Unlike the pre-orders for Searching for Gertrude, the pre-order numbers for Finders, Not Keepers are actually my highest ever. Excuse me while I do a dance. Okay, I’m back now. To read what went wrong with Searching for Gertrude, read last week’s blog post here. But establishing how I messed up isn’t enough. I need to understand exactly why Finders, Not Keepers is doing better. Here’s what I came up with.
Time. First of all, I have a lot more time to handle marketing and PR than I did last year. I made the somewhat stupid mistake of agreeing to serve on the board of directors of a non-profit for a year. I thought I could handle it. I thought it wouldn’t be that big of a commitment. I thought the president wouldn’t up and leave mid-term, leaving me to serve as vice-president and president. (I wasn’t too smart, was I?)
Newsletter. I’ve completely revised my newsletter this year as well. I used to only send out a newsletter when I had a new release coming out. Frankly, these newsletters were just me screaming ‘Look at me! Look at me! Buy my book! Buy my book!’ Not surprisingly, they weren’t very effective. I now do monthly updates. I’m also working hard on getting new followers.
Newsletter swaps. One of the biggest takeaways from the London Book Fair for me was author collaboration. I decided to try this by joining a newsletter swap service. Each month when I’m drafting my newsletter, I head to the swap site and find books on sale in the same genres I write. When I have a sale, I add my sale to the site. Three authors included the pre-release sale of Finders, Not Keepers in their newsletter. I attribute 10 pre-orders to this.
Build Up. As I now have more time, I participate in several memes on Twitter and Instagram that ‘market’ my work in progress such as #1linewed, #ThursdayAesthetic, and #WFFriday. I’m not sure these actually help in selling pre-orders, but they certainly don’t hurt. Even if they don’t help, they have helped me with having graphic material ready for the launch as well as finding quotes for teasers and drafting by-lines for future marketing material.
Teaser Tuesday. I booked a Teaser Tuesday marketing flash with a blog tour company. My teasers and an excerpt of Finders, Not Keepers was published on around twenty blogs. I attribute approximately 10 pre-orders to Teaser Tuesday.
Genre. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again – switching genres can be a career killer for an author. Searching for Gertrude was a historical fiction novel. I’ve worked hard to build up an audience for my murder mysteries. Many of these readers were uninterested in a novel taking place in wartime Istanbul. *pouts*
Reduced Price. I reduced the price of the pre-order for Finders, Not Keepers to 99 cents. Everyone loves a bargain!
In my humble opinion, the last two items, reduced price and genre, had the greatest effect on increasing the number of pre-orders. How many pre-orders have I got so far? I don’t think the actual number is very helpful (I’m not a bestseller, that’s for sure). But I will say that Finders, Not Keepers has more than three times the number of pre-orders as my previous record holder (the third book in a three-book series.)