Kindle Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,304 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am sharing a very REAL situation I screwed up and just fixed. With my latest release, I accidentally didn't speak enough that the series was NOT over, just Year One. The result is a week later, I have emails, comments, and reviews with lower stars because readers are mad that certain storylines are continuing into the next year, and they think the series is over and just going to be unresolved. That is a failure on MY part, no one else's.

I have used a preorder on just about every release since September (my July releases came out right before they became available to us). I do not chart as low on the overall Paid Kindle Store now with my releases because of doing a preorder, and I had planned to not use them all the time, just on my novels and as a release on the novellas to help Also Boughts attach before counting against me on the Hot New Release List 30 days. I let certain comments from people who don't even have a positive thing to say to me ever cloud my judgment and worry about what they thought about my "slipping rankings per release." (FWIW, I am doing way way more than okay. One reason many of us are not charting as low as last summer or last autumn is more competition, just more books, and now preorders. I sold MORE books on Day 1 of An Autumn Accord than I did of A Spring Sentiment and barely broke #2,000 in the Paid Kindle store while Spring nearly broke into the top #1,000).

I chased a sales rank and lost focus for a moment on serving my readers. My readers are kind enough to read and buy my books, they deserve to know what's coming next. That post I made about readers looking at preorders from their favorite authors as a potential customer service aspect is REAL.

And it's not my readers' fault, it's mine. When I think like a reader, if I was following a series and Book 2, 3, and 4, all had preorders, and Book 4 is "ending the year" and there's no preorder for Book 5, I too would be PO'd. And writing this post, I'm mad at myself for being so dense to not even THINK about this.

I DO write for my readers because so many authors in this genre do one and done. Or two and done. And there's NEVER enough Darcy to go around, ask the KBoarders who have written JAFF because of my big mouth last summer. Jane Grix is killing it out there and she is one of us (it's a pen name). Lk Rigel had a great preorder on her first book in her series and she's working on book 2. Penelope Swan is coming soon (another pen name of a Kboarder here). I am thrilled to death more great writers are coming over to the Jane side, even if it's just as a pen name so they aren't confusing their other readers.

I almost didn't share this because I didn't want to deal with more people tearing me down for sharing an idea. BUT, from the PMs and emails I get from other KBoarders about having big enough ovaries to keep sharing despite the backlash, I will. And if you want to say I'm just being narcissistic, Look at me or a humbrag, go ahead. I feel very strongly this board is awesome at providing reports from the trenches in real time that can make a difference in another author's plans and strategies to make it in this tough industry. And for that reason, I'm not going to stop suggesting new and innovative things I'm doing, or plans I'm putting into motion, or experiences I'm having on what's been one of the wildest roller coasters of my life.

Since preorders are still new for us (less than a year available to all of us, before that you had to have a rep), here's one piece of experience from the trenches. If you have 1 reader, 10 readers, 100 readers, if you start doing preorders and then stop in a series, you might send the message that the series is abandoned because they love your story and worry if they're going to get more or not. It's not a bad problem to have (hey, you have readers who CARE!), but if you aren't careful and forget who writes our paychecks, LOL, you can accidentally fail the expectations you have built up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
Thanks for sharing Elizabeth. It is blunt posts "from the trenches" that have helped new authors like myself focus our strategies and tactics as we learn our way into this publishing world. I, for one, appreciate it.  :D

When I published my first novel with a preorder for book 2 at the same time I wasn't too sure how it would work out. It was a "What the heck, it will show the series continues and gives a feasible way to get the next book at a discounted price."

It worked well. Around half of my sales have went on to preorder book 2. If that's not awesome(and an example of learning from the more experienced) I'm not sure what is. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,100 Posts
Thanks, Elizabeth!

I've hesitated about doing a pre-order, but I think you've swayed me. I appreciate your posts, every one of them! Thanks also for continuing to share your bumps and bruises, along with your success stories with the community.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,296 Posts
Thank you for your post! I have had such great experiences at Kboards I find it hard to believe that people have been mean to you (not saying I doubt you, just wow! That surprises me!!) and I am REALLY sorry, but wanted to say THANK YOU for posting anyway. I don't know why anyone would rip someone who's offering useful advice to others, but I am one person who appreciates EVERY post "From the trenches" as I prepare to launch my first series. Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
Elizabeth -

First of all, I love your new profile pic. Very pretty.

Second of all, I want to thank you for all the advice you've posted and the backlash you've weathered because of it. (This goes for all the more established authors who've been brave enough to post their opinions and strategies and end up waist deep in a hefty forum debate fighting for their beliefs.)

I read each and every post in those threads and have learned so much along the way.

Thank you for continuing to stick your neck out there!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Keep on sharing, Elizabeth! This is great stuff. I was on the fence about implementing preorders for an upcoming short story series but I think this may have tipped me over into the preorder side of things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
I'm relatively new to KB and still somewhat of a lurker, but I want to say, thank you for sharing your experience. I know there's a lot of YMMV in indie publishing, and I wouldn't necessarily expect my results to be the same as yours (or anyone else's), but I still appreciate the data points.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
I haven't set up a preorder for my next book, but my solution was to point out at the end of the previous one when it's likely to be released. I agree that you can't leave readers hanging...the good news is that it's a bit of a compliment when they become so upset that there's no more.

You can go into author central and your book's back content and add a note--it might be helpful. I'm sorry this has been a bad experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
606 Posts
Indiecognito said:
I haven't set up a preorder for my next book, but my solution was to point out at the end of the previous one when it's likely to be released. I agree that you can't leave readers hanging...the good news is that it's a bit of a compliment when they become so upset that there's no more.

You can go into author central and your book's back content and add a note--it might be helpful. I'm sorry this has been a bad experience.
I do something similar. Right after the end of a series book, on the same page, I tell the readers that the next book in my series will be out and invite them to join my mailing list to be among the first to learn when it is available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,004 Posts
I've found preorders to be awesome. For my pen name, I put a brief description and link to the next book on preorder on the first page at then end of a current book. I wrote that series with KU in mind, so I get tons of borrows. I get solid sales, too. It's still a new pen name (started in October) but the book I launched this week had (low) triple-digit preorders and still launched in the top 5,000. That's a work-in-progress pen name, so I will take it.
On my main name, I've run into a different problem with preorders. My main six books a year go through an extensive editing. The editor has them for weeks. I can never guarantee a release date for preorder that isn't really far out. By the time I get them back, I'd rather go through them, format them, and put them right up. I do a book list at the end of every book with live links. I will also put the name of the next book in with a "June 2015" release date so they're aware (or whatever the release will be).
Last month, I did a 20,000-word short for my most popular series. It was just kind of a teaser. I got about 3,300 preorders on it and it still debuted in the top 500 of the store without any advertising (other than on Facebook). I didn't even send it out to my mailing list. I have a second short up for April release, and it has like 2,500 preorders so far. I've told my readers I will release a third in July, but they're complaining there's no preorder. I've carefully explained about the 90-day rule, but some of them think I should "make" Amazon let me do it. I work really hard to do everything I can for my readers, but there's only so much you can do. I do love the preorders, though. They were like a gift to me. Between my two names, I have seven books on preorder live right now and I'm finishing up one that will go up in a month. I think, for certain things, they can be used like a tool.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top