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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there,

So I'm going to release my first novel in April and a Novella two weeks before that. I guess I'm wondering... how did you all build up a readership before your first release? I'm putting out sneak peak chapters, etc, but I'm wondering if you all have any other tips.
 

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You seem to have a good plan. I like the idea of sneak-peak chapters. This should help build some anticipation.

Do you have an email list? I scheduled some emails to go in the days leading up to my release. It saved me some time and let me think about how and when to discuss certain things.

Oh, and releasing your Novella over a month in advance may help too. Two weeks isn't long to build buzz and have people read/review before launch day.

It's great your planning now though. A plan is always good :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am planning now and I do have a mailing list. I am going to release a chapter every week for 5 weeks. And then give away a novella and so on and so forth. Give give give *sniff*.
 

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I've posted about this a few times before and it may or may not be a good idea for you.

My novels always have some hobby or theme interwoven. For example, my latest involves boating (yachting).

We've contacted several boating bloggers and asked them to do a review. We send them a paperback and often they do it, which builds a reader base.
I've also done camping and competitive shooting.

Someone on the board called it "Targeted Blog Marketing" or such.
 

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I think the 'sneak peaks' are a great idea. Contacting bloggers is also a good plan. My books have a country music theme and I've had success reaching out to that community. I think FB and other social media is a must for generating pre-launch interest. The biggest factor for me in building a fan base was Select. That was back in the day when you could give away 24k in a day or two. I'm not sure if people are having the same results with it today and it's not something I would suggest as a long-term tool because you really do want access to as many readers as possible. Select may be a good idea for the first three months though. I'd suggest checking the Select thread, which is floating around here somewhere, to find out what kind of results people have been getting with it recently. It does take time and a lot of books (preferrably a series) to build a strong fan base. Good luck!  :)
 

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One small point-
the link to your webpage off the face book page only goes to a black screen telling me that the web page is under construction. Kind of off putting to a curious potential reader who has some cash to spend
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It is under construction for a few days as my web developer is adding features.

Thanks for the ideas everyone...I will let you know how it goes. So far I have two subscribers and am confident I can get more. Going to release a second chapter next week and release the third to subscribers only.

*fingers crossed*
 

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Social media (Facebook, twitter, Google+; start with one so you're not overwhelmed), blog (post about subjects related to your book, not necessarily or always about your book) and Goodreads (join groups and make friends among members who you think will be readers of your book). Interact with your potential future readers but don't push your book on them. Offer free samples, but don't request reviews. Solicit feedback in discussions, but only when the discussions raise the subject of your book organically. Readers want to discover books, not be pushed into reading them by the author.

Try offering sample chapters on Wattpad.

Oh, and start a mailing list.

Good luck.
 

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a few weeks ahead of time, you could ask a few bloggers to do a Cover Reveal. Also you could consider a book blast - sort of like a blog tour, except it's all on one day... just some ideas.
 
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I'm taking a somewhat similar approach, with modest success. The books in my trilogy have stories that are easily excerpted as standalone titles... so in the weeks before I release a new book in the series, I release one or two short stories from the book.

If you look at my sig, THE SETTLERS is the first book in the trilogy. "Onyx" and "Soma" are short stories I've excerpted from it and sell for 99c. I'm currently working on THE COLONISTS, which is the second book in the trilogy. "Nebulae" is the first short story excerpted from that.

I'm not selling tons, but I've only been at this since January, and I expect things will only grow from here.

The additional upside is that this approach builds out my bibliography. More titles = more confidence in the purchase.
 

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Do you have a pre-release giveaway up on Goodreads? For the cost of one print copy and shipping, you could end up with a hundred or more people putting you book on their TBR list. True, that doesn't necessarily result in sales or reads (many people have hundreds if not thousands of books on their TBR list), but each time someone puts your book on their TBR list on Goodreads, it gets broadcasted to their friends, who then might do the same thing. Plus once your book is released, it will be broadcasted to everyone who listed it as TBR.
 
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