Episode Summary

D2D’s Kevin Tumlinson chats with developmental editor and conference organizer Shaun Loftus about her work and the Indie Unconference.

Episode Notes

Shaun Loftus paid her way through college writing for magazines, websites, and other media. Though not all of it was ‘naughty’ – much of it was. No, you cannot read any of it. She is duly embarrassed.

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Shaun Loftus, Kevin Tumlinson

Kevin Tumlinson 00:02

Well, hello, everybody, thanks for joining us for another Self-Publishing Insiders at Draft2Digital And this is gonna be an interesting one, it’s gonna be a good one. I’m talking to somone …. This is the wonder, by the way, the wonders of technology, allow me to talk to Shaun Loftus who’s going to be chatting with us about Indie Uncon, and you’re way over there in Tuscany, you said, on the other side of the world pretty much. I just imagine that there are quite a few very jealous authors right now. Because Tuscany is one of those places we all dream of, that’s where we’re gonna all retire to one day when our books really hit it and take off. And you actually, you could have a hand in helping some of these authors get to that, right? Because that’s part of your background.

Shaun Loftus 00:53

Yep. And I even have a spare room if they want to come visit.

Kevin Tumlinson 00:57

Careful what you put out there, you could have quite a few authors just dropping by.

Shaun Loftus 01:05

It’s good. They’re good company.

Kevin Tumlinson 01:07

So I’m looking at your website. And you actually have a couple of them, I’ve stumbled across while I was kind of doing some research on you, but you have some author services. We’re gonna get to the meat of this by the way in a little bit everybody, we will talk about Indie Unconference. But first I want to I want to get to know Shaun a little, because you and I haven’t had a chance to meet before. Dan always bogarts the trips to Italy, so I haven’t been in your neck of the woods yet for a conference.

Shaun Loftus 01:39

You’re welcome any time. And by the way, I have a spare bedroom.

Kevin Tumlinson 01:45

That’s right. So tell me a little about what you offer to the author community. Let’s get some of your history, too. I don’t know much about you.

Shaun Loftus 01:54

My history Oh, my goodness. I come from, on one hand, a background in theatre and directing and dramaturgy. And because theater doesn’t pay, I also started coding and learning marketing. And so I was a very early adopter in marketing and data analysis and email marketing. And so at some point, someone reached out to me and asked me to market their book. And could I do it? And I said, sure. I didn’t know anything. But I figured, I knew a lot. And so I learned on this one book, from hiring cover designers to editing, because I did the developmental editing on it, which was it was a book about first century Christianity. And I’m a big nerd. So I actually knew stuff about it. So I did the dev at it. I hired Jane Dixon Smith for our cover design. I followed David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Digital like it was Holy Writ. And I had a very generous client who just wanted to get read, he didn’t need to make money. And we had a hit. That little book was number one, it was the mystery of Julia Piscopa. And it was number one for a very long time. And then I had met Ricardo and I had met David Gaughran. And they both kind of encouraged me to start building a portfolio. So I reached out to everyone who I knew wrote books, and I said, listen, I work cheap. Let me learn on your book. I’m really cheap. And so I learned everything with these early clients from the ground up. And then I got in demand, and I hired one person, and then another person, and now we’re a team of six. Each of us with different specialties. And we work with authors anywhere from debut to, we’ve got authors who are New York Times bestsellers, USA Today bestsellers who are hybrid with both published and indie. And we handle everything from whatever they need. So we will go through and find editors, or we will do proofreading in house if it’s something we know about, we’ll step in to help them edit. We arrange for their cover designers. We show them what genres they need to be in. We handle the back end, the technical, setting up their Facebook if they need it, building websites, running their AMS dashboards, their Facebook dashboards, their promotions. And it’s a fee for service. We don’t take parts of, we don’t take royalties because we’re not a publishing house. But we do what a publishing house is supposed to do if you’re with a publisher.

Kevin Tumlinson 05:02

What publishing houses used to do.

Shaun Loftus 05:03

Used to do.

Kevin Tumlinson 05:06

Yeah, that’s great. And you still do, you and your team still do some book marketing and promotion.

Shaun Loftus 05:12

It’s intrinsic. We’ll take a project from manuscript all the way through release and ongoing marketing. So I spend a lot of days just in the Amazon ads dashboard, or in the back end of Facebook. We’ve got two graphic designers on staff to create the constant ads and social media ads. So we help authors who don’t know what they’re doing to learn how to do it. And we work with established authors who just, they’d rather write, they don’t really like marketing. So.

Kevin Tumlinson 05:53

That seems like, I was gonna say that seems like most authors, but the reality is there is a group of us who just dig in on the marketing. And that almost becomes the work and the books are just supplemental to that, I think, for some of us.

Shaun Loftus 06:08

I’ve heard rumors that there’s authors who just ghost out their books and do the marketing.

Kevin Tumlinson 06:13

Yeah. That is interesting. I don’t want to bring up anybody who might be doing that, though.

Shaun Loftus 06:20

I don’t know any of them personally, but I’ve heard rumors.

Kevin Tumlinson 06:24

I think I know a couple, I haven’t confirmed, but I think I know a couple of authors who do that. And there’s actually really nothing wrong with that, you know, they’re building a business around a product. And I think that’s great. I welcome authors of all stripes, whatever gets you here. That’s what we’re here for. So that’s such an interesting origin story, by the way, because you started in a completely different area and didn’t have any intention to do this at all. Now, it’s your career.

Shaun Loftus 06:56

Yeah. And it’s grown, and I’ve been really lucky, because the people who come from other countries to Italy tend to be really amazing. So I’ve got these awesome people who work with me. My team is, I can’t say enough about them and their talent. And they love this job. They love working with authors. And so it’s, it’s a happy place here.

Kevin Tumlinson 07:25

Yeah. And so are your clientele, are they primarily European? Are you regional?

Shaun Loftus 07:33

I’ve got clients in Washington, California, Texas, New York, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Portugal, and Thailand.

Kevin Tumlinson 07:46

Wow. Are they all English-speaking authors?

Shaun Loftus 07:51

We have a few authors who actually write in German, a couple who write in Italian. And so we do handle books on the foreign marketplaces as well, because one of the people who works with me, she speaks five languages. Well. At least well enough to negotiate things like keywords and categories and communications in those languages.

Kevin Tumlinson 08:19

So is your team, are they all located in Italy?

Shaun Loftus 08:25

They’re all here. One person we work with is in South Africa, but the rest of us are here.

Kevin Tumlinson 08:30

Okay. That’s good. Most people aren’t going to be able to just drop by and chat with you, if you’re in Italy. But you have a room. Yeah. Okay. Before the before the show is over, we’ll have to post your address on screen so people can drop by anytime they feel like it. So, okay, we need to get to, there’s so many things I think we could probably talk about, but I want to make sure that we are covering the topic of the episode. So let’s jump into that for a second. So tell me what the heck an indie unconference is.

Shaun Loftus 09:11

Okay. I had this memorized before we started chatting. An unconference is a conference that is peer-directed. So rather than having someone come and speak and tell you things, the authors or scientists or team, they set the agenda. They brainstorm together. People who want to, for example, discuss Facebook, or the ins and outs of historical fiction. They can have breakout sessions after the morning session, and they can go discuss those topics that are most pertinent to, say, their genre or what they’re interested in. So rather than being a top-down hierarchy, it’s very much peer-to-peer information sharing. And in this case, we’re bringing in experts not as presenters, but as moderators. They’re there to answer authors’ questions. So I’ve been to conferences, and I’ve been to unconferences. And unconferences are a lot more fun. Because it’s livelier. Everybody has a say. And no matter how brilliant a publishing guru might be, he or she doesn’t write necessarily in all genres. So they might have information valuable to their own genre, but not necessarily applicable to romance or World War II fiction. And so by getting authors together and allowing them to exchange information, they come up with their own best practices, group by group, genre by genre, and they meet lifelong connections. Elizabeth Jennings founded this unconference and I believe helped implement the one in San Francisco as well. And lifelong friendships are born because she has come at this with … it’s about generosity. It’s about giving, it’s about mentoring each other, it’s about helping each other. Other authors aren’t really your competition, because people read more than one book a month or one book a year. They’re not going to only buy one book, they’re going to want to read dozens, hopefully hundreds of books a year. And so it really is important for authors to help each other, to help the entire industry.

Kevin Tumlinson 11:42

Yeah, I agree. It’s an interesting approach. And I can honestly say, I don’t think I’ve actually been to an unconference, now that I know what it is, so I’m gonna have to attend one. And you said there’s one in San Francisco. So that’s good.

Shaun Loftus 11:58

There is a San Francisco Unconference as well.

Kevin Tumlinson 12:00

All right. Well, okay. I think you’ve convinced me to check that out. So now, what’s the one you guys host, that you’ve put together? What’s the sort of origin story there? Like, what made you decide that was necessary?

Shaun Loftus 12:15

Um, well, I wish Lizzie was here. She’s wasn’t available today. It’s started a few years ago, and it was supposed to be annual, and then well, the world … Things happened. And before that, she was involved in the International Women’s Festival, women’s fiction festival, that was also hosted in Matera. So Elizabeth has been around a long time helping authors, and she just wanted to do the unconference, because it’s kind of who she is. And so we’re hoping to grow this year to year. It needs to be, by its nature, you can imagine, it needs to stay relatively small because you can’t do an unconference with 500 people.

Kevin Tumlinson 13:07

Challenge accepted. No, no, I’m not going to ….

Shaun Loftus 13:13

Can you imagine a morning circle with 500 people? I’m not sure about that. But yeah, we could try. And Elizabeth lives in Matera, which I know that no one knows where this is. But you should, it should be on your bucket list. It was in 2019 the European Center for Culture. It’s a UNESCO heritage site. It is probably the most continually populated place on the planet. It’s been occupied since the Paleolithic era. If you saw the latest James Bond film, that was filmed there. Pretty much all the movies about Jesus are filmed there, because there’s caves and it looks like ancient Israel.

Kevin Tumlinson 14:06

That’s where some of the earliest cave paintings have been found.

Shaun Loftus 14:11

Yes. And it is glorious. It looks like one of those little Christmas balls that you shake up and there’s this crash with, you know, Jesus and the shepherds and it is gloriously beautiful. And the food’s amazing.

Kevin Tumlinson 14:28

Yeah. Well, who would have thought that someplace in Italy would be beautiful? That’s fairly surprising. But yeah, I have to ask by the way, how did you end up … I don’t know where you’re from originally, but you don’t sound Italian. I’m just gonna put that out there. So how did you end up in in in Italy?

Shaun Loftus 14:52

I came on vacation. And I stayed. I fell in love. I have a big Italian family.

Kevin Tumlinson 15:03

That’s me in the Hilton. I just showed up one day, never checked out. That’s very cool. You know, we actually have a couple of people commenting and asking questions. I can pop one up, we can take a look real quick. So we have this question from Jeremy via Facebook. He says, “What do you find to be the hardest part of the process for new writers just starting out?”

Shaun Loftus 15:31

Ah, managing your expectations. A career … there’s exceptions. Sometimes a career can be built on one book. Sometimes your first and only book can hit it out of the ballpark, and pay your rent for years to come. But in reality, it’s a career like any other career, and there’s an amount of learning and dues paying, and reading and talking to other authors. And knowing your genres. So the biggest thing is really, really controlling your expectations. And being very reasonable about what you can spend. Make sure to invest in editing. Oh, my goodness, do not skimp on your editing or your book cover. Even if you have to take a second job scrubbing floors.

Kevin Tumlinson 16:28

Yeah, speaking of editing, I have to make a correction to a verbal typo I made because I said Jeremy and I should have said Jenny. I didn’t mean Jenny, because my eyes told me it was Jeremy. I apologize, Jenny. But sorry about that. Bad eyes.

Shaun Loftus 16:46

The other part of the process is, make sure that whatever you’re writing, if you want that book to sell, make sure that you’ve kind of got an understanding of what genres are competitive for indie authors. A poetry book is worth being published. But it’s not going to make you money. In a genre that’s dominated like literary fiction or women’s fiction, it’s 6,000 books a day that you have to sell to make it to the Amazon charts. So make sure that you’re writing to a market that you can compete in.

Kevin Tumlinson 17:24

Yeah, that’s true. And I never want to discourage people from publishing, just whatever is on their heart, you know, and poetry is one of those where there are a lot of people who really just, they really want to be out there. They want that voice to be out there. But I think you’re right. I mean, managing expectations. There’s not a huge market for poetry. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

Shaun Loftus 17:48

No, absolutely not. And if you write women’s fiction, by all means, write it. Just understand that you’re competing head to head with Random House if you’re writing women’s fiction, and they’re hard to beat. They have more money than us.

Kevin Tumlinson 18:05

That’s true. But see, that’s the beauty, though of self-publishing. It takes fewer readers for us to be, we’ll say financially successful than it takes for an author going through a traditional publishing house because we get a bigger royalty on sale. So the key comes down to finding that specific market that’s going to love your book. Do you have tips for that? You help with marketing, do you have some tips for authors on that?

Shaun Loftus 18:33

Yes. We use extensively two products. We use K-lytics. We subscribe to K-lytics, we read all of the market reports, we look at the videos every month. So we really know the markets and who’s selling what in which genre. The other thing that we use, this is before we’ll even accept a client. is we will look at Publisher Rocket. Publisher Rocket will tell you how well any genre is doing. And we’ll help you pick out of the 28,000 genres on Amazon. And you want to find a balance of something that, you know, 100-150 books a day will get you into the top 10. So it’s robust, but not too competitive. So those are really easy. And Publisher Rocket is really quite affordable. But anyone really considering, how do I adjust my manuscript to hit a market? Publisher Rocket is a fantastic product. Love it.

Kevin Tumlinson 19:48

Dave Chesson is a friend of show, friend of company. We’ve had him on a couple of times and he and I have shared beverages at various conferences. And that is a remarkable product from a remarkable guy. So highly recommended. Here’s another question. Let’s pop it up. So, I’m gonna lean in to make sure I read your name correctly. But Roderick coming at us from Facebook. “How can one balance between a day job, family, and writing, with all that comes with it?” Do you have any advice for him on that?

Shaun Loftus 20:25

It depends on what your goals are. I know authors who do it. I absolutely have clients who do this. My husband is a writer. He’s a novelist. He’ll write for three or four years. I have another good friend and client who really, he did it when the baby was asleep and when he got up in the morning, and he did it just day by day, he hit maybe 1000 words a day on good days and got his books written. Keep in mind that 1000 words a day, you’ve got your book written in a couple of months. It can be done. The indie market often, it’s kind of dominated by women. So they’re managing their families, they’re working, they’re getting their books written. And if your book is successful, the author I just said he wrote when his baby was asleep, he quit his day job this month. So.

Kevin Tumlinson 21:33

Yeah, I tell authors all the time that you know, sometimes it comes down to getting creative with your writing time, when you can do it and how you can do it. You know, Michael LaRonn is a good example of somebody who, he writes on his phone when he’s on a train, in line at the grocery, whatever. There’s all kinds of opportunities.

Shaun Loftus 21:54

Or there’s dictation software.

Kevin Tumlinson 21:56

Yes. A lot of authors are doing that. I haven’t successfully done that yet.

Shaun Loftus 22:02

I’m not particularly great at it either. But I know authors who do it. And so that’s also a way to get more time, but it absolutely can be done. I know a ton of authors who’ve done it.

Kevin Tumlinson 22:17

Yeah. Yeah. That’s always a tough question to really answer from someone, though. Because it really comes down to your personal circumstances, like, how do you balance it all? Well, you know, what is it you’re having to balance? Because some people are going to have a tougher time at that than others. You know, it’s easy for us to say, you know, use that time when the baby’s sleeping or use the time when you’re on your way to work or whatever. But a lot of times people have challenges we can’t even account for.

Shaun Loftus 22:47

And, however, 200 words a day, 300 words a day. That’s a paragraph a day. That’s how my husband writes. That’s because he’s fussy though, not because …

Kevin Tumlinson 23:05

Do you edit your husband’s work?

Shaun Loftus 23:06

No, he writes in Italian.

Kevin Tumlinson 23:08

Okay. So that’s interesting. Who does he use? He’s not using the in-house business.

Shaun Loftus 23:17

Not for the editing, no. Besides which, he’s my husband and we’ve worked together for some number of years, and we’ve even co-written together a screenplay that almost got made. But we found that perhaps working together was … We like each other better when we’re not maybe a little …

Kevin Tumlinson 23:42

I understand. My wife Kara and I were, not only did we live in a van together for two years, so like less than 100 square feet of living space, but we were also at the time both working for Draft2Digital, so we were never apart, ever ever ever.

Shaun Loftus 24:01

I don’t mind not being apart, but there’s … Did she work for you?

Kevin Tumlinson 24:07

No, we purposely, thankfully everyone was smart enough to make sure she worked in a different department from me. So we would occasionally have to overlap and sometimes there were little sparks there, but we learned how to do it though. But, you know, working with your spouse, that’s a subject for a whole other broadcast, really.

Shaun Loftus 24:29

I liked it, it was good, but gosh, that was a lot of work too.

Kevin Tumlinson 24:33

I bet. I bet. Is he is he kind of, is he demanding? Or are you more demanding? Which of you is the demanding one, that’s the question.

Shaun Loftus 24:42

Oh, we’re both.

Kevin Tumlinson 24:44

See, that’s no good. You have to have, one of you has to be laid back and the other one has to be opinionated.

Shaun Loftus 24:49

No, when it comes to matters of art, we both have very strong opinions. And so yeah, we don’t give in easily on our arguments when it comes to creative endeavors. So.

Kevin Tumlinson 25:07

I hear you. So when it comes to developmental editing, do you have like a process that you go through? Is there a formula for that sort of thing?

Shaun Loftus 25:21

Usually we will find someone a developmental editor. I’ll only take a project if it’s something that I’m specifically in love with and knowledgeable about. I love history. I love research, anything that I can jump down that rabbit hole, I might work on. But there’s people who do it full time, time after time, and most of them are going to be better than me. And it depends. We’re working on a historical project right now that’s set in Italy, and we are developmentally editing that. But we don’t generally, we have so many hours in the day, and we’ve got I think, 30, 35 clients, and of those 35 clients, we’ve probably got 200, 250 books. So to developmentally edit something is such an intensive project, we generally look for somebody. But our process is to go paragraph by paragraph, tease out the details, specifically note, I believe this, I don’t believe this, this isn’t convincing, find a different way to say that. We’re pretty, when we do dev editing, we’re pretty intense to work with. Because we’re trying to make the book wonderful, and not necessarily please the client. And that also can be really I think touchy, especially for newer authors. That relationship has to be filled with trust and intimacy, it has to be a close relationship. Because your editor should be saying things that might hurt your feelings. It’s their job because they’re trying to make your book better.

Kevin Tumlinson 27:14

Yeah, it’s one of those things where we all say we want the book to be the best it can be. But there is a cost to that.

Shaun Loftus 27:29

You have to be willing to kill your darlings, and that’s hard. And so we don’t really focus on that. We do it if it’s the right project, and the right client, but we don’t really, if you saw my website, we don’t offer that up front.

Kevin Tumlinson 27:46

Yeah. And that is, by the way, I have found both your personal site and your, I’m assuming this is the business site. The Book Whisperer, correct?

Shaun Loftus 27:57


Kevin Tumlinson 28:00

TheBookWhisperer.ink. And we will be putting links. In fact, I can go ahead and pop them up now.

Shaun Loftus 28:09

Let me make sure you’ve got that right.

Kevin Tumlinson 28:10

Let’s see. Let’s see if we got it. I put both of them.

Shaun Loftus 28:12

No, don’t go to ShaunLoftus.com, because I never go there. I haven’t updated it.

Kevin Tumlinson 28:17

That’s you, that’s your site. Okay, well I will edit that. I will take that down. But let’s see. We’ll take it back. Look at the magic of technology. I’m just doing it right now. There we go. Now, Shaun, I left out a word. See, bad editing on the fly. You don’t edit on the fly. That’s what you should tell authors.

Shaun Loftus 28:41

And my email address is authors@bookwhisperer.ink. It’s probably easier to write me there or find me on Facebook.

Kevin Tumlinson 28:54

Yeah. So and this is where they’ll find access to all the services you guys offer, right? You said it’s more of a, it’s sort of all folded in. But can someone come to you for a specific thing? Like if they just wanted the marketing, do they have to go through the other aspects of your business?

Shaun Loftus 29:11

It really depends. We try and meet our clients where they’re at. Some authors will come to us and they’ve already got game. They already absolutely know what they’re doing. They just don’t want to do it. Other authors will come and they’ll say these books, they’re failing. Why? And then we try our best to find out why. And there’s any number of reasons. Also, oh by the way, and also you guys can find me on Reedsy.

Kevin Tumlinson 29:43

That’s what I was gonna ask you next was, because you talk about Reedsy on your site, at least. I haven’t really had a chance to look through the Book Whisperer site for everything. But you’re still registered on Reedsy? Is that one of the ways you have people come to your site?

Shaun Loftus 30:03

Yes, absolutely.

Kevin Tumlinson 30:04

How is that experience? Because we love Ricardo, we love Reedsy. Now you can give me the inside scoop. Do they crack a whip on you?

Shaun Loftus 30:14

Not particularly. They’ve been really great to work with, in fact. They tend to recommend the right clients to me at this point because they know who I’m going to do well with, I think. I get a lot of requests through Reedsy, I really only even talk to people that I think I can help. And I try really hard not to take on clients I don’t think I can help. It’s hard. I want to help everyone. But I’m thinking no, no. Dinosaur romance. I don’t think I …

Kevin Tumlinson 30:57

There’s an editor out there for that dinosaur romance novel, but you’re not the editor.

Shaun Loftus 31:02

And I mean, you’ll find me as a marketer on Reedsy.

Kevin Tumlinson 31:07

What do you prefer? What’s your preferred genre?

Shaun Loftus 31:11

I like historical fiction. It’s the one with the strongest hand, it’s the one we have … We’ve got a stack of authors who are bestsellers in that genre. I don’t know if it’s because of me. Maybe. I’m not sure. I know that it’s the one genre I will say, yes, I can probably help you. Rather than, please remember. Manage your expectations.

Kevin Tumlinson 31:42

Yes. Yeah. So that’s, I imagine. So I write archaeological thrillers, which I tend to label as historical thrillers on Amazon, because there’s no category for archaeological thrillers there. Amazon and elsewhere, not just there.

Shaun Loftus 32:05

Ancient historical fiction.

Kevin Tumlinson 32:06

Ancient historical fiction. Okay. All right. That’s probably a good one, because I bet there’s not a lot of competition in that genre.

Shaun Loftus 32:13

It’s not. I’ve got a book in there right now that I think last time I looked was in the top 10. So ancient historical mystery, historical mystery is a very good category. It’s robust, but still competitive.

Kevin Tumlinson 32:29

Yeah. Okay. All right. Noted, I will take your free advice. Thank you. Speaking of free advice, we have someone I think, who’s aspiring to kind of get into your line of work here. Adriana from YouTube asks, “What services or marketing would you recommend newbie editors get into?”

Shaun Loftus 32:48

I’m not sure I understand the question.

Kevin Tumlinson 32:52

I kind of read it as, if they were an editor who wanted to sort of do the sorts of things you’re doing for their clients, what would they focus on? What sort of marketing techniques should they focus on, or services? That’s how I read it. Adrianna, if I’m wrong, correct me, I will correct the record.

Shaun Loftus 33:11

If you’re new, I would say look to Reedsy to find new clients, let them do the marketing for you and build your portfolio. I have gotten, back in the day I got work off Upwork. But on Upwork clients don’t really want to pay you enough.

Kevin Tumlinson 33:30

No, they don’t. I ran a copywriting business for years. And Upwork is where you go when you are just, you just need a few bucks here or there. It’s not a career builder.

Shaun Loftus 33:41

No, but if you’re needing your portfolio built, the first thing really is to build your portfolio. Become very active on social media within groups, talk to other people. If you haven’t a book or two edited yet, get that down. If you do a good job, editors are in high demand. Authors talk. Authors will recommend. When I need an editor on a project, I’m calling my clients and saying, who’s editing you? Give names, give me a recommendation. They talk, and so you want to make friends with authors.

Kevin Tumlinson 34:21

Yeah, that’s true. Especially if authors are your clientele.

Shaun Loftus 34:30

You know, once you build a reputation, they’ll recommend you to other people. Because they want you, if you’re their editor, they want you fed. They don’t want you to quit and go take a day job.

Kevin Tumlinson 34:44

Right, exactly, because then you’re not available anymore. So I want to circle back to Unconference for a second, Indie Unconference, because you got one coming up. I had it up on my screen and I’ve since navigated away. But you got one coming up soonish, right? Let’s see. June?

Shaun Loftus 35:05

June 9-12. It’s going to be fantastic. Reedsy is hosting the welcome Aperitivo. Amazon is hosting the goodbye dinner and there’ll be, Draft2Digital, Smashwords will be there, Reedsy will be there. Alex from K-lytics is going to be doing a presentation for us. BookBub, I believe, will be doing a presentation. I think at this point there’s about 45, 50 confirmations. We’ll be live streaming part of it. KDP and Amazon ads will be there. So this is really important because everyone, oh, I don’t know how to do Amazon ads. They’re gonna be there. You can yell at them in person about their platform.

Kevin Tumlinson 35:57

They won’t listen, but you can yell.

Shaun Loftus 36:03

And actually, they’re actually really lovely people. And there’s gonna be a focus on best practices for Amazon ads and ads on KDP. This is particularly good for authors who want to start getting their foot into European marketplace, because people here read books. There will be, I know in attendance will be some translators. So you can discuss that. I think Findaway Voices will be there. I’m not sure. And I think the event is 100 Euro. Your price is travel, but the event is, you know, four days, several meals.

Kevin Tumlinson 36:47

Pretty inexpensive for that sort of thing, that’s pretty good. Getting there not so much, from the US anyway.

Shaun Loftus 36:55

Yeah, it’s kind of late. But I think your listeners, you’ve got a lot of listeners, and there’s a lot of Anglo writers in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal. And so for those authors …

Kevin Tumlinson 37:11

Hey look, I think most of us will use any excuse we can get to go to Italy, so we’re fine. We’re gonna do that.

Shaun Loftus 37:17

And there’s a lot of people going to Madrid the week before and London the week later. So anyone who’s doing both of those events, we’re right in the middle.

Kevin Tumlinson 37:26

Okay, there you go. Yeah, you’re a nice stopover. You’re like literally in the middle.

Shaun Loftus 37:32

Well, not exactly. It’s kind of a cross and [inaudible].

Kevin Tumlinson 37:36

There’s a little bit of, what is it, like a left turn from Madrid to Italy?

Shaun Loftus 37:40

Even if you go on Airbnb, you can even book a cave, you can sleep in a cave. They rebuilt the sassi. And there’s a lot of apartments and houses built right into the caves. And you can book one of those.

Kevin Tumlinson 37:57

So if you’re not going to stay with Shaun in her spare bedroom …

Shaun Loftus 38:01

Well I’m in Tuscany, and I’ll be in Matera, so.

Kevin Tumlinson 38:03

That’s okay. All right. Well, so how far is that from you?

Shaun Loftus 38:07

From me? 300, 400 kilometers? It’s about a seven-hour drive. But that’s because it’s twisty turny. If I flew, it’s 20 minutes.

Kevin Tumlinson 38:20

I live in Texas. Everything is 300 kilometers from me, so I’m accustomed to the long commutes. Great, that’s fantastic. I’m scanning through comments here. I’m not seeing questions per se, but I am seeing some people commenting on some of the things we’ve said so far. So David Ballerini. Does that name sound familiar to you?

Shaun Loftus 38:47

Yes. Is he leaving me messages?

Kevin Tumlinson 38:52

He’s popped in, he sent hugs earlier. Now he says it’s like 700 to 800 kilometers is the distance. So I didn’t pop this up earlier. But there we are. There’s David sending hugs.

Shaun Loftus 39:08

That’s why I moved to Italy.

Kevin Tumlinson 39:10

For David. I want to move to Italy for David now.

Shaun Loftus 39:18

Italian men are lovely.

Kevin Tumlinson 39:20

I have heard that. That’s the long standing rumor, and it’s good to see David proving that true. So oh, Lexi Greene. Our own Alexis pops in to say, “Wholesome content on this week’s D2D Live.” Wholesome and heartwarming Italian family story is what we’ve got going on here. And I endorse that, I’m fine with that. So cool. All right. Well, so we’re kind of getting on towards time to wrap up, which I know you’re probably relieved by because you didn’t want to do the live stream.

Shaun Loftus 40:00

I’m a bit camera shy, yes.

Kevin Tumlinson 40:01

You shouldn’t be though, you’ve been fantastic. You’re wonderful on camera.

Shaun Loftus 40:03

And I really want to, before we go, I really want to invite everyone to this Uncon. It is going to be awesome. It’s indie-uncon.eu.

Kevin Tumlinson 40:14

Let me see if I can pop that up. So it’s, oh man, it’s gonna fight me. It’s indie-uncon.eu. Okay. All right. So check it out everybody.

Shaun Loftus 40:30

And you can find it on Facebook. And even if you can’t come this year, friend me, I’ll invite you to the private group. Because there are about 300 amazing authors, they’re always chatting, and we will be doing it again next year.

Kevin Tumlinson 40:45

Good. And then hopefully in person, it looks like it all worked out, you’re getting to do it in person plus virtually. That’s good. Our own Dan Wood is going to be present at this one.

Shaun Loftus 40:59

And I’m looking forward to seeing him again.

Kevin Tumlinson 41:02

Yeah, I’ll have to get out there. He tends to bogart the overseas beautiful location ones. But I’m gonna have to, we’re gonna have to assert some sort of will over this and get out there and see it next time. And I’m looking forward to it. We’re gonna figure it out. Of course, if I don’t take my wife, I end up divorced. That’s why these trips are expensive to me, you know?

Shaun Loftus 41:25

It’s a really romantic place. So you should bring your wife.

Kevin Tumlinson 41:30

Yes, I will. I will. Or I will pretend like I’m flying to San Francisco or something and just let her hang out. Okay, I’d never do that to her. So that is going to be it for this episode. And I’m really glad we had a chance to chat with you. I’m sorry that we haven’t met before now. But now I consider you a lifelong friend. And I’m a big fan of your husband as well. I’m not his type of man, though, he says. I’m not his type. So fair enough, David. I won’t let that hurt my feelings or anything. But I am, on screen right now for those of you who are listening, you don’t see it. But if you go to indie-uncon.eu, that’s where you can find tickets, or where you can RSVP and attend the Uncon. And that ought to be a good time for you. And you can find Shaun at bookwhisperer.ink. That is a very cool domain name. Shaun, anything else you want to throw in before we wrap up?

Shaun Loftus 42:32

No. It’s been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for having me on your show.

Kevin Tumlinson 42:38

Oh, you’re always welcome. We’ll have you on again. We’ll do this again. You did perfect. Don’t hesitate, the camera loves you. So for everyone else, thank you so much for being a part of this as well. Be sure you like and subscribe, wherever you’re watching right now, if you’re on YouTube or Facebook, like, subscribe, make sure that you hit little bell icons, all the things you need in order to know when we’re going to be doing any of these in the future. And make sure you bookmark D2Dlive.com, where you will hear about these things. You’ll see countdown to the next live event. We got another live event coming up next week. And that one’s actually one of our webinars. We pre-record those. So a bunch of us will be in the comments to answer your questions. So tune in for that webinar. If you’re listening to the podcast, you’ve already missed it, but you can find those on YouTube and at D2Dlive.com. So, again, Shaun, thank you so much for being on the show. Everyone else, thank you for tuning in. And we’ll see you all next time. Take care.