Author Topic: Do you ever advertise the last book of a very sequential series?  (Read 461 times)  

Offline Kay Camden

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I'm very tempted to set up an AMS ad for the final book in my series because it just released and I have a hooky blurb for the ad. And the cover is gorgeous. :)

My question: Is this a stupid thing to do on a very sequential series? I know I can't control readers, but I'd die a little (okay, a lot) if I ever hear someone has read the books out of order. Reading book 5 first would spoil 1-4. It's very clear in the product pages for books 2-5 that they are in a series (their position in the series is in the title and the first line of each blurb). It's also on the front cover of each book and the inside title page of each book. But even after all this I'm worried someone might see the AMS ad for book 5, click it and start reading.

Does anyone have an experience with this?
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Offline PermaStudent

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Re: Do you ever advertise the last book of a very sequential series?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 06:06:36 PM »
For any of my serials/series that I feel *must* be read in order, I only ever do advertising for the first book.  I have experimented with advertising book 2 where book 1 is free, and results weren't spectacular.  Not detrimental (no confused reviews from reading out of order), but inconsequential enough that I decided to focus future dollars on the first in series.  That said, none of my experimenting involved a launch. YMMV.

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Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: Do you ever advertise the last book of a very sequential series?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 06:29:03 PM »
I've done it. I advertised the third book in my fantasy trilogy because I thought the cover would attract potentially different readers than the first cover had.  And it did drive sales of book 1.


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Offline Marina Finlayson

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Re: Do you ever advertise the last book of a very sequential series?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2018, 02:11:23 AM »
I do AMS and FB ads for a few weeks after release for later books in a series, just to bring the book to the attention of people who might have read the earlier ones and enjoyed them. It's a way to let people who aren't on your mailing list know that the new book is out. Plus a few people might be so intrigued by the latest one that they go back and start the series, you never know!

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Offline Paul Mathews

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Re: Do you ever advertise the last book of a very sequential series?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 02:20:31 AM »
I advertise all four of my 'We Have Lost' books via AMS ads on a continual basis. I'm having more success with my fourth book (a recent release) than any other at the moment. As long as they are standalone stories, I don't see any problem - even if reading out of sequence could reduce enjoyment a little; but that's a reader's choice. If you only want to attract existing readers to reduce ad-click costs, you could include something in the ad text to make clear it's the latest book in a series etc. However, I get along just fine by simply referring to the story in the ad.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 02:22:47 AM by Paul Mathews »

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Re: Do you ever advertise the last book of a very sequential series?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 03:30:10 AM »
I know I can't control readers, but I'd die a little (okay, a lot) if I ever hear someone has read the books out of order. Reading book 5 first would spoil 1-4.

If it would bother you that much, then no, don't do it. If they really do need to be read in order, then perhaps you should stick to advertising book 1. But honestly, readers are smart. They do usually get the whole series thing. I find whenever I advertise book X of a series, I get a nice bump in sales of book 1. You could always make it clear that it's a new book in the series in the ad blurb.
 

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Offline sophia ann

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Re: Do you ever advertise the last book of a very sequential series?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 03:39:50 AM »
Ive wondered this to. Every time I promote my series I always just promote the first book but I think the thirds book cover is better, maybe Ill try promoting that one next!  :D


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Online Nicholas Erik

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Re: Do you ever advertise the last book of a very sequential series?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 04:17:42 AM »
I'd definitely do a retargeting ad on Facebook where you upload your mailing list as a custom audience, and also an ad targeting your page likes/people who have visited your website. That'll get the word out to people who have read the previous books, but might miss the newsletter announcement.

As for advertising the last book to people who haven't encountered the series before, I've definitely seen this done. Not something I really do, however; I focus the bulk of the advertising on Book 1 if it has to be read in order. If they're standalones (like Jack Reacher), then you'll have better results advertising non-Book 1s. Book 1s seem to generally perform best, though, even with a series that can be read in any order. Unless that marketing mine has been completely exhausted, I'd focus the bulk of my efforts there and then branch out if you're no longer getting cost-effective results.

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Offline Kay Camden

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Re: Do you ever advertise the last book of a very sequential series?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 07:10:17 PM »
Wow, thanks for all the awesome feedback, everyone. The books in this series definitely aren't standalones. That being said, the final book would be understood just fine if read on its own, but the reader would be missing out on a lot of the build-up of the plot and probably wouldn't be as emotionally invested. And if they read it and then realized it was the final in a series, then decided to start book 1, a good number of my carefully planned plot twists and reveals would be spoiled. If I was that reader I'd be pretty bummed. I live for big reveals and twists in books, and I hate spoilers worse than anything.

But... as one of you pointed out, readers are smart. And honestly, someone could happen upon book 5 any day, AMS ad or no ad. This out-of-order reading could happen at any time. Right?
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