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!