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Marketing a series

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Chime85, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Chime85

    Chime85 Sage

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    I'm working on a large project where the story spans over a couple of books (either two or three, we'll see once editing is done.) I'm also seriously considering going down the path of self publishing.

    I know many mainstream publishers release these stories in parts. LotR, Robin hobbs works etc, but is this a good idea for self publishing?

    My marketing idea for this is:

    Release the first part as a promo for two weeks for free then put it up to $2 (or $2.99 as another threadd suggests)

    Second part, the same stratagy.

    After (assuming a two parter), releasing a single collection of the full story as well as the individual parts. If both parts come to the best of $6, the collective article could be released for say $5 as well as the individual parts


    Again, I know many mainstream publishers practice this, but would this be damaging for a self publisher?

    To clarify; it's a single story.It is not a set of seperate but close storys with the same characters (ie; harry potter)

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    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  2. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

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    I'm reading a book right now that's like that - a two parter marketed as two separate books, for technical reasons (a limitation on the ebook creation software, apparently). Half the reviews for the first part are grumbles about the lack of closure! So be warned, people do expect a 'book' to be a complete story, even when clearly labelled Part 1 or Volume 1 or whatever.

    I would say, try to market it as a single book, and if that's not possible, charge a normal price for one of the parts and make the rest of it permanently free.

    Good luck!
     
    Chime85 likes this.
  3. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I don't think it's a good idea to have a list price for "Free." You have a quality product (right?), and you should list it as such. The biggest advantage of a sale isn't the reduced price; it's having another reason to talk about your product. Having a new book is already enough to talk about. Open at your normal price and run a sale a few months down the road when the news has gotten stale and you need another hook to talk about.

    And don't make it free. People are skeptical of free.

    As for whether you should release as one volume, two or three, that depends. You can have a cliffhanger - they'll hate you for it, but they'll still read. But it has to be a literary conclusion. A cliffhanger counts. But you can't just cut it off in the middle. You have to build up to an ending point, and the next book has to open with the appropriate buildup. So be sure to figure out where those endpoints are, and edit your books to match.
     
    Chime85 and Weaver like this.
  4. yachtcaptcolby

    yachtcaptcolby Minstrel

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    I think people are skeptical of books that are free in perpetuity. Occasionally running a promotion where the first book in your series is free could be a great way to get people to buy the rest of it.
     
    Chime85 likes this.
  5. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

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    And there are some very successful self-pubbers who would argue that having the first in a series always free is a great way to draw people in. Lindsay Buroker's done well with that strategy.

    Personally, as a reader I hate the 'occasionally free' system, because I always see a free day AFTER I've paid full price :-(
     
  6. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I say people are skeptical of free, but there are ways to overcome that skepticism and turn it into an advantage if you have a quality product and know how to market effectively. But that takes a concerted effort and you need to have a lot of material out there. For the most part, your best bet to start off marketing your first book is to focus on branding your work as a quality product to overcome the missing reputation that will hold you back when you solicit reviews, which is what people should be focusing on. And quality products, standing by themselves from a first time author, aren't usually free.
     
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