Episode # 77 – Mark Wayne McGinnis on his Rapid Rise to Success

In Uncategorized by Julius S14 Comments

markwaynenewMark 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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Scrapyard Ship

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Show notes:


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.

Giving Back

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.

Action Steps:

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.


Leave a comment below or get in touch with Simon by email at simon@rockingselfpublishing.com

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Julius SEpisode # 77 – Mark Wayne McGinnis on his Rapid Rise to Success
  • I enjoyed the show! Just grabbed scrapyard ship 1 on kindle unlimited.

    Loving these action steps – “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?” Those are exactly the questions which interest me, and why I started listening.

    • SimonRSP

      Awesome James. I figured this stuff is already there in the interview, just pulling it out as action steps could be really helpful in helping listeners take action from what they heard in the show.

  • Great episode! What is the name of the Chrome extension you mentioned?

    • Ah,I found it. Kindle Spy.

    • SimonRSP

      Ah yes, should have put that in the show notes! Done.

  • Alyne de Winter

    Very fun and interesting. Thanks for another great interview, Simon. And I love the action steps. Steps are good. 🙂

    • SimonRSP

      Awesome, good to hear 🙂

  • Philip Harris

    Another great interview. And put me down as another supporter of the action steps 🙂

    • SimonRSP

      Looks like the action steps are here to stay 😉

  • Another get post. I think the same way & work the same way as Mark, unfortunately not with the same success, quite the opposite. My books have great reviews, but clearly not being seen. Which is hard. I’m working on a new series and new launch strategy, hoping it will work 😀

    • SimonRSP

      Good to hear, while Mark’s story sure is inspiring, I don’t think it is the norm by any means :). Good on you for getting going with a new series and strategy! Keep us posted.

  • This is a fascinating story that many people can relate to in terms of financial situations. I’m curious if Mark would have taken this same path if his wife was not bringing in a second income stream? I’ve heard a lot of similar stories like this, however, it seems like it can be an easier transition for a married couple vs. a single person who would only has one stream of income (of course I could be wrong, but this is just my observation based on many interviews I’ve listened to). Simon, I’m hoping you will have some future guests on the show in such a situation and how they handled their transition to writing full-time.

    Listening to his marketing methods is really interesting. He utilizes the power of newsletters quite effectively, it seems. Has he found more people signing up for his newsletter when he has the link in his book vs. on his website? I’d like to re-evaluate my own newsletter methods and hopefully learn what I’m doing wrong/right.

    The audiobook segment had a lot of valuable information. I want to know more how to market audiobooks effectively. You need to do more interviews like this, Simon! 🙂 I still don’t think we’re quite there yet with having a “Bookbub for Audiobooks” website exist that will bring more awareness and promotional opportunities for audiobooks.

    Congratulations on all your successes, Mark!

    • SimonRSP

      I was actually just interviewed on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast about audiobooks. We talk about marketing them close to the end. Unfortunately there are still rather limited options, but hopefully that will change in the future…

      Also, if you have any suggestions of people to interview in that position, please do reach out to me 🙂