Kindle Forum banner

This feels like it could be my last chance...

6060 Views 49 Replies 42 Participants Last post by  rachelmedhurst
Recently, I made a post about how I'm still earning a really low income even with 20 books out. So far, none of my series have hit. I know I've made mistakes and see them clearly. I'm about to read Write to Market by Chris Fox as well as other books in the genre I'm aiming for.

So...I'm ready to start a new series. I'm going for a Witch Urban Fantasy, using a character from my newer UF series. She's a strong side character in the series, so I'm looking forward to writing her story.

This time, I want to do it right. And, I need your help to do that. If I can't get this series to work, I'll have to go back to full time work. This feels like my last chance.

I've not started writing the series yet, but here's some details.


Magically Bound (Book 1)
Magically Bonded (Book 2)
Magically Breakable (Book 3)

Series Name: Hunted Witch Agency

Very Rough Synopsis:
Devon is a witch who has inherited the wizard leadership role, but she’s too busy building her hunting agency. A rouge coven have declared war, naming themselves as head witches to rule all of England. The new wizard leader is a strong witch, one that has a lot invested in her coven running the London branch. Her agency is pushed to the limit to find the deserters and make them pay for destroying an ancient ritual that will no longer provide London with the power it needs.

Cover: Done by Lou Harper

I'm planning on writing the first two books before I release them around November/December time.

Can you see anything missing? Do you know of any good blurb writers I could hire to get the best description? I've never been able to maintain book 1 sales. They start really well for a couple of days, then go down. How can I prevent this?

I know some of this is luck as well as pre-planning, but I thought I'd throw it out there for your advice. I've been publishing for three years, and for once, I would love to write a series that gets some traction.

Thanks in advance!
See less See more
41 - 50 of 50 Posts
Don't release between mid-November and first week of January. The big holiday season will have started in the U.S. Maybe an established series could get away with it - it's a risky time for a new series.

The titles of the first two books are way too similar.

You said you haven't read Write to Market yet. DO that before you start writing your books. Also Six Figure Author, Launch to Market, and Susan Quinn's Self-Publishing Bootcamp. The marketing efforts you discussed sound pretty minimal. As Izzie mentioned, in her very generous advice above, you need to come out with guns blazing on this launch.

Nicholas Erik gives some great advice about how to revive/relaunch your backlist. BUT if you don't have the time and energy to work on a new series (getting two books ready is a ton of work) and market them properly (even if you're a technophobe like me, you've got to figure it out. I recommend Brian Meeks' Mastering Amazon Ads and his Facebook group. I have not read Michael Cooper's Help. My Facebook Ads Suck - but a lot of people have found it useful) ----- THEN I would choose to focus all your energies on the new writing rather than the old. Especially if the revamp requires more than few days of work.

One quick fix -  I would get rid of calling the Avoidable books episodes. And change the title!
See less See more
This is just an idea from an author who is not selling bajillions, and not doing nearly enough marketing (no mailing list, no newsletter) so add a pinch of salt.

I'm just about to extend my most successful series - the sci-fi one - to four books. I'm coming up with the plot right now. I'm aiming for there to eventually be fifteen books in this series, if not more. But, to avoid burn out over such a huge undertaking, I write a book in a completely unrelated genre between each sci-fi book I write. Fantasy and zombies so far, but other stuff too. Like an actor doing interesting projects between the Hollywood blockbusters they do to pay the bills. (In this analogy my sci-fi books are the Hollywood blockbusters).

One more thing I noticed. Is 50k enough in UF? In sci-fi the word count has got to be higher than that, at least as far as I know.

Anyway, good luck and thanks for starting this thread. It's taught me a lot.

Winston Churchill said: "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm."
I don't have any advice for you, though I'm totally poring through what everyone else is saying (such great advice on this topic!). I feel the same way as you, so much. I was experiencing small successes a few years ago. Now, nothing. I busted my butt with marketing and writing fast and being on social media, and....nothing. So I scaled back marketing, and have just been on social media to be social, and have been busy writing and editing. And it's definitely less stressful. But I feel like I'm wasting time. I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't, lol. It's refreshing to know I'm not alone in feeling this way (though I wish NONE of us were feeling this way!). I'll write whether I make money from it or not, but dang, it would be nice to be able to work less at may day job so I could work more at my writing!
Laran Mithras said:
Winston Churchill said: "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm."
And Churchill numbered Gallipoli among his failures. As artists, we have to keep things in perspective.

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

Samuel Beckett
There is always a last chance, and then, there is another one, because you love it, and then another one and then oops, you never hit big with anything but enough people are buying from your sizeable catalogue for you to make a living anyway. That's how it goes for most people.
Acheknia said:
I've only skimmed over the replies so I'm not sure if anyone has merntioned this..
I could be wrong but I believe that should be A rogue coven rather than A rouge coven (red).
I say I could be wrong as it's fiction & it may very well be a red coven :)
She's really outside my genre/style preference but the covers to me scream "romance novel" and look really generic. I would have passed them by if they were in the genre I usually read in. AS a contrast, the poster I'm quoting has great looking covers and might entice me to read one if the right description came along with them.

Best of luck.
There's a ton of great advice here so I just wanted to wish you luck. I hope it works out for you!
There's some great advice in here. I definitely agree about differentiating between tough guy UF and tough chick UF, and with that in mind, if you are going for a woman on the cover and aiming to sell to women, I'd make sure you think a lot about the romantic love interest, and make sure the guy gets at least one line in the blurb. Here's an example

I think covers are SO important in UF, so if I were you I'd try to get a cover by someone who has made covers for authors who have a proven, recent track record of high sales in female-centered UF. Make sure the cover and title signify the genre really clearly.
Organize some kind of cross promotion with similar authors for your launch and throw everything you can at launch promos. Ideally have book two ready to go soon after book one.

Jenna Wolfheart recently launched really well in UF, with a witch-themed book. Perfect covers, great blurb, cross promotion and book two was ready soon after book one.
See less See more
Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to give me advice. I've taken it all on board and have given myself a few weeks to research and plan my story/series out completely.

CN Crawford, I really appreciate those examples, they're really good for me. I just listened to Pippa's interview on UF with Erica Conway and learnt about the romantic interest for a female POV, which sits really nicely with me as I love writing romance. I'll make sure to keep it as a strong sub-plot.

There's so much valuable info here, I'm going to really take everything and use it to better my new series and it's launch. I'm reading Write to Market and have a couple more books lined up. I'm also reading the top selling indie UF books. I'm researching troupes and have some cool ideas I want to implement into my series. Lou is working on my cover this month, so once I get that, I'll be even more inspired! Wish me luck and thank you again!
41 - 50 of 50 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.