Posted on

How to Sell Book Sequels – Book 2 and Beyond

How to sell book sequels - book 2 and beyond

Believe it or not, it’s a lot easier to sell the first book in a series. It’s new! It’s fresh! It’s coming soon!  But when it comes to book 2 and beyond, many authors find themselves coming up short. Some of them try to recreate the magic of book 1 by doing the same thing for book 2. Others just hope that they’ll get follow-on sales from readers. Below, you’ll find our best tips for how to sell book sequels to guide your marketing strategy

A Different Animal

How to sell book sequels: Remember you're marketing to both new and existing readersFirst, recognize that when you’re releasing a sequel, you are actually doing two marketing campaigns simultaneously: First, you’re back to the drawing board selling book 1 to new readers (with the promise that they can also read book 2). Second, you’re trying to recapture the readers who were excited about book 1, but have moved on.

That changes your strategy a bit, doesn’t it?

Finding New Readers

Instead of approaching your external audience with your second book, approach them with much of the same content you created with book 1. Obviously, this requires using different bloggers and whatnot as you had with your first go-round. Tweak the content to mention that the second book is arriving soon.

This is also the time when you should drop the price of book 1 to an enticing $0.99 (for a second book release) or even permafree (for book 3 and beyond). Even if it’s temporary, it will help draw those new readers in, who will then go on to preorder the second book. Because it is up for preorder, right?

You can also use this time to experiment with other channels you might have ignored in the first push. Play around with Facebook Ad or Amazon Ads. Remember: You’re selling a product you have in hand, so that means people will be more eager to put down cash for something they can get right away.

Additionally, eBook ads are a great way to utilize that price drop, especially on book 2’s release day.

Recapturing the Old Readers

Once you’ve got all your content re-scheduled for capturing those new readers, it’s time to focus on your existing readers. When the second book comes up for preorder, do a newsletter blitz. If you’ve got the budget, offer some swag or gift for folks who send you a receipt of their preorder on Amazon or elsewhere.

Don’t forget about your street team, who are your ready readers and reviewers. Hand out early copies to get some review buzz going Goodreads. Remind them to cross-post their reviews of book 1. While you’re offering swag or gifts for preorders, run a street team competition for your group if they do certain things (such as sharing content or commenting on Facebook posts).

Measuring Success

How to sell book sequels: Remember, it takes two or three books for a series to take off in indie publishingOften times, your first book will do better than the rest in the series in the outset. But when it comes to indie publishing, we’ve found that the sales curve is more exponential than bell. Therefore, just because you don’t have a gangbuster first week of sales, doesn’t mean you won’t get more as the weeks go on. Our experience is that it takes three books (and a permafree first book) for a series to really take off. Even with all this promotion, there will still be people, weeks from release day, who say, “Oh snap, that book came out already?”

Therefore, it’s important to approach each book as its own project and plan for the long term.

[contact-form-7 id=”910″ title=”Contact Us”]

Posted on

Author Street Team – A Hundred Megaphones

Author street teams, a hundred megaphones

What is an author street team? Well, in a nutshell, it’s a group of readers who you can call on to help promote and market your book. In return, they get early access to books and author swag. It’s one of the most effective marketing tools–if done right.

If you’ve been following along in our marketing blog series, you’ve probably seen a common theme around soft selling. This is the art of creating good relationships first, then using those relationships to market your book. From bloggers to your social media followers, people want to get to know YOU first.

How to Get Started

Build your author street team from fans who've already read your book, and those who might in the futureConverting those social media relationships into a street team is fairly easy. Think about the fans who always comment, always share, who are always asking questions. These are the folks you should invite to join your street team. There might also be others lurking amongst your followers who’d be game, so be sure to talk about it.

A few weeks ago, we wrote a post about Facebook groups, and we really like that platform for managing your team. However, be advised that not everyone (especially the younger crowd) is still on the Facebook bandwagon. We’ve also used Twitter groups and have played a little bit with Instagram Direct Message groups, but they aren’t as well-organized.

Make it a Community

If you’ve joined any sort of fan group on the internet, you probably joined because of the celebrity or TV show, but stayed for the community. That’s exactly how you should be building your street team. Although the point of the group is to talk about you and your books, mix up your content with questions, discussion posts, or even guest posts. This is especially important when you aren’t actively promoting a book.

If you’re using a content scheduler tool like CoSchedule, you can even schedule these questions in advance, making sure that content is posted on a fairly regular schedule. Don’t forget to respond to comments, though!

Let’s Play a Game

Use competitions to incentivize your author street team to share and leave reviewsWhen you are gearing up for a book release, your street team can be a valuable asset in your marketing arsenal. One of the things we like to do is to run competitions within the street team that rewards them for sharing, commenting, or posting their own original content. We figure out what our end goals are (more reviews/more sales/more organic reach/etc) and then design the competition to reward players for taking those actions.

For most of our competitions, there are various levels resulting in bigger prizes. In some cases, each person earns points for themselves, but we’ve also split the street team into competing factions. Prizes start out small–bookmarks and postcards–and have gone all the way up to coffee mugs and tote bags.

A tweet or a Facebook comment would be a single point, whereas a review on Amazon would be twenty points. We also award extra points for cross posting to Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and any other eBook store out there.

Have you ever participated in a street team? Tell us about it in the comments!

And if you want to join S. Usher Evans’ street team, check out all the information here!

[contact-form-7 id=”910″ title=”Contact Us”]

Posted on 3 Comments

Facebook Groups – A Multi-Purpose Tool

Facebook Groups for Authors are exactly what they sound like–place where people can gather to have discussions about different things. For authors, they present three opportunities for marketing. Authors can join groups with other authors in their genre for networking, or they can join groups where readers are hunting for the best deals. Or authors can create their own groups for managing street teams. We’ll cover all three in this blog post.

Author Support Groups

Author support Facebook groups help you network with authors in your genreIf you’ve decided to self-publish, the road can seem pretty lonely at times. That’s why it’s important to find other authors in your genre to network and lean on for help and support. Using Facebook’s search function, you can seek out genre groups and ask to join them. Most of these groups will be closed to protect individual authors.

Besides emotional support, these groups offer opportunities to work with other authors in your genre, too. Here is where you mind find an opportunity to add yourself to a box set, or join in a promotion activity. But as for self-promo, these groups usually have pretty strict rules around it (usually not allowed).

Genre Groups

So where do you go to promote your book? Alongside author support groups, there are hundreds of Facebook groups dedicated to helping readers find the best deals on their favorite kinds of books. These are the groups, usually, where you can post (or request to post) your sale book info. Be careful though, as these can become what we call “author graveyards” where the only people reading the content are authors who stop in to post their own stuff.

Street Team Groups

Facebook groups are the best way to communicate with your author street team In the first two examples, you are a participant and the groups are already being created. In this case, you are the owner and operator, which opens up a whole lot of fun opportunities.

We’ll have a blog about street teams at a later date, but suffice to say, we’re big believers in them. In the first place, a street team helps you soft sell your book to others and may also help boost your review numbers. In return for helping you spread the word, you can give them free stuff like swag and eBooks. (Want to join our alter-ego’s Street Team? Click here!)

While there are many options to managing your street team, there really is no better option than Facebook Groups (although Goodreads Groups may come in a close second). From a content display standpoint, topics are organized by original post. You can also pin posts to the top of the discussion that you want the team to see.

[contact-form-7 id=”910″ title=”Contact form 1″]