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Posts by Peter Grant

Lessons learned from a trilogy, Part 2: the impact on sales of rapid releases, and other factors

A month ago, I published an article titled “Lessons learned from a trilogy: an interim report, and Kindle Unlimited observations“.  That was the first part of this article.  If you haven’t already read it, please click on that link and do so before continuing with this one.  Don’t worry.  We’ll wait … what, back already?  All right.  Here goes.

Dorothy challenged me in December 2017 to complete my latest military SF trilogy, “Cochrane’s Company“, in full, before publishing any part of it.  I should then publish the component novels in rapid succession, to maintain reader interest.

Cochrane's Company Books 1, 2 and 3 - 350 pixel

She noted that authors in other genres had had good results by doing that.  Sales of each successive book in their series had both boosted the sales of those that had gone before it, and been boosted by reader interest aroused by earlier books, meaning that sales for the series as a whole were higher overall.

Dorothy was absolutely correct, although not quite in the way she or I had expected.

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Learning from others

I’ve had a lot of feedback concerning my article, two weeks ago, about lessons learned from launching my most recent trilogy.  I’m glad so many of you found it helpful and/or thought-provoking.  It was the first pass at the topic;  in two weeks from now, I’ll have another look at it, this time including a graphical analysis of sales and the “trilogy effect” or “series effect”.  It should be even more interesting.

Meanwhile, I’ve run across a few articles that add depth to some of the points I raised in that first article.  I thought you might find them useful too.

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Lessons learned from a trilogy: an interim report, and Kindle Unlimited observations

A few months ago, I wrote about an experimental trilogy, with which I hoped to improve my marketing dynamics and revitalize my writing career after some health-related doldrums.  The trilogy is “Cochrane’s Company“, and its third and final book, “The Pride of the Damned“, was published on Monday this week.  So far, it (and the trilogy as a whole) are selling nicely, thank you.

The Pride of the Damned - blog size 350 pixel

Dorothy and I have learned a great deal in the process of writing and publishing this trilogy.  Many of those lessons are works in progress, and I’ll elaborate on them in another article a month or two down the road.  However, some are immediately apparent, and I thought you might like an advance look at what we’ve either found out, or had reinforced by the market.  Some of the lessons are new to us.  Others are old news, but reinforced by current market trends.

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This, that and t’other

A large number of articles and news reports related to writing have caught my eye in recent weeks.  I thought you might enjoy a selection of them.  Follow the links provided to learn more about those that interest you.

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Writing books is not like frying shrimp

This article is written, not for experienced authors and self-publishers, but for those just dipping their toes into the water, so to speak.  It was inspired by a couple of e-mails from readers of my latest novel, “The Stones of Silence“, which has been on sale for almost two weeks.  I hated to rain on their parade, but they seemed to lack an understanding of just how much hard work goes into making a book successful.  I thought it might be worthwhile to put up an article summarizing the issue.

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It’s on the way

My article for this morning is on the way, I promise!  I’m just dealing with a minor crisis where all my Amazon reviews for my latest book disappeared yesterday evening.  They’re coming back, slowly – full marks to Amazon for responding quickly to my query.

Look for my article in an hour or two.

Kindle Create and Vellum: a brief comparative review

I’m in the final stages of preparing the first book of my new military science fiction trilogy, Cochrane’s Company, for publication.  “The Stones of Silence” will (hopefully) come out next week;  “An Airless Storm” will follow in June;  and the final volume, “The Pride of the Damned“, will be published in July.

Until now, I’ve simply imported my word processor files to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and let its in-house conversion software prepare them for publication.  It did an adequate job, but nothing special.  Over the past couple of years, publication software has come a long way, making the preparation process easier and more sophisticated.  I decided that, for this trilogy, I’d like to spread my wings a little;  so I’ve been experimenting with two such programs, Amazon’s Kindle Create (free) and 180g’s Vellum (free to download and try, but $199 for the e-book edition only and $249 for e-book and print editions).  I thought you might be interested in my experiences thus far.  My descriptions will necessarily be brief, due to lack of space and time, but I hope you’ll learn enough to be able to assess them for your own needs.

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