you and have a great week you