Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Another New Release ~ I'm Not Kidding! by Jannine Gallant
Let's talk about the strategy of spacing our new releases. It used to be I was simply thrilled to get a book written and submitted. Then came the long wait while it made the rounds, looking for a home. The whole process took a year or two or three before the book was released into the digital world. Then everything changed with the popularity of contracting an entire series of books instead of single titles. Now, I submit Book One (or 3 chapters of Book One) and a proposal for the rest of the books in the series to my publisher. I'm given turn-in dates and release dates before I've even finished the first book in the series. The pressure to produce is on...
But with the advent of contracting a series comes strategy in release dates. With my Who's Watching Now series, I had a March release and a July release in 2015, then the final book didn't come out until March of 2016. The results were a huge drop off in sales for the final book in the series. The momentum for Book One held through Book Two, and both sold very well, but people forgot about them and didn't pick up Book Three. Nor did they pre-order that far in advance. Sad. Very sad.
So, my pub had the bright idea of back to back releases for my second series, Born To Be Wilde. Wilde One came out the end of September. Wilde Side just released the end of October. Books Three and Four are on pre-sale with release dates in February and May of 2017. And, I'm noticing an interesting phenomenon. Based on Amazon rankings (which I track relentlessly to the detriment of word production) after Wilde One came out, I saw pre-orders for Book Two but not much action on Three and Four. However, in the week since Wilde Side released, pre-sales for the final two books have jumped. So, something about reading two books back to back motivates people to pre-order the rest of the series when the wait isn't terribly long. Very cool. Now, if I could just get the first two into more hands, I might actually see some serious success with this series.
But there's a downside to this rapid fire release schedule. Promotion. I have a feeling all my Facebook friends are sick to death of seeing posts about my new books. I only scheduled a couple of blogs for each book that required new content posts on sites with high traffic. Both books went on the standard cover/blurb/excerpt blog tour arranged through my pub. Those get little traffic or exposure and seem like a huge waste of time and money...but what do I know? I can't promote the same content day after day on social media without running the risk of being unfriended by everyone I know! It's quite the conundrum. Right now I feel like my best bet is to stop harassing my Facebook friends and rely on organic sales. I'm going to have to trust that people who buy Wilde One or Wilde Side will like them enough to pick up the rest of the series. And if my pub can get me a BookBub ad, I'll probably kiss their collective feet in relief! In aid of that goal and the 20 review requirement, if you've read either book, please, please leave me an Amazon review. I'll be eternally in your debt!
So, what have you found to be a winning (or losing) strategy for release dates? Those who self-publish are in control of their own destiny, so it'll be interesting to see if you have a process beyond finish the book and publish. Curious minds want to know.
In the meantime, pick up your copy of Wilde One or Wilde Side anywhere e-books are sold! Info on all my books can be found on my Website.