How do you battle visibility in today's publishing landscape? How can you enable word-of-mouth marketing for your books?

Lisa-Marie Cabrelli joins episode 92 of the Am Writing Fantasy podcast.

She is currently writing a PhD thesis on enabling readers to become co-creators.

This episode will challenge your preconceived notions about indie publishing, as well as, selling books in a crowded marketplace. Well worth the listen.

Links to resources mentioned in this episode:

Sign up for Lisa-Marie's newsletter: http://www.laptoplifelisa.com/ 

Lisa-Marie on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/laptoplifelisa

Lisa-Marie on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/laptoplifelisa

Story planning app: https://www.archivos.digital/

Worldbuilding app: https://www.worldanvil.com/ 

Note taking app: http://www.roamresearch.com  

Tune in for new episodes EVERY single Monday. 

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Read the full transcript below.

(Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).

Narrator (1s):
You're listening to The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast in today's publishing landscape. You can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need a literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now onto the show with your hosts Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt

Jesper (30s):
Hello. I'm Jesper and this is episode 92 of The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast. And while Autumn is taking care of some of them, other activities today, I'll have a conversation with Lisa Marie and I had to say that this is one that I've been looking forward to because you see its not often that one gets to talk to someone who has a PhD in creative writing, where the world building as one of the critical components. That's amazing.

Jesper (1m 0s):
I'm looking very much forward to this. Welcome to the am writing fantasy podcast. Lisa I

Lisa-Marie (1m 7s):
Thank you. I'm very happy to be here.

Jesper (1m 10s):
So maybe you could start out just by telling us a bit about yourself, right?

Lisa-Marie (1m 14s):
Sure. I'm actually not yet a PhD so I'm actually doing P PhD research right now. I've had a pretty diverse life. I M was an entrepreneur for a long time. I had my own an eCommerce business and I sold that in 2015, which allowed me to retire and do my dream job, which is of course writing novels. And umm, as part of the, when I was writing novels, it turned out that we were going to have to come to Scotland for a few years to look after my mother-in-law and I decided to go back to school.

Lisa-Marie (1m 55s):
So I went back and got my masters in creative writing and then I was encouraged to move on to get my PhD. So there's two pots have a PhD in a practice based creative writing degree. And that is writing a novel 'em to its natural lent. So I'm writing it dystopian fiction novel, which was about a 120,000 woods. And also WRITING a and accompanying critical thesis, which was about 40,000 word.

Lisa-Marie (2m 25s):
So that's I am working on that right now. We have about a year left. So yeah.

Jesper (2m 30s):
Is there like a specific focus you have to do with your PhD a broader than you, you know? Well, well I understand riding a novel. What do you have to like do a more theoretical focuses on something specific?

Lisa-Marie (2m 41s):
Yes. So normally when people do a practice based research degree and they're writing a novel, they do, what's called an X of Jesus, which was kind of an examination of your creative writing practice. But I decided that I wanted to go a little bit further. I'm very interested in the self publishing and why the self publishing world as has not yet sort of reached its tendrils into the, a academic and, and more formal literary critique community.

Lisa-Marie (3m 12s):
So I decided to do my creative Co I sorry. The critical component as research, focusing on redefining the role of the author in this post press genre fiction world. So the digital economy of course, has been the key to allowing all of us to be able to express ourselves through self publishing. And umm, I was interested in really examining how the role of the author has changed beyond the traditional publishing community.

Lisa-Marie (3m 48s):
And I theorize that authorship in the future is going to have to follow a more collaborative model and that there has been such an evolution for three components of this collaborative model, which is that all for the reader and the text, umm, over the last 20 years in a specific, you know, primarily. And so we have to, as authors move along with ah, the changes that have been happening and the publishing environment and the post press environment and well building is a huge part of that.

Lisa-Marie (4m 26s):
It cannot be ignored that the text is no longer a single isolated narrative. It's now usually especially obviously science fiction and fantasy simply a gateway into a larger world. So it's a, the Cola that combination of the author has self publisher. The reader has what I call a Creators a reader, which was kind of an extension of the early adopter who is the fan and the world, which is the extension of a single narrative into a, a multi narrative trans media environment.

Lisa-Marie (5m 2s):
If that makes sense.

Jesper (5m 4s):
Yeah, because I think it originally, when I heard you talking about collaboration, I was sort of thinking like moving into a world where it would be more common for authors to cocreate. There are stories which for certainly in at least in self publishing that has been an ongoing trend for the last couple of years. But actually I think you're sort of talking a bit about something else here. Not really about whether or not there were several authors co-creating stuff, but Moore, I guess the triangle between the actual work and a writer and the reader, is that right?

Jesper (5m 38s):
Yeah,

Lisa-Marie (5m 38s):
That's correct. I mean cocreation between authors is most certainly something that is, you know, should be examined further, but I'm specifically looking more to cocreation between the author and the reader and the world environment. So it's really between the author and the reader that I find interesting because I would say that the ban is the early adopter of this role, that I've coined creator reader. And that's the individual who is spurred beyond the activity of meaning making when reading fiction and into the activity of creator.

Lisa-Marie (6m 20s):
And that's been going on for a hundred years, the fan community, but now I'm theorizing that that is going to turn into a, more of a mainstream requirement of genre fiction readers and that the author has to prepare themselves for that and also provide the environment, even the physical environment as well within which this creator a reader can express themselves. So it is, it's a co-creation between the author and the reader as well as it is between the th this triangle that your discussing the authors of the reader and the world.

Jesper (6m 59s):
Right? So you're, are you thinking in terms of big because we live in a very social media kind of environment and that we have a lot of ways to express ourselves. I mean, people can a run their own YouTube channels. I'll do a podcast like this one out, whatever they want. So are you thinking in the sense that we're moving into it being more commonplace that fans have, let's say certain books do you use or whatever they will create their own content in relation to that book series?

Jesper (7m 30s):
Is that sort of the line of thinking?

Lisa-Marie (7m 32s):
Absolutely. That's exactly the line of thinking that I'm going down it in the past, in the, you know, in the late 20th century, reading was really considered to be a very private expression of taste. So it was something that people did alone and, and the quiet and do, you know, social reading a began in the late 20th century, primarily with, with book clubs, be beginning to rise in popularity.

Lisa-Marie (8m 6s):
And then of course the digital economy exploded social reading opportunities. And it's from this social reading environment that Readers have this, not all Readers right. This is a small portion of the general reading population have this desire to actually create And. I positing that as the author's responsibility to ASP in the self publishing environment and the genre fiction environment specifically to provide opportunities for the older, for the reader to move into that creation space.

Lisa-Marie (8m 44s):
So,

Jesper (8m 45s):
So this is automatically, already sparked like two questions for me, because one on one question is, so how do you, how do you propose that the author both to prepare themselves two to, to do that. And, and also how, how do we create an environment whereby the readers can actually get to co-create in, in the setting as, as we please, or is it not something that we have to worry about other than they will sort of find their own way into this social media environment? That was sort of one question.

Jesper (9m 15s):
And, and I guess the other question is, have you had any thoughts about, because there is some sort of copyright licensing problems here as well, I guess that we need to maybe think about it or maybe you, you, you think it's not necessary and this is just a new world we we're looking at now. What do you think?

Lisa-Marie (9m 35s):
Yeah. I'm so do your first question. The third part of my thesis really kind of addresses EI an imagined process that a collaborative author could follow in order to provide this kind of environment that we're talking about. So in traditional literary theory, that this type of co-creation technically happens with literary reading. So the theory says that Narrator, I that a reader narratively, co-create a narrative with an author in their mind when they are doing really, you know, deep literary reading and that this cocreation is virtual.

Lisa-Marie (10m 20s):
And that's what a reader response theory really is. It's set. The reader is creating something from the text and the text no longer belongs to the author. So we'll talk about that and copyright in your copyright question next. But my theory is that John, our reading is obviously not literary reading, its considered passive reading, which is an probably an incorrect title for it, for that kind of reading. My theory is that the cocreation that happens virtually in a literary Reid has needs to happen in real life and physically in a genre read So it is the author's job.

Lisa-Marie (11m 2s):
Do you create that kind of environment? You know it in my theory. And so, yes, and the third chapter I talk about from the very beginning, how a genre fiction author should make sure that they are engaging the reader and three different points to make sure that that reader becomes moves into this created a reader role, which is the optimal role for an author. In my theory, both economically and aesthetically, because it provides economic advantages too, a self published author because when you have those thousand true fans, you really have a group of Readers that will stick with you and your world and your, and your series, you know, above and beyond there, they will become your one click a group.

Lisa-Marie (11m 52s):
And then also it serves an author because it gives an author of the opportunity to experience the kind of artistic growth that they perhaps would not have if they were to shut themselves off from this opportunity to collaborate with their readership. If that makes sense. So yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So the theory is to engage with the Readers On in three levels, a one is socially and community.

Lisa-Marie (12m 22s):
So you begins to the very beginning, start to build your community in a lot of people are self published. Authors are doing all of this already. I'm just basically putting it into the academic context, engage them in your texts. So what is it you're doing within your gateway texts to engage and encourage a co creator of Readers and then also engaging them in the expanded text, which is, which becomes the story world. So that process is what I'm kind of developing as the last stage of my critical thesis component, right.

Lisa-Marie (12m 57s):
Because we are right.

Jesper (12m 59s):
I feel like, you know, I love it myself when, when a fictional world feels like it really grabs your attention. Right. And, and it pulls you in and, and you, you sort of want to explore more of that setting as a whole. And it basically goes beyond the story itself. So I for sure. I love though that kind of thing. And I know of course many Fantasy I Readers lot that sorta thing as well. I just had a reflection about what you said about building, building the community and, and having that the Readers to cocreate and whatnot in today's world.

Jesper (13m 33s):
I feel like everybody is so busy and there are so many social media contexts. There are so many groups. If your hand, if you decide for example, to run a Facebook group, how do you have any reflections about how, how do we get people to actually engage and, and start on this? Co-creation

Lisa-Marie (13m 50s):
Sure. I mean, we look to fandom as what we do and that's actually what I'm doing. And my research I'm look deeply into fandom and figure out what is it about these particular texts or these particular story words that drag these fans I'm into the position where they're there. They're obsessed now, not every reader is ever going to be in a fandom, right? There are people who will never become creator Readers and that's fine.

Lisa-Marie (14m 21s):
And though you will still have those readers and those readers will still be engaged. But the ones that you want to look for are those fans that will become these super I'm super obsessed. It's the wrong word, but super engaged, write this,

Jesper (14m 39s):
Is it true? Fans I liked a true fan.

Lisa-Marie (14m 42s):
You'll get your 1002 fans. And those are your creator Readers so yes, everyone is obviously very busy. There's a bazillion Facebook pages. You can follow that's. You know, the newsletter fatigued with authors is a very, very Real. And so that is exactly what my research is, is looking into. Where are the points that you can engage your readership throughout the process of writing and a, you know, production, distribution, and reception of a novel.

Lisa-Marie (15m 17s):
And those are the three points of the ones that I discussed. So the social and community, and the biggest point in the first step is to find your beta reading community and engage your beta reading community. Not necessarily as simply people who are just going to read the book and give you reviews, which was, I think were a lot of self published authors treat their beta Rita community as, but engage your beta Rita community from the very beginning, as co-authors not in any sort of credit, you know, or, or, or copyright wise, but people who you turn to to make sure that from the very first would you buy it on the page, these people are involved.

Lisa-Marie (16m 4s):
And I've actually done that with the novel that I'm writing for this particular degree. So you get a group of beta readers and you don't just ask them the questions. Like, did you like the novel? And do you want to review it? You ask them the really deep questions about what's missing. What didn't you understand? What should I add? What did you not like? So though that's the first step of real engagement, and those are the core of what's going to become, you're a creator, a readership. And then obviously in the next stage, which is within the text, there's a lot of intertextual world-building techniques that office can use to encourage this type of engagement.

Lisa-Marie (16m 46s):
And a lot of it has to do with making sure your very, very careful about the type of backstory that you include within your book. A lot of fantasy and science fiction readers go really overboard on our own backstory and leaving, you know, leaving gaps as one of the most essential things for, into textual engagement, making sure that there are places where readers really feel that they can step in and have something to contribute.

Lisa-Marie (17m 18s):
So even though you may know what happens with this particular character, or you may know the backstory of this particular event, making sure that either you don't share it, or you encourage our readership two complete that backstory for you. So that sort of leads into the world building aspect, which is I have created a physical world environment. So I looked at several options for this archivist is a fantastic, a online tool for exploring world relationships.

Lisa-Marie (17m 59s):
It's a really fabulous, it, it didn't work in the end for me because I needed a lot more a space for a text. So I moved to world Advil, which is also fabulous and works really well for a lot of science fiction and fantasy folks. But again, didn't really do what I needed to do for what I'm theorizing. So I moved into a tool called Rome research, and it's a fabulous tours brand new. It, it just came out at the end of 2019, and I'm actually gonna be developing some courses, four, our own research in how to use it in creative writing environment, because its really, really powerful giving Readers that environment that post Reid.

Lisa-Marie (18m 41s):
So after the immersive experience of the narrative, they can step out of the single text, which I'm calling and gateway texts. There can be multiple gateway texts that lead into the story world and into the story world with the author specifically not being the, and it will be cool, you know, a decider for what happens within that world environment.

Lisa-Marie (19m 12s):
I mean it's, it's, it's probably even valuable for an author to step away from the world at that point and pass it on to, you know, I'm, I'm speaking business speak here, but that's my, my background, a product manager who says, okay, this world now belongs to you. What is it that you want to do with it? And then they will say, I can step back in two, write another text, you know, from their own perspective, in their own point of view. So too, to your copyright issue, fandom traditionally is very anti a commercial.

Lisa-Marie (19m 51s):
The fandom environment is anti commercial. What part of that is because they had to be an antique commercial because early efforts at publishing fandoms for commercial benefit fandom tax for commercial benefits were really slammed by the traditional publishing industry. So in order to protect themselves, fandoms often proclaim this like an anti commercialism. But I think there is a desire within the fandom community. And I think we're seeing that in self publishing specifically and the science fiction and fantasy world for fans to be able to contribute to a world and benefit economically.

Lisa-Marie (20m 32s):
And so there is a model, there is an economic model that an author can develop whereby it benefits both the author and the reader economically and aesthetically.

Jesper (20m 46s):
It's very interesting. I'm just thinking here as well, because I can remember maybe it was like 10, 20 episodes ago or something like that. We had, ah, we had more Lafferty on who it was. She has written novels for a star Wars and its interesting and comparing whats, you said to what you were saying because with star Wars, for example, that's also a massive universe obviously and, and, and the Lord air is really expensive, but she basically said like, OK. So when I have to ride for star Wars, they gave, give me like disciplinary where we are strict guidelines on what I can do in what I can not do in the setting.

Jesper (21m 26s):
Whereas I think what your saying is basically the opposite. You sort of just release it out into the world and you know, you guys figure out what happened to you or whatever. Right. So I think what you're saying is that the fans we'll just developed, the background story are fill in part of the world that was not really filled in and the rider or the owner of the work doesn't really, you know, put any restrictions on it.

Lisa-Marie (21m 52s):
Yeah. I mean, that's one of the benefits of being a self publisher, right? I mean the reason why star Wars and those other huge franchise franchises are so strict is because the copyright is owned by w I N in an iron fist in a way by the corporation. It is not really about you, you know, artistic license, its about making sure that the corporation can keep the economic benefits have, you know, the expanding world.

Lisa-Marie (22m 23s):
So one of the benefits of self publishing is as an author, you know, I have the capability to say, yes, this is my, you know, my world that, that, you know, I started and This, these are the gateway text's that I have written, but do you know what they're is? There is a benefit in me opening it up and allowing Readers and fans I to contribute their own versions of the world and this story world, it, it doesn't mean that the author is giving up control because the author still has the ultimate word on, on what gets into the, you know, official Canon.

Lisa-Marie (23m 5s):
But it means that the author has this incredible opportunity to co-create with a readership and produce exactly what the readership is looking for. And then also give the advantage to people who perhaps don't have the capability to self publish themselves, or don't have the, you know, the business savvy to go out and do all the things that is required in the, in the self publishing community to get your workout there.

Lisa-Marie (23m 38s):
The author has the opportunity to also help those people as well. And it will benefit both of them mutually. So perhaps the orthotics, you 20%, 30% of whatever they decide to publish under their story, well title. And perhaps they have a free environment where anyone can publish and it's technically not part of the cannon, but their not going to restrict fan's from what they want to add or want to write within that story world. It's it's only going to benefit the author in the long run.

Lisa-Marie (24m 11s):
I mean, I don't get in to the economic aspect of it very much in my thesis just because I, I don't have enough room, but it's my belief that copyright in general is if you hang onto it too, tightly your in this environment, in this digital environment, you're restricting the opportunity to spread awareness of your work. So the people who like, you know, restrict there, their graphics from being spread, I mean, of course you need to be credited, but people don't want their art to be spread out on the internet, even though its credited, I think they are making a big mistake.

Lisa-Marie (24m 50s):
I think there is a benefit in making people feel as though they an actually making people a, a part of the, the, the, of the creative experience, right?

Jesper (25m 5s):
Yeah. I like, I like to sort of become very practical, helps with that because you know, many of our listeners hear there might be, they might be riding their first novel on maybe the first series of something, but they haven't been made. Maybe they haven't gotten very far. Maybe they, they only have like, lets say 200 people on their email list who they know will actually read it at this point in time. So I I I because I can fully imagine that if your like George RR Martin, for example, and you set up something and say, okay guys, you can, you can sort of start developing in this part of the world and what not a lot of people will just do it because they would love to.

Jesper (25m 43s):
But for the cell published author with maybe a limited audience, how do you think that people would get best gets started in getting the, so what did you call them? Create a Readers going in and in creating something right.

Lisa-Marie (25m 59s):
Well, I mean, I think the number one key is reader engagement. It's absolutely essential from the very beginning. I mean I wrote prior to moving into my PhD a prior to actually start in my master's I wrote a romantic comedy and people would say, well, you know, there's no world building and romantic comedy. There is no opportunity for reader engagement and its that's incorrect. The, the readers of any kind of genre have a desire to be engaged with the author, with a community and with the story world.

Lisa-Marie (26m 33s):
So I would say to any author that is just starting out is make sure that you are engaging with your reader community, umm, as they are, as though they are your friends. I mean every single email that you get you an answer it, Oh, you know, every single request you get four somebody who wants you to read their short story that they've done based on your, a novel, you, you read it and you respond to it. I mean just because you only have 200 people on your list, I can guarantee you it, if you have 200 people on your list, you're going to have at least one or two of them send you an email about your work and you need to make sure that the, you know, the first step of reader engagement is author and community.

Lisa-Marie (27m 23s):
So you need to make sure that you are really open and available to your readers so that they feel like, well, they will have a relationship and a connection with you that carries on into your work.

Jesper (27m 38s):
Yeah, that makes sense. And I, I fully agree with that as well. And also the whole point about always responding to email it, it doesn't have to be about the work, but any email you get from, from, from Readers always respond to it. I, I fully agree with that. So I guess to some extent what we are, well, we're sort of talking about making small steps that over the long term will make a big difference, right? In the sense that okay, if you get, if you get one person onboard and they will develop, maybe, maybe they do a bit of drawings of, to the settings or whatever, because there just like it, I had some Readers in the past doing that day, made some, some of their own art work of some places in a novel, which was a very nice or maybe other people would like to do a bit of wealth building.

Jesper (28m 24s):
Another person might want to write a short story elaborating on one of the characters background is, is that sort of what you're thinking? And then you just encourage that and you maybe provide some sort of platform where people can post stuff or something like that. Yeah.

Lisa-Marie (28m 41s):
Sorry. Yes. That is exactly right. I mean, we are We I don't address it again and my thesis because they don't have room, but umm, we are living in a transmedia environment. There are multiple opportunities to expand a narrative beyond simply just writing another story are writing another book into a series. There are opportunities for people to, like you said, draw the settings, draw all the characters, write short stories, write poetry, make films. And people are doing that within these fandoms right now with the, with the, within the big franchise fandoms.

Lisa-Marie (29m 16s):
So as an author, I'm encouraging that kind of co-creative activity and giving your readers' the place to do that I think is kind of the way forward. And I, and I'm not saying this as anything new, I mean, author's are doing this right now. What I'm doing is putting it into sort of an academic through an academic lens so that we can get academia itself as well, more interested in this changing role of authorship.

Lisa-Marie (29m 53s):
I mean they're still really stuck on this idea of the genius author. You know, this solitary ingenious ortho who is an inspired and writes this, you know, an amazing piece of literature and then is discovered by the traditional publishing industry. And all of this is really the only legitimate method of authorship. It seems within the, the, as you know, the majority of the literary academic community right now.

Lisa-Marie (30m 24s):
So my goal is to try and get academia and, and the more traditional community to try and look at authorship a little bit differently to let go of this concept of genius, authorship and coffee copyright. I mean it's difficult because that has a huge impact on a traditional publishing industry who is already struggling, you know, with the search in self publishing and the, and the changing environment, they are not necessarily technologically savvy, their not necessarily keeping up with the changes and they don't have the infrastructure or the methodologies in place to support the kind of it, you know, co-creative process that I am talking about.

Lisa-Marie (31m 5s):
So there is, there is a great deal of, of, of resistance, but I think that it's obviously happening out there right now. There are some authors who are extremely good at it and who are doing it. So let's take a look at it from, you know, a research perspective and figure out what's working, why and what it means to literary theory and the literary establishment as we move forward.

Jesper (31m 31s):
Yeah. That one, I definitely liked about it. And I have to admit as well, the way that you asked for a lot of challenging sum, some set of beliefs here. Right. So I quite like that, but yeah, but what I, what I do like about what you're saying is because one of the things that we keep coming back too, over and over and over again, when we are doing our podcast where we are interviewing other authors and so on and so on, we always come back to the problem of visibility, you know, in, in today's internet based, always connected kind of world.

Jesper (32m 1s):
There is so much stuff out there, especially after a self publishing came through with over the last 10 years or so, maybe a bit less, but there are so many books if you go to Amazon as well as ton of tons of tons of books in every genre. So getting your books to actually become visible to Readers and therefor also of course, hoping to earn some money is one of the most difficult things to do. And one of the things we have always said from our side is that that is why your email list it's so incredibly important.

Jesper (32m 35s):
And that is so important to have that conversation going with the reader's life. Like you have all also set here, but I think you are input here adds another element to what we usually say in our advice. And that is that if you can get these co-creators, this is Rita Creators I to do work in your world, your base basically sort of encouraged that a word of mouth marketing, basically, right?

Jesper (33m 6s):
So today we'll start spreading out across all their own social media feeds and they will share that stuff, which will hopefully will also lead to new readers back into your work at the end is, is my logic here? Correct?

Lisa-Marie (33m 20s):
Absolutely. That's absolutely correct. Listen, I I I'm first and foremost, a business person. That's my background, I'm an entrepreneur. I built a business from scratch. And so my ideas are very much, you know, economically business focused and really its nothing more than building a brand. So you're story world and you the author and you, you and you become your brand. You make promises to your readers that then you fulfilled, right?

Lisa-Marie (33m 53s):
U you, you find out you very closely specify who your target reader is. You make promises you no to that reader threw things like, you know, tropes and genres and, and, and stuff like that. And you develop a brand relationship. So yes it is about using the word of mouth just as brands do and giving reader's the opportunity to spread the word about your brand.

Lisa-Marie (34m 25s):
I know a lot of authors that would feel really gross thinking about it that way, because a lot of, especially in the traditional publishing industry, obviously they is what you write is art. But my premise is that you can still write on it and you can still be an artist while taking advantage of what the digital economy is offering you from an economic perspective. So if you were to be building a brand, do you would slowly begin gathering your 1000 true fans, which obviously authors do through social media and their email list, which again, I think is absolutely true.

Lisa-Marie (35m 6s):
It's the number one most important thing. And making sure that once the reader enters into a relationship with your brand, that's the only place they want to go. So that's why you provide this story world in this opportunity to engage at a level that most traditional methods of authorship don't allow. Does that make sense?

Jesper (35m 34s):
Yeah, absolutely. It makes sense. But have you, from your personal experience trying to live this stuff, have you had the experience that you can actually get people to co create or a small or is it always a bit like cricket? So as you know, that you will ask people to encourage them to create something and then maybe one or two people do that, but nobody else what's your experience there?

Lisa-Marie (35m 56s):
Well, the reason that I started getting really interested in this was watching other authors do it. So I know that it does happen with other authors. I, when I was writing my romantic comedy, I did have people come in and request to create, wanting to write short stories on the characters, wanting me to expand storylines and gaps that I would then say to them. I don't, I don't feel it that doesn't, you know, there's no nothing that resonates with me to expand that, but you go ahead.

Lisa-Marie (36m 27s):
So yeah, I the people do. I truly believe that people do want to do it. One of them unfortunate things about doing a PhD is that its a three, four, five year process. And so a lot of the economic exploration I would like to do to test these theories I can't do because I'm so focused on the, you know, the, the actual research and academic aspects on, on the, on the writing side, because really I'm doing a creative writing degree, not a business or economic degree.

Lisa-Marie (37m 2s):
So I have to focus on the, on the, on the literary component, but post my PhD, I fully plan on, you know, exploring this in at multiple levels, perhaps even start in my own small, a publishing company where I worked with authors who are interested in working in this way and not just in the science fiction and fantasy genre, like I said to you, I believe that there's, I mean, crime fiction is a huge opportunity for people to get engaged and in worlds, a romance is a huge opportunity.

Lisa-Marie (37m 36s):
So I think I'm, I do think that their, there are, I haven't experienced a huge volume of it because like I said, I'm really focused on the theoretical aspects of it right now, but I think it's out there there's enough evidence to show. I mean, I don't, you, you obviously know Michael Andrew Lee and I interviewed one of his team members for, for the PhD and there are folks who write whole novels that he picks up within his, besides a science fiction and fantasy worlds.

Lisa-Marie (38m 9s):
So it's happening out there right now.

Jesper (38m 13s):
Yeah, I agree. And a, one of the things that, a, one of the things that Autumn and I already have planned is that at some point in the future, we, we would like other authors too, right. In our settings as well because our setting is, is going to be huge and there's got to be a lot of stories you can tell in it and we can not tell all of it. So, so that we wanted to do anyway, but I still feel like there's a slight distinction, you know, basically basically becoming a publishing company because that's basically what we would become, right? So we would have our own authors that we have contracts with and they would ride in our setting.

Jesper (38m 47s):
Umm, but they own stories obviously and our setting. So, but that's becoming a publishing company. Whereas on the other hand, there's this whole other element to it, which is more like the fan fiction or the fandom. It doesn't have to be fiction. It could be pictures of videos or whatever people wanna make, but that there is no contract. They are, that's more like just and understanding about and encouraging people to actually create stuff. And then of course, I guess what would help if we, as authors would help promote that stuff once it's created it, if they created a cue, a cool video, or when you have the YouTube channel, maybe you are bloated as the author to the YouTube channel and the person will feel like this is awesome.

Jesper (39m 27s):
You know, I got to make a video that came on to the author of a YouTube channel or whatever. I'm just making something up here. But, but I feel like those two parallel streams here, whereas one of them is about basically more like becoming a publisher. Where's the other one is more about fandom and providing opportunities to fans, to express themselves.

Lisa-Marie (39m 49s):
Yeah. And I think they, I think what I'm saying in, in my thesis is that those two things can merge together that we're moving from a reading community into a writing community. And so those people who you are talking about as fans or Readers actually have the capability to contribute and be authors and they're is their, there are the things that they are creating, the contributions they are creating are worthy enough to be shared under the author's concept of what their, their world is.

Lisa-Marie (40m 27s):
So again, it comes down to a conversation about copyright and how, and if you want to include an economic or an economic aspect in the relationship with your fans or not, I mean, that's all stuff that needs to be though through and worked out well and will obviously be at the final component of my thesis when I propose like what people can do is as the next day.

Jesper (40m 53s):
Well, I think definitely you are challenging some of the set beliefs here and I very much liked that. Is there anything, is there anything I should have asked you about do some read that I haven't something important to mention?

Lisa-Marie (41m 6s):
No, I don't think so. I think we've probably covered everything. I just hope that, you know, I have, I don't speak about my research very often publicly and I'm a new academic, so I'm hoping that the way I put it forward had the kind of clarity and it needed, you know, outside of the academic speak that I'm used to doing right now.

Jesper (41m 31s):
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I, you explained it well a and those are, there was some mindset stuff you have to think about it in terms of how are we approaching our Readers and, and how do we develop our worlds? And I think we tried throughout our conversation here to bring it a bit bit outside of theory and, and sort of become practical a bit as well, just to see it. Okay. How could we potentially do this? But I also like the fact that we can leave in a bit to the listener as well, too, to think creatively about how can you engage with your readers and how can you enable them to become a creator readers and B part of your world and in whatever fashion that you liked, because there was also some individuality here at play in terms of how much you feel comfortable with and how much do you want to, to, to engage with Readers on this level.

Jesper (42m 24s):
But I do think there's a lot of truth to the fact that if you can do this, this is one of the ways where you can combat that visibility issue, that we all struggle with a in today's landscape here when it comes to a true self publishing. So I think that was excellent. And a, we had a very, very good conversation here. So all I want to say is a thank you so much for coming on to The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast Lisa Marie and as I expected this to be a very interesting conversation, so thank you, you are welcome.

Jesper (42m 59s):
And if it, and I will be releasing a lot of this stuff in a more writer focused or the focused format, like nonacademic format, umm, as I progress in terms of courses and, and things like that. So if anybody is interested, they can just pop over to my website and sign up for my newsletter and that this stuff will be coming out in more detail as it progresses. That sounds great. Then if you can email me the link to where people can go, ah, and maybe also the link to you.

Jesper (43m 32s):
You mentioned some tools in the session here, so maybe if you could email me that stuff, then I'll put it into show notes and then listeners can just go straight through them to go to the show notes and just click through a, that would probably be the easiest way to do it. And ah, I know if a for sure Lisa Marie that I will sign up to your email a bit less because I wanted to see what you've come up with. Okay. It sounds good. All right. So next Monday Autumn is back on the Podcast and to be honest, we haven't quite worked out what topic we're going to cover just yet, but we'll definitely settle on something.

Jesper (44m 6s):
Good.

Narrator (44m 8s):
If you like what you've just heard. There's a few things you can do to SUPPORT THE AM WRITING FANTASY PODCAST please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Autumn and Jesper on patreon.com/amwritingfantasy for as little as a dollar a month. You'll get awesome rewards and keep The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast going to stay safe out there and see you next Monday.

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