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Discussion Starter #1
So I wrote a fantasy novel but haven't written the sequel. Is it still a good idea to widely promote the book without the sequel out, as I realize the first installments are more of a loss leader to get people into the series. I do have a sign up link for my mailing list in the first book. I was just thinking about running a few days free promo through KDP and using some websites (robin reads, ENT, etc.) to promote the first installment. I don't expect the sequel to be out for at least 6 months...
 

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Yeah, people tell you that "they" say you shouldn't advertise until you have more books out, and that's probably good advice, but it's not absolute.

By all means, play around with some ads if you want to. Nothing stops you, and if it takes off like clappers, you can prove "everyone" wrong. Just remember that "everyone" told you that it's "probably" a bad idea to advertise until you have more books. They're easier to sell when there are more books in the series, and your ads are more likely to earn out.

Just don't spend much more than you earn, and definitely don't gamble any money you can't afford to lose.
 

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aimeeeasterling said:
Is the second book far enough along to put it up for preorder? If so, it could be worth promoting the first book with really cost-effective sites like Bookbub. If not, I'd wait.
BB have a minimum review requirement though, so you would need to get to that figure - whatever it is - first.
 

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I say absolutely DO NOT wait to advertise your book one until book 2, 3, etc. are out.

You should absolutely be giving your book 1 the best launch and traffic you can. Is it more economical to advertise a series? Sure. But you don't want your entire series to sink because you didn't give book 1 any juice.

Set up some ads, don't spend more than you're making, get book 2 written. And make sure you have a link to your mailing list signup in the front and back of that book 1, so you can capture fans. (If you don't have a reader magnet, that's fine. Just put the link out there.)

Once you publish books 2, 3, 4, etc. your ad spend doesn't usually go up, but your profits do.

You have to play the long game if you want to make a career of this.
Oh, and book 1 does not have to be a loss leader. You can charge full price and find readers.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
DmGuay said:
I say absolutely DO NOT wait to advertise your book one until book 2, 3, etc. are out.

You should absolutely be giving your book 1 the best launch and traffic you can. Is it more economical to advertise a series? Sure. But you don't want your entire series to sink because you didn't give book 1 any juice.

Set up some ads, don't spend more than you're making, get book 2 written. And make sure you have a link to your mailing list signup in the front and back of that book 1, so you can capture fans. (If you don't have a reader magnet, that's fine. Just put the link out there.)

Once you publish books 2, 3, 4, etc. your ad spend doesn't usually go up, but your profits do.

You have to play the long game if you want to make a career of this.
Oh, and book 1 does not have to be a loss leader. You can charge full price and find readers.
Do you think I should do a free promo or a bargain ($0.99) promo?

I only have 8 reviews on it, and would obviously like to boost that number. I happened to notice under "Customers Also Bought" most those books have at least 90 reviews with at least a 3.5 star average.
 

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How long has your book been out versus those other books with more reviews?

Reviews are a result of sales, not the other way around. So anything you do to bring in more sales will, over time, naturally also boost the number of reviews.

As for free versus discount. That's up to you. Whatever you do, have a strategy or a clear goal. Know why you are running a promotion or have chosen a sale price, and know what you hope to get out of it. IMHO in the early days of a book's life, when you're still trying to teach Amazon who to sell it to, random promotions actually hurt you in the long run. You need your book to go to the *right* readers, not just any readers.

I personally wouldn't do free until you have book 2 on preorder (at least) and have a link to the sales page in the back of your book 1.
 

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Eccentrik said:
I only have 8 reviews on it, and would obviously like to boost that number. I happened to notice under "Customers Also Bought" most those books have at least 90 reviews with at least a 3.5 star average.
You have to remember that those other books once had only 8 reviews too!
 

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Do you think I should do a free promo or a bargain ($0.99) promo?

I only have 8 reviews on it, and would obviously like to boost that number. I happened to notice under "Customers Also Bought" most those books have at least 90 reviews with at least a 3.5 star average.
I would save the Bookbub Featured Deal until Book 2 is out and instead run Facebook ads and Amazon ads in the meantime. Mal Cooper's book Help, My Facebook Ads Suck is great for learning those. Bex Dane has a good primer on Amazon Ads.

I write mainly on a pen name that is semi secret, these days, so looking up my books on Amazon to see their rank won't encourage you much to follow my advice. ;)
 

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Do you think I should do a free promo or a bargain ($0.99) promo?
A lot of this depends on the extra funds you have available. You're going to be more successful with a promo with other books in the series. It's rare that you'll ever have one book pay back a $0.99 sale. The only promo I ever had that broke even selling one book was an international Bookbub (because of the tail).

You can apply for Bookbub. If you get one, are you really not going to go with it without other books in the series? Maybe? Depends again on price versus payout. Only you can make that decision. But if you land a Bookbub, that doesn't mean you won't land it again in 6months to a year when you have your series.

As far as 99c versus free, 99c is usually better for payback without other books available in a series. But free will give you more visibility as a new author. And, if in KU, you can still get page reads with a free sale. Again, the choice depends on your particular situation.

"Only 8 reviews". Most promo companies don't care if the reviews are favorable (>4 stars). Some still require 10, and you could seek another 2 with ARCs post-publication if you think you need that.
 

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This is a timely post. I have a trilogy completed, the first one is edited and formatted and ready to go. Just on with editing book 2 now and the third is with the development editor for return around the 28th Febrary. I can have it ready a week after that. I was going to publish all three on the same day, but know I'm not so sure. I could book pne on pre-order this week, but I'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions welcome.
 

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This is a timely post. I have a trilogy completed, the first one is edited and formatted and ready to go. Just on with editing book 2 now and the third is with the development editor for return around the 28th Febrary. I can have it ready a week after that. I was going to publish all three on the same day, but know I'm not so sure. I could book pne on pre-order this week, but I'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions welcome.
You have a completed trilogy?

Perfect opportunity to test out that controversial 'rapid release' that people were arguing about a couple months ago then!

Some people say having books released very soon after each other - but not all at once - will give a boost to your launch. Others say it's nonsense.

But with three books ready and raring to go, you could easily release one, then another one a fortnight later, then the last a fortnight after that. Be interesting to see how it goes, eh? Especially coupled with some heavy ads!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I always wonder what the ad strategy is for a sequel... Promote both the first and second book in the same period? What kind of promotions, free promos or bargain rates? Also, alert your subscribers about your second as soon as it's published, or send out ARCs months beforehand and then ask those readers to post their unverified reviews the day of publication? After all, you'll need reviews to get it on a lotta promo sites... and speaking of promoting a sequel, unless it can read like a standalone, should you really be paying to promote it to people who haven't read the first?

Just wondering what successful strategies people have used...
 
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