Author Topic: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)  (Read 8736 times)  

Offline Amanda M. Lee

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The first book in my new series under a pen name launches Tuesday, Oct. 7. It's an experiment. I figured keeping track of what happens would be helpful, at least something for others to think about. I approached the series with KU in mind. It's a romantic suspense series, one I created a new author name for.
The first book hits today. I'm launching one book a month, and when I say book I don't mean a short. Every new book is 55,000 to 60,000 words.
The first book is available for $.99. The followups, at least for now, will be offered for $2.99. I don't see myself ever raising them above $3.99, but greed is a funny beast, so I'm not totally ruling it out.
I approached the story with solid covers from the onset, great editing, and an open mind.
The series features a family, and each book features one couple -- although the other people in the series get time. As the books progress, one of the four couples will take the prime spot in each installment, but other couples will get progression. There are at least three solid sex scenes in each book. Nothing kinky, but they're fairly explicit.
Going into today, I had 30 preorders on the first book, a new pen name created from scratch with no promotion. I did create a Facebook page and Twitter account for the pen name, but there's no action on either at this point. In the backmatter, I provide links to each page -- and a newly created mailing list. I have also managed to accrue four downloads for the two sequels offered on preorder -- which, frankly, flabbergasts me. No one has read a thing by this "author" at this point.
Each book also links to the next book in the series for preorder, and I will release one book a month.
The genre is popular, and that's what I'm banking on. I'll update as things progress. Like I said, it's an experiment.

Amanda M. Lee

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    Offline David Penny

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #1 on: October 07, 2014, 03:08:30 am »
    Good luck - be interested to see how this unfolds.

    Any chance of a link, or a name, or a title, so we can check it out?

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    Offline MyraScott

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #2 on: October 07, 2014, 05:29:57 am »
    (I'd rather not know the specifics until your experiment has run its course.  If you post it here, it will skew your results.   I am definitely interested to read how it goes!

    I am fascinated that you  have 30 preorders already with no marketing... wow.
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    Offline Evan of the R.

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #3 on: October 07, 2014, 05:31:45 am »
    Thanks for posting  this will be fun to watch.

    Just to clarify, when you write

    I have also managed to accrue four downloads for the two sequels offered on preorder

    do you mean that you have managed to accrue four *preorders* for the two sequels already? Or actual downloads? (Can't see how that would work.)

    And to Myra's comment,

    I'd rather not know the specifics until your experiment has run its course.  If you post it here, it will skew your results.

    I agree. Keep the pen name private.

    Offline Redacted1111

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #4 on: October 07, 2014, 06:36:18 am »
    I'm curious about this too. I'm hoping my erotica writing will help me financially bridge into being able to afford to take time to write full length novels and release a few at a time. I've wanted to write under my real name for a while, but chose not to with my last pen name switch. Something about romance novel stalkers... Anyway, my novels will be romancey scifi and may or may not have sex in them. But if I'm going to go hardcore and write really well plotted, well thought out, well edited books, I really want to publish as myself. The idea of starting over again is a little scary though, so I'm wondering how it will work for you

    Offline a_g

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #5 on: October 07, 2014, 06:56:13 am »
    Consider me another wishing to follow your experiment. Keep us informed of updates but like those above, I say keep the pen name private to keep from skewing results.

    Good luck!
    Urban Fantasy numbah one: 10%

    Offline C. Gockel

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #6 on: October 07, 2014, 06:59:39 am »
    I'm curious too! Wishing you luck.


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

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #7 on: October 07, 2014, 07:07:16 am »
    I'm following this too, as I want to do something similar next year. Best of luck and keep us posted!

    Offline ElHawk

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #8 on: October 07, 2014, 07:17:57 am »
    Following with interest. I'm trying to do something similar so it'll be nice to watch your progress.


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    Offline M.G. Russell

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #9 on: October 07, 2014, 07:32:40 am »
    Thanks for sharing. I'm another one who will be watching with interest.

    Offline Evenstar

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #10 on: October 07, 2014, 03:04:40 pm »
    I would like to know a bit more about which genre you are categorising this as if at all possible?

    Offline Cheryl Douglas

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #11 on: October 07, 2014, 03:29:51 pm »
    I did something similar myself recently. I'm curious to hear how it pans out for you. So far my results have been underwhelming, but I'll give it three months in Select before I re-evaluate my plan.

    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #12 on: October 07, 2014, 03:51:34 pm »
    Good luck - be interested to see how this unfolds.

    Any chance of a link, or a name, or a title, so we can check it out?
    Sorry. I linked to books under my main name here before and got one-bombed, so I won't be making that mistake again.

    Amanda M. Lee

    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #13 on: October 07, 2014, 03:53:18 pm »
    I would like to know a bit more about which genre you are categorising this as if at all possible?
    It's romantic suspense.

    Amanda M. Lee

    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #14 on: October 07, 2014, 03:55:25 pm »
    Thanks for posting -- this will be fun to watch.

    Just to clarify, when you write

    do you mean that you have managed to accrue four *preorders* for the two sequels already? Or actual downloads? (Can't see how that would work.)

    And to Myra's comment,

    I agree. Keep the pen name private.
    Sorry, I meant I had four preorders for each of the follow-up books before the first hit. So, between two sequels, I had eight preorders.

    Amanda M. Lee

    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #15 on: October 07, 2014, 03:58:53 pm »
    Quick update: The book went live at 3 a.m. my time. It's now 7 p.m. and the ranking is in the low 5,000s. No new Facebook or Twitter likes. I will give hard data numbers on the first day of downloads after the first 24 hours have passed.

    Amanda M. Lee

    Offline Tricia O'

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #16 on: October 07, 2014, 06:34:00 pm »
    Yes, following! And, best of luck to you.

    Offline vlmain

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #17 on: October 07, 2014, 06:41:15 pm »
    I'll be watching this, closely. Best of success!

    Offline Gigi Priest

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #18 on: October 07, 2014, 08:26:13 pm »
    Definitely interested to see how this pans out for you! I'll be watching this thread--good luck! (:

    Offline DaniO

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #19 on: October 08, 2014, 02:39:05 am »
    Thanks for sharing your info with us  :)
    I'm a big romantic suspense fan. I wish you could share your pen name but understand why you don't want to.
    Wishing you tons of luck! 

    Offline RM Prioleau

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #20 on: October 08, 2014, 05:15:43 am »
    Sorry. I linked to books under my main name here before and got one-bombed, so I won't be making that mistake again.

    I'm sorry you had to deal with that. It's really cruel and frustrating that there are trolls on this forum who are jealous/spiteful of other people's success and want to bring them down. I wish you the best and will be keeping an eye on this thread.

    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #21 on: October 08, 2014, 01:36:52 pm »
    Okay, numbers for the first day show 36 sales (I'm not sure how many of those are preorders -- because I'm sure some of those haven't processed yet). I also had eight units for this particular book read through the 10 percent on KU. I picked up two new preorders for each sequel so far, and four new Twitter followers. I'll come back and add more numbers after the weekend -- which is what I'm most interested in. These middle three dead days probably weren't a smart way to approach launching this -- but I'm fairly happy so far.

    Amanda M. Lee

    Offline DaniO

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #22 on: October 09, 2014, 02:44:11 am »
    36 sales is great for a brand new pen name. I can't wait to see what happens when the also boughts kick in.

    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #23 on: October 10, 2014, 01:33:30 am »
    I now have nine preorders for the second sequel, and seven for the third. I just put the fourth up for preorder (hasn't cleared yet). After the first weekend, I will update numbers. I have managed to pick up some Twitter followers -- although Facebook and mail list followers are still null.

    Amanda M. Lee

    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: Launching a new pen name with absolutely no promotion (an experiment)
    « Reply #24 on: October 13, 2014, 12:37:35 am »
    Okay, here's my update after the first weekend (not quite the first week, short by about 36 hours):

    US Sales: 72 sales, 35 borrows read past the 10 percent
    UK Sales: 13 sales, 4 borrows
    There also a combined 15 sales from other markets -- nothing on CreateSpace

    Preorders: Second book (14), Third book (12), Fourth book, which just went up Friday night (6)

    No new Facebook follows, three new mailing list follows, and 20 new Twitter follows.

    So, I'm not excited and I'm not disappointed. It is what it is. I'll update again when we get closer to the launch of the second book in November. Then I shift from a .99 title to a 2.99 title.

    Amanda M. Lee

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