Last week I talked about the importance of having multiple books available, if you are an indie author. This gives potential readers several “entry points” to your work, and can also mean every successful act of publicity leads to multiple sales to one customer. Having several books available also provides special publicity opportunities.
I can also make use of publicity tactics such as a “loss leader” title. This means you offer one book at a deep discount, or even free. People are much more likely to try a free book. If they like it, they are more likely to pay several dollars for other books by that author.
Many writers trying self-publishing offer their first book for free, trying to gain fans. But how much does it help you to have a new fan, if you don’t have anything else for them to buy? Will they remember you in six months or a year when you get another book out? Will they even recognize your name if Amazon recommends your next book? The whole point of a “loss leader” is to drive sales to your regularly-priced books. It’s pointless if you only have one title out.
One note – many indie authors offer all their books for free hoping to build readership. Many readers have gotten burned by books that are mediocre or worse. Some readers now refuse to buy $.99 e-books and won’t even “waste their time” trying free books. However, if you have a normal price of $3-6 and offering that book for free for a limited time, you can bypass some of the stigma associated with free books.
So that’s why I’m focusing first on getting two more books published. Once I have four on the market, I may take a few months off to do a major publicity push. That’s not to say I’m doing nothing now – of course I’m telling friends about my books, mentioning them in context on blog posts here or in guest blog posts, sharing news on Facebook, and so forth. But I can resist the pressure to spend dozens of hours a week just focused on publicity. Writing the next book is more important.
|"Hey, this book is available now!"|
This also gives me time to learn more about what seems to work and what doesn’t with publicity. I can explore some new social networks, test out a few things in small ways, and in general prepare now so I won’t be overwhelmed later. I can even tweak cover art, description blurbs, tag words and so forth to find the best combination for selling my work.
And I don’t have to feel bad if I only sell 10 copies of a title in a month. 10 copies is a drop in the pool, and maybe the ripples will start reaching out now. In the meantime, I can focus on writing the next book.