Launches for sequels or the launch for A Thousand Li: the Third Realm (book 8 ).
Something I should point out, I actually don’t do a huge amount for launches because I believe very firmly that consistent and ongoing promotions and building your fanbase during the downtime via advertising and promotions during non-launch months are how you get big launches. So, keep that in mind. I spend roughly about 10-15% of my total revenue on paid promotions a year.
Here’s roughly the timeline and what we did:
- Book goes up on pre-order for previous book a few days before previous book releases (so book 7 had a pre-order link for book 8. Book 8 now has a pre-order link for book 9). I release every 6-7 months with this series, so it is extremely important to me to have that. It means I capture sales early. I know it probably hurts my launch a bit, but that’s fine.
- This means that all category links for the ebook is already sorted well in advance. We also start getting also-boughts sorted for this since we get pre-orders set-up now.
- Goodreads and Bookbub are also sorted at this time so we can make sure it’s all on those sites. That means that Bookbub New Release Alert will go out, along with Goodreads new release alert.
- These days, book 9 is generally being written and released to patrons before the series. That gets promoted on an automated basis (i.e. every chapter goes to our socials) and builds patrons and interest.
- About 3-4 months before launch, I do a cover reveal. Generally Patreon gets cover reveal a month before everyone else.
- In this case, we had ATL book 8 available for sale on Shopify on Jan 1, with both audio and ebook. Patrons got the whole book in December.
- Over January, we hit newsletters (my personal newsletter and the publishing company’s) and the social media we have. E-mails are done twice a month, the social media is minimum once a week I’d say. Just reminding people they can buy it now, etc. A few days before it gets taken down, we push people once more to buy it.
- About 3-4 days before the release, we have the hardcover and paperbacks loaded up on both Amazon and Ingram. We do both, and for ATL in particular, we do large print hardcover too on Ingram. We send out e-mails to sort out categories for this immediately once it is approved.
- Day before the release, we take down audiobook and make sure links point to Amazon on our store. We get Travis to push audiobook through so we can do a simultaneous (sort of) release of ebook and audio.
- We also have AMS turned on about a week before for the book. We generally add it to our all our existing AMS ads and then we also run a specific Auto Ad for the book too with a higher than normal budget. That’s set to turn off though after 1 month and then it’s just back to normal AMS ads.
- Add book to Rob Hayes e-mail list
And that’s everything we do beforehand. On launch day…
- Hit our personal social media (Twitter, FB author group, FB author page, mastodon)
- Hit the Facebook groups. We generally split it out a bit, so we don’t hit all the big groups at the same time, but we do 2 or 3 and then just have them go out. We hit the LitRPG groups and the cultivation novel group and the Fantasy and SciFi group. Not IFFA or whatever, though we should probably more regularly.
- Newsletters goo out later in the day too. Generally we stagger, so our personal e-mail goes out on the 1st, then the publishing e-mail goes out a little later a day or two later.
- Post in random Discords if I remember, though I often forget. Definitely post on our own Discord.
- Run a FB ad to promote the post to fans and friends of fans and pay for 7 days and around $50 to make sure the new release is well known to fans.
- Reply tpeople…. mention it over the next week or two.
And that’s about it really. We don’t pay for paid newsletters. We don’t post on Reddit anymore. We don’t do ARCs because between the patrons and Shopify customers, we generally have enough people reading it early that it does well.
Every few releases in a series, we consider running book 1 at $0.99 or even free (depending on the series sales and readthrough). We ran a huge sale for The Second Storm (book 6), so we didn’t do one for The Third Realm.
If it was a new series, we’d also probably run a FB ad to our more generic ad audiences, but with a more limited budget (like $5 a day for like 30 days) to see if there’s any pickup. We’ll keep an eye on that though, see our $ return and CPC.
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