In this show I talk about something that I have been wondering about lately. How do you revive sales in a book that doesn’t sell? I’ve recently finished the second book in my Magpies and Magic fantasy series. The issue I have before I get into the process of releasing the new book is what to do about the first book in the series, that just doesn’t sell.
What to do about Book One?
The first book has had a generally good reception from those people who have read it and a few good reviews, but it just doesn’t sell. I made a number of mistakes with the release of the book. I put it in KDP Select so I couldn’t use the Story Cartel review service I used for my first book. I didn’t do enough work in terms of e-mailing people for reviews. Being the first book in the series with no later books available didn’t help either.
So now with book two in the series what should I do? Given that it is the second book in the series, it is unlikely anyone will be happy if they buy it and they haven’t read the first book. So I am faced with trying to revive interest in book one first.
I’ve been giving this a certain amount of thought….
I do personally believe that it is possible to revive the sales of a non-selling book, but I appreciate it is going to be a lot of work. Far more work than pushing a new book into a chart. Why? All the Amazon algorithms favour the new: there are new release charts. In terms of press and blog coverage, new is better than ‘been around for years’.
My first thought was to do what I did with my Timeshock books, that is to make the first book in the series perma-free. However there are a number of reasons I won’t do this, at least for now:
- There is only one other book in the series. I doubt I’ll get around to writing the next book before next year, so revenue-wise it doesn’t make that much sense.
- Being perma-free kills the quality of your reviews. I’d prefer to get a decent set of honest reviews first before making it free.
- Even as a free book I am not sure that it will get that many downloads without a considerable amount of publicity. So in my opinion its better to sell for 99c if you need to do this. When I made Timeshock : I Want My Life Back free it already had had a decent sales rank.
What am I going to do?
So what to do? I’ve started by doing the following:
- I’ve set the price to 99c. I hate doing this because of the fact I’ll only get 35c per copy sold but I think its worth doing to build up some traffic for the next book.
- I’ve changed the categories the book is in a little. I’ve improved its setup in the New and Young Adult (hopefully) categories and made sure I have a decent set of Hot Niche categories from the K-Lytics report.
Beyond this I’m looking at the usual, running promotions in places like Social Media, Goodreads, Facebook ads and maybe a few new “secret” places (I’ll let you know if they work).
So in effect I’m doing a new release for an old book in the hope that it will help me when I get to doing the release of the second book in the series next month.
I’ll let you guys know how my efforts go. You should be able to buy the first Magpies and Magic eBook for 99c at Amazon.com.
If you liked this show you might like My 3 Biggest Self-Publishing Mistakes (Episode 24) and Choosing the Best Categories and Keywords on Amazon (Episode 20).