The Smarty Pants Book Marketing Podcast

Award-winning marketer Chris Syme and bestselling indie author Becca Syme give self-published authors the latest social media tips and strategies that sell more books and build loyal fans. Join them as they interview top book marketing experts, showcase successful indie authors, and offer tips from their own successes on this weekly show.
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 5, 2016

This week's episode introduces you to the 30-Day Challenge For A Better 2017 that Chris is running on her website. In this episode she'll introduce you to the first five days and encourage you to follow along for the rest of the month for a better 2017. Are you ready for a better 2017?

Show Notes:

Even if you didn't start on day one, you can catch up. So far in the challenge:

Day 1: Start With Your Why

Day 2: Make Your Morning Count - Get Up Early!

Day 3: You Are An Author: Own It!

Day 4: Think Like A Marketer to Sell More Books

Day 5: Do More In Less Time: Manage Your Energy

Check out the challenges, action steps, and resources at the first link below.


-30-Day Challenge Website: (each day is also a separate blog post at

-Chris' Facebook page (live everyday at noon Mountain time)

-Private Facebook group: Smart Marketing for Authors 

-Post on how to leave a review on iTunes:

-List of podcasts to date:

Link to my latest book, Sell More Books With Less Social Media (free online course accompanies the book):



Nov 28, 2016

In this week's episode, authorpreneur Krystal Shannan shares how to set up and run an author networking party extraordinaire. Writing is two genres and running an events company are just part of whats Krystal a successful indie author.


Show Notes:

-What does the new breed of author networking parties look like?

-How to use multiple platforms to insure success

-How to get fans to invite their friends

-Why getting email addresses is much better than getting Facebook page likes

-Sweeten the pot and get more attendance with pre-party giveaways

-Get your sign-ups off Facebook Events and gather email addresses


Krystal’s author website:

Krystal’s Facebook Page:

KS Publsihing Events website page:

Get Chris’ new book Sell More Books With Less Social Media and get a free online course with the book. Get your copy today here.

Stephen Campbell’s post on how to leave a podcast review on iTunes:


Nov 20, 2016

Links & Show Notes

-The bullhorn versus the relationship. How authors can get comfortable with promoting and selling their books.

-How to use the free Google Docs dictation option:

-3 Reasons Why Inspirational Authors Need a Prayer Team

-Facebook Live and the 5-day Live Video Challenge

-The YA Special Edition Facebook Live Show

-Shelley's Author Audience Academy information:

-Join Shelley on Facebook:

-Get Shelley's new book here: Broken Crayons Still Color

-Have you got your copy of Sell More Books With Less Social Media yet? Click here.

Please help us out by leaving a review on iTunes. Wondering how to do that? Click here for info from our friend Steve Campbell and The Author Biz.

Nov 14, 2016

In this episode of the podcast, hybrid author Ritter Ames shares her book marketing secrets and how she supplements what her publisher does to sell her books.



Show Notes:

-Even traditional authors need to supplement their publisher's marketing.

-How looking for good marketing resources can help you succeed.

-Networking with other authors using anthologies.

-How to get Amazon to promote your book.

Show Links:

Click to buy Chris' new book Sell More Books With Less Social Media

Ritter Ames website:

Ritter Ames Facebook Author page:

Where to find her books:

From The Author Biz: How to leave a review on iTunes

Oct 30, 2016

In this episode Dan Wood, Director of Author Relations at Draft2Digital talks about universal book links, selling overseas, and other what services Draft2Digital offers authors for production and distribution.

Show Notes:

-Draft2Digital services include:

  • Conversion of your manuscript to bookstore-ready files
  • Distribution of your book to eight channels including international stores.
  • A vetted list of preferred providers for editing, cover design, marketing, and other book-related services.

-How universal book links have changed the game for selling books across platforms.

-All about Books2Read and why it's more than just a place for readers to find books.

Show Links:

Draft2Digital home page:

Draft2Digital Blog:

Universal book links: what are they? Find out here.


Chris' latest book: Sell More Books With Less Social Media includes an extensive free online course (link in the book) to help authors learn faster. Buy here.

Register for the free master class coming Nov. 7 - 4 Steps to Your Best Book Launch Ever. Limited seats Grab your seat here now.

Open Fire by Becca Boyd available soon. Book five in The Line of Fire series from Somewhere, TX.

Oct 23, 2016

In today’s episode Maria Connor, owner and founder of My Author Concierge talks about her new book, Write More-Do Less, and how finding and hiring a qualified author assistant can turbocharge an author’s success.

Show Notes:

-The different types of author assistants, their qualifications, and their skills.

-What are some red flags when hiring an author assistant?

-Are all author assistants created equal?

-Why author assistants are in so much demand.

-What kinds of tasks can author assistants do?

-Why you should have a specific list of skills and tasks you are looking for before you start the hiring process.

Show Links: (clickable links) 

-Maria Connor’s website: My Author Concierge

-Maria’s Facebook page: My Author Concierge

-Link to Maria's book: Write More, Do Less: The Author's Guide to Finding, Hiring, and Keeping an Excellent Author Assistant. 

-Link to Chris’ new book on pre-order with free online class: Sell More Books With Less Social Media

-Link to free master class coming Nov. 7: “4 Steps To Building Your Best Book Launch Ever”

(get your spot today!)

-If you’d like help leaving a review of the podcast on iTunes, here’s a link to a how-to post from our friend Stephen Campbell.


Please leave a comment or question at We’d love to hear from you.

Oct 17, 2016

In this episode Shawn Manaher, founder of Book Marketing Tools and Reader Deals tackles how authors can use free books, legitimate reviews, and networking with other authors to build long-term book sales.

Show Notes:

-What is the real value of having a perma free book available to readers?

-Shawn talks about the EBook Lister Tool and how they chose the sites included in the tool.

-How you can create a sales funnel with your free book and The Costco Effect.

-Why you need to know the lifetime value of a reader.

-Shawn’s Smarty Pants Tip: The hottest new book marketing strategy and how to use it: Partnered Promotion Giveaways

Show Links:

Pre-order Chris’ new book now and get a comprehensive online course with the book for just $0.99 until November 1. Link to Amazon:  Link to Kobo:

Book Marketing Tools website:

Reading Deals website:

Follow Shawn on Twitter: @ShawnManaher

Ebook Submission Tool:

Link to The Author Hangout Podcast:

Link to KingSumo (giveaway application):

Click for link to Stephen Campbell’s post on how to leave a review on iTunes

Don’t forget to go to the podcast page at and leave a question or comment. We’d love to hear from you.

Oct 9, 2016

In this episode co-hosts Chris and Becca Syme discuss ramifications of the new Amazon review policy for incentivized reviews and what it means to authors. Also, the two smarty pants hosts give their recommendation for developing advance review teams. 

Show Notes:

-A reading of the new policy and what it means to authors

-The pros and cons of verified review purchases

-Don't let Amazon's policies make or break your day. Keep calm and write on!

-How to recruit and manage an effective Advance Review Team (ART).

-Do you need to send reviewers a final copy of your book as an ARC (advance reader copy)?

-Be sure and go to the podcast page at and leave a comment or question.

Show Links:

Link to the new Amazon policy here

Article on how to write a good book review here

Email Becca for a copy of the ARC text for advance readers at

Link to Stephen Campbell's post on how to write a podcast review on iTunes


Oct 3, 2016

In this episode of The Smarty Pants Book Marketing Podcast, authorpreneur Bryan Cohen shares the perfect recipe for book descriptions and gives advice to authors who are considering writing in a new genre.

Show Notes:

  • Bryan shares his background as a copywriter and how he got started as a writer.
  • Why authors need to learn how to simplify their book’s plot for a better book description.
  • Why you need a call-to-action at the end of your book description.
  • How writing in a popular genre you love to read can kick start your author business.

Show Links:

The usual suspects:

Links from our guest:

Sep 24, 2016

In this episode of The Smarty Pants Book Marketing Podcast, veteran Anne Allen shares how to build a blogging audience from the ground up.

Show Notes:

  • Anne shares her advice for authors wanting to start a blog in the crowded blogoshpere.
  • How a blog collaborator can make a difference and how to find the right one.
  • The biggest change in book marketing since Anne began writing.
  • How to create a spin off blog for a niche audience.
  • Anne's one big smarty pants blogging tip. Wait for it.

Show Links:

  • Anne's book marketing blog:
  • Anne's blog on poisoning people for fun and profit - a satirical mystery blog. Click here.
  • Anne's brand new audio book: So Much For Buckingham. It's a laugh out loud satire of the online review culture, making fun of the review site bullies and vigilantes and the weird historical fact checkers and all the shenanigans that can happen in the comments of online reviews. Click here to get the book now.
Sep 18, 2016

In this episode bestselling author and business coach Honoree Corder talks about her book Prosperity for Writers and shares the secrets she has used to help other bestselling authors and business people succeed. Her mission is to inspire and motivate people to turn their dreams into their real-life reality. 

Show Notes:

What is a prosperous writer?

-What's the difference between being interested in writing success and committed to writing success?

-How important is your money story?

-Why good writers are grateful.

Show Links:

Honoree's website:

Honoree's brand new book, You Must Write a Book

Miracle Morning for Writers (book) 

Honoree on social media: Facebook:

Twitter: @honoree



Visit the podcast episode, make a comment, and get a chance to win one of Honoree's books free:

-If you liked the podcast, please leave a review on iTunes so other authors can find us. Thanks!


Sep 9, 2016

In this episode you'll meet marketing nerd extraordinaire Kirsten Oliphant. She is a prolific blogger and enjoys helping authors learn more about effective email strategies and marketing books. 

Show Notes:

-Do authors need to have a blog? Kirsten weighs in.

-Why authors need an email list.

-What's the secret to a good email subject line?

-What your life experiences can teach you about writing

-Why you need to be a human in your marketing

Show Links:

Check out all Kirsten's online classes, blog and and subscribe to her email list here

Listen to her podcast here

Read Kirsten's lifestyle blog here

Becca's Sticky Newsletters class coming up




Sep 5, 2016

In this episode NY Times bestselling author Josh Bernoff talks about his new book Writing Without Bullshit and shares his take on everything from emojis to weasel words. 

Show Notes:


-Learn The Iron Imperative--the foundation of writing without bullshit.

-A formula for writing your best blog post.

-Are you using weasel words? Time to quit.

-Why the beginning is the end in good nonfiction and business writing.

-Chris' slip of the tongue: virility or virality? Which is it?

-Do emojis have a place in good writing?

-We all need to learn to brag intelligently.

-What has social media done to our ability to write?

-Is Twitter a waste of time for most people?


-Click to get your copy of Writing Without Bullshit.

-Leave a comment or question about this episode at

-Click to go to Josh's Amazon Author Page

-Blog post on Marissa Mayer's email to Yahoo employees

-Josh Bernoff Facebook page



Aug 27, 2016

Show Notes:


In this week’s episode, Chris and Becca discuss how to run “spike campaigns” to sell books for goals that aren’t necessarily a book launch.


Using a published case study from thriller author J.F. Penn, the hosts discuss:

  • What is ad stacking and when it works and doesn’t work
  • How to know if a another author’s case study can work for you
  • What goals work best with ad stacking
  • Why an author would want to hit a bestseller list—what are the benefits besides selling books.
  • Why books on Kindle Unlimited (KDP Select) cannot make the USA Today or NY Times bestseller lists.
  • Penn’s top three tips when starting a spike campaign
  • Who should and should not “try this at home.”


This week’s links:


Aug 15, 2016

Guest co-host and fellow Chick Tales author K.C. Klein joins Becca on this wrap up of the summer conferences. Don't miss K.C.'s take on Comic-Con.

Show Notes:

Here are link's from today's episode:


SMART Social Media Classes:

RWA Conference Recordings: 
Deep Work by Cal Newport:
Son of Zorn
Sticky Newsletters:
Get More Engagement With Less Social Media:
Join our SMART Social Media FB Group:
Aug 8, 2016

In this episode, Chris visits with Stephen Campbell, book marketing strategist at Don't forget to take a look at the show notes to get a preview of their interview along with all the links from the episode.

Show Notes:

In today's episode:

  • How do advances in technology help and hurt indie publishers. Yes, there's a dark side, but the bright side is more powerful. 
  • What marketing skill do indie authors need to develop the most.
  • Learn what a "vintage person" is. You might be one.
  • Chris and Stephen discuss the new Universal Book Links (UBL) from Draft2Digital. Is there a downside?
  • Why Stephen thinks that every author may not need advanced business skills.
  • The love/hate relationship authors have with Amazon from a marketing point of view.
  • Stephen's two smarty pants book marketing tips for all authors.
  • You can find Stephen here:
  • Info on Chris' two discounted online classes: The Summer Blowout Sale

We hope you'll help us out by leaving a review of our podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. 

Aug 1, 2016

In this episode, Chris and Becca finish the five essential steps in setting up a successful email system. Here are the five essentials. In last week's podcast they covered number one.

  1. Questions you need to answer before you start.
  2. Choosing the right email service provider
  3. Setting up an enticing lead magnet
  4. Putting together a simple sign-up form
  5. Build an auto responder sequence designed to boost engagement and upsell books

This episode also comes with a free cheat sheet. It has a bunch of supplemental material from the broadcast including a graphic on setting up your auto responder funnel. 

Click to download your episode cheat sheet here.

Show Notes: 

-Correction: In the podcast we said that Mail Chimp is free to 2500 subscribers. It is actually free to 2000 subscribers. Sorry 'bout that.

-We recommend BookFunnel as a service to host all your free books. They have an easy user interface and provide your fans with your free books in all formats. This is not an affiliate link:

- SMART Marketing for Authors is having a summer blowout sale on the two most popular online marketing classes for authors. Check it out here: Discounts good until Aug 12.

-Be sure and go to and answer the question of the week in the comments: What frustrates or challenges you the most about your email marketing? We'll tackle the answers to your questions in the next podcast!

Jul 25, 2016

In this week's episode Chris and Becca talk about the questions authors need to answer before they start building their email list as step number one of five steps to build a list that sells and builds loyalty. Steps 2-5 next episode.

Show Links:

-Becca's closed Facebook fan group: Becca Nation (join here)

-Sign up for Chris' free master class on Tips To Sell More Books With Facebook:

-Link to Becca's author email class in Margie Lawson's Writer's Academy: click here

-Author newsletters we recommend you subscribe to for inspiration:

Virtual Assistant Services we know and like:

Let us know in the comments: What kind of emails do you send out to your fans? 




Jul 9, 2016

In this podcast episode nonfiction author Kristi Dosh shares how to take advantage of opportunities to establish your expertise by writing, blogging, speaking, and consistent work. Kristi is author of the bestselling book Saturday Millionaires, on the business of college football.


Show Notes:

  • The importance of networking and establishing connections through social media
  • The elements of a nonfiction platform and how social media can enhance your network
  • The challenge of researching a book in a subject area where the numbers are constantly changing
  • How a simple free Wordpress blog was the beginning of a lucrative career
  • Summer Class Blow Out Sale on SMART Marketing for Authors launches July 28

Show Links:

Kristi's website:

Follow Kristi on Twitter @sportsbizmiss

Kristi's original Wordpress blog:

Kristi Dosh on Forbes (click here)

Jul 9, 2016

In this episode social media expert Frances Caballo shares her wisdom about Goodreads, productivity tools, where authors should be on social media and more.


Show Notes:

  • The importance of Goodreads groups and one that authors should get into.
  • What is Goodreads Deals and why you should consider it.
  • Why audience is important when it comes to choosing a social media channel.
  • Facebook ads pros and cons
  • Who Frances follows on social media for expert advice
  • Coming July 28: Summer Blow Out Class Sale (info next week)

Show Links:

Jul 2, 2016

Show Notes:

In this episode, Chris and Becca interview Jodi Vaughn, a bestselling paranormal author and Somewhere, TX novelist. Jodi is a finalist for the RWA National Reader's Choice Award and she shares her tips about how to get maximum benefits from attending RWA#16 in San Diego. Becca and Chris share their conference tips, give a preview of some of the premier events, and give eating and exploring tips for the San Diego area.

Highlights include:

  • Becca and Chris talk about keeping up on conference events via social media using the conference hashtag on Facebook and Twitter: #RWA16
  • What's the first thing to do when you get to the conference headquarters?
  • Your invite to meet Chris at the trade show on Friday
  • Don't miss the Wednesday night Literacy Signing
  • Tips for first-timers
  • Wardrobe do's and do not's
  • Local tips for eating and shopping


We'll see you in San Diego and don't forget to use the #RWA16 hashtag!



Jun 25, 2016

Show Notes:

In this episode

  • Becca and Chris preview great food spots to explore during the Romance Writers of America conference in San Diego
  • Sandra Beckwith of Build Book Buzz talks about the benefits of one-star reviews and her solution for dealing with them
  • Chris and Sandra talk about the overlooked strategy of hand-selling your books
  • Sandra gives her one Smarty Pants marketing tip to win them all
  • Sandra shares her go-to social media channels

Links in this episode:


Jun 18, 2016

Show Notes:

In episode 005, indie bestselling author Krystal Shannan shares her secrets of marketing success from how she builds her email list to her pulling back from "buy my book" messages on social media. 

  • How an author co-op can improve your brand's visibility
  • How Facebook ads are changing and other ways to build your email list
  • The secrets of good content: quit posting "buy my book"
  • Why good social media is about what my fans want and not about what I want them know
  • Lessons learned from Becca's road trip
  • Upcoming June Master Class on how less social media can get your more sale and fans
  • And more...

Links from this episode:

Don't forget to enter the June Kickoff Contest: And subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher and leave a review! Thanks for helping!

Jun 9, 2016

Show Notes:

In episode 004, well-known book publishing and marketing expert Jane Friedman gives listeners the skinny on everything from pitching traditional publishers to book pricing, promoting yourself, and more.

This episode includes:

  • Advice on how to make the jump from indie author to traditional publishing...or if you should
  • The pros and cons of book pricing
  • Jane’s three tips on building your platform
  • How to tackle writing with a business approach
  • Jane’s one big Smarty Pants tip will surprise you and save you time
  • Links:

Don't forget to enter our fabulous June kickoff contest. You can win weekly prizes by using the hashtag #smartypantspodcast when you share the show on Twitter or Facebook and if you leave a review on iTunes, you'll be eligible to win a grand prize: a free ticket to the popular online class, Turn Your Social Media Pages Into Shopping Channels.

May 21, 2016

Join host Chris Syme as she visits with longtime Amazon expert Penny Sansevieri about the latest on fake reviews, keywords, Amazon's new Vine paid promotion program for books, how to reach out to Amazon for help, and the Goodreads/Amazon partnership and where that might be going. 

Chris and Penny talk about the importance of reviews and Penny gives her smarty pants tip on Amazon Author Pages and why authors should be actively maintaining a presence there. 

Show Notes: 

-Link to the Author Marketing Expert blog:

-Click here to get Penny's latest book, Red-Hot Internet Publicity

Penny has graciously offered a $100 discount on her most popular Amazon services to all the Smarty Pants listeners. Find out more about her popular Amazon Optimization Video Tutorials Membership and the Amazon Optimization Program where Penny's team does the work for you. The links are below and you'll get the $100 discount by using the promo code SAVE100 when you order. 

Tutorial membership:
Optimization program:



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