Research, Marketing & Successful Small Press Publishing with Author JB Harris

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Sometimes publishing your novel takes an unexpected route. In today’s episode, Jessica and Julie speak with author JB Harris to discuss how she pivoted when agents told her the manuscript she’d been working on for 11 years would be hard to break out during COVID.

We cover querying, finding the right small traditional publisher, and how to market yourself as a published author without an agent.

Transcript here:
Learn more about JB here:

Researching historical details (00:07:40)
JB Harris talks about her research process and how she incorporated historical details into her novel to create a sense of time and place.

Real-life inspiration (00:10:57)
JB Harris shares the personal story behind her novel and how she discovered a family mystery that inspired the book.

Navigating writing about real people (00:13:41)
JB Harris discusses the transition from non-fiction to fiction and offers advice on navigating the sensitivities of writing about real people.

The marketing plan (00:20:41)
JB Harris talks about her unique marketing plan, including guerrilla marketing and reaching out to bookstores.

Publishing without an agent (00:21:03)
JB Harris explains her decision to publish without an agent and the challenges she faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crafting emails and bookstore visits (00:24:35)
JB Harris discusses her approach to contacting bookstores and the tactics she uses to promote her book.

Targeted marketing and meta tags (00:29:29)
The hosts discuss the use of meta tags and targeted marketing to reach specific audiences for JB Harris’s book.

Navigating small press publishing (00:33:50)
JB Harris provides advice for authors considering publishing with a small press, emphasizing the importance of research and contract review.

The pressure of setting books in different time periods (00:40:38)
Authors discuss the saturation of historical fiction around World War II and the excitement of exploring lesser-known historical periods.

Perseverance and growth as a writer (00:44:30)
The importance of perseverance, continuous learning, and personal growth in the journey of becoming a successful writer.