Declan Finn: Iron Age Marketing Podcast Episode 017

In today’s episode of Iron Age Marketing, I talk to Declan Finn, author of over thirty books in the “genre fiction” category.

Let’s Meet Iron Age Creator Declan Finn

Declan Finn, in his own words, “writes in any genre that isn’t nailed down, and sometimes brings a claw hammer just in case.” He has written over 30 books in genres including Urban Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Murder Mystery, Thriller, Horror, and “Vampire Romance.” Declan has self-published as well as having worked with four different publishers.

Small Publishers, Catholicism And Exorcist Cops

As we begin our interview, Declan Finn explains how starting as a self-published author informed his eventual decision to work with small publishers. Largely it boils down to better covers. Publishers have better resources and a built-in infrastructure for artwork and marketing, in other words. Declan expresses that while a small publisher won’t do all your marketing for you, they are more likely to be committed to the book’s success. Unfortunately, they have their own issues and can also fold, as more than one of Declan’s did during Coov shutdowns. This leads to a brief discussion of how that time period was for authors in general.
Since it’s such a rarity, I can’t help but ask Declan about his Catholicism shirt and how much his faith informs his writing. For Declan, he says it slips into his writing whether he likes it or not. In “It was Only on Stun,” a bodyguard ends up with his charge at Sunday Mass. In another book, Saint Tommy NYPD, a cop fights demons. I can’t help but mention the similarities to Clive Barker’s Harry Damour. Declan makes no bones about the extensive writings of the Catholic Church to draw from for his creations. He also mentions Father Amoris, an Italian exorcist, who is the subject of a current film starring Russel Crowe.

Tradpub, The Pre-#IronAge And Vampire Romances With Explosions

A little confused and embarrassed, I begin this clip by asking Declan what Tradpub is. I feel silly in retrospect. As Declan explains, it is a buzzword for traditional publishing. Four or five companies used to distribute all the big-name authors like George R.R. Martin to the Barnes & Noble level bookstores. This created a small Cabal of gatekeepers that seemed to not be choosing books based on whether they were good or not. They instead seemed to be relying more on their appeal to a particular political view or the author’s classification as a member of particular gender or ideological group. I point out that this is a reasonable type of marketing until you expect it to appeal to the mass market.
It is part of the appeal of the internet age that we can each find books tailored to our interests. The possibility is part of what drew him tome the Iron Age Movement. Declan goes on to share the pre-#IronAge history before it took off as a movement. Not wanting to dwell too much on the politics, I steer the conversation back toward Declan’s own writing and the ground he’s covered creatively over the years. The short answer is a lot. Declan then gives us the lowdown on the many genres of some of his 30+ books. There are murder mysteries, urban fantasy, action, and horror. Sometimes they occur in separate books, and sometimes there’s a vampire romance with explosions!

Vatican Ninjas, Satan And Self-Publishing

In response to Declan’s running gag of Vatican Ninjas, I can’t resist bringing up Lucy Daughter of the Devil, an animated show about the second coming of Christ created by Louren Brouchard of Bob’s Burgers fame and starring H Jon Benjamin as the voice of Satan. The show features the “Special Fathers” two priests and a nun who work as the Vatican’s special forces. The show portrays them as bumbling idiots, which isn’t a stretch for either of us. This leads to a deeper discussion of Satan as a literary character.
Beyond our discussion of Declan’s work, he is more than happy to give some real talk about what new creators should really be concerned with. Declan shares his tips to succeed in self-publishing, including never scrimping on the editing or the cover art. Declan also details how self-publishing means you have to work on the marketing, and for him, that often means more than half the time allotted to the book. Closing out this clip, we touch on the pros and cons of conventions as a marketing tool.

You Are Your Brand As An Author

In our final segment, Declan shares his insights and ideas about marketing ones self online. Some individuals are better than others at this, and some people willingly take on antagonistic personas. You find this more and more these days with the ideologically possessed and politically motivated. Simply put, know what you are preparing yourself for when you are your brand in a world of cancel culture. Declan’s big rule is to try not to piss people off online.
Hopefully, today’s episode with Declan Finn serves as both inspiration and education in your own journey to bring your creation to the world.

Declan Finn Resources & Extra Media

Shilling In The Iron Age

Need help connecting with or growing your audience for your book, comic, TTRPG, or other creative endeavor? Check out Nicky P @ ironagemarketing.com
Boost With A Book Banner