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Self-Publishing Advice & Inspirations

Aug 22, 2016

Ep#40: Self-Publishing Advice Podcast: Indie Author Fringe Highlight with Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant of Sterling & Stone believe the key to writing better is to write faster. Here they talk about their creative process, how planning helps authors to write a better story in less time, even if they're "pantsers", and their new story-planning app. A lot of indie publishing is frontier thinking. Sean and Johnny have been figuring the best way to approach their writing process, and in this podcast they share some lessons and techniques they’ve learned along the way.

Here are three elements from this podcast that really resonated with me:

  • Understanding your genre foundations.
  • Know your characters.
  • The importance of cover design for your readers, and you.
  • Want to know why some books sell more than others?

This information is out there and accessible to anyone who wants to take the time to understand their genre better. At the end of the day, if you want to sell more books, you have to write books that appeal to the genre’s core audience. When Johnny and Sean first started writing together it was as simple Sean coming out with a very simple outline and then Johnny turning it into a book. Along the way, David Wright joined the writing team, and they developed a systematic way of writing together that allows them to establish core relationships with the characters.

At the end of this process, there’s enough information for each of the writing team to be able to picture the locations and know the characters. They have a connection with all of them, and this is one of the elements that allow them to write their stories faster. The Cover Design topic never gets old! But what was interesting was hearing about Sean and Johnny’s writing process.

For Book 1 in the Invasion series, they commissioned the book cover before they started writing, and it provided some creative inspiration for their story details. During their cover design discussion, Johnny and Sean also discussed the importance of genre conventions in the cover process. Yes we all want our book to stand out in our genre, but if you design against the established conventions, especially in the major genres, you may end up getting passed over rather than stand out. 

Our weekly Self-Publishing Advicebroadcast is brought to you by ALLi, the Alliance of Independent Authors. This Indie Author Fringe Highlight  is one of four regular shows, which include an ALLi Member Q&A, a beginners' salon and an advanced self-publishing salon.
Find more author advice, tips and tools at our self-publishing advice center, And, if you haven’t already, we invite you to join our organization and become a self-publishing ally. You can do that at
If you're not familiar with our Fringe event, it's three-times a year, online conference for self-publishing authors, brought to you by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), and fringe to the major global publishing fairs; London Book Fair, BookExp, and Frankfurt Book Fair. ALLi brings together the most up-to-date self-publishing education and information available and broadcasts it to authors everywhere. Running 24 sessions over 24 continuous hours allows our members, and other authors round the globe, to attend sessions, no matter where they’re located. For more information, visit our Conference Home Page.
Now, go write and publish.