We’ve done a couple of new writers, but let’s tackle an experienced Writer. We’ll call him Manjit.
Manjit’s got six books released in two different series (4 and 2). He’s done okay for himself in Kindle Unlimited and baseline gets a few hundred dollars a month with release months getting him a thousand to two thousand on release. He’s not done a lot of publicity though, most of his marketing has been to his readers who have found him via also boughts and browsing the categories.
Still, he’s done better than he could ever expect and wants to make a go at being full-time. That means he needs to make a couple of thousand dollars a month which will allow him to pay for his editors and covers and his rent.
Knowing that, he needs a real marketing strategy.
He takes a look around his space (military scifi) and decides there’s still a good market in it. He isn’t a bestselling author, but he served and his slice of life military scifi focused on infantry members in an alien world does okay. He’s got great read-through for his best selling series (of 4 books) and figures he can keep adding to it. His other series (of 2 books) is an off-shoot in the same universe.
Looking at it, he decides he can keep writing in the same universe, adding to the main series and the universe, with multiple jump-in points. He has an idea for an MP, and another for something a little more action oriented.
He’s got a great series of products, but since he only has 4 books in the main series, he figures he’ll focus proomotion on that rather than the other 2 book series. He’ll get a third book on that and begin marketing that while launching his 3rd series. He’s a fast writer and gets a book out every 2 months, so it won’t take long at all.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the money to make audiobooks. He doesn’t want to do royalty share, but considering he wants to go full-time earlier than later, he decides to take the offer from an audiobook producing company to record his main series. With the money they give him as an advance, he will record the other two book series so that all his work is in audio and reaches more people.
He’s been talking to some other authors and he figures he’ll use the money he has now and get paperback and hardcover versions of all his work done. He’s also going to invest in some stock and spend time pitching his books at flea markets, farmer markets and conventions (when Covid goes away).
That’ll increase his distribution options and since he works as a salesperson during his dayjob, he has no issue with sales at such conventions.
Now, for pricing, he plans to try using a loss leader for book 1. He’s going to reduce book 1 to $0.99 for both series and keep it there. That’ll let him allow people to slide in to read his work easily via the $0.99. Since he expects to have multiple series, having multiple series at $0.99 for people to ‘try’ he hopes will give him more access. That will be helped by having them all listed in slightly different SciFi categories.
At the same time, he intends to go wide. Part of that is because where he lives, KU is not available. But also, he wants an international audience. Americans seem to have an issue with his use of British spelling so he figures he’ll just double down on expanding wide. In addition, the fact that ‘wide’ income seems more stable is very important to him.
Knowing that he’s going ‘wide’, Manjit intends to use a lot of Facebook and promotional newsletter advertising. He also thinks he has a chance to get onto some panels and blogs, so he’ll spend time writing news releases and inquiries to various bloggers and papers. He has a friend who works as a journalist who’s willing to help him with all the public relations outreach and might even get him an article in the newspaper.
Promotional free pricing with the various newsletter promos will be important to him, as well as building up his newsletter list. Both of those are high on his list, though he doesn’t have time to build the newsletter list too much, so he figures he’ll spend his time on newsletter promos for now.
He plans on trying AMS, but he’ll keep his budget very, very low. He might even kill it if he can’t make it go positive.
For Manjit, the focus will be building up a stable source of income. That means getting himself out to as many retailers as he can, as many distributors. He can’t afford to have huge swings up and down, as his own responsibilities are much more fixed. Wide distribution is the way Manjit figures he’ll do this, with fast and rapid release of books to build his backlist. Having multiple points of entry into his universe will also aid him as it’ll give him more opportunities to hit the elusive Bookbub feature.
In the meantime, he figures he’ll see if he can build up some local / regional notoriety. If he can supplement his income with talks / craft workshops / in-person sales, that would be a bonus.
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