Skye Warren is a New York Times bestselling author in the dangerous romance subgenre, and her works include “The Endgame Trilogy.” Skye shifted from starving a artist to a successful author and is always looking to share her knowledge and experience with others in the profession.
Skye understands the importance of investing in yourself and your business and turned a $100,000 investment into over $850,000 in sales in one year. She’s used her skills to raise money for great causes, most recently for relief and human rights organizations working in Ukraine.
Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today, Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. Listen in for some great takeaways about the business of being a writer and how making an investment in your business can yield fantastic results.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…
- Learn more about bestselling author Skye Warren [2:47]
- Skye explains the subgenre of dangerous romance [4:16]
- What inspired “Nightingale: An Anthology for Ukraine” [12:48]
- Learn how to effectively use Facebook Ads for marketing [17:08]
- How Skye decides how to design her book covers [22:43]
- Why Skye has published with 1,001 Dark Nights [30:26]
- How TikTok has changed the marketing world for authors [31:47]
- How authors can ensure their readers feel appreciated [36:51]
- What Skye did today that put her in the mindset for success [40:55]
Skye explains the subgenre of “dangerous romance”
When Skye started writing, self-publishing was new. And self-publishing allowed people to write works that didn’t fit into the box of what publishers would approve of, which led to new genres.
Skye’s books fall into the subgenre of “dark romance.” The genre is cathartic, emotional, and—you guessed it—dark. Skye writes books where the villain is the hero of the story. It pushes the boundaries and makes some people uncomfortable.
When she started writing, she was re-writing the narrative of some of her own experiences. She was a first-time mom working full-time and she only had time to write at night. So she’d sit on the ground outside her child’s door and write.
When Skye published her first book, she hoped that a couple of people might find it interesting. She didn’t have a newsletter, social media, or website. She didn’t do any marketing. She didn’t even tell anyone she’d published it.
She was also writing books that were “publisher approved” under a different pen name. She worked hard on them—and they even had good reviews—but the sales were lackluster. But at the same time, books she’d written under “Skye Warren” without any social media or ads were picking up organic readers. Readers were hungry for more of the new subgenre.
Learn how to effectively use Facebook Ads for marketing
Skye spent $100,000 on Facebook ads in a calendar year—but it generated over $850,000 in sales. She ran low-spend ads ($5–$10 a day). She notes that if you’re running profitable ads (i.e. 2–4x ROI), you take that money and reinvest it. That’s exactly what she did.
Even if you had $100,000 in your bank account, Skye would never advise anyone to dump it into advertising. Why? You have to learn the Facebook ad platform first. You should learn by spending a few dollars before you dive in with thousands. You have to AB-test and see what works and what doesn’t.
Facebook ads are a great way to tip your toes in the advertising world without fear of losing a significant chunk of money.
How Skye decides how to design her book covers
Skye believes that the number of covers that could accurately describe a book could be infinite. Every designer could create something unique. Most authors decide on a cover simply by choosing what they like the best. They assume that if they like it, their reader will too. Plus, once a reader is your fan, they don’t care about the covers.
But you also can’t assume that they’ll buy and read everything you write. Some readers switch genres, find a different author, or simply get too busy. You can get raving reviews and still have steeply declining sales. So you have to constantly acquire new readers.
So Skye approaches covers by asking, “How will this land with a new reader?” She started using a site called “PickFu” to AB test her covers. But her feedback was often, “I like this cover better but I think other people will like this cover better.”
So she started testing covers using Facebook ads. Why? Because no one clicks on a Facebook ad because they think someone else will like it. You click on an ad to buy a book if you want to read that book. You can never predict what people will do. Skye is constantly running tests to make sure she’s delivering what her readers want.
Resources & People Mentioned
- 1,001 Dark Nights with Liz Berry, Episode #83
- Sign up for Skye’s Newsletter to get free resources
Connect with Skye Warren
Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance, such as The Endgame Trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today, Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.
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