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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Feb 19, 2017

In this episode Chris answers the question, do you really need a Facebook group. for the majority of authors, that answer is no. Chris will walk you through the differences of pages and groups and the specific purposes of each.

Show Notes & Links:

-A review of author platform levels and examples of appropriate strategies for each from episode number 31.

-What is FOMO? The fear of missing out--something we are dedicated to stamping out here on the Smarty Pants Book Marketing Podcast.

-Facebook help for setting up groups: Click here

A link to information on my premium class on how to sell more books with social media and increase engagement: Click here.

A link to the questions you need to ask yourself before you start a Facebook group. Click here

Feb 11, 2017

In this week’s episode Chris and guest co-host author Michael Anderle discuss the process of hacking book marketing methods to match your goals and skills. 

Show Notes & Links 

-How and why Michael released his first five-book series in 6 weeks

-How Michael found his target reader 

-Favorite quote on writing fast: “Writing fast isn’t something you can bank on because if your books suck, you’re just going to put out sucky books real fast.”

-Why authors need to find out what makes up their mountain. Why are you writing?

-Testing the marketing process with short stories and Book Zero.

20Booksto50K Facebook group: Click here.

Michael’s Kurtherian Gambit Books Facebook page: Click here.

Link to Chris’ latest book w/free online class, Sell More Books With Less Social Media: Click here. The book is also in Kindle Unlimited.

Feb 4, 2017

In this episode Chris and guest co-host Dave Chesson discuss the importance of keywords in book sales.

Show Notes & Links:

-Meet Kindlepreneur founder Dave Chesson and hear his definition of personal success. 

-Why you need to find out which keywords people are actually searching. They may not be the ones you're thinking of.

-Why you need to choose keywords with low competition where you can rank high.

-Why you need to research your keywords before you write your book

-Why using common genre keywords like "science fiction" probably won't help you get found

-Why book categories are not as important as keywords for discovery

-How to find out what the competition is for keywords you are considering

Kindlepreneur website and link to KDP Rocket tool:

Dave Chesson contact information:

Dave's blog:

If you like the podcast, consider leaving a review on iTunes or share it with your author friends. Here's a post from our friend Stephen Campbell on how to leave a review on iTunes:

Jan 30, 2017

In this episode Chris and Becca talk about the concept of fitting your writing strategies to how your brain is wired: how to write better faster. Becca talks about her background coaching authors and organizations in how to find their best strategic fit to accomplish their goals by discovering how their brain is wired to achieve success. Becca also talks about her upcoming online class with the Margie Lawson Writing Academy and how listeners can participate in the Write Better Faster class.

Show Notes and Links:

-What does writer better faster mean?

-How finding your own writing strengths helps you discover your best path to success.

-Why copying other people's writing goals and strategies can actually hinder your success as an author.

-Why FOMO is not a good motivator.

-For more information on Becca's Write Better Faster class, click here. Class starts Feb. 1 but late registrations are welcome. Students get one-on-one coaching with the class.

Join the SMART Marketing For Authors Facebook group and find a community of authors sharing their book marketing successes and challenges.

Answer our question of the week at How does FOMO influence your writing strategy or isn't it a factor for you?

Jan 23, 2017


In this episode Chris and Becca tackle appropriate and budget-friendly marketing strategies for authors at various stages (or platform levels) in their author careers. 

Show Notes & Links:

-Review of the platform levels for fiction and nonfiction authors.

-Introduction of the proper book marketing strategies for levels one and two fiction writers.

-When you need to start spending money on marketing

-What are the two things you need to spend money on before marketing?

-What does your skill level have to do with how you can market your books

-Why authors at all levels need to network with other authors and why you should start early in your career

-What if you're a tweener? You have skills at two different levels. How should that change what you do?

-Why appropriate marketing strategies give you more time to write.

-Link to Chris' free email marketing class (you'll have to set up a free account on Teachable to take the class:

-Link to the graphic tool on platform levels from last week's episode

-Link to vetted book marketing resource for authors 

-Link to Becca's Write Better Faster class

-Last week to get Chris' new book Sell More Books With Less Social Media plus free online class for just 99 cents. Click here.

Question of the Week: Go to and give us a piece of your mind on the following question: What platform level are you and which of the marketing suggestions at your level are you struggling with?

Jan 16, 2017

Show Notes and Links:

Download the free tool for this episode here


In this episode, we’ll talk about:


-Two reasons why your books are not selling well.

-Does your marketing have platform confusion?

-The four markers that measure platform levels.

-The four platform levels of fiction writers.

-The three platform levels of fiction writers.

-Why writing fast turbocharges your platform building process.


Be sure and answer the question of the week at :

What is your biggest platform challenge? Skills, budget, time, or just needing to publish more books?

Get Sell More Books With Less Social Media –plus – free online course for just 99 cents until the end of January here.  

Honoree Corder’s new book: You Must Write A Book

Jan 9, 2017

Show Notes & Links:


-Three reasons why you should start building your platform before you publish your first book


-Tips to start building your platform before first book comes out.

            -build an author network

            -generosity builds reciprocity

            -get the right domain name for your website

            -why the number of Facebook fans you have at first is not important

            -prepare, plan, and then build before you launch 

Sign up for my weekly newsletter for chance at a free book bundle every week in January

Joanna Penn posts on how to build an author website:

Link to free email marketing basics course from SMART Marketing for Authors 

Link to SMART Marketing for Authors Closed Facebook group

Link to Resources Page for self-published authors from Chris’ website 

Link to K-Boards (Forum for self-published authors on all things Amazon and more) 

Question of the week: (answer in the comments at

What is the most challenging part of building an author platform?

Jan 2, 2017


-New and improved podcast format for 2017 - We are focused!

-Why you need to ditch "tips and tricks marketing" in 2017

-The SMART Marketing Manifesto:

  1. Sustainable – Choose marketing practices that will stand the test of time – Make sure you spend time and money formulating marketing that is based on principles and fly by night get rich quick schemes.
  2. Manageable  How to spend less time marketing and more time writing.
  3. Audience-Specific—The difference maker in 2017. Learn audience targeting, specific launch strategies, and online content aimed at your audience’s needs.
  4. Relevant - Not hip or trendy but useful and valuable to the audience. As Jay Baer would say it’s about help, not hype.
  5. Tactics Last—Strategy First - Tips and tricks only help you figure one thing out at a time. Start with goals and strategies and your tactics will be obvious and ongoing.

-Jan. 10 at 12 PM Mountain Chris joins Frances Caballo to talk about how to sell more books with less social media. Register here:

-Join the SMART Marketing for Authors closed Facebook group today:

Don't forget to go to the podcast episode page at and answer the question of the week: What is your biggest marketing challenge for 2017?

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!

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