Genre hopping and launching series

On more good advice elsewhere, back in 2014 Lindsay Buroker released a new book series in a completely different genre than her norm, under a closed pen name. Given that she had no marketing advantage, didn’t send it to the email list, or announce it on her social media, it was like launching a new author – but with more experience. She not only tracked the initial launch month, she also did a 10-week followup.

First Launch Month

10-Week Report

Read up on what she did, what worked, what she wished she’d done differently, and then remember that the market has changed in two years – so some strategies that were very good then may not be the best ones now. However, it’s far better to have a good example that’s a little dated than none at all.

Recently, Lindsay also wrote a post on Genre-Hopping, as she has more experience with crossing genres since then.

How to Successfully Genre Hop

Back to a note from 2014, Here’s a podcast. The first half is Lindsay talking about the series launch, but there’s a different and valuable piece for y’all on the second half: Adam Poe talks about positioning and pricing on Google Play. As of the last time I checked (a couple months ago), the Google’s automatic-discount chart at the bottom (below the podcast) is still good for determining what to set your price in order to get the price you want for consumers. He starts at 42 minutes, 45 seconds.

Also, links to the posts on kboards threads with “how-to” for uploading on google play, and on the dangers of being on google play, at the bottom of the post.

Pen Name Launch & Google Play


  1. Based on the statistically valid sample of just me, I’m reluctant to go with free. I have too many free books in my kindle, and I don’t seem to read them. I’m planning to get the sequel to my space opera out in September, and I will be putting the first book to $.99 for five days. I will also be purchasing advertising of the first book for that sale period We’ll see how it goes.

    1. I’ll note that this series was launched in 2014, when KU was much smaller, and was just transitioning from paying as much for short stories as for novels. Back then, free was a much better incentive than now.

      These days, with KU competing for attention with all the free books, I think the discounted and promoted release much better than free and promoted – although there are some folks who show good returns out of it. (The latest author earnings, though, seemed to indicate that permafree works best when you already have a large number of book sin the series, as opposed to on launch.)

      I wish I had a second author who’d done a series / pen name launch more recently, in the same style, because I like more data and to see how things work differently for different people. Still, one author’s take is better than none!

      1. Absolutely, and reading Lindsay Buroker’s post hammers home the point that one needs a mailing list (says she who doesn’t have one).

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