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.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts





All Episodes
Now displaying: 2018
Apr 16, 2018

In this episode Chris interviews brain science geek and author Anne Janzer about how to find a sustainable book marketing plan so you can do that one thing you really want to do...write.

Show Note & Links:

1. Three questions you need to answer before you decide on a book marketing strategy.

2. Why sometimes you just have to try something to see if it works and then move on.

3. Why it's okay not to finish an online course, quit reading a book, or not continue a marketing strategy you've invested in.

4. Tips on what to do if your marketing isn't working.

5. Why discovery strategies (finding new readers for your books) are neglected by most authors, but the key to long-term success.

6. What are the dangers of trying to live from book marketing promotion to book marketing promotion with no long-term plan?

7. Why you need to believe your hard work will pay off in the long run.

Links (click 'em, they're live):

Connect with Anne via her website here:

Find out more about Anne's new online course, Revise Your Writing.

See Anne's books here.


Apr 9, 2018

In this episode, Chris and Becca interview book marketing expert Kate Tilton on how to reach the elusive teen market. Generation Z readers are those born after 1993. 

Show Notes & Links:

  1. Why Generation Z would buy Pepsi even when they believe Coke tastes better.
  2. Why teens need to believe in the brands (authors) they follow.
  3. Reasons why Generation Z flocks to YouTube (the Four Essential Freedoms from YouTube).
  4. Why Instagram photos need to be visually engaging first, message second.
  5. Why the social part of social media is most important to teens.
  6. Three tips to capture teen loyalty.
  7. Tips on marketing to the YA crossover audience (adults that read YA).
  8. How to overcome the content challenge of Instagram.
  9. How Booktubers influence the YA market.
  10. The fastest way to turn off a teen audience: try to talk like a teen.

Links (click 'em, they're live):

Connect With Kate:

Instagram: k8tilton

Facebook -

Twitter -


SMART Marketing For Authors Facebook Group (you’ll have to answer 3 questions to get in)

Apr 2, 2018

In this episode Chris explains the five points of guaranteed long-term book marketing success--the SMART acronym.

Show Notes & Links

-Five concepts that will guarantee your book marketing is successful in the long run. If you build it, they will come.

-Why the SMART marketing acronym is more than just a slick slogan.

-Why sustainable marketing is key--what it is and is not.

-Is your marketing manageable or is it overtaking your life?

-Nobody writes a book for everybody. Your marketing needs to be audience-specific.

-Relevant is not about having all the latest bells and whistles. It's about building a strong author-reader connection.

-Why tactics come after the strategy--they are not the strategy.

-Always weigh the why before you use a tactic.

-Facebook and Instagram are not strategies--they are tactics. Don't shoot at a target blindfolded. Tactics-last, strategy-first.

Links (click 'em, they're live)

Join the SMART Marketing for Authors Facebook group (you'll have to answer a few questions to get in)

-Winter Wonderland picture link

-Chris' latest book The Newbies Guide To Sell More Books With Less Marketing. (more on SMART Marketing)

Mar 25, 2018

In this episode Chris and Becca interview author Shawn Inmon for tips on how he built his Facebook page from 86 fans to over 3000 by being consistent, persistent, and personable. And, spending less than ten dollars a month.

Links & Show Notes:

-Why it is important to make a commitment to post once a day over a long period of time before even thinking about your engagement rates.

-Why a slow, persistent effort is better than buying fans or buying ads for quick growth.

-How using strategic boosted posts to snag new readers can help grow your page. 

-How to create a "destination Facebook page."

-Why being yourself is your secret weapon.

-Why social media is hard for some people and easy for others.

Links: Click' em - they're live!

Shawn Inmon's Facebook author page

Shawn Inmon's Amazon page

Link to SMART Marketing For Authors Facebook closed group (you'll have to answer a few questions to get in)

The Content Formula class - info about Chris' latest online class on how to write content that defies the social media algorithms. Author-tested and approved. 

Mar 17, 2018

In this episode Chris analyzes how the changes in social media algorithms have impacted the way authors can now sell books and engage fans and what authors will have to do to be successful marketing their own books.

Show Notes & Links:

-Why the presence of algorithms on all major social media channels has changed the way authors can market books online.

-Why it might be time to spend more time developing a Facebook group.

-Why groups and pages need different content.

-Why some genres and age groups need a different approach in social media.

-What our podcast and Facebook groups will be emphasizing in 2018. 


Click here to join the SMART Marketing For Authors Facebook group.

Click here to read the Zuckerbeg Declaration

Mar 12, 2018

In this episode Chris breaks down the new data from Pew Internet Research in the 2018 Social Media Use Report and what that means for indie authors.

Show Notes and Links:

-Why Facebook's numbers are still the best.

-Why the new numbers are still a challenge for YA and children's writers.

-How much social media is enough?

-Why authors should be cutting back on social media not adding on more.

-What are the criteria for an outpost channel and why you might want to have a couple.


-Read the Pew Internet Research report here.

-Link to Chris' course, The Content Formula

Feb 24, 2018

In this episode Chris discusses five principles that will help you find online classes, books, webinars, and Facebook groups that will help you sell more books and not just waste your time.

Show Notes & Links:

-First things first: know thyself.

-How to find platform-appropriate marketing training

-Why FOMO (fear of missing out) is your mortal enemy

-Why you should always consider value over price.

-When copying what other authors are doing might not be a good idea

-Why you need to know your base knowledge before you buy or enroll

-What is your budget for lifelong learning?

-What is the best strategy for selling more books?

Links (click 'em, they're live)

Platform Level pdf download

Episode 31 - Platform-friendly book marketing

My online classes and who they're a good fit for:

Level One Authors: 

Free class on building an email listThis class is designed for authors who do not have an email list started yet or are struggling trying to make their small list (less than 200) grow. 

Paid Courses and who they're good for:

All these courses have information pages that tell you about the course.

1. How to build a Facebook page that sells more books. If you have published one or more books and do not have a Facebook author page set up, this is a good course for you. Also, if you do have a page set up and you're not using the Shop template to sell books or integrating your email sign-up with your page, it's also a good course for you. Cost: $49

2. How to write online content (social media & ads) that will get you more engagement and more book sales. Best course I've ever put together. It includes updates and info on the latest Facebook algorithm change in January 2018. This course if for high level one authors and above (levels two through four) who have Facebook business pages and are struggling with engagement and sales. It contains 11 videos and numerous tools and learning labs.   

Cost: $79.


Feb 3, 2018

In this episode, Chris and Becca interview authors Honoree Corder and Ben Hale about their newest book, Market Like A Boss.

Show Notes & Links

-The difference between writing as a hobby and writing as a business.

-Why you need a personal vision of success rather than a general vision of success based on what others have done.

-Marketing success is a long game. It's not instant and it's never "done."

-Why "six-figure author" can be a double challenge for some authors.

-Why watching your books sales can be like watching grass grow.

-Why learning is a huge part of your marketing success. 

-When to use a professionals to help in your publishing journey.

-Ben's "good book cover" test.


-Get your copy of Market Like A Boss here.

-Honoree's Amazon Author page.

-Ben's Amazon author page.

-Book One: Write Like A Boss

-Book Two: Publish Like A Boss

Join the SMART Marketing For Authors Mastermind Facebook group. You'll have to answer three questions to get in, but it's worth it!




Jan 28, 2018

In this episode Chris interviews Becca about her writing calendar, a tool that Becca developed to keep her author business and herself on track for success.

Show Notes & Links:

-How Becca set up a simple Excel spreadsheet to keep her writing, publishing, and promoting on task.

-Why "productivity tools" need to take your personality into account.

-Why you need to know your abilities to set up a calendar correctly.

-Why some people are wired to "write fast" and others are not.

-What kinds of tasks should your writing calendar track?

-Why a writing calendar is not set in cement. 


-Link to Becca's new book, Vangie Vale And The Strangled Strudel

-Link to Chris' Content Formula class

-Link to Becca's sample writing calendar you can download and use

-Link to SMART Marketing For Authors Facebook group


Jan 22, 2018

In this episode, Chris and Becca have an informal discussion about the three options for authors on Facebook for promoting books and engaging with readers: personal profiles, author business pages, and groups. Pros and cons of each in light of the new algorithm changes.

Show Notes & Links:

-The three types of Facebook pages authors use to promote their books and build fan engagement.

-Tips on how to use each in light of the new Facebook algorithm

-Why using your personal platform to promote your books is not a good idea.

-Get maximum engagement on social media by using to 80-20 Content Rule.

-How tracking your Facebook Insights will help you write more engaging content.

-Why it's important to educate readers to mark your Facebook page as a "See First" page in their newsfeeds. 


-Link to episode 75--Chris' take on the new Facebook algorithm. 

-Link to Chris' video on how to teach fans to designate your business page as a "See First" page in their newsfeed. 

-Link to Chris' video on how to set up the Shop Template on your author business page

-Link to Chris' video on how to set up a redirect in your personal profile About section to your author business page.

-Link for more information about The Content Formula online class. JANUARY 23 IS THE LAST DAY OF THE EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT!

-Facebook's helpful cheat sheet on the differences between profiles, pages, and groups.

-Link to romance author Roni Loren's insider Facebook group. Read the About This Group to find out about the group's guidelines.

Jan 14, 2018

In this episode Chris gives her take on the latest Facebook algorithm changes and how they may affect authors. Keep calm and carry on.

Show Notes & Links

-Why social media is still the best place to engage with your fans.

-Why you should not start using your Facebook personal profile to promote your books.

-The three things you need to do now to keep up with the changes.

-How to track your page on Facebook Insights (pdf-see links below)

-How to train your followers to list your page as a "See First" page and why you need to do that (link to Vimeo video below)

-Above all, keep calm, carry on, and know what's happening on your own page.


How to track your engagement and reach on Facebook Insights to know what's happening with your own engagement (pdf). This is a three page-pdf and the page toggle is at the top of the document.

Short video on how to train your followers to designate your page as a "See First" page to keep your posts in their newsfeeds.  

The official Facebook announcement on the changes

Chris' new online class on how to write content that engages now regardless of the algorithm changes. Info here.

Jan 8, 2018

In this episode, Chris presents part two on the keys to book marketing success in 2018. This week we find out the secret to online content that engages and sells: The Content Formula.

Show Notes & Links:

-Why audience research is your friend.

-The three kinds of audience research you need to be doing.

-Good audience research is free, but it costs your time.

-How to scout what other authors are doing well.

-The four pieces to the secret of engaging content that sells: The Content Formula.

-How you can find your Content Nexus.

-Make it simple: use "buckets" to organize your content.


-Research source links: Pew Internet Research, Buffer blog, EMarketer, Marketo blog.

-Free survey tools: Survey Monkey, TypeForm, Google Forms

- Becca's new cozy mystery book: Vangie Vale And The Strangled Strudel

-Free sample lesson from Chris' new class, The Content Formula. This particular lesson is on Finding Your Content Nexus. 

-Find out about Chris' new online class, The Content Formula, and get 50% off the enrollment fee until Jan. 22.





« Previous 1 2