Alright, as many of you know; I have multiple series. One of them – the Adventures on Brad – was the very first series I released. Now, since it’s finished, I kind of want to discuss a number of things about this series.
Some basic facts that you do need to know before I finish the details:
- fantasy LitRPG
- short novel series, 40-50k long each
- I stopped writing at book6 and announced a hiatus in Sept 1, 2019
- I tested KU briefly for this series, gave up and went back wide
The Big Overview
Alright, basic information complete. Here’s where we are, for the big overview (Amazon only here, but it’s good enough for the majority sales):
Note, this image is taken on 4/12 and so is the data. So while this might be coming out in May, (mid-May or later for the website); the last month there is just a little short on data. That big spike, the tallest close by to Feb 2022, that’s January 2022.
So, things to read – first second, third big spikes are basically when I launched the first, second or third books. Yeah, they came out fast for a bit, then there was a big delay. You can see what happens when I stopped releasing when book 4 comes out.
But releasing book 5 after that saw a bounce once more, however another long delay (nearly 6 months I believe) saw another big drop.
That random bump in the middle of May 2020? That’s from when I did a big promo with my omnibuses to help drive sales and did a lot of a push with newsletters. That preceding month where we started seeing sales going up?
Well, that’s when I figured out permafree book one makes a difference in getting sales for an older series. Since then, we’ve consistently been doing one promo per week for book one, driving sales till I decided to finish the series properly.
Rather than releasing things in drips and drabs (you’ll see why in RTR later); I decided to try something new. A rapid release pushing book 7-9 which concluded the series with books released ever 3 weeks.
To support that, we did a HUGE sale at the start of December, basically giving every single book from 1-6 free to readers.
Series Readthrough and Sales
Here comes the next big data dump. This sales/downloads for book 1 (or any of the other books really) INCLUDES free downloads, so note that because it does make a big difference.
Sorry, trying to keep it all in the same screenshot was tough, but here you go. I want you to notice a few things – book 6 to book 7 readthrough – HUGE drop of nearly 50% from my normal average. Series based readthrough by book 6 at the end is 13.84%.
Then, we get to book 8 and 9 readthroughs, which are back upwards to where we used to be. Book 8 readthroughs seem a little worse than before, not sure why (maybe it took me a little longer to get back in the swing of the series); but look at series readthrough by the end of book 9, when I’m done with the series- 2.9%.
Only 3 out of every person who ever downloads a book reads to the end. Admittedly, with a free book 1; the numbers are rather skewed to go lower, but the drop from 22% down to 3% is rather abrupt.
But it’s the book readthrough from book 6 to 9 that’s of interest for rapid release.
A German Contrast & Rapid Release
Alright, here’s something else to add – we started doing German books in May 2021. We released a translation of book 1- 6 from May to October. And then we simultaneous released books 7-9 in German and English. So we have the same timeline for sales for both books 7-9 in both books.
And here, we see what happens when you rapid release and release in close order to one another.
Readthrough rates from book 6 to 7 – 85% compared to 32%. Series readthrough of 25% compared to book 4.4%. And more than that, 7.44% drop from book 6 to 7 in English, while in German it’s just 5%.
But look at readthroughs for book 8 and 9 – better, the both of them than even the English one’s because the series in general is more top of mind since we’ve basically released 9 books in the span of 8 months.
Even when I rip out free downloads from book 1 to 6 of the English, and just calculate readthrough from book 1 physical sales, my actual readthrough for the series is only 16.08%. That’s still not even as good as the German readthrough.
Of course, Germany is also much smaller (300 sales to 1000 in the same timeframe for book 9); but it’s certainly what I would consider a suggestive example of rapid releasing work to keep reader interest.
And That’s All She Wrote
At least for now. I’m not likely going to add more books to the series. We’ve got one Omnibus left to produce and a bunch of audiobooks to push, again in omnibus edition. Then, eventually in a few years, we’ll drop books 1-9 in a massive ebook and audiobook pack, but that’s going to be at least a couple of years away.
Overall, this has been a good series for me. It’s not my best series by far, but considering our cost of production has been relatively low (40-50k books don’t require a lot in terms of copy editing cost) I have no complaints.
Most of all, it’s clear that if you can afford to do it, rapid release will do well.
Questions? Concerns? Queries?
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