Mark Wayne McGinnis started putting out books in 2013. Since then he has had great success with his series “Scrapyard Ship” which now has seven books in it, all written in the last 18 months. In this interview we talk about how he really set himself up for success by looking in depth at the market, and talking to authors who were already successful. You can find show notes and action steps from today’s episode at rspcast.com/markwayne.
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The financial crisis lead to Mark losing a lot, and he decided that that would be the write time to write a book, his wife was skeptical, but it was something he knew he could do. He had been reading a lot of books from indies and started thinking: Yes I can do this!
Despite this he didn’t have a master plan, he just worked out how much he needed to write each day to put out many books a year.
Mark has put out a book every couple of months over the last year. Despite this Mark does not work crazy hours, he just makes sure that his focus is 100% on when he is writing. He was previously a technical writer, which honed his discipline skills.
Mark started writing when he had just come out of bankruptcy, but still he knew that the audience needed a high quality product. He paid for an editor, about $1500, which was a bunch of money.
Now that he has had some success he is really keen on giving back to the community. When he was starting out he found people to be enormously generous and now is keen to help new authors learn.
Are there authors you admire who you can send an email? If you’ve got a burning questions, drop them an email, you might just find they respond.
Can you join a writers group in person in your area? This can be great for productivity, having people hold you to your deadlines. Critique can also be useful.
How many books are the biggest indie authors putting out a year? How long are they each? How many words would you need to write a day to meet that level of production? How many hours is that?
Where can you hire people into your process? If you have people helping you, you can spend more time writing.
Is your book description a synopsis, or is it sales copy?
How can you involve your readers in your writing/production process? Have them weigh in on your book cover, it gives you an idea of what is going to appeal, and encourages reader engagement.
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