EPISODE 18: Mastering middle-grade story structure with Scott King

Today’s interview is with indie fiction and non-fiction author Scott King.

Scott was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Ocean City, Maryland. He received his undergraduate degree in film from Towson University, and his M.F.A. in film from American University. Until moving to Texas, to follow his wife’s career, King worked as a college professor teaching photography, digital arts, and writing related classes. He now works full time as a game photographer and author. His non-fiction books are The 5 Day Novel, Finish the Script, and the most recent Story Pitch. His fiction books for kids included The Zimmah Chronicles (Book 1 Cupcakes vs Brownies, Book 2 Mermaids vs Unicorns, and Book 3 Genies vs Djinn), The Eye of Hastur, and National Cthulhu Eats Spaghetti Day.


In this interview, Scott gives great advice and tips on how to structure your middle-grade novel. He covers:

  • What you need to know to write middle-grade books – know the story you want to tell and the appropriate age group for your book.
  • How writing a “story pitch” can help you write your novel.
  • Every good book needs a protagonist that wants something and there needs to be something or someone who stands in their way of getting it.
  • Every story will have a theme or themes – discover them early on and decide how you use them to tell a better story. A theme is what your story is ultimately about eg. loneliness, ambition, betrayal, coming of age, courage etc.
  • Know WHY you’re writing. Recognize the difference between the CRAFT of story telling and the BUSINESS side of publishing. You need to write a great story that works and that readers want, but then you also need to market it effectively.
  • The difference between writing a screenplay versus a novel.
  • The differences between a middle-grade novel versus a young adult novel.
  • How to write quickly but well.
  • Finding and developing your AUTHOR VOICE.
  • Developing confidence in your story telling ability.
  • And more!

Enjoy the show.

You can find Scott online at www.ScottKing.info,  follow him on AMAZON, get social with him on Twitter, and tune into his podcast The Creators Cast.





EPISODE 17: Practical book marketing advice with Beau Blackwell

Today’s interview is with indie author and marketing expert Beau Blackwell.

Beau Blackwell is the author of four children’s books and the creator of the Let’s Make Kids Books Podcast, Online Course and Facebook Mastermind Group. His picture books include Natasha the Ninja, The Morning Grumbles, Christmas on the Farm, and The Knight Who Wouldn’t Sleep. Beau’s Online Course teaches newbies everything they need to know to publish their own children’s book in as little as 6 weeks.



In this interview Beau covers:

  • How to write books for children on topics you genuinely care about and get them into the world.
  • You CAN make money with children’s books, but you do need to have a marketing strategy. It’s important to treat your indie publishing as a business.
  • It’s important to have a positive mindset and do slow and steady marketing.
  • Aim your marketing at parents as they are mostly the ones buying the books for their children. If your book solves a problem that parents are having with their children (like getting them to sleep) then communicate that. You want parents to think “That’s something I’d like my children to read!”
  • The benefit of using embedded subtitles to communicate to parents how your book fulfills their children’s needs.
  • How to write a compelling book description. This description rather than being a summary of the book needs to tell kids why they will enjoy reading it again and again. And needs to tell parents why they would want to spend their money on it.
  • How to place your book in the right categories to become a best-selling Amazon author – then you can use that tag and it will display on your book, getting you more sales.
  • The benefits of joining supportive facebook groups with other authors.
  • How to position yourself in the marketplace so that you can find your core readers. Choose a small group of people who would love to read your books and ask yourself “Who are they?” “What do they care about?” and “Where do they hang out?” Whether you realize it or not, your books are saying “Here is who I am. Here is what I write. Here is what I believe in.”

Great marketing advice and you will learn something new once again. Enjoy the show.

You can find Beau’s online course, podcast and facebook group at www.letsmakekidsbooks.com and find more about Beau’s expertise in marketing at www.beaublackwell.com.

You can follow Beau and buy his books on AMAZON, get social with him on TWITTER and join the Let’s Make Kids Book Facebook Mastermind group .

You can email Marti and Elena at theindiekidlitpodcast@gmail.com for show ideas or request being interviewed on the show.