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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Sep 8, 2018

In this episode Chris interviews award-winning nonfiction author Anne Janzer about her new book Writing To Be Understood and why it's a necessary resource for writers.

Show Notes & Links

- Anne's new book is the complete package covering technique, science (yeah, you read that right), and practical how-to. Why you need all three.

-Beware of the curse of knowledge (eerie music).

-How brain science and social psychology is an important part of your writing process. 

- Why you should use analogies and how to make them shine and not be annoying.

-Do you know if your writing is boring? How to fix that.

-How to use your reader's curiosity to your advantage.

- Why nonfiction writers need to learn to spin a good story or two.

- What is meta reading and how it will improve your writing. 

Links - Click 'em, they're live!

-Universal book link to Anne's book. This link will take you to the bookstore of your choice. 

Link to Chris' Facebook business page.

Link to information about Chris' class, The Content Formula - learn how to write and publish engaging content that will help you sell more books and build raving fans.

NOTE: If you are enrolled in any of Chris' paid online classes, you should have access to the private student mastermind group mentioned in the podcast. Check your class dashboard for a link to the group or email Chris at if you have any questions.


May 7, 2018

In this episode Chris interviews copywriting expert and author Bryan Cohen on how to fix the most common mistakes authors make writing their book descriptions and ads. 

Show Notes & Links:

-Why writing a book description is more like poetry than prose.

-Waste not, want not. Why every word is important.

-The 4 elements of a successful book description.

-The most common mistakes authors make when writing book descriptions & how to fix.

-Why a plot summary is not just a retelling of the book.

-Less is more. Why too many details can turn your buyer off.

-Where does this stuff go: NY Times or USA Today bestselling author status, info about a series.

-Why you need a call-to-action or selling paragraph. Do you want to leave 20% of your book sales behind?

-How comparisons can increase your sales and how Bryan does it.

-Why effective online ads require research and testing. Not for the newbie or faint-hearted.

-Quote of the show: "Publishing is something you cannot do for a dollar."

-Don't miss Bryan's smarty pants tip at the end--it's gold.

Links: Click 'em, they're live

Bryan's website here

Bryan's copywriting book, How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis

Bryan's online courses on Teachable

Bryan's Amazon Author page

The Sell More Books Show

RWA Conference - Denver

Book of the Month: Sell More Books With Less Marketing by Chris Syme. Spend less time marketing and more time writing. 



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!

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:



May 18, 2016


In this episode, Chris interviews Jim Kukral, one of the leading experts in online book marketing and founder of the Author Marketing Club. Jim and Chris debate the pros and cons of getting your book noticed in today's crowded marketplace and Jim shares his one smarty pants marketing tip that authors cannot do without.

Show Notes:

In today's show Jim shares his background in online marketing and shares his take on how book marketing has changed with the advent of self-publishing, Amazon, and social media. Also, you'll hear Jim's tips on the essential every newbie needs to start effectively market their books. Jim and Chris talk about how many social media channels authors need to be on and how to claim your digital land.  Hear the details of how The Author Marketing Club started and what kinds of services it offers. And finally, Jim shares his one tip that all authors need to sell their books--you'll have to listen to find out.

Links for today's show:

Author Marketing Club:

Sell More Books Show:

Click here for Jim Kukral's Amazon Author Page

Click here for details on how to participate in the June Kickoff Contest and win great prizes for sharing the podcast with your friends - #SmartyPantsPodcast 

May 9, 2016

Welcome to the Smarty Pants Book Marketing Podcast with your hosts award-winning marketer Chris Syme and her lovely bestselling indie author daughter Becca Syme. If you're an author who is challenged by all the book marketing options out there, then this is your podcast.

In This Episode...

In the first episode of the show you'll meet the co-hosts, hear their stories, and find out what The Smarty Pants Book Marketing Podcast can do for you. Here's a look at the show notes:

-Meet Chris and Becca and hear their stories

-Find out what it means to be a smarty pants marketer...and why you want to be one!

-Find out what's coming in the next weeks--hear the awesome  the list of experts coming to help you tackle your marketing challenges. 

-Learn the details of the big June Kickoff Contest and how you can win a free ticket to Chris' most popular online course or a host of other weekly prizes just for using the hashtag #SmartyPantsPodcast on Twitter or Facebook to help Chris and Becca promote the podcast in June. 

-Connect with Chris and Becca on social media. Click each one for a link:

SMART Marketing for Authors Facebook group

Becca on Twitter: @beck_a_tron

Becca's Facebook page

Chris on Twitter: @cksyme

Chris' Facebook page

Podcast Headquarters and June Kickoff Contest Info


About The Podcast...

Chris Syme is the owner of the award-winning CKSyme Media group and has been working in marketing and communications for over 20 years. She has authored three books on social media including her latest SMART Social Media For Authors and writes a popular blog at Becca Syme is a USA Today bestselling author and you can visit her website at

In this podcast, Chris and Becca will give you practical and actionable tips on how to market your own books including email list building on a budget, how to conquer Facebook ads without breaking the bank, optimizing your book's sales page on Amazon and so much more. If it has to do with social media and marketing your books, they'll cover it here.

In addition, you'll hear from smarty pants experts who specialize in helping authors navigate the indie marketing process, and indie authors who have found a path to success using smarty pants strategies. 

Please leave a review on iTunes and Stitcher and don't forget to subscribe to the podcast there as well.