Thursday, February 24, 2011

Adventures in Epublishing: Launch Day Strategies

So far at DarkSide Publishing, we've had two book releases, with two quite different results.

In November, without DarkSide (it wasn't created just yet!), I decided to do a social media blast for the release of Into the Shadows. I called it a Facebook/blogsplash (discovered through awesome UK author, Talli Roland).  I had some nice numbers, I have quite a few followers on Facebook and had a growing blog following. Over 100 people posted links for me on their Facebook page and blog. I gave away 8 copies as well. I posted some nice numbers, averaging to one ebook a day for the first month, although 20 ebooks were sold on November 1st alone.

My main hope was by getting a lot of people to purchase on the first day that the ranking on Amazon would go up, making the book more visible. We didn't manage to do that with only 20 sales, but it was a great effort. I was pleased with the results. Between paperbacks and ebooks, I sold a grand total of 93 copies the first month, the majority of which were paperbacks sold to family and friends vs. ebook sales. Sales of paperbacks went down after that and ebooks stayed steady in December, but started to pick up in January and took off in February.

Fellow DarkSide author Megg Jensen is trying a different approach for her release: a big, huge contest. With an amazing Grand Prize - your choice of a Nook or a Kindle, or an equivalent sum in gift cards from Amazon or B&N. According to her contest, Megg has sold 50 books in the first 2 weeks Anathema has been out, before the contest was even announced. I believe that her giveaway will actually reach more people than my 'splash' did, because frankly, who doesn't want a free Nook or Kindle? She's had quite a few people enter already and I think that will continue to grow as word spreads about the contest between now and March 11th. (Haven't entered the contest yet? Click here.) 

Megg and I also followed some other advice we'd gotten, which was to run giveaways on Goodreads. That really helps in making the book visible to hard-core readers. It's currently paperback-only, but I do hope someday they allow ebook copies as giveaways. That would be fantastic (Goodreads, if you're listening!).


Our third DarkSide author, G.P. Ching, is up next with her release, The Soulkeepers, and I'm curious to see what she will do for that release.

Also, I'm also working on a release for Bloody Little Secrets (April/May) and would be very open to any suggestions you all might have regarding a release strategy for that. Please tell us what strategies have worked for you and which ones you would recommend!

8 comments:

  1. You could do a huge giveaway with multiple authors. Strength in numbers. Perhaps find out if there are others releasing a book at the same time and combine your efforts. :-)

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  2. Valmore, that's a fantastic idea. There's definitely power in numbers! :)

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  3. I love reading your Adventures in Epublishing posts. You have such a great attitude, and I really appreciate your transparency in your "adventures." I will be epublishing my first novel (YA fantasy) in the next couple of months, and it's great to read posts from someone else who's relatively new all this. (Because frankly, sometimes reading about the self-pubbed authors who got into it a year or even six months ago just makes me feel like I might have missed the boat. Folks like you help me remember there's still room for newcomers.)

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  4. I like that idea too. My 2nd one went live on Kindle last week, but no time to do any promo right now. The print version will be out in a few weeks. Also YA.

    Geez, KC's visitin' - Hi KC, been awhile.

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  5. Hey guys, thanks for stopping in! I may just use Valmore's idea, keep an eye out for a posting regarding that on KB at some point in March, I'll be looking for YA authors to participate.

    K.C. - so glad you find it helpful, I know what you mean about reading the others, I love them to death, but I sometimes feel a little lost in terms of numbers/success. But I'm hoping 6 months down the line, I'll see their numbers, and I hope you do too!

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  6. Thanks for posting your "adventures." It provides a lot of guidance for the rest of us that have yet to venture in to those waters.

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  7. Glad I could be of service, J. Let me know if you ever have any questions I could answer.

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