Up, Up, and Away!
Goals are fun.
They can be infuriatingly stressful and they can push us to out-perform our past limitations.
I have always performed best under pressure. Without a deadline looming over my head I’m prone to distraction and procrastination.
I could be a professional dilly dallier.
However, what I am is a professional writer.
Deadlines keep me in check with my business writing, and I knew that this is what I needed to kick my fiction writing into high gear, too.
So in January, I drew some hard lines on my calendar.
I put non-refundable deposits on contracts with my cover designer and editors, and set up my pre-orders on Amazon. If I failed to make my deadlines, I would be out some serious moolah, and be locked down on Amazon’s naughty list (and unable to set up future pre-orders) for a year.
I set myself a very aggressive release schedule for my new Bubbles in Space series. Five books in one year, with each book coming 9 weeks after the last. I have plans to release 3-4 novellas in that time, too, but they are bonus projects without the strict deadlines.
I had no idea if I could do it or not, but I knew other people could do it and that if they could find a way to make it work there was a good chance I could too.
The last few months have been a whirlwind of writing, editing, and business-learning as I dove headfirst into launching Bubbles in Space.
And I don’t want to jinx myself, but things are looking good so far! Today is release day for Book #2 Chew ‘Em Up and I couldn’t be happier with the results!
Both Tropical Punch and Chew ‘Em Up are sitting in the Top 100 of Crime and Mystery Science Fiction, which isn’t a huge category, but it’s chockablock full of heavy hitters in the genre like Dean Koontz, Martha Wells, Hugh Howey, Andy Weir, and Neal Stephenson. As an indie author, there is nothing quite like the feeling of leapfrogging one of your traditionally published idols on the charts, even if it’s only for a few days!
If you’d like to check it out and see what all the fuss is about, grab your copy today! As a special Launch week promo, both books are on sale for only $2.99 until Sunday June 6, 2021. And if you’re really keen you can pre-order #3 Pop ‘Em One for the earlybird price, too.
The Journey So Far…
Lots of other indie Sci-Fi authors have asked about my launch strategies and how effective they’ve been. If you’re curious, here’s some of what I’ve been doing:
Last month I ran a free promo on my first book, Tropical Punch, and more than 5500 copies were claimed!
I know, I know. Giving away books for free is a poor way to make money as an author.
However, I had some ulterior motives…
Why give away my book for free?
By getting Book #1 in my series into as many hands as possible, I hoped to garner some more reviews and to start collecting pre-orders on the next books in the series. Also, and possibly most important, I wanted to teach Amazon’s algorithms which kind of people are interested in my books, and get more relevant “also bought” books showing on my page.
Was it a success?
Yup. Yup. Yup.
That’s a big yes on all counts!
I went from 14 to 45 reviews in less than two weeks. Yes, some of those were 1 and 2 star ratings from disgruntled freebie seekers. The risk in giving away books is that people sometimes take chances on books that aren’t really their thing, and some of them aren’t shy about telling the world about it. However, the vast majority of the reviews that came in are 4 and 5 star ratings, which lead to…
Pre-orders for books 2 and 3 started rolling in!
On Tropical Punch, I managed to get 19 pre-orders from my mailing list and folks who follow me on social media. That was so fantastic, as I really didn’t expect to get more than a handful. At the time of my free book promo, I only had 14 pre-orders on Chew ‘Em Up and 3 on Pop ‘Em One. But by launch day, I had 31 for Chew ‘Em Up and 15 for Pop ‘Em One!
I know, these numbers aren’t going to launch me to the top of the Amazon store, but it’s more than enough give me a boost in my little niche categories and keep the visibility on Bubbles in Space up where it needs to be for more organic discovery (For someone who typically sells only 0-5 books a day, organic reach is a beautiful thing!)
The “also bought” feature is in alignment, and hopefully this will translate into smarter ads in the AMS dashboard! Though this takes a few weeks to show up, so I’ll keep you posted.
The Biggest Success?
I’m not going to become an overnight bestseller. I knew that from the beginning. Publishing is a competitive industry whether you are traditionally published or indie.
But whether or not I ever become a bestseller is kind of a secondary dream to THE BIG DREAM.
The biggest success so far has been finding a group of readers who are as excited about this series as I am! Every day, new reviews roll in and they have been overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. These are reviews I didn’t solicit, from people who are just genuinely thrilled with the story.
Knowing that my book is out there, in the wild, and finding its people is the coolest thing.
Tropical Punch sold an average of 2 books a day in the last 6o days. With Chew ‘Em Up out, maybe that will jump up to 4 books a day! By the time the series is complete, it could be 10+ books a day!
Well, I won’t be retiring any time soon, but I should break even this year!
And in 5 years, anything is possible…