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Fanfiction and the Business Side of Writing Books with Author Marisa Wolf

Talk Bravely

Release Date: 06/15/2020

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Episode Notes:

A lighthearted conversation about writing, publishing, fanfiction, fanfic cons, and the business side of writing books. Marisa Wolf of the Four Horseman Universe series joins Talk Bravely about being the first in her family to go to college, her experiences with a few independent publishing houses, what exactly fanfiction is, how she’s trying to be a better saver instead of spender, and what being published means to her monthly income and sense of security in the world.

Marisa grew up in New England, moved to work in the South, and built her career in Texas.  After a few decades of work NOT in the book business, she decided to finally finish all the half-started stories in her head and has published her books and short stories over the past few years.

As of this recording, Marisa has a short story in an anthology released May 29th and it is not only a best-selling new release, it is also the number 1 top selling science fiction anthology on all of Amazon. Along with her published short stories, she’s co-authored two novels, and her second was a best-selling new release on Amazon as well.

What We’re Talking About:

  1. Marisa decided a few years ago to officially pursue writing. Kacey Ezell, a friend of hers, set a goal to get published and when offered the opportunity by a publisher to turn a short story into a novel, this friend reached out to Marisa to partner on it together.
  2. How she learned the business side of books while publishing her first book.
  3. Her passion for Fan Fiction - and even what is - which started when reading Anne McCaffrey at the age of 8.
  4. The myriad of ways publishers work with authors and that Marisa works with a handful of large and independent publishers.
  5. Advances for books are the bet that a publisher makes that a book is going to make a certain amount of money. So you get that in an advance and then if your book earns out, for the cost of making it, marketing it, and the advance, then you earn royalties. 
  6. How advances and royalties work for anthologies written by multiple authors.
  7. Her love for her Independent Publisher Chris Kennedy and his transparent way of writing contracts and sharing information and data about how much money books cost to both get into the market and how much they make.
  8. 14:15 How Marisa spends the money she makes from writing books ~ invests in herself through professional development, travel to conventions, donates to her favorite charities.
  9. The exhaustion that comes from writing and editing and promoting, but it’s a good exhaustion, and her writing process while holding a full time job.
  10. When editing a novel, she partners with her co-author and reads the book out loud in order to tighten up the writing.
  11. Whether or not she reads her amazon reviews.
  12. The purpose of conventions in the writing world, her first DragonCon, and the first time she signed one of her own books.
  13. The con world and how it approaches diversity and equity issues.
    1. Be clear on what she can still spend on
    2. Shift to borrowing books instead of buying books (except the ones she really wants)
    3. Shifting her treat mentality for a job well done from food to ‘nerd things’
    4. Setting mini goals and keeping a spreadsheet to track expenses
    5. Getting on the same page as her partner
  14. How Marisa has forced herself to be a saver for the past 2 years and her tips for saving
  15. How Marisa is now planning to travel the country in an RV while writing more and thinking about the next phase of her life. And how this decision might be really transformative as she realizes she equates having ‘things’ to having security.


Connect with Marisa



Instagram - @bookdogs

Marisa Wolf Author Page

Four Horseman Universe Page

And don’t forget to follow @talkbravely on Instagram as well.