Tom Fowler

Mystery and thriller writer

Category: For writers

Book Launch Lessons and Plan

I can say I had a six-figure book launch.

Yes, the launch of The Reluctant Detective hit six figures . . . if you give me the decimal point and four places after.

It’s only been out for two weeks, so I’m not panicking. I didn’t expect to becomes James Patterson overnight. That will take until at least 2019! Further, I didn’t setup any marketing or promotion for the book prior to launch. Why not? It’s the first book in a series. That means the series currently has one book in it. One of the benefits of a series is read-through. People who read and like book one will go on to buy book two. If they like the first two, they’ll nab book three. And so on.

May still benefit from a book launch

I have no other books to sell. (Yes, I have a short story set, Pro Bono, available. It’s not the same as a novel.)

For future books, I’ll do some marketing before the launch, precisely because I’ll have at least one more book to sell. And I’ll be curious to see the effects of a more coordinated book launch on the sales of other books.

For this book, I have some marketing ideas coming up. I’ll be doing newsletter swaps with other mystery and thriller authors, trying to coordinate things around their release schedules so we can both benefit. When the other authors put out their newsletters, I’ll coordinate a Kindle countdown deal, so the price is lower and more attractive. I’ll also try out some Amazon ads, as well as sites like Bargain Booksy to drive traffic (and, I hope, sales).

It’s one book. I’m still a n00b at the indie author thing. There will be more books. I’m trying not to check my KDP dashboard every day, but of course, I do. Once I can stack a few promotions (probably next month), I’ll try to refrain from checking it every hour. And I’ll probably fail. It’ll almost be like a second book launch, and I know my curiosity as to its effectiveness will get the better of me.

If you’ve already bought The Reluctant Detective (or Pro Bono), thanks for your support! If you enjoyed the book, I hope you’ll also leave a review. Follow the book link, click on “Write a customer review,” select your star rating, and write a few words (or a lot of words). Reviews help indie authors like me get discovered, provide some validation for people who come across our books, and help us qualify for promo sites like BookBub. So if you enjoyed the book, please take a moment to leave a review. Thanks!

We’ll talk again next week.

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Instafreebie is Rocket Fuel

Following the advice of many indie authors, I recently signed up for Instafreebie. Like the headline suggests, it has been rocket fuel for my mailing list.

You can’t just sign up for Instafreebie, post a book, and wait for the new subscribers to roll in. Instafreebie is not “set it and forget it.” One of the great tools available for both authors and readers is the group giveaway.

As an author, you apply to join the giveaway. Most of them are genre-based, so there will be different promos for mystery writers, romance writers, etc. I applied using The Confessional, the novella I wrote specifically to give away to potential readers and drive interest. Let’s just say the promos have driven interest.

Confessional cover

My total mailing list subscribers went from about 60 to (as I write this late on the morning of September 23) over 570. I may have promised you no math, so I’ll do the calculations: that’s an increase of over 800%. All because my book is in three group giveaways (with at least one more coming).

Speaking of the group giveaways, here are the links:

Mystery/Suspense Cross-Promo

Thriller and Mystery Giveaway

The Sixth Crow – Stories of Death and Murder

These group giveaways benefit readers, too. You can download as many of the books as you want, and they’re all free. Many of them will require joining the author’s mailing list (full disclosure: mine does), but that’s part and parcel to getting a free book. You’ll probably see some overlap between books in these giveaways, but among all three, you probably have about forty books to choose from. And if mysteries aren’t your bag, you can find giveaways for any broad genre you prefer.

Whether you’re a writer or a reader, it’s worth being on Instafreebie. Writers can gain a lot of exposure and mailing list signups, and readers can fill their devices with free books. I hope you’ll check out the group giveaways linked above, and if you download my book, I hope you enjoy it.

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