Or, trying to judge the ebb and flow of the market
How much does timing matter? The End-of-School slump is solidly in place, as I write. When will everyone get back from Disney Land and visiting the grandparents and start looking around for something good to read?
Let me check my tea leaves . . .
Marketing is my weak point, and timing the market a mystery. Last year, there were slumps in May/June and late August. Other writers complained, so it wasn’t just me. So . . . a mid summer blitzkrieg will surely work this year, right?
Like all Indie authors, I keep trying various things marketing my books. Several things have worked, but all short term.
The first method was to pub a book or collection of short stories every other month. Of course, I don’t write that fast, and I ran out of “done enough to polish up for publication in two months” manuscripts after a year.
Then there was “Price your books like you’re a professional and proud of them!” Weird. Bumping stuff up to $5.99 actually produced a sizable bump in sales numbers, and therefore income. Then the second Summer of Recovery . . . and sales tanked again.
So I lowered prices, and had a small short bump. Then on to the next experiment. Five titles released in quick sequence, starting in September and running into October. Now that produced a really nice bump! . . . that petered out immediately.
Drat. Thought I had it there, for a minute.
So . . . back to guessing market timing again. Will a mid summer release work better?
Only one way to find out. I’m just putting the polish on four titles that I can bring out in quick sequence, two or three weeks apart, to try and boost my sales, my author ranking and my visibility. Will it work? The crystal ball is in the shop for a tune up (not that it ever seems to help.) Only hindsight is reliable, and some days I have my doubts about it.
But after this blitz, I think I’ve got things lined up to where I can publish something, at least a novella, every two or three months for awhile. So maybe I can sustain the momentum, finally.
So . . . pre-publication list of things to do . . .
(1) Editing, in progress. First story done. Entering and obsessively double checking on the big novel will be done today. The two novella offering looks good. The last . . . darn it, it’s so close to being novel size—I need to add just a few complications and then get the beta readers to take another look at it. But it is copyedited. Until I add bunches to it.
(2) Covers. I have decided to buy covers. I like most of mine, but they don’t seem to be doing the job of selling books. I’ve got the first one. And looked at the art for the second. I’ll go back and redo the old covers, to match the fonts and styles, replace a few with utterly hopeless cover art . . . sometime.
(3) Formatting. I’ve got the chapter headings all correct, checked the numbering, need to double check the dates. Then it’s just a matter of the legal page and the table of contents.
(4) Blurbs. Must write blurbs.
(5) Keywords. Must consider what potential readers might search for.
(6) Prep the mailing list.
(7) Consider exact timing and preorder dates, and links from one book to the next.
(8) Scream and run about in panic.
(9) Push the button. Four times. Maybe starting next week.
(10) Okay. Fine. I’ll do it right now. Olympian will be available . . . probably later today. And of course the pre-order on the third one, with the place-keeper cover went live within an hour . . .
Am I insane?
Don’t answer that. I’m a writer.
And on to the self-promotion. You guys who’ve already read my other stuff? I really need reviews. Even if you hated them. Honest.
The series starts here:
Outcasts and Gods
But a more recent entry point is here:
Empire of the One