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Advice for launching a 5-book series

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Danskin, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. Danskin

    Danskin Scribe

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    Hi all, I have a series of 5 short (35-50k) historical fantasy novels almost ready to launch. A few things are decided - I'm going to publish the independently, and go for a rapid release (probably 1 per 2-3 weeks) approach. Also, I don't have an active email list yet, so I can't use that for marketing. And I'm almost certainly going to start with Amazon KU, and hopefully 'go wide' a bit later on.

    I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions about the best way to handle other aspects of the marketing. For example...

    - Should I get paid promotions for the first book, and then run adverts after that?
    - Should I make the first book cheap or free? Or start full price and then discount it periodically?
    - Should I just do more of a 'soft launch' for book 1, and then try to ramp up the marketing once more of the series is available?
    - Is an email list really important, and if so how best to build it? Should I even consider giving the first book away for free?

    It would be great to hear if anyone has experience of promoting a similar type of series. Many thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions.

    JFD
     
    JGCully likes this.
  2. JGCully

    JGCully Scribe

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    Should I get paid promotions for the first book, and then run adverts after that? = personally didn't see the benefit for paid promotions. It cost me with not that much pay back.

    - Should I make the first book cheap or free? Or start full price and then discount it periodically? = not at first but I did find some success with using the Amazon option to run brief 'free ebook' days with the first book then people bought more of the series

    - Should I just do more of a 'soft launch' for book 1, and then try to ramp up the marketing once more of the series is available? = personally I hope to do a hard launch for the re-release of my first book, then depending on reaction, do the series. I say go big first time round!

    - Is an email list really important, and if so how best to build it? Should I even consider giving the first book away for free? = I would go for an email list, as it's the one thing I didn't get doing and I regret it. Maybe not send out the first book free just yet.
     
  3. Danskin

    Danskin Scribe

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    That’s very helpful, JGCullyJGCully ! I think you are right about going big at the start, and great tip about the free ebook days.

    I’ll have to think about the list, I’m not sure I have time for a newsletter or to do much serious list building prior to launch, but perhaps over the long term I should let one build organically.
     
  4. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    I would start a list by hooking up with Prolific Works, hand out sample or free books and you’ll get some sign-ups through them. Any paid promo (like bookbarbarian and the like) that’s going to be worth a hoot will require positive reviews of your book as you’d build for the granddaddy bookbub promo. If aiming for a Bookbub, it’s wise to note that they ignored me until I went “wide” and then I immediately got an international promo, and the US featured deal the next time I tried with 40+ reviews and a 4.3 average.

    Goodreads Promo: Will get you into the hands of readers, it will also screw your also-boughts on Amazon. Buyer beware.
    Amazon Free: Will also screw with your also-boughts.

    Also-boughts in general: You want them aligned with books in your genre to be most effective, Amazon’s email promos will slap your book in with books from your also-boughts.. Any sort of giveaway that Amazon counts as a sale can be harsh on this. KU readers will mess with it, but that’s pretty much inevitable if in KU. On the flip side, bad also-boughts is still probably better than NO also-boughts, LOL. And of course, Amazon might’ve changed its algorithm since I last launched, heh heh.
     
  5. Danskin

    Danskin Scribe

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    Many thanks (belatedly) for the responses and ideas. Really useful points about also-boughts and specific promotions.

    In the end I did decide it would be useful to have a sample, so I wrote a short novella to give away free, and used that to build a mailing list. I have got about 300 subscribers so far, so quite small but not bad as a start after a couple of months. I released the novella last month and the first full-length title just came out this week (you can grab the novella from my homepage if you like – link in my profile!)

    I am pricing the first one permanently low ($1), as I think and hope this will encourage people to give the series a try, and there are also some promotions that allow you to submit books at that price. It's also the shortest one at around 40k in the end, the others have grown to around 65k+ words each.

    Thanks again,

    JFD
     
    Momtoast likes this.
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