Science Fiction Authors: What Do You Guys Want?

spacemen-hamrick OK, so here we are. Well into our fourth week of existence.

The good news: the mailing list is growing fast.

At this rate, we’ll have 1000 subscribers solely interested in Science Fiction book deals by the end of October and 5,000 by the end of the year. We’re really pleased with that.

The not so good news: We’re still learning. Experimenting. Or, as it’s commonly known, making mistakes.

While we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here, we do need to offer something a little different than say, BookBub. Otherwise, there’s no point in us being here at all.

What we’ve found so far is that we have gained a small amount of trust among our fantastic subscribers that our recommendations are at least worth looking at. This is evidenced by the click-throughs in the daily newsletter.

Theoretically, of course, this is a ‘good’ thing. However, what we can’t yet do is: shift copies of books where the ‘perceived risk’ is too high.

Perceived Risk

This is where the author is new and either the price is seen as ‘too high for someone I’ve never heard of’ or the lack of reviews on the landing page creates a feeling of uncertainty. Or both.

We will, of course, overcome this. It’s a temporary obstacle – but one that is only resolved by time. When regular subscribers start to trust our judgement on the lower priced eBooks, they’ll begin to trust us on the higher priced ones we are recommending too.

So, what does this mean for authors wanting to promote via our Mailing List?

That’s what we want to know, too. So, this blog post is more of an open forum for authors (and readers) to let us know their thoughts.

Our own view is that – at least to start with, we should focus on the very low priced eBooks and those with a high number of reviews.

arrowpad Secondly, we definitely shouldn’t be charging authors yet (we’re not currently accepting submissions and won’t be until our mailing list is sufficiently broad and large for us to offer good value).

However, we would like to test a few things with some recent Science Fiction releases, so if you are an author and would like to be a Guinea Pig, please let us know in the comments.

We’d also be interested to know what sort of criteria you guys would like to see for submissions. So, go ahead, let us know your thoughts. We don’t bite. Well….not often, anyway!

Art on this page: Victor Habbick at – and yes, he does book covers too!


Comments are closed.

  1. ML Banner  /  September 29, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    I am intrigued by your newsletter’s proposition and look forward to participating when you do offer submissions for either my existing post-apocalyptic book Stone Age, or next one Desolation (coming 10/31/14).

    Although your list is still too small, ultimately I would like to see a break-down in sub-genre. For instance, I’m personally not interested in fantasy, but love many of the other sci-fi sub-genres. This would certainly distinguish you from Book Bub.

  2. Shanna  /  October 1, 2014 at 11:49 am

    I’ve commented on Goodreads, but I’ll add more here. I’ve heard of great results from Bookbub, but it’s prohibitively expensive.

    My suggestions:
    Keep it affordable
    Have a vetting team so you can claim a certain standard of all books promoted and a review page to say what the team thinks.

  3. Mark Stockton  /  October 2, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Thanks for your contributions.

    Firstly, Mr Banner – we’ve decided not to cover any fantasy at all. There were some discussions about having a ‘Fantasy Friday’ mailing, but we’re not going to go down that route.

    We do like the idea of ‘breaking it down by sub genre’, so we will be segmenting our newsletter on those lines. So, the people that love Steampunk but hate Hard Sci Fi won’t get the Hard Sci Fi stuff.

    We’ll look into how best to get that set up over the next week, without affecting our current sign up conversion rate.

    Shanna – thanks also for your comments. Affordable, vetted and reviewed are things we will keep at the top of our minds. We certainly can’t charge what Bookbub do, although I am interested in seeing what % of their lists opens their emails and what % of those clicks through.

    I hope to make our offering very competitively priced and valuable within the niche in which we operate and we have no plans – either now or in the future – to price ourselves at a level where independent authors can’t afford to use us.

  4. K.A. Madison  /  October 15, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Hi there. I stumbled upon this site from a link on KBoards. I am a science fiction author and I find the possibility of a science fiction ‘only’ recommendation newsletter/site very intriguing. Mainly because nothing like this exists. There are other websites here and there, but for the most part they are terrible. The websites remind me of looking at something from 1970 (which may or may not be intentional). These sites don’t convey a ‘modern’ look or subject matter, or they may appear abandoned. Yes, sci-fi may have similar themes with the same look and feel, but I don’t think it works when you’re trying to establish a business that markets sci-fi books. Why? Because I believe that most people want a well run or socially ‘popular’ site for book recommendations. People want books that others are talking about and reading. An old site doesn’t give you that same vibe.

    If you have a nice looking site with a good selection of quality sci-fi books, I think there’s a good opportunity here.

    • Mark Stockton  /  October 15, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Thanks for your comments. I think our site looks good and hopefully not too 1970s! That certainly isn’t what we’re going for.

      One thing I am going to have to sort out is the paragraph spacing in the stylesheet for the comments. That’s getting annoying now.

      I believe wholeheartedly in what we’re trying to do and it’s reassuring to see that you feel the same way about the opportunity in this space.

      Now I’m off to check out your website.

      • K.A. Madison  /  October 16, 2014 at 1:37 am

        I like your site… simple, clean. The site says ‘science fiction’ as soon as you land on it. As scifi365 grows, I can see it changing though. Expanding.. filling in. Keep up the good work, I’m interested to see how this works out.

        My site on the other hand, needs some work. 🙂 I’ll be updating it shortly.


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