As you learned last week, it was a loooooong process to get The Maze: Book Three of The Osteria Chronicles complete, but now that Release Day is looming it’s time to set the book launch plans into motion.
But before the book launch push (aka “be warned, there will be heavy marketing going on in this area very soon”) fully kicks into gear, I’ve been heeding the simplest book marketing ploy ever, trying something that makes me feel dirty, and getting ready for a pre-book launch vacation.
A Little Redesign = No-Brainer Marketing
As I was formatting the print and electronic versions of The Maze (aka “Book Three”), I knew I needed to get into the files for The Trials of Hercules (Book One) and The Voyage (Book Two) and do a little work.
One of the tasks was to give the first two books an overall tidying up since (in trying to be fancy) I had put in some graphics I no longer liked and some information was way out of date. My goal was to give the interior of all three books a very similar look and I have to say, the first two books look much cleaner now.
Another task was updating the front and back matter to include the upcoming book*, give less emphasis to my non-fiction books (which I’m slowly phasing out because some of them are just embarrassing to admit I’ve written), and to update my author bio**.
I had thought of designing new covers for the first two books, but since the cover you helped me pick for book three (thank you, everyone!!) matched the style of the first two, I decided to put that task on hold for now. I did however, make a little color change to The Voyage to give it that same super-saturated warm tone as the other two books.
I’m still not sure about the change since I do like the ominous darkness of the old cover, but I thought the color-boosted cover might be more eye-catching. Any thoughts?
*By the way, to other self-published writers out there, updating your front and back matter to include your list of current books and your updated bio is the simplest way to market yourself and your books. Your readers have one of your books in hand and, if they liked that book, making it as easy as possible for them to find your other work is just smart business sense.
**This need to make updates is why you MUST MUST MUST double check your publisher’s rules about making changes to your manuscript. Some print publishers charge for ANY change (even fixing a single typo); others charge nothing. Keep this in mind when selecting a publisher for your print books.
I Feel So Dirty
Another task made me grit my teeth, but I thought I’d give it a try. A recent book marketing blog post from Written Word Media gave some tips on how to make your books more searchable on Amazon. One tip, a rather painless one, was to include your genre in your book’s title, but to make that genre something more specific than just “fantasy fiction” or “romance novel.” So, I scanned my little brain and decided to add “Greek Gods Epic Fantasy Series” the the title of books one and three to test this idea out. I also followed their advice to update my keywords…something I’m glad I did because my old keywords were terribly generic!
Another tip was far more painful because it feels so “market-y.” The tip said to include a comparison to a popular book or author in your book’s description. I guess the idea is that if someone is searching for “Stephen King” and you put his name in your description you’ll show up in the search and – even though the person is obviously looking for Stephen King – they’ll somehow end up buying your book instead (drunk shopping, perhaps?).
Since I’m not really sure what books/authors my series is comparable to, I opted for Game of Thrones since it’s an epic historical fantasy and my dad mentioned that the book reminded him of Game of Thrones (but with a Greek-type setting instead of a medieval-type setting). So, grudgingly, I worked up a sentence that included “Game of Thrones.” I know, I’m such a whore.
To see if this does anything but make me feel dirty, I’m trying three different tactics: I tacked it onto the intro description for The Trials of Hercules, put it at the very end of the description for The Maze, and left it off The Voyage‘s description altogether. Then I took a shower to wash away some of my shame.
Marketing Plans I Hope to Stick With
Another bit of prep work is filling pages and pages of scrap paper with marketing plans including a behind-the-scenes peek at the series, pre-order specials (coming VERY soon), and book giveaways which you’ll be hearing about over the next couple months (hopefully not to the point that I drive you away).
As for me, in about 48 hours Mr. Husband, Finn McSpool, and I are heading off to Hawaii for (almost) two weeks of snorkeling and swimming and sweating in the tropics. But don’t worry, I won’t leave you blog-less. I’ve got several posts waiting in a WordPress holding pattern – posts that…
- will give you a big hint on how you can boost your book-buying budget,
- will clarify how to order print books in a way that gets you the best deal,
- and a very exciting announcement is coming on the 27th!!
Oh, and I’m sure Finn will want to share a picture of himself sipping a tropical cocktail or doing the hula or riding a sea turtle. Hopefully not all at the same time, but you never know with him.
Have a great rest of the week everyone and, as always, I thrive on comments so be sure to leave one!!