On this week’s show, our guest is successful young adult fantasy author Sarah K.L. Wilson. Her career took off in early 2018 with her successful Dragon School serial. She’s been publishing books just about every month since then, and we spoke with her about the viability of serials, how she’s kept her initial success rolling along, and the young adult fantasy market.
For some extra background and information, you can check out our 2018 interview with Sarah on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast: Making Good Money with Serial Novellas and YA Fantasy.
Here are some of the questions that we asked Sarah:
Can you tell us how you got started with writing and Indie publishing?
It looks like you’ve redone the covers of your serial since our last interview and started a bunch of new stuff. Do you have any new successes or challenges that you would like to share?
What are things that currently work well for you when it comes to marketing YA fiction?
We talk a lot about “genre-defining tropes.” In many sub-genres, ignoring the key tropes can really torpedo a book’s chance at success. What would you say defines a book as Young Adult? How tolerant is the market to books that stray from the formula?
How far out do you write/schedule releases? Has there ever been a concern that planning too far in advance could rob you of the nimbleness to adjust if a release/series stumbles?
You look to be exclusive to Amazon and all-in with Kindle Unlimited. Have you found that there are a lot of YA readers in KU?
What do you do for marketing? Or does your rapid release model do a lot of the marketing for you?
You’re quite well known for writing dragon serials. What got you started on that, and how has it treated you?
When it comes to serials, what length do you shoot for, and how rigid is your release schedule?
As far as crafting a serial goes, did you make each installment build toward a climactic ending? Or did you write as if it were a few chapters and then stop on a cliffhanger?
It looks like you’ve moved to novels in series more recently. Was that just for variety, or was there something about the serial model that you wanted to move away from?
You’ve got a distinctive and very consistent cover style across your series. What’s your process for making/getting covers?
If you’re doing a lot of installments in a serial, covers can get pricy. Any tips for saving money?
Do you have a formal, written business plan? What does it look like?
You can visit Sarah at her website or check out her YA fantasy books on Amazon.