This past weekend was a roller coaster of emotional excitement as I released the third novel in my epic fantasy series. It’s also the second book I released this year and, as planned, the highlight of my book releases.
The Bad News
There were a few things that went wonky and likely affected sales.
I got kicked out of Amazon’s Pre-order program for a year, while on probation I used Pronoun. Pronoun is a fantastic platform but I have to unpublished and republish my book, here’s why:
The Book Series Page
Amazon will only create a series page for your book series if they are published through the same distributor. In this case, they won’t add Eliesmore and the Green Stone to the ebook series page because it is distributed by Pronoun. After some extensive time spent chatting with Amazon’s Customer Support, they said if I unpublished and republish the book, they’ll move the reviews over for me. This is good news, however, it is also bad news because my ASIN will change and all links pointing to the book will break. However, I am thankful I had a pre-order period; it helped me get people excited about the book before it came out and certainly helped to increase sales for The Five Warriors and The Blended Ones.
Best Day for a Book Release
I published during the weekend and during Hurricane Irma. Usually I would say every day is great day to publish a book, but after the past nine months, I’ve noticed my highest sales are during the week. While I did release the book on my birthday and that drummed up a ton of interest, there was a record-breaking hurricane slamming the eastern shore of the United States, it certainly drew a lot of media attention.
The Good News
Advanced Review Team
I created an advanced review team to read and review the book. While some read the book in 2 days, others were much slower. However, I was able to get my minimum requirement of 10 reviews. While 2 were critical reviews, I believe those views also helps sales without dragging down my average rating.
Also boughts are positive, due to research regarding also boughts, I tried to focus more on fantasy readers for this release, versus friends and family. I hope all kinds of readers enjoy my books, but I know my novels ring a bell with adults who enjoy traditional fantasy novels. While my books may appeal to young adults, my focus is adult readers, especially as the content of my books matures. I think adults will appreciate the hidden philosophies in the storyline.
Booking a blog tour helped keep me organized. Even though I strategize book launches, it was such a relief to have a tour manager booking author takeovers, scheduling social media pushes, countdowns, thunderclap campaigns and new release blitzes. She also did a great job sending out books to additional reviewers and handling deadlines. While I was involved in the process, I could focus on engaging with readers, mailing my email list and answering fan mail. I probably spent 5 hours just responding to fans. It was beautiful.
Book Release Party
When a book releases, it’s tempting to sit online all day and watch the sales rank, hoping and praying. Thankfully, I had a party in Nashville, TN to keep me from staring at reports all day. The party ended up being one of the most fun and rewarding moments all day. I took all of my books and set them up so I could get a ton of brand photos for Instagram. No shame. Friends and family came out to say happy birthday, grab a book, or book candles, and help me celebrate. I ended up having the event at a picnic shelter in Nashville, the one I selected had a fireplace so we had a bonfire and stayed well after dark. I brought my blue tooth speaker so we could have themed music and we enjoyed fruit, cheese, cookies and more.
Book Sales Reporting
During the release of The Blended Ones, The Five Warriors outsold The Blended Ones 2 to 1, and still does to this day. I was sure The Five Warriors was going to outsell Eliesmore and the Green Stone, particularly because I put The Five Warriors on sale for 99 cents. As I watched my books race for the most sales, I was surprised to find, in the end, Eliesmore and the Green Stone outsold everything by 1 copy.
Collaborating with other authors.
I’m a huge fan of slow and steady sales. Consistent sales tend to play better with Amazon’s algorithms instead of one massive push, although if I made 10,000 sales in one day, I wouldn’t complain at all. In order to get the steady sales, I collaborated with different authors. I have authors promoting my book to their email lists. One author will send out an email every day until September 18th. I’m also part of an exclusive group for epic fantasy fans, this helps my book sell to readers who will enjoy it the must. The group did a wonderful job celebrating both my birthday and book release.
Finally, my book is wide. Instead of publishing exclusively on Amazon, I decided to hit the 4 major retailers, Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Barnes and Noble and just for kicks, Google Play. I was thrilled to see book sales pick up on Kobo, Nook, and Barnes and Noble, and reviews started coming in on Kobo as well. It’s a sure sign I’m on the right track (although if you only have 1 book out, I recommend staying in Amazon’s KDP Select program).
All in all it was a rewarding book launch and a great encouragement to continue on the road to success. To keep the momentum going, I’m having a Read Along in my Fan Club to encourage readers to dive into the story and leave reviews. Finally, my next release, and final release of the year is October 9th.
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