Those pre-launch jitters – what to do?

My last book, Inspector Kirby and Harold Longcoat – A Northumbrian Mystery went down well with those who read it.  There just weren’t enough of those readers.  A familiar story to many out there I’m sure.  It was fun to write and everyone said it was fun to read, which is great.  However, it was still just one book and everything you read tells you as an indie author you need a series.  Well, I’ve done it.  I’ve written books two and three and the early feedback has been positive.  So what now?

This is the point where I tell you that I don’t have all the answers to that question.  If anything I’m fuelled with doubt filled questions myself.  I know there are those out there who will tell you they have the answer, for a price.  However, so far whatever I’ve invested in marketing hasn’t paid itself back.  OK, it hasn’t been a fortune and I don’t regret spending the money, because it’s a big learning curve.  However, with the investment in time and effort of getting to this point with three books I now want to make the most of them and whatever meagre resources I can throw at it.

There are a few simple things to concentrate on pre-launch.

I have a small launch team pouring over it as I write.  I also have a mailing list (not the largest I know) which I’ve kept updated with progress and I’ll make sure there’s a good introductory offer on books 2 and 3 for them.  Hopefully, if they enjoyed the first book they’ll go for the new ones (and leave a review).  So that’s a start, right?.  When I do launch I’ll do an Amazon promotion  and then offer the first book for £0.99 on Amazon (or free if I can persuade them?).  I’ll offer it for free from my web site.  The aim is get a good start with reviews coming in and a decent place in the listings.

Now the difficult bit, reaching as many people as possible who might be interested in that first book and then the two follow-ups.  I will of course have tweets lined up and yes some of my 5,000+ followers will retweet, but that’s not enough.  I have signed up with BooksGoSocial.  They represent good value for money and are genuinely out there to help indie authors.  As well as tweeting to their vast twitter audience they also have other, more targeted promotion.  So a good place to start.

The big question then is how do I make the best use of the BGS marketing?  what can I do that’ll maximise that effort?  I’ve asked them the same question.

I know BookBub works, however, qualifying and getting accepted are the difficult bit.  So something to keep in mind for later perhaps?  Then there’s Amazon and Facebook ads.  However, when it comes to the indie-author despite all the hype I’m yet to hear of one who has made it pay.  I know you can start small, but I also know it can quickly add up.  More research needed perhaps.

The books are set in Northumberland, where I grew up and yes, I may be biased, but I think it’s possibly the most unspoilt and beautiful county in England.  Anyway the point is I’ll seek out publications in the North East and see if I can get them interested.

I still feel I could be doing more, but what?  All ideas gratefully received.  One thing I will do is trawl the blogs etc. out there and see what I come up with.  Perhaps the one thing I can definitely do this time is keep going with it.  Easier said than done I know.  However, with a series this has to be a good opportunity, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

As always all comments are welcome.

Ian Martyn

 

Author: Ian Martyn

Science Fiction Writer

3 thoughts on “Those pre-launch jitters – what to do?”

  1. Good luck with the releases, I have the books ready to read, as soon as I get through the two before them in my committed review reads.
    As you now have more books in the series to capitalise on read through, I would do a 99c promo on selected paid ad sites – I’ve done a lot of these now, and they pay back in the long term with the read through to the full price books. I highly recommend applying for a BookBub – if you don’t get it, you lose nothing. I’ve applied around 8 times, and had 2 International BBs (that’s everything bar the US), with great results in the UK, Canada and Australia, taking me to the top of the charts in my genre (epic fantasy) in those countries, with the associated increase in Amazon visibility for several weeks after.
    Other sites I find effective are: https://mybookcave.com, BookGorilla, eBookBetty, BookBarbarian, and eReaderNewsToday.
    Some of those need booking up a long way in advance, but are worth a look.
    There are also a range of sites that advertise for free – not sure how effective they are, but it only takes a few moments to fill out the forms, so worth a punt.
    https://pretty-hot.com
    http://ebookshabit.com
    http://newfreekindlebooks.com
    https://itswritenow.com
    http://www.ebooklister.net
    https://bookpraiser.com
    https://book-circle.com/
    Of course, these sort of sites vanish quite often, but are worth checking out.

    1. Deborah, many thanks for this and your support is always appreciated. The BooksGoSocial package I’ve signed up for includes some paid ads so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes. Thanks for the other recommendations as well – I’ll look into these. Also, do you have any experience with NetGalley for reviews etc.?

      1. You’re welcome, and I don’t, I’m afraid. I tend to get enough organic reviews that I don’t worry about actively seeking more. Most of mine come from my blog followers.

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