Episode # 11 – Writing a Series with Cege Smith

In Marketing, NaNoWriMo, Perma-free, Series Writing, Websites by Simon Whistler1 Comment

Cege Smith cover

In this interview I talk to Cege Smith about writing a series. Cege has penned three series, with one completed and two still being written. Series writing is becoming more and more popular, so have a listen to this episode to get a great idea of how to start (and finish) a popular series!

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Links:

Book 1 of the Edge of Shadows Series

Amazon Profile

Cege’s Website

Mentions:

Bookbub – worked very well for boosting sales.

The Artists Way by Julia Cameron – 12 week course (self paced). Encourages long hand journal writing! Identifying what gets in your way and celebrating successes.

NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month, have a listen to our interview with RM for more information about this.

Show notes:

TRANSCRIPT AVAILABLE! (Click to view, right click to save)

Cliffhangers in a series can be very useful. They can be frustrating to fans but they are a great way to get people to buy the next book. Ties in nicely with the first book free model – hook readers in then they’ll have to pay to see what happens. Use with caution though, readers can be frustrated by them.

Planning, even for a series, is not always necessary. Cege finds that after a while she gets into the characters and the story and goes off script anyway. Understands some writers have to use plans, its just personal preference.

In terms of finance, if you have a successful career you have the freedom to write whatever you want, although you wont get to write all the time. Cege gets to follow her muse when writing as she has a day job she enjoys.

Permafree can be very effective today. KDP Select was working very well before but then became less effective. Cege branched out to other popular platforms and at the same time went first-book-free with her highest earning book – this was clearly a risk, but one that paid off as the other books started earning her more than the sales of the original one.

Follow through sales of a series for Cege seems to be 10% of those who got it for free will buy book two. From that 10%, 80% follow through to the third book.

Cege used to work with an editor, but no longer does! As she wrote more she found the editor coming back with less and less questions. Eventually she experimented without an editor and it worked well and there have been no reviews stating that her books need editing. Instead she uses beta readers. That said, she will go back to an editor the moment someone tells her to!

Cege operates her own website where people can find her. She says you should keep a blog on your own site, a place that you own. This has been heard in many recent interviews, check out the resource page and our interview with Lindsay Buroker for more information about this.

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Simon WhistlerEpisode # 11 – Writing a Series with Cege Smith
  • R.M. Prioleau

    Great interview! I admire Cege for taking the leap of faith and doing her own editing. I’m glad it’s been working out for her.

    It seems to be an ongoing trend about authors making the first book free in a series. This is something I will consider again, as I’ve not had the same luck before as everyone else had with it.