My Publishing Journey: Back to Planning Again!

This week I’ve been doing much more of the same, with Before The End coming along very well, I’m halfway through the current edit looking at plot and pacing.

When I’m not editing my attention has turned to the release strategy for the second in the series.

Before The End Release Strategy

Typical strategies for multiple books would be to discount the first book to drive sales to the next at full price.

I see the options for this strategy are as follows:

  • Make In The End permafree on Amazon and hope follow-on sales naturally head the way of Before The End
  • Make In The End £0.99/$0.99 on Amazon and hope follow on sales naturally head the way of Before The End
  • Keep In The End at normal price but give away free from my website in exchange for joining a mailing list. Use the mailing list to drive sales to Before The End
  • Write a novella in the world of the series and offer it either free on Amazon or in exchange for joining a mailing list

I’m moving towards the novella idea, often called a Magnet Novella, which I will give away in exchange for joining a mailing list. Once you’ve built a mailing list, a massive task in itself, you have a great way of marketing directly and for building an advertising audience on Facebook.

If I give away In The End for free, either on Amazon or via a mailing list, I will need to remove it from Kindle Unlimited, but it would allow me to try distribution through other channels.

All of the strategies require a landing page where I can drive advertising. This will be a separate site and another expense, but WordPress does not provide the capability for performing this role.

For mailing lists management I will also need another site. The mailing list will not be the same as subscribing to my blog posts, the mailing list will only be for fans and will be very much marketing related.

Other things I will need to do will include:

  • Updating the call to action page in In The End with the details of Before The End
  • Write the novella. This will be a tricky write. I need to provide intrigue to the setting, hooking in the reader in around 30,000 pages, but all without spoiling any of the ‘reveals’ in In The End. I am going to go full planning on this as I think it’s going to need it!

In Other News

  • In The End Audiobook – The production is completed and all paid up. Now it’s off to ACX to approve the final product and start distribution. I have no idea of timescale or if I will get a release date in advance, so I guess it’s just a case of waiting.
  • I have my updated author copies of In The End for signing (two weeks to go), so my worries about not having them in time were unfounded. Plan for the worst and all that!

That’s it for me for this week! Comments and suggestions welcomed as always!

GJ Stevens

I am a Writer. I am many other things too, but I love to write. On 30th November 2018 I released my debut novel, In The End, a compelling apocalyptic thriller that will leave you breathless, immersing you in a fight for survival. Available to buy now from Amazon and receiving rave reviews!

9 comments

  • Hi Gareth,
    In my humble opinion alterations on price to get readers is perhaps too early at your stage.It is a hard one to call, there are so many books out there at the 0.99 price – a give away. Keep the Kindle at £2.99 and reduce the book price – a high book price is for the shop shelves – online people want a bargain. Once your second book is up that gives two books – postage free. People do like books, they like to touch things – always carry a few with you and when the conversation comes around to books, show them yours. You will notice the first thing they do is rub the cover, I don’t know why? Observe how they react.
    The key is to find and build a readership (I know you know this) – Who are your target audiences?:
    Try WattPad groups – a short story to get your name in there. Also Fan Fiction in your genre, give them a taster – These people mostly like to write in their own world. But they might like your style who knows.
    UK groups – Fantasy gamers looking for the book thrill.
    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/oct/23/dystopian-fiction
    I noticed that your author interviews tended to be across genre, have you tried being specific in Dystopian, people like Sean Deville and maybe even Max Brooks – you may only get their PR machine but a connection on your site may/could attract an audience. I noticed Sean Devill has a short video of a reader taking about their experience reading his book.

    Author or publisher – which one are you? – both.
    On Kindle you can add your Publisher name – I am Alibrasphere (in further development).
    I appreciate on the book publishing you have used an Amazon ISBN and therefore can not use your own publisher’s name.

    Prerelease for your next book should be out there as soon as you’re comfortable.

    Prior to your book event – This is just an idea I have been mulling over.
    Photoshot your book cover onto a local bus and onto bill boards at the railway station. Make a poster and put it in the WH Smith window at least a week before the event, if they allow you – on the day of the event at least.

    That’s enough procrastination from me – back to writing.

    Enjoy your event.

    James.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hey GJ. Couple of comments.
    I would not reduce the price to 99c just yet. That is something I plan to do when I have four or five books in the series.
    As for landing pages – you could have a squeeze page, i.e. first page your visitors on gjstevens dot com see, offer the book there and link it to a Book Funnel landing page or even a Mailchimp landing page.if you have book funnel, use that. You can see it at work from my squeeze page when you access rklander dot com. I do have a series of short stories about some of the characters from the book. In your case, why not do a survival check list for your book? That would be cool.
    Mailing list? I use Mailchimp and have recently done targeted adds to get signups. I spent 50 dollars and got two hundred subscriptions – much better than I had expected, so definitely try FB. I am offering book one in the series for free only via FB ads. I got quite a few likes and comments, and some FB follows and such. Obviously, I will be using this email list as I run up to the release of book three in a couple of months.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hi Gareth, I recently read an interesting article about why we should not offer our books for free. From the comments, many readers said that they hardly ever read free books. Many just collect them and left them on their Kindle or other reading devices where they are never touched (especially if they have lots of other free books on there). If you’re going to offer something for free, then perhaps think about offering the first three or four chapters for free for signing up to a mailing list. That way, if somebody who has signed up enjoys those chapters (especially if the last free chapter ends on a cliffhanger), then they may then go on to purchase the book.
    I offered my book for free for five days last summer. I had a huge amount of downloads, but no new reviews. I only wish I had read the article before offering the book for free. Far better, I was told, is to send an Advance Review Copy of the book to book bloggers who may consider reading the book and leaving a review on their blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great idea Hugh. Never thought of offering an excerpt for free. Seems obvious now! I wonder how that sits with Kindle Select. I will see if I can find out as this is something I can implement just with one book. Thanks as always!

      Liked by 1 person

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