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MF GALAXY

MF GALAXY is a weekly podcast powered by four mighty engines: * Writers on writing: the craft and the business * Pop culture including TV, movies, graphic novels, and more * Progressive politics, activism, and social enterprise * Africentric change-makers, histories, cultures, art, and more! Mixing brand-new interviews with classic conversations (from my archive of 23 years in broadcasting) with famous and dynamic figures in the arts, Hollywood, and politics, MF GALAXY will take you to places you've never been before, and deliver fresh insights on the places you've been.
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Now displaying: Category: writer - novelist - indie
Jan 7, 2016

On his website, Milton Davis describes himself professionally as being a “full time chemist and a part time writer.” But I’d say he’s full-time both. Like any chemist, Davis is focused on creation, synthesis, reaction, and results. Theory’s not enough. Experimentation and production are the whole point.

Milton Davis writes Africentric science fiction, and also sword & soul, the Africentric answer to the Eurocentric fantasy subgenre sword & sorcery. He’s best known for his novel Meji, and he’s also a pioneer in the genre called steamfunk, the Africentric response to the unquestioned Eurocentric imperialism of steampunk.

Davis is also an independent publisher and the founder of MVMedia, an Atlanta-based company that publishes his work, novels by Balogun Ojetade, and anthologies that he and legendary novelist Charles R. Saunders edit. Davis went indie because he knew that he couldn’t wait for Euro-American Big Publishing to appreciate his work or even bother to try to sell to his audience.

As many of us have learned through bitter experience, too many editors in Eurocentric Big Publishing believe that Africans in the US, Canada, and elsewhere don’t read. MVMedia is just one example of how very wrong they are.

In today’s episode of MF GALAXY, Davis discusses:

  • The business skills and attitudes he brought to indie publishing and the knowledge he’s gained since starting
  • The indispensability of emulation
  • Why in your sales strategy, you shouldn’t place too much emphasis on genre
  • How you need to behave when you’re at a book table or book show with your books
  • Why you need to organise your own events, and where you should be doing it
  • How a science fiction site from Australia helped launch his career, and
  • How his embrace of Africanity stands in direct contrast to the current rejection of Africanity in the guise of emphasising so-called “Blackness”

Davis spoke with me from his home in Atlanta by Skype on December 11, 2015. At the beginning of our conversation you’ll hear someone coughing; that’s not me or Davis, but his son who was nearby.

I began by asking him what made him pursue indie publishing in the first place.

 

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If you’re looking for awesome audiobook enjoyment, visit my Minister Faust is Creating Audiobooks page on Patreon.

Dec 22, 2015

Last fall I was one of the guests of honour at Pure Spec, one of E-Town’s most important conventions, and because I was giving a talk, I missed a session that people were raving about. They said that an indie author who’d had major sales was handing out her success secrets for free!

Being an indie author myself and also very, very cheap, I immediately cursed myself for having missed such an excellent chance, and then remembered, Dude, you’ve got a podcast! You can ask anybody for anything!

So I asked Krista D. Ball to tell me and thus you how she went from a low-selling epic fantasy series to being able to pay her mortgage from book sales.

Krista Ball is not only a charming and delightful interviewee, she’s also the author of 13 novels and novellas including the Spirit Caller series, the Historical Writing Guides Series, First (wrong) Impressions, and Limelight.

In today’s episode of MF GALAXY, she tells us:

  • How she boosted her sales from nearly zero to clearly hero
  • The importance of starting a mailing list, and what service to run that list
  • Setting up your Author Central page on Amazon
  • The sweet spot for pricing ebooks, when to throw a discount on them, and why
  • What “supported sales” are, and why you need them
  • How and why to make boxed sets and bundles of ebooks
  • The importance of cover design and where and how to commission one, and
  • Why it pays authors to have one of their books bundled with those of six other writers even though the entire bundle will be sold for only 99 cents

Krista Ball spoke with me by Skype on November 25, 2015. During our conversation she cites E-Town author Eileen Bell, author of Seeing the Light and The First Circle, and I cite E-Town author Wayne Arthurson, author of the Leo Desroches mystery novels.

I began by asking Krista to reveal her strategies for how an indie author can sell more books.

 

SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE ON iTUNES

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SUPPORT MF GALAXY ON PATREON

FOR MORE INFORMATION + LINKS

 

If you’re looking for awesome audiobook enjoyment, visit my Minister Faust is Creating Audiobooks page on Patreon. Tomorrow, December 23, 2015, episode 2 of The Coyote Kings, Book One: Space-Age Bachelor Pad goes live with one solid hour of entertainment, plus bonus features!

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