Adam Gaffen: Iron Age Marketing Podcast Episode 015
In today’s episode of Iron Age Marketing, I talk to Adam Gaffen, creator of the Cassidy Chronicles world of books.
Let’s Meet Iron Age Creator Adam Gaffen
Adam Gaffen is an Amazon bestselling author of the award-winning Cassidy Chronicles series. His stories have appeared in multiple bestselling anthologies. His other acolades include a Drunken Druid Literary Award Finalist, and an Honorable Mention by the Writers of the Future Contest. In addition, he has published “Spice and Steam”, an anthology of fantasy, urban fantasy, and science fiction stories with AC Adams.
He is an active member of the Heinlein Society, the Colorado Authors League, the Science Fiction Writers of America, and a frequent guest on the science fiction convention circuit. When he’s not writing he is probably editing for other independent authors, or supporting them by publishing interviews on his website.
The Hybrid Author, Anthologies, And World Building
The word anthologies keeps coming up as the interview begins. While having been featured in some anthologies with publishers, Adam has also been publishing an anthology of his own with sapphic fantasy romance author A.C. Adams. These anthologies are where the hybrid really comes from in Adams’s world. Besides the anthologies, he is a primarily self-published author.
Moving along, we get into how fits and starts in the creation of the near future world in which Geffen’s characters populate, making self-publishing the only real route open to him. When a seven-year gap crept into the writing of the four novellas slated to be the Cassidy Chronicles series, it became clear he had lost the plot. Rather than chase the dragon of the lost book, he simply took things as they were and released a novel.
Finding Freedom In Your Own “-Verse”
While world-building sounds incredibly daunting to most of us, it turned out to be the natural answer to Adam’s problem of what’s next after the initial arc of The Cassidy Chronicles. He had never intended to build a whole “-verse,” but when he struggled to place his newest concept, he found his own characters talking to him, “Put it in my world.” Suddenly the dam broke, and the story began filling itself in. More than that, in a world that is so varied, it only made sense that the type of stories would be. This has allowed Gaffen to write many different flavors of sci-fi, from noir-tinged to Star Trek-inspired.
The Expanse, Asimov, Heinlein And The “What If”
Nick is never one to hold in his passions, and The Expanse is one of his big ones. He will rave about how perfectly the series handled macro politics honestly and nuancedly to anyone who will listen. But, the conversation moves on to include gushing about how great both Asimov and Heinlein are and how they affected Adam and his writing growing up. Gaffen mentions that the first sci-fi books he ever got were The Foundation trilogy, and Heinlein has mesmerized him as a wordsmith forever.
Having geeked out thoroughly, Nicky P asks Adam what he has next on his release docket and opens up a can of worms discussing marketing cycles. It quickly becomes clear that Adam is more interested in brand marketing in lieu of book marketing. He releases them too fast to give each book a proper cycle. He has opted to focus his marketing on himself as an author, building a personal relationship with his audience.
Building A Back-Catalogue For Legitimacy And Sales
Since Adam has broken with the idea of book cycles, he lets us in on why it feels like he’s making a mad dash to create content. In his estimation, he sees how easy it is for household names like Stephen King to sell books with their name. When you don’t have a back catalogue and name recognition, the question “Who are you?” becomes a hurdle. Adam has chosen to fill up his back catalogue with a surprising number of books. He has used these as lead magnet content to begin building personal relationships with his audience. Once you open up that communication, it’s imperative to keep your audience engaged before they forget about you for the next shiny thing.
The Newsletter: Email Is Relationship Marketing
Getting toward the end of the episode, Nicky P and Adam get into two of the show’s evergreen topics: email marketing & relationship marketing. For Adam, this works out in the form of a newsletter he releases “in character” as one of the characters from his stories. He uses content from all the media he creates, including interviews, to give his character a reason to reach out to his audience weekly. Adam understands owning his list and how even 500 die-hard fans can take pretty good care of you.
Hopefully, in todays episode you got a glimpse at some of the more creative ways writers can utilize their email lists to grow their brands.
Adam Gaffen Resources & Extra Media
Shilling In The Iron Age
Need help connecting with your audience for your book, comic, TTRPG, or other creative endeavor? Check out Nicky P @ ironagemarketing.com