This is one of my favorite times to post, because it’s my birthday. So Happy Birthday to me.
The past month while preparing my new release The Good Girl Part Trois, I realized it had been over a year since my last release.
The other thing that shocked me was the size of the book. I knew it was going to be slightly larger than the previous two in the series. Those are novellas. However, I had no idea it was going to finish out at 70,000+ words. I know what you’re saying, didn’t you have the page count on while you were writing? Yes, I did, but it’s not until I formatted it that it clicked. Based on the way I format my print books, I think this book is going to officially be my biggest and longest print book.
I’m just beginning release month so I have very few things to share with you about this release.
Prior to the release, I started listening to the Six Figure Author podcast. I don’t remember how I discovered it, but gleaned a lot of information. I also listened to Tim Grahl’s “Your first 1000 Copies”. I also reviewed some of my Self Publishing Formula lessons.
I did all of this research because I wanted different results with this release. It might sound vain, but I really want that NYT, USA Today, WSJ, Amazon bestseller tag. Don’t judge. I know a bestseller tag doesn’t necessary equal sales. Nor does it validate you. It’s one of those unexplainable author things. But because I write a very different type of romance…faith and sex, hitting the list would mean people get me. In a nutshell, it would validate my writing. It also means readers understand and appreciate the stories I’m telling.
All that research led me to make a decision to do a soft or small launch. This is because I’ll be releasing book four in the series in a few months. An author in one of my Facebook groups suggested I “plug the crap out of book four and the series”. I could do that, but how?
I mentioned last month why I pushed the release date back, but now I needed a plan. How was I going to set up a small launch? All of the launch plans I researched had some of the same components…get
reviews, schedule ads, alert your list and post to social media. Possibly do a giveaway. Also, don’t focus so much on the day, but the month and how to turn that into sales with tails.
I changed my focus, which was hard. I really wanted to go after a list spot. Let’s be real, I’ve never come close to a list position with a paid release. Now free books is something different. The first two books in The Good Girl Series have been doing very well as freebies. So much so, that I am seriously thinking about making book one permafree. Since I made it free, I’ve seen an increase in reviews for both books.
Here’s what I did and will be doing during release month.
I participated in a massive one day free book giveaway. I used my first two books in the series as a lead in for book three. The giveaway yielded several thousand downloads plus preorders for book three. For the first time in my writing career, I had almost 100 preorders. For some this is a small number, but for me it was huge.
I offered a preorder. In the past I sometimes waited until the last minute to put up a preorder. The reason being, I didn’t want to get boxed into a corner with Amazon in case I missed the date. Another first for me, preorders across all platforms.
Facebook. This is where I ran into a little problem. I had what I thought was the perfect image for my Facebook Ads. Unfortunately, they disagreed and shut my ads account down for being too suggestive. I freaked out because I was testing ads. This set me back a couple of days. I immediately started praying and asking my groups for advice. I did as suggested and appealed to Facebook and the following day, my account was reopened. This pushed my plan back, because of the necessary testing period. Looking back now, I consider this to be a good thing, because it means my ads will be set for book four’s release.
AMS and BookBub. I set up ads for all three books on these platforms. Books one and two are doing well. Unfortunately, book three isn’t. I’m not going to freak out. Once I get it right, it will be set for book four’s release.
Newsletter ads. I took advantage of The Fussy Librarian’s special and booked two free slots for the first two books. I don’t have any proof, but I’m pretty sure it led to some preorders on the days the ads posted. I also, booked an ad for later in the month with another site.
Promotions. The promotion I mentioned involved free books which meant I had to make the books free in advance. Doing this pushed me in the top ten free in several categories in a few countries. Once the promotion ended, I left the books as free to drive sales to book three. I’m doing another free promo in a few days and I elected to use book one in the series. I’m hoping this will drive more sales to book three.
Social Media posts. I posted to all of my pages with some hits. What surprised me the most was people commenting on the ads thanking me for the free books. That’s nice. To my knowledge, there’s no way for me to know if those will turn into sales.
Newsletter swaps. I did one with a friend and want to do more. I think it’s important as authors that we help each other. Sharing or exposing my readers to other authors is something I want to incorporate in my newsletter on a regular basis.
Reviews. This is where I dropped the ball. I was still tweaking the book up to a few days before release so I didn’t do ARCs. I know I should have gotten reviews which was part of my plan. I have no reason for why I didn’t do it. I did seek out a review service and they said I would need to offer the other two books as well. If that’s the case, I’ll wait until book four to use the review service. Good review news, as of this morning I had two five star ratings.
How do I feel about the small or slow launch? It’s too soon to say. I did review my past release month results and so far, this is working. I will admit my best release month so far, was with Unexpected Love. I followed a different plan which called for a 99c release price. So far, I sold more books with that release, but money wise, this release has made more.
So what have I learned with this release so far? Making the bestseller list is a goal and can be achieved anytime in a book’s life. Rank is good, but not the only measure to a book’s success. You can’t use the same launch plan for every book. Steady sales pay the bills. Write what you want to read, because there are a few readers out there with similar reading tastes.
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