Alright, last example of the way you can use the information within to develop a marketing strategy.
We have Xiu Li, a traditionally published young adult author who managed to be signed by a traditional publisher, but the publisher subsequently dropped her due to low (for them) sales. She managed to sell just over 3000 copies, which unfortunately wasn’t sufficient for her publisher to keep her on for the rest of the trilogy.
Now, having dealt with the disappointment and having no luck in the last few years shopping around a new series, Xiu Li decides that it’s time to indie publish. She’s got a few things she needs to consider.
First, she starts reviewing her contract with her publishing house to find out whether she can indie publish the remainder of her original trilogy. If she can do that, at least she won’t disappoint her fans. It looks like she should be able to get her rights reverted for the unpublished sequels, but she needs to make the request and some letters to trigger the revision process with her publisher.
Next, because she has this other trilogy written and ready to go, she is trying to decide what to do about it. She’s not sure she can do the indie author thing of releasing quickly, but she does have this trilogy all written already and she is halfway through in writing another trilogy.
Realising she’s a ‘slow’ writer compared to most indie authors, she decides her best bet is to rapid release her trilogies rather than releasing them as she finishes. It’ll be more expensive in total, but she likes the ability to adjust her books once she finishes the entire series arc, so she resolves to do this.
Financially, she has a number of author friends, some who are willing to trade editing and proofreading services. This will keep the cost of her editing down, allowing her to spend on things like a final proofread and a nice (expensive) on-genre cover. She plans to keep an eye out for cover auctions and sales, since she has a bit of time.
In terms of distribution and pricing, she is vacillating between Kindle Unlimited and going wide. Due to her previous trad pub contract, she knows she has ‘wide’ fans, many of whom might have picked up her work in print. However, doing PoD means it will be expensive to get books out at a low enough price for them.
After some thought, Xiu Li decides to try to crowdfund a printrun for the remainder two books. If that works, she can provide paperbacks at a lower cost, get them into bookstores that might still be interested, sell ebooks and throw them up on other retailers for those who missed it.
Luckily, she’s kept all the contact information of the people who interviewed her during the launch of her first book, and she believes she can get a few more interviews and reviews from book bloggers for the next few books too when she is ready to release.
If her Kickstarter works, Xiu Li decides she’ll stay wide and keep ebook pricing slightly higher than ‘normal’ indies in the hope of keeping the same ‘prestige’ factor as her other trad pub authors. That means around $5.99 or $6.99 per book. After all, she’s already made her money back from the Kickstarter, so everything else she earns will be pure profit.
In the meantime, she’ll get the her 3rd series written, her 2nd series edited and proofread and find covers for it all so that she’s ready to release. If she plans this right, she might even be able to release eight books in a period of a year to two years.
After that, it’ll be a bit before she can release any further work, but she’ll try to work on writing faster.
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