Author Topic: Rapid Release - What is your best strategy and what has worked for you?  (Read 1155 times)  

Offline Dean Kutzler

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I'm getting ready to release a space opera\fantasy soon. During breaks between writing, I research marketing. It is a given that rapid release is the way to go to help keep you on that monthly new release algo-cliff, but has it changed? I have read for the most part that you should release book 1, next week book 2, next week book 3 and two weeks from there (if you have it), book 4.

 More recently I have read that along with that strategy, instead, as you release book 1, you should have book two on pre-order set to release next week, etc. (The thinking is to show readers that there are more books coming soon - although I could achieve this by putting the fact that the next book is coming in a week in the blurb.  :-\)

Pre-orders (unless successful) actually hurt the algo - so, what are your thoughts on this?

What have you found to be the most successful rapid release schedule?

Help a hungry writer out! :D
Space Opera Trilogy: 29%

Valentine\'s Day Surprise, A Roman Mystery: 80%

Jack Elliot Series Book 3: 0%
Holy Space Opera - The Scarab Reign is Coming! Grab Your Batteries And Hide!
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Offline idontknowyet

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I am very interested in this topic.

So far... My planned strategy is to have 15 books ready to publish. Drop 3 day one and then once a month from then on.

I had thought about this schedule...
Drop a book on Day 1 Day 14 Day 21 Day 28 then one a month from there on out.

I plan to do preorders just so people know when they will be getting each book.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 01:59:31 PM by idontknowyet »

Offline NathanBurrows

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I was listening to a Mark Dawson podcast earlier (a facebook live thing) and he was saying to release sequels etc when they're ready. He did make a really good point which is a book's not earning any money sitting on your hard drive.


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Offline NathanBurrows

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I am very interested in this topic.

So far... My planned strategy is to have 15 books ready to publish. Drop 3 day one and then once a month from then on.

I had thought about this schedule...
Drop a book on Day 1 Day 14 Day 21 Day 28 then one a month from there on out.

I plan to do preorders just so people know when they will be getting each book.

If I had 15 books ready to publish, they'd be out there. What are you hoping to gain by releasing them over a year??


Nathan Burrows | Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Offline Dean Kutzler

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It has to do with two things:

  • Discoverability
  • Stickiness
Space Opera Trilogy: 29%

Valentine\'s Day Surprise, A Roman Mystery: 80%

Jack Elliot Series Book 3: 0%
Holy Space Opera - The Scarab Reign is Coming! Grab Your Batteries And Hide!
Dean Kutzler | Website | Blog | Reader's Group | Facebook | Twitter | Google Plus | Goodreads

Offline idontknowyet

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If I had 15 books ready to publish, they'd be out there. What are you hoping to gain by releasing them over a year??


Amazon algo 

I'm releasing in chick lit romance which is a packed genre. I need all the algo love I can get.

Offline NathanBurrows

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Thanks to you all. I don't really understand though, although my release schedule is relatively slow (first book came out Apr, next one due Aug). Are you not concerned about the binge / whale readers who on reading one book, want to buy the rest? I've done that myself as a reader - bought several books in a series in one go.

I'm not writing romance though - I get that the 'rules' are a bit different there!


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Offline Dean Kutzler

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That is exactly the point, Nathan. Just like Netflix series binge watchers, a reader may move on to another if you don't have more books available. They'll forget about you after one book and your read-through rate will be terrible. It's just human nature. If you have several books for them to buy/read, they're more likely to become a true fan and not forget you. But the main thing with "rapid release" is that it triggers Amazon's algorithm to help you sell more books by keeping your book on the New Releases chart. Then, the smart thing to do is a slow build with advertising. DO NOT put all your ads on for the launch unless you think you can make it on the NY Times or USA Today list with a massive sale. Spread the ads out over 1-2 weeks. Otherwise the algo is trained to stop showing your book. It sounds crazy, but it makes sense b/c they know writers advertise heavily on launch. They're goal is always to please the customer and that kind of spike in sales doesn't mean "quality" or "popularity." When it sees a slow, steady climb in sales, it triggers the algo to show the book to more people b/c it assumes that these readers are buying more organically and that word of mouth is making it popular.
Space Opera Trilogy: 29%

Valentine\'s Day Surprise, A Roman Mystery: 80%

Jack Elliot Series Book 3: 0%
Holy Space Opera - The Scarab Reign is Coming! Grab Your Batteries And Hide!
Dean Kutzler | Website | Blog | Reader's Group | Facebook | Twitter | Google Plus | Goodreads

Offline Puddleduck

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Personally, I'm not planning to worry too much about Amazon's algorithms. It used to be 30 days, but I've heard people say it's shorter now. And it can change at any time. I'm not going to base my business strategy around that. (I'm wide, though. If you're in KU, you'd probably plan differently.)

Offline ShaneCarrow

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I was listening to a Mark Dawson podcast earlier (a facebook live thing) and he was saying to release sequels etc when they're ready. He did make a really good point which is a book's not earning any money sitting on your hard drive.

That's true, but the amount of money it will earn is a Schroedinger's cat. Self publishing on Amazon isn't like leaving a rental property vacant or keeping your cafe closed for a week. The key point to remember is that the people who have already read your first book and are likely to buy the next one is a much, much smaller number than the amount of people who would read your whole series if only the Amazon algorithm decided to put it in front of them.

Shane Carrow

Offline cadle-sparks

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My best selling series (which is often still in the top 100,000 and if I advertise in the top 1000) I released five months apart.

I know people who swear by one per month or one per week, but they also spend loads of money on advertising, and I've seen a lot of those rankings tank the instant they quit pouring thousands into ads.

I suspect fast release works best if you have a large, authentic mailing list--organic signups by hundreds of folks interested in your books to this point. They'll drive your book up in ranking, which makes it visible, which attracts new readers.

Offline Arches

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I can say from personal experience that releasing the first three books in a series a month apart seems to help launch a series by building momentum. It doesn't always work for me, but when it does, the series will take off on its own with minimal initial marketing. My books are in KU, and maybe that makes a difference. Of course, it also helps to write books that readers like, and I wish I knew how to do that consistently, but a series can catch fire still.

Offline BrunoMiller

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I'm doing the first three books in my series in three months - so far with two books out, that's working really well. The fourth and fifth books in the series will be spaced out more like 45 days just to give me some breathing room, but having the first three in three months is helping me build my audience for sure.
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Online C. Gockel

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I would think that three books over three months would be optimum because then you'd have a book in the new release category every month. That said, the key is really releasing books that people want to read. I've seen people work the Amazon algos for a while, and then crash and burn when their books are no longer new and shiny. So don't release fast if you have to sacrifice quality.


I write books about Change, Chaos, and Loki
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Online VanessaC

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I would think that three books over three months would be optimum because then you'd have a book in the new release category every month. That said, the key is really releasing books that people want to read. I've seen people work the Amazon algos for a while, and then crash and burn when their books are no longer new and shiny. So don't release fast if you have to sacrifice quality.


I was listening to a Mark Dawson podcast earlier (a facebook live thing) and he was saying to release sequels etc when they're ready. He did make a really good point which is a book's not earning any money sitting on your hard drive.

I'm interested in this, too, as I plan my first release. On the one hand, absolutely no one is waiting for my books, but on the other hand I want them "out there" (and no longer gathering virtual dust on my hard drive).

Lots of great information, opinion, and advice above - I particularly like the Mark Dawson quote and C Gockel words of wisdom.

In my case, a key reason for considering a once-a-month release for the first three books is so that readers know I'm not going to be a one-trick pony. I think we've all been stung in past, usually by trad publishing, by finding a new author we really, really like only to find there's only one book.