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Author: Subject: Serials and eBook Writing, Promotion & Sales Info from Michy's THREE Series
Michy
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[*] posted on 5/16/2013 at 02:01 PM
Serials and eBook Writing, Promotion & Sales Info from Michy's THREE Series


I have to say, my series, THREE, has been quite successful, and I only have two installments out now. One of them is free now and the other one just dropped in price, in anticipation of the third one being released. I plan to do five to seven installments in this series, then I'll end it. I will be selling them compiled as a single print book and ebook when the series is finally over, but it will have been cheaper to buy them all along for those who are loyal to the series.

Giving away the first one free is really the 'gimmick' that worked. I get about 2000 freebies given away every month, and I've been selling on average about 2 books per day of the second installment. I'm also advertising the other titles I have at the back of both book installments, and I'm seeing a slight increase each month in sales for those. It's not making me rich by any means, but I'm pulling a steady $60-100 per month from these two books (and one of them is free!) I'm about to put up the third book, so that should increase, then the fourth, then the fifth, etc... should continue to be cumulative.

I definitely plan to do another series again. These series work--they honestly work. BUT, you have to be smart about them and fair to the readers. They have to be long enough to be worth the cost of at least the buck you are charging. I'm charging 1.99 to start, and then I drop it when the next installment comes out so the new one is 1.99 and the old one is now .99.

So to make it long enough, it needs to be AT MINIMUM 10,000 words. I'd recommend doing it closer to 20k, around the novella length for the installments. Otherwise, you're cheating your reader with a partial 'book' and making them basically pay by chapter--and they hate that.

The other thing is, and this isn't easy, you have to make each novella installment stand alone. If you leave them hanging at the end, you would think that it would entice them to want to by the next installment and read it--but in reality, it pisses them off, and it makes them think you are cheating them. You should give them a full reading experience, and just make each installment tell more of the story of that universe. That doesn't mean you can't keep telling an ongoing story--mine is an ongoing story--but it's the 'what happened after' ongoing story, not the '*gasp* what happened?' story.

Then be consistent and regular in your posting of the stories. This is my weakness. I take too long between stories to post them. In fact, it might be better to have your installments already written and ready to go before you post the first one. I got ahead of myself and posted the first one (I wasn't planning on it being a series at first) before I was ready to do the next one, and the same with part 2, so the readers have to wait too long between installments and in this internet age, they get bored and move on to the next big thing... they'll forget you and stop caring about your universe if they can't get the next installment fast.

This concept is working for me and it's working well. I'm not making it in the big-time this way, but it's a nice, steady income generator doing what I love. If it takes me one month for each installment and I can do 12 installments in a year, I could easily be making $1200-2500 per month from my fiction writing, with only moderate to average sales. If any of them take off, it could easily be more than that. By the end of two years, if you're consistent and the market stays the same, it could be a considerable income for a mid-list type writer.

Requires some dedication, but it works.

Just sharing my experiences for those who are interested or who are considering doing something similar. I think these serials--if they are done right--are the way to go. I've believed this for a long time now. Get a blog going to give more information, be approachable by your readers, answer questions, etc. Make it a truly interactive experience for your readers--even hold contests to let your readers decide what happens to one of your characters or something! Let them vote on your choice of covers, etc. Bring them into the experience and they'll be more invested!

Any questions, concerns, follow ups, ideas? Let's talk about this! I'd love for everyone to find similar success with their stories!

You can find my stories here:
Michy's eBooks on Amazon






Love and stuff,
Michy
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Melanie
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[*] posted on 5/17/2013 at 07:32 AM



Quote:

In fact, it might be better to have your installments already written and ready to go before you post the first one.


THIS is what I've been thinking lately.

With how disruptive my life is lately, I have grown a bit nervous about releasing book one of the series I'm working on now (The Grave Industry one from the critique section) because I may not be able to get the next ones out on a set schedule.

I have 4 books started, outlined or planned for that series, all of which will stand alone but tie in nicely.

And, what you say above is pretty much exactly what I plan to do to become a full-time fiction writer. Other than the series above, I have 3 others planned right now, plus a romance/erotica short story to anthology thing going on.


About the payment thing.

1st month you have 1 book at $1.99. Next month you have 1 at 99c and the new one at $1.99? Or do you make the first one free right off the bat?

In the end of the series, do you have one free and the rest at 99c forever?




Melanie
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Michy
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[*] posted on 5/17/2013 at 10:05 AM


I charged for the first one until I was ready to put up the second book, because I didn't want a huge audience for it yet, until the second one at least was up=---in the back of the first one, I pimped (on just one page, not tons and tons of in your face stuff) my other books. Then, when the second one was ready, I put it up for $1.99. I then made the first one .99 cents. I was playing with it at the time, to see how things did. I promoted both books on Facebook and my bog and site and such.

Then, I used Amazon's free 5-day promotion that they give you when you do the Kindle Select. I wanted to see how sales reacted to the use of the 5-days. I did two promotions of free, a 3-day one and then a couple of weeks later, a 2-day one. I saw a surge in sales for book 2 on both promotions, that stayed high for about two weeks after.

Then, when I was no longer part of the Kindle Select, I put the book up everywhere else I could for free... the only way you can put it up for free on Amazon permanently is if you offer the book for free at another major retailer and Amazon does it as a price match. They don't even tell you they are doing it, so you have to watch for it. So as soon as I saw the book was free, I started watching and waiting.

I ran a couple of 'sales' where I marked the second book down to 99 cents for a few days and then put it back up to 1.99, but it was selling about the same regardless of the price, so I put it back up to 1.99. However, I'm about to bring out book three, and to keep an interest in the books, to really promote people buying the series of them, I just now lowered the price to .99. I've seen a slight uptick in sales at the lower rate. Not quite enough to cover the difference in cost, but close.

I think once book three is out at 1.99, I'll see a lot more of the .99 cent book two selling.

I don't think lowering the price is absolutely necessary to sell books--but I'm seeing that some people waiver back and forth on whether they want to buy it or not, and when I lower the price, I think that cinches the deal for them and they buy it. I might continue raising and lowering it to play with it--BUT Amazon will price match if the person says, "Yesterday, it was .99 cents and today it's 1.99..." Amazon will give it to them at .99 cents and YOU eat the difference, not Amazon.

It's been interesting to play with it.





Love and stuff,
Michy
~~Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations~~


Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." James R. Cook

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Michy
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[*] posted on 5/17/2013 at 10:07 AM


Oh, and what I left out--when you put up the second one, edit the first one to include a teaser and/or excerpt to the second on with the image of the second book's cover, so that people know it's available. From the Kindle I have, you can click the link in the book and go buy the second one right away when you finish the first one.

Each time you put the new one up, you need to edit the file on the ones before to include links and info about the new one in the series. All the way to the first book--so they know from the beginning it's a series and that the other books are already all available.




Love and stuff,
Michy
~~Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations~~


Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." James R. Cook

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Check Out My Author Website! Read Book Reviews There or Request a FREE Author Interview!
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itzrissa2u
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[*] posted on 5/17/2013 at 11:52 AM


great tips. The new story in my head is going to be a series I think. I want to have a lot more written before I publish because I write slow.

I agree- it really pisses me off when a book has a cliff hanger ending. Really pisses me off! I won't buy the next out of spite. (hey, I'm Italian- I carry grudges)




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Sadie
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[*] posted on 5/17/2013 at 01:30 PM



Hee!

Color me abnormal, but I actually kind of like that sort of thing. If the ending doesn't quite get there, I'll finish it in my head and make it exactly what I want it to be.


Eventually, this will allow me to control the entire world of fiction... in my own mind...Mwah ha ha ha... :punk:





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