Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Indie Life - It's All About The Release

I'm very excited to be part of The Indelibles Indie Life series. These posts run on the second Wednesday of every month and include ideas and articles from a wide variety of indie authors. Check out the links below to learn more about INDIE LIFE.

I have talked about a variety of things over the past five months - from attitude about writing to getting the exposure we need in order to make our writing a success.

Following along that line, I want to talk about "The Release." That moment you work so hard to obtain. Weeks and months of hard work have been poured into your book, it looks fabulous, it reads well, your beta readers love it and now it's time to share it with the world.

I have always struggled with this moment in my book's life. It's nice to let it go and pass it on to the world, but I also find it really challenging. How do I get the world as excited as me and then how do I turn that excitement into actual sales?

I have read articles that say it's all about the pre-buzz. Getting people so excited about the book that when you do finally release it, they're so desperate they buy it straight away. I have done this a little, not much. I probably should have started months earlier and maybe I will with my next book. For now, let's focus on the actual day of release.

I am learning as I go and there are plenty of things you can do with the release of a book:
- Facebook release parties
- Blog Tours
- Giveaways
- Paid advertising
- Asking people to spread the word for you
- Book signings

These seem to be the most popular that I know of, but which are the most effective and what can you afford to do? You have no doubt spent money on editing and cover design, how much is left to throw at marketing?

Because my funds are tight and I want to produce quality, I tend to put most of my money towards editing and cover design, but I have quickly learned that spending money on marketing is just as important. In an attempt to use my funds wisely, I have decided, with the release of my trilogy, to save up most of my funds and spend it once the third book is released.

Unknown - Book 1 - came out yesterday. So far I have asked people to spread the word and have gathered up a few reviews. I'm also running a giveaway on my blog. All very low cost things. I will be doing the same for Unseen - Book 2 - when it comes out in July.

However in August, when Unleashed - Book 3 - comes out, I will be pulling out all the stops. I have an FB event planned for shortly after the release. I have a blog tour running in September and shortly after that I will be paying for advertising on the first book. I'm really hoping that combining the marketing funds for all three books will help me gain the trilogy some decent momentum. I will hopefully see a flow on effect from sales, because all three books will be available at once.

It will be interesting to see and I can't wait to come back in October and let you know how I got on.

So what do you do when releasing a book? How do you turn your enthusiasm into book sales?


  1. Excellent strategy, Melissa! I've used a similar one and have seen excellent success. :) As indies, sometimes we become so wrapped up in the first book and pushing it out there we forget our readers will want to read the rest. Making money balanced with satisfied customers comes from having lots to offer--which you certainly do. Brilliant!

    1. Patti - you have done such an amazing job with this. I often look to your strategy and think, "yes - that's what I want to do."

      Thanks for being an inspiration.

  2. I do much the same as what you've listed. I'm careful with FB events however because, like many, I get inundated with FB events from authors talking about their latest release and it frustrates me to no end. I make it a point to only invite previous fans, reviewers, (plus very close friends and family) etc. Then I allow them to invite others if they'd like.

    I understand what authors are trying to do - garner buzz for their release. But I have been known to unfriend those who constantly invite me (sometimes as often as three or four times in one week!) to book release events.

    I do agree that as indie authors we have to do as much as possible to get our books noticed. I mean, what good is it writing and publishing a book that no one ever reads?

    All the best and BREAK A PEN!
    -BC Brown - Paranormal, Mystery, Romance, Fantasy
    "Because Weird is Good."

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hear you on the FB events. I get invited to so many. I feel bad ignoring or declining, but there are only so many minutes in the day. It's a good point for authors to think about. That's why I'm doing a "The Trilogy Is Complete" Party instead of one for each book released.

  3. Releasing three books so quickly will be a big help in making them a success. Part of my problem is waiting too long between releases in a series, something I plan to rectify in the future. The other nice thing about doing major promotion after the entire trilogy is out is that you should get more bang for your buck if readers can stumble on you and then buy three books, instead of just one or two. Best of luck! And congratulations on your release!!

    1. Thanks so much.
      Yes - I'm hoping the rapid fire release will really pay off.
      Good luck with your future releases :D